Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Are You Doing This Weekend? June 29 - July 1, 2012

What’s happening on the Emerald Coast this weekend?

Can you believe that July will already be upon us starting this very weekend? Where DOES the time go? Time travel discussion aside, the weatherman says we can expect an absolutely GORGEOUS pre-independence day weekend here on the always lovely Emerald Coast. Isn’t that exciting news? In addition to our regularly scheduled Emerald Coast Weekly Summer Events, we’ve got a few fun and exciting happenings going on this weekend which will highlight the already glorious scene set before us. Check it out!

Remember, friends and readers, there is nothing we here at Life’s A Beach love more than seeing folks out there enjoying the spectacular Emerald Coast. If you’d like to share your photos with us (and have them considered for future publications) upload those amazing shots here: Life's A Beach Photo Upload

Friday, June 29

Join the City of Destin as they host the 4th Annual Independence Day Celebration and Bike Parade at Morgan Sports Center. The celebration kicks off at 6:30pm with the Bike Parade, in which children ages 14 and under will show off their patriotically decorated bikes, scooters, and wagons. After the parade, enjoy live music, kickball, moonwalks, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, and more! Stick around! The festivities will come to a close with a spectacular fireworks show you won’t want to miss.

                                                           Saturday, June 30

Calling all car lovers! Head out to the Santa Rosa Mall for the Summer Heat 2012 Custom Car, Truck and Bike Super Show. Registration starts at 9am in the mall parking lot. With over 25 categories to enter, all makes and models are welcome. “Best of Show” awards will be presented to the two hottest rides and there will be an “Outstanding Female Ride” award as well. This year they’ve added a Sanctioned DB Drag and lasca event to the show, so stereo enthusiasts are invited to come on out and show off those bumping systems. Giveaways and raffles will be happening all day, and there will be live music and entertainment for all ages! A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warriors Project.

The American Red Cross invites you to join them at their Annual Red, White and Blue 5k and Paddle Board Race beginning at 7:30am at the Fort Walton Beach Landing. Bring the family, there’s something for everyone including a ½ mile children’s run where everyone’s a winner. The race is open to runners and walkers, so no matter your pace, you’ll enjoy this scenic route. This year, participants will have the option to cool off from the summer heat with the paddle board race following the 5k. Don’t miss the after party hosted by KC’s Bar and Grill complete with food, beverages and a game room for the kids! Proceeds from the race will benefit the American Red Cross of Northwest Florida.

Sunday, July 1

Love BBQ? Then you’ll want to be at Destin Commons this Sunday as they host their 2nd Annual Smoke on the Coast BBQ Cook-Off and fireworks festival from 7-9pm. Sample tasty BBQ treats from area teams while enjoying live music, festive art projects, face painting, pirate magic and street dancing. But that’s not all! The festival will end with a bang as it concludes with a 9pm fireworks display. Watch the beautiful flowers of light explode in the sky with a belly full of ‘que!

Enjoy this incredible weekend! Don’t forget to keep it beachy – after all, Life’s A Beach!
            -The Life’s A Beach crew

Stay tuned! We’ll have an entire line-up of 4th of July-week events coming soon!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What Are You Doing This Weekend? June 22-24

What’s happening on the Emerald Coast this weekend?

The first official weekend of summer is upon us, and it is shaping up to be a beautiful weekend here on the always stunning Emerald Coast. With a wealth of exciting activities and events happening all weekend long, you can be sure that you and yours can kick the summer off right with a little time spent along our glittering shores. Remember, there’s always something happening on the Emerald Coast. We’ve outlined a few of this weekend’s happenings below, but don’t forget to check out our “Emerald Coast Weekly Events” blog to find out what else may be going on.

While you’re out there having fun, be sure to take lots of pictures and send them to your friends at Life’s A Beach! There’s nothing we love more than seeing folks enjoying our lovely little piece of paradise. Upload your photos here:

Multi-Day Events

Come out for the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic from June 20-24.  This annual event offers something for everyone. For the angling teams, there are the deep blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, red-hot billfish action, and cool green cash. A wide variety of recreational activities will be offered at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and The Village of Baytowne Wharf. The spectacular night time weigh-ins are held at the Baytowne Marina at Sandestin and are open to the public.

Join the North Light Yacht Club and Marina for the 2012 Burning Up the Bayou Fun Run – the ultimate bike and boat run. This two-day event will kick off with a pre-run social event on June 22, and will be followed by a multi-stop tour of local businesses in Niceville and Fort Walton Beach by boat or by road on June 23. Stops include L.J. Schooners in Bluewater Bay for a beach party, Scully’s on the Bayou for a bikini contest, and then back to North Light Yacht Club and Marina for a Hollywood after-party featuring cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a live performance by the Emerald Coast Blues Brothers.

Friday, June 22

Friday evening is a great time to take that special someone out to a delicious dinner overlooking the water.

Saturday, June 23

Head out to the Fort Walton Beach Landing 10am-7pm for the Latin Salsa Festival, a Caribbean-style music festival featuring live Salsa music and dancing, Puerto Rican folkloric dancers, Caribbean food vendors, arts and crafts and souvenirs. Adult and children’s activities will be available throughout the day. Admission is free but donations are welcomed.

The Reeds Diamond Dash will kick off at 10am at HarborWalk Village in Destin. Take advantage of FREE registration and enter for your chance to win a $10,000 diamond ring from Reeds Jewelers – participation is limited so sign up now! During the Dash, teams of two will answer riddles and complete challenges right from their cell phones as they follow clues through the downtown area. Win or lose, it sounds like a fun day spent with someone special!

Sunday, June 24

YOLO - You Only Live Once, so get out there and enjoy this life!

Have a bright, beautiful, and beachy summer weekend!
            -The Life’s A Beach crew

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

*******Lights, Camera, Action!******* Northwest Florida is Made for Movies!

Did you know that Northwest Florida has been the set for many famous movies? From the coastal charm, to the breathtaking scenery to the historical military bases, Florida’s dazzling Emerald Coast has much to offer those in the entertainment business. Many films have been captured throughout this stunning region, such as Jaws 2, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, and the Truman Show.

In the early 1940’s, a Warner Brothers production crew working with Director Michael Curtiz produced a World War II movie called Dive Bomber. While the movie was mainly filmed in San Diego, background shots were filmed at Eglin Air Force Base. Dive Bomber went on to be a box office hit in 1941, grossing over $1 million.
Photo from Destin Log

After being a huge hit at the box office, Jaws was followed by the sequel, Jaws 2. Even though the movie takes place in Martha’s Vineyard, a lot of the filming took place in the Destin Harbor and Choctawhatchee Bay. In Jaws, the unruly conditions in Cape Cod made it extremely difficult for the film crew to shoot. The Barrier Islands on the Gulf of Mexico filming conditions much better for the sequel.

*I’ve recently discovered that Okaloosa County’s current tax collector, Ben Anderson was cast with a small speaking role in the movie. Check out an article about Ben’s role and what he did with the money here: TheDestinLog - Okaloosa County Tax Collector in Jaws 2

In the late 1990’s director Peter Weir needed a location that had some sense of “perfectness” to it. After only one day of being on site, Weir and his staff agreed that Seaside was the ideal location to shoot The Truman Show. Many extras were used to add the uniqueness of the quaint seaside town, but the scenery needed no help. The picturesque little pastel houses with impeccable white picket fences and thriving rose bushes standing against a stunning gulf backdrop… this impossibly perfect town was, without a doubt, the idyllic setting for this film.

Image: Military Times

More recently, films such as Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, and Born and Raised have been added to the list. So while visiting this exquisite location, keep your eyes open for production crews filming the next box office hit. Who knows, you could be a star!

Movies Filmed in Northwest Florida

1939 Wings of the Navy, starring Olivia de Havilland – Pensacola

Image: Wikipedia

1941 Dive Bomber, starring Errol Flynn, Fred MacMurray, Ralph Bellamy, Alexis Smith – Eglin Air Force Base
Image: Wikipedia

1944ThirtySeconds Over Tokyo, Van Johnson, Robert Walker, Tim Murdock – Eglin Air Force Base

Image: Wikipedia

1949 - 12O’Clock High, starring Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe – Eglin Air Force Base
Image: Wikipedia

1972 Frogs, starring Ray Milland, Sam Elliott – Wewahitchka, Panama City, Eden Garden State Park
Image: Wikipedia

1976 Midway, starring Charlton Heston, Glenn Ford, Henry Fonda, James Colburn – Pensacola
Image: Wikipedia

1978 Jaws 2, starring Roy Scheider – Destin, Navarre, Okaloosa Island
Image: Wikipedia

1993 Ruby in Paradise, starring Ashley Judd, Todd Field – Panama City
Image: Wikipedia

1995Felony, starring Jeffrey Combs, Ashley Laurence -  Pensacola

1996They Bite, starring Donna Frotscher, Nick Baldasare – Panama City

1998The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich – Seaside
Image: Wikipedia

2001 World Traveler, starring Julianne Moore, Billy Crudup - Pensacola
Image: Wikipedia

2006 Jesus Camp, a documentary film nominated for an Oscar in 2006 – Pensacola
Image: Wikipedia

2006Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell, starring Jane Seymour, Daniel Baldwin – Fort Walton Beach, Pensacola
Image: Wikipedia

2007 - Permanent Vacation, starring David Carradine, Frank Harper, Gina Bellman – Milton – Adventures Unlimited Campground

2008 - Eagle Eye, starring Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan - Eglin Air Force Base
Image: Wikipedia

2011 - Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, starring Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel - Hurlburt Field
Image: Wikipedia

2011 - Born and Raised, starring Nick Loritsch - Panama City

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What Are You Doing This Weekend? June 15-17

What’s happening on the Emerald Coast this weekend?

There’s tons of great stuff happening this Father’s Day weekend. Grab your rod and reel and compete for some fantastic prizes, take in some art, enjoy a tasty treat, try your hand at a game of chance, don your favorite high heels for a good cause, adopt a new furry friend, or take the kids out of for a fun-filled day of activities just for them. No matter what you choose to do this weekend, it’s sure to be amazing when you spend your time here on Florida’s beautiful Emerald Coast.

Multi-Day Events

The 2nd Annual Big Mac Shoot Out Fishing Tournament will begin at the Elks Lodge in Fort Walton Beach, and take place June 15-17. 100% of the proceeds from this tournament benefit Ronald McDonald House of Northwest Florida. Tons of cash and prizes awarded. Be sure to ask about the Women’s Division Awards.

Friday, June 15

Celebrate the 6th Annual National Flip Flop Day with Tropical Smoothie Café. HarborWalk Village Tropical Smoothie will hand out free Jetty Punch smoothies to guests wearing flip-flops plus families will enjoy games and activities for all ages to raise money for Camp Sunshine; an organization that helps children with life-threatening illnesses and their families to make magical memories within the unique confines of Camp Sunshine. Enjoy a performance by the Flip Flop Boys on the HarborWalk Village main stage.

Grab the kids and head out to the Fort Walton Beach Landing from 10am-1pm for Kid’s Day, a special day of kid-geared activities taking place along the water of the Santa Rosa Sound. The event will feature several interactive programs including a magic show, face painting, karaoke, a rock wall climb, water slides, and of course, Dunk-A-Cop presented by the City of Fort Walton Beach Police Department. Animal exhibits will be presented by the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society, PAWS, Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, and Seacrest Wolf Preserve. The Emerald Coast Science Center, Indian Temple Mound Museum, the Gulfarium and the Okaloosa County Health Department will also have activities centers and touch tables set up on site. Kids, parents and day care providers are all welcome to this free program at the Landing.  Concessions will be available for purchase and can be enjoyed along the boardwalk or under the trees.
Stroll the streets of downtown Fort Walton Beach between 5:30-8:30pm and enjoy the live music, local art and demonstrations, shopping and dining at this month’s Downtown Fort Walton Beach Art Walk. Artists will be set up in front of every store displaying and selling their wares, including a wide variety of mediums from hand-made fishing lures, to wood burning, to oil paintings and everything in between. Many stores will be offering special discounts as well as refreshments. Don’t miss out on the surf movie hosted by Fluid Surf Shop on the lawn behind Fired Up.

Put on your favorite pair of high heels and head to Rosemary Beach for the “Walk Her Way” Charity Event. Men, women and children of all ages are invited to don high heels for Walk Her Way at Rosemary Beach’s Town Center starting at 5:30pm. Sponsored by Rosemary Beach Foundation, this one-mile strut around the square aims to raise awareness of domestic violence with a portion of proceeds benefiting Shelter House.

Join Horizons of Fort Walton Beach from 6-9pm at their annual Casino Lights Gaming Night at the HarborView Room at HarborWalk Village. Everybody wins when you bet on a great cause! Enjoy live entertainment, prizes, food, poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, a silent auction, and more!

Saturday, June 16

Looking for a new furry friend? You may want to head over the SOCKS (Save Our Cats and Kittens) 2nd Annual Kitten Extravaganza Event from 12-5pm. Plenty of food, fun and feline festivities will be available, so bring the kids to participate in free games where everyone’s a winner! Come see all the cats and kittens waiting for their forever homes. The event will also feature reduced pricing on kitten adoptions and the usual free adoptions for cats over 5 years old. The SOCKS Thrift Store will be having a yard sale as well, so don’t miss out on those bargains!

Swing by Books-A-Million in the Destin Commons from 2-5pm and meet author Ramona Bridges as she signs copies of her books, “Sweet By and By” and “Standing on the Promises”.

Sunday, June 17

Thank you to all the dads out there that hold their children’s hands, who make sure their children do what their mother says, who comfort their children when they are sick, who brush their children’s hair when it’s tangled, who let their kids eat ice cream for breakfast when their mother is away. Thank you to all the fathers out there who walk their daughters down the aisle, who give such great advice, and who forgive their children their mistakes. Thank you to all the dads out there who tell their children everything’s going to be ok, and who find a way to make it so.

P.S. Thank you to all the mom’s out there that step gracefully into the dual role of being both mom and dad.

Happy Father’s Day!

If you have a deserving dad, treat him to something special today!

As always, have a super-fantastic beachy weekend!
            -The Life’s A Beach crew

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Get Your Beach-Bod… At The Beach

Image from

Look Great in That Swimsuit
It’s that time of year again, folks. The time when we trade in our slacks and button-ups for swimsuits and flip flops, the time when we all flock to the beaches. There’s nothing better than relaxing by the water, enjoying the sun, surf, and sand. Do you want a toned swimsuit body? Then you’ve come to the right place! Believe it or not, this beautiful place we generally look to for a little relaxation can also be a great place for a fun, calorie-burning and heart-pumping workout.
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A beach workout combines the fun of a day at the beach with the calorie-burning power of a day at the gym. Even a fitness novice can gain muscle and burn fat while enjoying some of the most enjoyable activities of the summer. Whether you want an intense workout at the beach or a casual walk along the coastline, your body will appreciate the benefit of a beach workout. Beach workouts are so much fun you’ll forget you’re exercising! Once you realize you can tone your whole body while breathing in fresh air and being serenaded by gulf waves, you may not want to go to an indoor gym again!

                    Before You Start
Let’s brush up on a little beach workout safety. Take note of beach safety warning flags posted at public beaches before entering the water. Always wear sunscreen when working out at the beach, and remember to stay hydrated. It’s recommended that you drink 16-20 ounces (about 2 large glasses) of water about an hour before hitting the beach, and be sure to drink constantly (about every 15 minutes) while working out. Every drop you sweat out during your beach workout needs to be replenished to avoid dehydration or heatstroke. If you start to feel dizzy or faint at any time during your workout, gently lower yourself to a sitting position on the sand, and pause for some deep breaths, a rest, and plenty of water. Try not to schedule your beach workout during the midday hours between 11am and 2pm, when the sun and the temperatures are at their highest and hottest. Scheduling an early morning or late afternoon/evening workout helps you lower your risk of dehydration and heatstroke. Besides, there’s something about watching the sun rise or set over the water that’s just truly inspiring.

Getting Started
Now that we’re safe and hydrated, let’s warm up. I’m sure the thought of warming up when you’re already sweating on a summer day may seem redundant, but it’s crucial to give your muscles a good warm up so that they’re at peak flexibility before you start pushing them to the next level. It’s a different training mode; expect your body to react differently to a beach workout. Begin your routine with a brief 5-10 minute stroll to gently raise your heart rate and get your blood flowing. This smart practice will banish stiffness, lessen your chances of injury, and reduce the soreness you’ll feel after your workout is done.
Did You Know?
It is estimated that vigorous beach walks burn 20-50 percent more calories than similar paced hard surface walks. Sand provides an uneven and shifting surface, which makes working out on it more challenging. Your body has to work harder to balance, and as a result you burn more calories and give your entire body, especially the core, a great workout. There’s also less impact on your joints when you do running and jumping in the sand versus hard surfaces, so you’re less prone to injury.

Ready For A Challenge?
Anyone who’s seen the movie Chariots of Fire will be familiar with the notorious scene featuring the young men running parallel to the beach at the water’s edge. If you’re looking for a great beach workout that’s a ton of fun, you can do the very same thing. Go out into the water until it’s a little less than knee-deep and run in 40 yard to 100 meter dashes. The added resistance from the water really challenges your muscles and your lungs while giving you an excellent workout. Try 4-6 repeats in various distances or aim for 30-60 second bursts.

Photo from
Interval Training For The Heart And Soul
Interval training improves your heart’s muscle strength and response time, lowering your risk of heart attack and stroke, and it’s a massive calorie-burner. Here’s what you do: Hit the sand and walk for 3 minutes, then run for 1. Aim for a total of 20-30 minutes of interval training when you start your beach workout and up the length of time by one interval per week as you continue. This kind of interval training burns over 250 calories per hour, and the fitter you get, the longer you’ll be able to keep it up for.
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Jump In!
Swimming not only feels amazingly refreshing on a hot summer day, but it also gives you a solid full-body workout. As an important safety tip, always make sure you are swimming within view of a lifeguard. No matter your swim skill level, fighting the waves allow all your muscle groups to work together as you fight the natural tides. This can be really fun too! As an added bonus, the natural floating you experience from being buoyed by the water reduces joint strain during this portion of your workout. This low-impact exercise can burn more than 350 calories per hour!

Cool Down
When your workout is over, take the time to cool down, gently lowering your heart rate back to normal and enjoying the endorphin rush of a job well done. Take a 5-10 minute stroll along the shoreline, sipping water as you go. This helps your heart recover from the exertion, and helps prevent soreness-causing lactic acid from building up in your muscles after your beach workout.
You’ve worked hard. Lay out your beach towel or pull up your favorite chair and enjoy the day. Soak up some sun, listen to the waves as they gently break over the shore. Take a deep breath of salty, sea air and just unwind – You’ve earned it.

Other fun ways to work out on the beach

YOLO or SUP boarding


Beach Volleyball