Give the Gift of a Cape San Blas Vacation This Year

If you’re still pondering what to get that special someone in your life, we have come up with a super great idea — a Cape San Blas vacation to Florida!

Too many people spend their cold winters sitting around dreaming about warmer temperatures but do nothing about it. Don’t let this be another one of those year’s when you have the power to do something about it. Treat that special someone to the best winter escape ever!

Give the Gift of a Cape San Blas Vacation This Year

There’s plenty of things to do here to stay active during a winter vacation in Cape San Blas Florida. There won’t be much sitting around like up north and there definitely won’t be any snow shoveling!

Some of the popular wintertime activities in and around Cape San Blas include horseback riding along the beachfront and exploring the state parks and national forests. Whether you bike, run, or walk these are awesome areas worth exploring. There’s just nothing else quite like spending time in nature.

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Where to go horseback riding on Cape San Blas

Broke-A-Toe
Year round riding by reservation only. Couple’s packages, moonlit rides and trail rides. Call 850-899-7433 for reservations.

The Rockin M Ranch
Horseback and pony rides on the beach. By reservation only. Beginner-friendly lessons Sept. through March. Call 850-227-6117 for reservations.

Where to Find National Parks and Wildlife Refuge in FL

Where to Find National Parks and Wildlife Refuge

Apalachicola National Forest
Stateroad 13, Bristol, FL 32358
(850) 643-2282

John Gorrie Museum State Park
46 6th St, Apalachicola, FL 32320
(850) 653-9347

St. George Island State Park
1900 E. Gulf Beach Drive, Saint George Island, FL 32328
(850) 927-2111

St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge
3100 County Road 30A (14 Mile), Port St. Joe, FL
(850) 653-8808

T.H. Stone St. Joseph’s Peninsula State Park
8899 Cape San Blas Rd, Port St Joe, FL 32456
(850) 227-1327

Give the Gift of a Cape San Blas Vacation This Year

If you’re still in the planning stages of your winter getaway gift idea and you’re looking for that perfect place to stay, give us a call at Sunset Reflections (850-227-1508 or 877-265-4252). You’re sure to love the specials we have on our holiday vacation rentals. We look forward to your call!

Happy holidays from all of us!

 

Where to Dine This Thanksgiving

If you’ve decided this the year you’re going to treat yourself and your family to a Thanksgiving dinner out, we have some great suggestions. The holiday will be here before you know it and we still have holiday vacation rentals available if you have last minute guests dropping in. This is such a beautiful time of year to travel and spend the holiday with friends and family. So, if you don’t want to cook this year, try out one of the following locations nearby.
 
Where to Dine This Thanksgiving
Sunset Coastal Grill
602 Hwy 98, Port Saint Joe, FL
Phone (850) 227-7900
This year Sunset Coastal Grill will have 4 seatings so this Thanksgiving experience will be better than ever. Seatings are at 11:00, 12:30, 2:00 and 3:30.  The price is $36 for Adults, $30 for Seniors (65+) and 14 for Children (4-12).  Reservations are required.
 
Sister’s Restaurant
236 Reid Ave, Port Saint Joe, FL
Phone (850) 229-7121
Join us for lunch for our traditional Thanksgiving! Turkey and dressing, Baked Ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cream corn, turnip greens, baby limas, honey glazed carrots, homemade cranberry sauce. And don’t forget our delicious homemade desserts!! Pumpkin pie, strawberry cake, pumpkin cake and more!! We start severing at 11:00!
 
The Sand Bucket Smokehouse & Grill
980 Cape San Blas Rd, Port Saint Joe, FL
Phone: (850) 229-4227
Let us prepared a Thanksgiving Dinner for 8 persons which includes 10-12 lb. Smoked Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Turkey Gravy, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Herb Dressing, Green Bean Casserole, Homemade Cranberry Sauce, Yeast Dinner Rolls, and Pumpkin Pie. For the total cost of $100.00. All of the items are made in the restaurant. The meal will be picked up on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. All you have to do is heat it up the next day. You house will smell great and you can take all the credit for making a delicious Thanksgiving Feast. Call us at 850-229-4227 or drop by to reserve your dinner before Sunday, Nov. 19.
 
All of us at Sunset Reflections wish you and your family a delightful Thanksgiving holiday!

 

Get away from the cold this holiday season in Cape San Blas

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Visit us in Cape San Blas this holiday season and enjoy bright sunshine, warm temperatures, pet-friendly, un-crowded beaches and amazing Gulf sunsets; as well as these Forgotten Coast happenings that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit!

Mexico Beach Turkey-Trot 5K Fun Run

Thanksgiving morning at 8 am-Under the Palms Park, Mexico Beach, FL

This 5K run is a perfect way to burn off calories in advance of Thanksgiving dinner later in the day! Whether you’re participating in the race or cheering on the runners, the Fun Run is a wonderful way to start the holiday season along with family and friends.

Apalachicola Historic Downtown Christmas Celebration

November 24th at 3pm- Apalachicola, FL

Decorated homes

Head to the historic town of Apalachicola the day after Thanksgiving and enjoy some shopping and all sorts of holiday cheer! Businesses will be open late for the day, several historic homes with be decked out for the holidays and carolers will be entertaining revelers with holiday favorites.  The highlight of the event will be the arrival of Santa on a shrimp boat at 4pm at the City Dock.

Holiday Fresh Market

December 2nd at 10am- Apalachicola, FL

Xmas Market

This market is the ideal place to find unique gifts for family and friends from local artisans. Shop for handmade jewelry, crafts, baked goods and more.

Chili Cook-off and Family Bazaar

December 2nd at 12pm- Sailors Cove, Port St. Joe, FL

Work up an appetite before heading to this annual event! There will be plenty of food, live music and a beer garden; in addition to a Family Bazaar, where you can find unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list.

Port Theater’s 1st Christmas Gala

December 7th at 6:30 pm- Port Theater Art and Cultural Center- Port St. Joe, FL

5 Top Christmas Gifts for Gift Giving This Year

Celebrate Christmas at this beloved historic landmark.   The Gulf Coast State College Jazz ensemble & FSU strings will be performing holiday favorites, and there will be dinner and drinks as well!  All proceeds benefit the Port Theater Art and Culture Center.

Christmas on the Coast

December 9th at 5pm on Reid Avenue- Port St. Joe, FL

Come Spend Thanksgiving in Cape San Blas This Year

Historic Reid Avenue is the place to be for this Christmas Parade. Come on out and see holiday festooned floats, boats, trucks and much more as they compete for a prize.

Jingle in the Joe

December 14th at 6 pm- Port Theater Art and Cultural Center- Port St. Joe, FL

Get in the holiday spirit, with performances by local musicians and choral groups.

Celebrate New Year’s Twice

New Year’s Eve- Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach, FL

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This is a wonderful opportunity to ring in 2018 twice; first in Port St. Joe at 10pm EST and second in Mexico Beach at midnight, CST. The day begins with a scavenger hunt from Port. St. Joe to Mexico Beach beginning at 9 am, and ends with fireworks to celebrate the New Year!

We look forward to seeing you here in Cape San Blas this holiday season, where you won’t only escape the cold, but also experience the holidays in true Forgotten Coast style!

 

 

Escape the Cold this Winter in Our Winter Rentals

With the arrival of autumn it’s time to decide where to find that winter vacation rental you were looking forward to. The colder winter temperatures will settle in across most of the country before you know it as the days are already getting shorter. When you spend your winter in Cape San Blas, Florida, you are spared the frigid temperatures and deep snow of the north. Just imagine spending those cold months in a home with a heated private pool and hot tub!

Beach Happy

Autumn and winter months are some of the best times to be in Cape San Blas when the summer crowds have long since returned home. It’s the best location to enjoy a relaxed holiday season where you let your family come to your house for a change.

Our winter rates on vacation rentals are competitive with any area luxury hotel. Enjoy the great prices during the winter months with all the amenities and luxurious comforts but not the price. Our rentals are fully furnished, beautifully decorated and include cable TV, free high speed Internet, fully equipped kitchens, washer/dryer and more. Many of our properties include heated outdoor private pools and hot tubs.

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This is the time to make your reservation for that winter escape if you haven’t already done so. Those who act fast get their choice of the best properties. All of our rentals are popular with our winter guests and we can help you find the ideal property for you and your family, too.

You don’t have to put up with another winter of ice and snow. Come to Cape San Blas and staying in our toasty warm vacation rentals for a couple weeks, a couple months or the entire winter. There’s plenty to do here to keep busy, too. Besides shopping and golf, you can play tennis, shuffleboard, pickleball, go fishing and plenty more!

To book a winter vacation rental, make your reservations on our website , or call our Sunset Reflections reservationists toll free at 877-805-7794 at your convenience. We will be glad to help plan that winter escape!

 

What To Do If You Encounter a Hurricane While On Vacation

Nobody wants to experience a hurricane while enjoying a vacation but the fact of the matter is it happens. Hurricanes are inconvenient at best and dangerous at worst. Read on to learn what to expect if you should encounter a hurricane while on vacation.

Hurricane season lasts from May through November and those along the east coast are most at risk. With this knowledge in mind, plan accordingly. Get travel insurance if it’s an option. Become knowledgeable in what to do if a hurricane approaches you while on vacation.

What To Do If You Encounter a Hurricane While On Vacation

What to Expect

A hurricane is basically a super storm. The elements — wind, thunder, lightning and heavy rain — arrive in more extreme measure and duration. Flooding may occur in areas close to sea level.

Stay tuned in to local media such as radio, TV, online sites and social media. Keep current with the news reports. Know that a hurricane can take out transmission lines so information may get cut off at any time.

How to be Prepared

• If you’re a guest at a resort, look to the management for guidance and follow their directions to safety.

• If you’re on your own, hopefully you’ve already prepared an emergency kit. Locate it and plan to evacuate to higher ground.

• Never drive through standing water if you’re unable to know how deep it is.

• A hurricane’s duration depends on wind speed and often it travels a circular route so you may feel the impact twice.

• The center of a hurricane is called the eye and it offers a respite from the torrential storm but it’s temporary. Stay indoors until the second pass moves by.

• Keep your passport and ID on your person.

• Help children, the elderly and infirm without putting yourself at risk.

If you have any questions or concerns about an upcoming stay with us at Sunset Reflections don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to address any issues you may be concerned about.

Things To Do This Fall in and Around Cape San Blas

As the end of summer winds down many vacationers are returning home. Children need to prepare for the return to school and their parents go back to work. But one of the great things about Cape San Blas, Florida is anytime of the year is a great time to vacation here! We never go out of season!
 

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With the arrival of Autumn comes plenty of events you just don’t have access to at any other time. For many, this is their favorite time of year to visit the area as the heat of summer is starting to cool off just a bit.

Don’t miss Port-Ober Fest taking place from 3-7 p.m. on September 23, 2017. The event is held at 308 Reid Avenue in Port St. Joe, FL. The Gulf Chamber of Commerce sponsors this German-style party on Reid Ave. Join us for food and drinks, contest and games, local vendors, vintage cars, and live music from the Polka Dots and other musical guests.

 
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It’s not too late to make plans to enjoy an early October vacation. The Scallop & Music Festival is going on the first weekend, October 6-7, 2017 at the George Core Park in St. Joe. This is a popular event offering arts and craft vendors, educational exhibits, a popular kid zone & many great food vendors. The 2-day event is an enjoyable experience for all. Come enjoy sweet southern-fried scallops, fried scallop dinners and more to take home and cook or eat there. The Chamber of Commerce also sells frozen scallops at the festival! Now the new home of the Cape San Blas Lighthouse, George Core Park, provides the ideal location for this fall event.

On October 7 Bay Day is being held at St. Joseph Bay Buffer Preserves, 3915 State Road 30-A (C-30), Port St. Joe. A day with plenty to see and do. Come experience a Low Country Shrimp Boil! In addition, trips to the uplands in the Buffer Preserve are always available. For more information call (850) 229-1787, ext 1.

Cape San Blas is Amazing in August…and Here’s Why.

Pet-Friendly White Sand Beaches

8_2_2017 CSB August Theo

The Forgotten Coast has some of the most beautiful, un-crowded beaches in the country; boasting soft white sand and amazing blue-green water. And you can share this paradise with your canine companion!

The George Boyer Band at the Historic Port Theater– August 17th- 314 Reid Street, Port St. Joe

on the stage, selective focus

Come out and see the George Boyer Band at Port St. Joe’s historic Port Theater; as part of their “Thursdays at the Theater” program. This Art Deco style venue originally opened in 1938, as a place for locals to see the latest theatrical releases.  It shuttered its doors in 1967 and fell into disrepair, until it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.  With vigorous fundraising and the help of a local non-profit group, the theater is open again.  Come and see this local historic landmark, while enjoying some fabulous music!

21st Annual MBARA Kingfish Tournament– August 26th- Mexico Beach

3 fishing rods off the back of a boat

This annual tournament is a fantastic opportunity for those who love fishing to win prizes, while at the same time supporting a worthy cause. All proceeds from the event go to MBARA (Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association), whose mission it is to construct artificial reef habitats to enhance sustainable fisheries in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  So, come out for some amazing Kingfish, Wahoo and Spanish Mackerel fishing.  You could win big!

Apalachicola Farmers Market– August 12th and 26th from 9 – 1- Mill Pond Pavilion, Market Street 

8_2_2017 CSB Market

Shop for locally harvested seafood and produce, as well as homemade breads, pies, jewelry, art and other regional specialties at this twice-monthly local favorite.

Beach Horseback Riding

8_2_2017 CSB August HorseWhat a perfect way to explore the uncrowded beaches of the Forgotten Coast! Locals and visitors alike list exploring the beach on horseback as one of their favorite pastimes, and there are plenty of stables in the area that offer guided rides.

These are just a few of the ways Cape San Blas is amazing in August.  Come down to the Forgotten Coast this month and discover the myriad other ways Cape San Blas is truly unforgettable….

 

 

Let the Scalloping Begin!

Scalloping Journal-3

It’s that time again….scalloping season on the Forgotten Coast! Every year, this amazing area on the Gulf coast of Florida gears up for recreational scalloping.  Adults and children alike can be seen scouring the bays for these delicacies, and restaurants begin whipping up inventive scallop dishes for their patrons.  Not familiar with scalloping?  Following is all you need to know…

Scalloping Journal-5

The Florida bay scallop is a bivalve mollusk that grows and lives in shallow (4-10 feet deep) sea grass beds, commonly found in places like Crystal River, Keaton Beach, Cape San Blas and Port St. Joe.  Scalloping season on the Forgotten Coast commences at the beginning of July and ends around the 4th  week in September.

hands holding a fresh catch of scallops in the shell.

There is very little equipment necessary for scalloping. You will need a boat (not necessary, but best for optimal scalloping), swim mask, snorkel, a small mesh bag and a divers-down flag (which is required by law).  Most scallopers go by boat into waters which are 4 to 10 feet deep, where they drop their anchor, put up a dive flag, and snorkel over the beds; gathering the scallops by hand.  Without a boat, one can simply wade through the shallow waters with a dip net and a mesh bag.

Scalloping Journal-7

Collecting scallops is simple. They can be spotted on or near the bottom of sea grass beds; and are particularly easy to see where the sand/mud bottom of the bay meets the edge of the bay grass.  When approached, scallops may attempt to scurry away, but they’re not very fast and can easily be caught.  Remember that when you return to the boat (or shore) with your catch, immediately place your scallops on ice, which will make them easier to shuck, as this forces the scallop to open its shell a bit.

Scalloping Journal

Cleaning bay scallops is more difficult than catching them, but well worth the effort! The simplest way to clean them is to use a scallop or clam knife (a teaspoon can be used as well) to pry open the bottom and top shells, and cut away the white muscle that is attached to the shell.  The scallop’s muscle is what is most commonly eaten (although there are some people who eat other parts of the scallop, as well).

The only thing to do once you’ve cleaned your scallops is eat them! They can be made in a variety of ways: sautéed, blackened, fried, in chowders and over pasta.  A word to the wise…they can very easily become overcooked and dry, so be mindful of how long you’re cooking them.  Bon Appetit!!

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Come and join us on the Forgotten Coast during bay scallop season….we still have amazing homes available for August!

Florida has strict recreational scalloping regulations. Please review these guidelines before embarking on your scalloping excursion.

The following sources were used in writing this post:

https://scallophunter.com/about-scallops/where-to-catch/

https://www.flseagrant.org/fisheries/scalloping/

http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/bay-scallops/

http://www.capesanblas.com/things-to-do-scalloping.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

Cape San Blas is the Place to Be in July!

Cape San Blas is known for its dog-friendly, white-sand beaches, blue-green water, abundant wildlife and laid-back atmosphere!  There’s so much to do and see in this area of the “Forgotten Coast,” and July is an especially busy month at this Florida gem.  Following are just a few of the amazing things happening in July:

Annual Forgotten Coast Sea Turtle Festival – July 2nd from 11-4 at Village Drive and George Core Park in Port St. Joe

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This 2nd annual event features music, food and fun!  Its sole purpose, is to help educate the public about sea turtles; one of the most beloved creatures on the Forgotten Coast.  There will be a special focus on the importance of preserving the coastal habitat that the sea turtles call home.  The event is also a fundraiser for the Forgotten Coast Sea Turtle Center, so come out and support this very worthy cause!

Downtown Apalachicola Independence Eve Celebration– July 3rd from 5-11pm at Riverfront Park

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Come celebrate our independence a day earlier than the rest of the country!  This year’s event features music from Johnny and the Love Seats.  Lead singer, Johnny Hayes, was recently a featured contestant on NBC’s “The Voice.”

Independence on the Coast– July 4th at Frank Pate Park in Port St. Joe at 10 p.m.

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Celebrate our country’s independence with an amazing firework display over St. Joseph’s Bay. The display will be set off in front of the Port St. Joe Marina, and can be viewed from most areas in downtown Port St. Joe.

Salt-Air Farmer’s Market– July 1st and 15th from 10-1 in Downtown Port St. Joe

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Shop for seasonal produce from area farmers, locally harvested Gulf seafood, and artisan goods while listening to live music.  It’s always fun for the whole family!

Mexico Beach Offshore Classic– July 28 and 29th at Mexico Beach Marina

3 fishing rods off the back of a boat

This 2-day tournament allows anglers a chance to take home $2,500 in cash prizes.  Wahoo, Dolphin and King Mackerel are the fishing categories, with cash prizes up for grabs in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.  Fishing will commence at 5am on both days; with weigh in from 4-5:30pm.  It’s a competition that should not be missed!

Bay Scallop Season Begins July 25th at St. Joseph’s Bay in Port St. Joe

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Bay scallop season is one of the most highly anticipated times of year on the Forgotten Coast. Adults and children alike can be seen in area bays scavenging for these delicacies.  They’re surprisingly easy to catch!  For those that would like to get an early start on scalloping, it’s as easy taking a short boat trip east of Indian Pass, where scallop season begins a bit earlier, on July 1.  Stay tuned for more bay scallop events and information in future posts…

How to Unplug and Enjoy Your Next Vacation

When it comes to family vacations you’ll be delighted by the large assortment of family friendly vacation rentals we have to offer at Sunset Reflections. Select your ideal accommodations right from our website and your vacation will be well underway.

We believe everyone in your family should be fully present to get the most out of your vacation time together. That’s hard to do when there’s a mobile device in everyone’s hand. Hard, but not impossible. It would be a shame to return home after a week away on vacation and have no memories because you remained plugged into your devices the entire time.

mobile phone
We realize it’s a lot to ask to have you and the kids leave your phones, pads and laptops at home. So why not set aside a period of time – one or two hours – each day when everyone plugs in at once to get their “internet fix.” When the hour is up, you’re done until the next day. As a family, go out and enjoy the sandy beach and blue ocean water…but leave your mobile devices in the room!

At first it might feel awkward. You’re used to having that device in your pocket or purse. Without even realizing it, you’ve come to expect it to vibrate or ring and so you’re always on alert. But after a little while, surrounded by all the beauty this area has to offer, it will be the last thing on your mind as you slip into vacation mode.

Using smartphone
Now think about all the things you’re able to do when you don’t have that wireless connection tying you down. Enjoy the miles of unspoiled sandy beaches, nature walks, and wide bike paths. Delight your children with a visit to Rockin M Ranch to do some guided horseback riding. Spend the day out on a charter boat doing some fishing and let the kids experience getting “the big one” on their fishing line. This is how you make lasting memories! There’s plenty of golf and tennis to be played here and unlimited shopping excursions, as well.

With plenty of vacation properties available, we’re sure to have the perfect accommodations for you and your family. Check us out online or give us a call at (877) 265-4252 today!