Thursday, May 20, 2021

Travel To: Carillon Beach, Florida


A few weeks ago we needed a major reset. Our little family had been "go, go, go" for months. We were cranky, tired, and just mentally done. We scoured our calendars, and found a five day break between work, school sports, and various other commitments. So, we threw caution into the virtual school wind and decided to take a little time out. 

The minute we heard that last whistle blow at our weekend's soccer games, we bolted for Florida's Gulf Coast full of sunny beaches and warm weather. 

Y'all it is just what our tired little family needed! 

We did this trip with little research and planning, but lucked out because Carillon Beach is all sorts of gorgeous. And convenient. And quiet. 

All the things for a family to recharge and unwind for a few days. 

Here's a little peek at our week, and some details about the location. You 30a lovers...this is totally your cup of vacation tea. 


Carillon Beach is located about 15 minutes west of Panama City Beach and 20 minutes east of Santa Rosa Beach. It's a gated community nestled on it's own little peninsula, and has a mile of white, sandy gulf coast beach all to itself.

It has the cutest little (not-so little) candy color beach homes in a village style community. 

We were literally swooning at each one we saw, and dreaming of what it would be like to own one. 

There are tons of pools, play spaces, playgrounds, game areas, and picnic areas sprinkled throughout the property. There are also lush gardens everywhere you turn, and a lake to enjoy fishing and water sports on. (We wish we had brought our boat!)

We stayed in the Pinnacle Port section of the village. This is a set of small condo buildings located right on the beach. They are the only tall building in the area, and each room has a gorgeous ocean view. We rented a three bedroom condo and it was more than enough space for our family of five. I would definitely stay there again. 


This was my view for several days...

And it's my favorite. Reading a good book with my toes in the sand while my beach loving kids do all the things. 

But aside from playing on the beach and lounging poolside we did manage to sneak a few fun activities in. We checked out Russell Fields Pier in Panama City Beach after dinner one night, and the kids loved it. 

From fishing to watching surfers to getting an up close and personal look at some of the catches of the day - we stayed there for over an hour. We went around sunset and it had the prettiest of views. 

You pay a few dollars to go on the pier and they have equipment you can rent if you want to fish, but you are also able to bring your own. 

Speaking of fishing we did do an offshore fishing trip we booked with some friends who have a condo in the area. We took a charter out of Lighthouse Marina, and it was so fun! We kept it to a six hour charter so that our youngest wouldn't get bored. 

We got to see a ton of sights and wildlife from the boat and when we visit again, I would love to do the Jet Ski tour to Shell Island. We heard several people say it's an amazing adventure - especially for shell and sea turtle lovers. 

One night we did venture to Panama City's infamous Pier Park. We just had the girls, and we let them each pick an activity for us to do after dinner. 

One chose the trampoline jumping located in the center of the village, and the other saw the Sky Wheel and never looked back. 

Trampoline jumping was fun, but it was a short adventure. 

The Sky Wheel was something our whole family could enjoy and to say this Mini Magnolia was excited would be an understatement. 

The girls were in awe of how high up we were and how far. It was also fun going up at night! I feel like it was worth it and you are able to go around several times to take in all the scenery. I'm nervous when it comes to heights, but felt totally comfortable and safe the entire time. 


Because we had the availability of a kitchen in our condo we typically ate out only for dinner. There were a few places we loved and our mouths are watering just thinking about. One place our kids loved so much they made us go back twice...

Bayou Bill's Crab House was the biggest hit for our crew. And here's why...

There's an alligator pool/park area right in front of it. The kids were highly impressed. 

And let's be honest...the food was pretty great too. We let the kids try some new to them things: crawfish and oysters. They aren't my thing, but the kids all gave them a thumbs up, the husband gave his seal of approval, and when we returned the second night, they repeated their orders. So it must have been good! 

After our fishing trip we were told to bring our catch for the "Hook & Cook" dinner at J. Michael's

The atmosphere was so fun, and the kids joked that with so many dollar bills hanging everywhere it must be good. 

It got a thumbs up from our crew. We gave the waitress our catch from earlier, and she asked how we wanted it cooked, gave some great suggestions, and even cooked anything we would like to pack to bring home. 

The night we visited the pier we gave Hook'd a try based on a quick google search. The service was super quick, they had some pretty tasty cocktails, and the atmosphere was fun. You can sit outside and enjoy water views, or inside with a fun surfing theme. 

I wish I had gotten a photo of our yummy food and drinks, but our crew was hungry/thirsty from a day of beachin' and didn't even wait for the waiter to put it down before grabbing a fry (insert head smack emoji). 

We will definitely be making our way to Carillon Beach again soon. We loved that it was a quieter, less crowded beach area, but that it was close to things to do, and places to eat and get groceries. 

It was an easy trip from Atlanta (about 5 1/2 hours), and if property prices weren't crazy right now that pink beach house might have had our name on it. :) 

Come spend the day with us on:

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