Travel Guide to Florida

2017 Travel Guide to Florida

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I n Mexico Beach, everyone says hello . . . and means it. You won't get a ticket for jaywalking because there are no stoplights. And you won't be eating in a chain restaurant, either, since there aren't any. Mexico Beach is one of those beautiful little towns you never thought existed anymore. It's where the pleasures are simpler, the surprises sweeter and the beach is one of the best in America. Your view of the beach won't be blocked, either, thanks to a four-story building limit. Here, sweet pleasures consist of five miles of sugar-fine, white-sand beach into which you can sink your toes; the soothing Gulf waters; privately owned little shops; magnificent sunsets; delicious seafood that was swimming in the Gulf waters only an hour earlier; and, of course, the people. SEE The Mexico Beach City Pier is a local gathering place, stretching more than 822 feet—almost three football fields—into the Gulf of Mexico. Not only is the fishing great; views of the beaches and emerald-green waters seem to stretch into infinity. SHOP Mexico Beach doesn't have high-end retailers or chains. What it does have are unique shops where you can find treasures that distinctly reflect Mexico Beach and its surroundings. From original works of art by local artists and jewelry crafters at the Left Bank Art Gallery and wooden furniture and home décor at The Grove of Mexico Beach to the fishing-oriented shops at the Marina, there's something for everyone. At the Marina shops, not only can you purchase something for your tackle box, you can also gain some tips on what's biting, where and who can take you there. EAT AND PLAY Following a day at the beach, Tommy T's is a great place to cool off and relax with hand- dipped ice cream, root-beer floats and old- school arcade games you never expected to see again. Beachfront dining at Toucan's features fresh fish dishes as well as signature burgers. On weekends, enjoy live music at the Tiki Hut and its Sports Bar upstairs. And the Lookout Lounge offers live music outside and the chance to bust loose on its karaoke stage inside. INSIDER'S TIP Local residents love to stroll, jog, hike or cycle around the naturally beautiful surroundings in Mexico Beach. Many merchants and lodgings offer bike rentals. SWEET SENSATIONS, Beautiful Town BY STEVE WINSTON MEXICO BEACH COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL M E X I CO B E A C H Mexico Beach Community Development Council: mexicobeach.com Mexico Beach Marina: mexicobeachmarina.com FEATURED LINKS TOP: The Mexico Beach City Pier. CENTER: Enjoying simple pleasures in Mexico Beach. 126 2017 TRAVEL GUIDE TO FLORIDA

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