How to Do Romance Right in Navarre Beach/Santa Rosa County

With days in the 60s under near-constant sunshine followed by crisp evenings, February is a special weather month for visitors to Navarre Beach/Santa Rosa County. But there’s something else in the air.

Love. Romance.

In Navarre Beach, in Milton and throughout Santa Rosa County, there are countless ways for couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day and give their shared love some extra loving care. Here are a few experiences that are certain to kindle the fire.

A sumptuous meal and cocktails are the ideal recipe for romance, and Navarre Beach/Santa Rosa County has plenty of choices. You can’t go wrong booking a table at Blackwater Bistro, located in a century-old house a block from the Blackwater River in quaint downtown Milton. The menu is upscale, but not too fancy or expensive.

A splendid place for couples to huddle is the intimate Grey Taproom & Wine Bar, Navarre’s chill spot for craft beer and wine. For dinner, feel free to head over to the adjacent Johnny Huston’s Grille & Bar, which has the same ownership.

Two miles west you’ll find Vine Wine Bar & Shop, one of Navarre’s premier stops for lovers with a taste for the grape. The shop has romance in its DNA: owners David and Melissa Hoar had their second date at the Vine, not to mention their first kiss. When the place was in danger of closing a few years ago, they bought it. Along the same stretch of Navarre Parkway, couples can enjoy delectable Northern Italian cuisine and white-tablecloth ambiance at Bella Luna Italian Bistro.

Looking for something simpler? Nothing’s more romantic than strolling hand-in-hand along Riverwalk South on the Blackwater River in downtown Milton. Or take a walk alongside the Gulf on Navarre Beach. Either way, February temperatures mean you’ll have plenty of opportunities to keep each other warm with a hug.

Fall in Love With Our Sunsets

The east coast of Florida has its sunrises. That’s nice. In Navarre Beach/Santa Rosa County, we’ll take our sunsets. What better backdrop for a romantic interlude than a multi-hued sky gradually giving way to a starry night?

Virtually anywhere along our destination’s southern shore is ideal to take in a sunset, and you won’t have to search for privacy. Perhaps you’d like to accompany the spectacle with a romantic meal. Here are a few suggestions:

The Beach House Bar & Grille on Navarre Beach lives up to its name: a big white house on stilts with terrific views of the Gulf and a classy, nautical-themed interior. Gulf-to-table seafood, locally sourced produce and craft cocktails are the perfect complements to an unforgettable sunset. And the steps from the second floor lead right to the beach.

Less than a mile east, at the foot of the Navarre Beach Pier, you’ll find Windjammers. Indulge in a meal and drinks and feel free to venture out onto the pier for an even closer view of the sunset. Enjoy a similar experience a short walk away at Broussards’ Bayou Grill, which specializes in Cajun cuisine.

Because Navarre Beach is free of high-rise buildings, you can witness dazzling sunsets across the Causeway in Navarre. Several restaurants overlook Santa Rosa Sound, including East River Smokehouse for the BBQ-loving couple, and the charming Slippery Mermaid for sushi with a touch of whimsy.

Perhaps you prefer your romantic sunset meal more do-it-yourself and closer to nature. You can do no better than a picnic at Gulf Islands National Seashore, with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and Santa Rosa Sound on the other. Pack some fruits, cheeses and your favorite bottle of wine — and don’t forget a blanket — and enjoy some private time on your own private Florida beach.