Welcome to A Tropical Breeze!

Named #1 Beach is the USA in 2002 and Only Gets Better Every Year!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cape San Blas - Wildlife Paradise

We've been home from  A Tropical Breeze and Cape San Blas for a couple of days and I'm still talking about the wildlife we saw. On Saturday morning, Rob and I went into the St. Joseph Peninsula State Park ready to launch our new/used boat at the Eagle Harbor boat ramp.  On the park access road we spotted four deer right next to the road.  I told Rob, "That's a good sign, we are going to see dolphins today."  To clarify, any time I get on a boat in Florida I am looking for dolphin and my husband is looking for fish.

After multiple tries and by hogging the entire two boat ramp, we successfully launched our19' fishing boat. This was my first time backing up a trailer, to say I was nervous is an understatement). The bay was beautiful and we started catching sea trout right away.  I'm always on the hunt for dolphins so I was anxious to move around to find the dolphins. Just as we're about to move to another location, the little fish start jumping out of the water and here comes a dolphin lazily swimming by.  Our boat has a trolling motor which allows for quiet stalking so we followed for awhile.  I suggested a boat name - Dolphin Seeker.

Now that I had my dolphin fix, it was back to fishing.  Our next siting was a huge leopard manta ray about 4' feet by 4' and then the excitement of the day... A large sea turtle.  We were heading back to the marina and saw a ripple in the water and then a full size sea turtle surfaces.  It was like having a dinosaur come out of the water.  There were fish resting on it's shell, going along for the ride, and when it surfaced they swam away. New boat name- Turtle Seeker. The next day we saw a small sea turtle, sand dollars, a star fish and sea urchins.

For those wives who have ever had to back up a trailer, after 6 trips up and down the boat ramp, I went from trailer novice to trailer pro. In my husband's eyes, my worth increased with every trip up and down the ramp and was a nice glimpse into our future retired life.

We ended a wonderful weekend with a bonfire on the beach roasting marshmallows and admiring the stars until some one turned a large light on behind A Tropical Breeze. It took me about 5 minutes before I realized it was the moon rising.

After 10 years of regularly visiting Cape San Blas, I still marvel at the beauty!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Moonlight on the Beach

We arrived last night, I should say this morning about 2am after a 6 hour drive from Atlanta.  We were tired but excited to see the full moon when we arrived on Cape San Blas.  It had been overcast or raining most of our trip but when we got to A Tropical Breeze the moon was out in it's full glory shining. We walked out onto the beach and there were tons of shells.  I picked up a few and added shell collecting at 2am to my completed bucket list.  (OK, that was never on my bucket list, but it was still really cool.)

The beach is in great shape after Isaac, which thankfully did not cause much sand loss. The turtle nest markings are missing, however I found out this morning that the turtle patrol removed them prior to the storm and the turtle eggs are still safely tucked under the sand.

We are looking forward to a weekend of fun activities which will include fishing on the beach, scalloping in St. Joe Bay, a bonfire on the beach, making s'mores, beach bocce ball, looking for dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico, collecting sea shells, flying kites, a trip to St. Joseph State Park, dinner in Apalachicola or Indian Pass Raw Bar and bike riding on the new bike path.  We look forward to welcoming our good friends, who will join us tomorrow on their first trip to Cape San Blas.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Tropical Breeze - Ten Year Anniversary!

A Tropical Breeze 2012
I just realized today is August 24th.  I told my husband that today's August 24th and he gave me a look like "So what does that mean?" I remind him that this is the day we bought A Tropical Breeze 10 years ago and that its the 10th anniversary. I emailed our partner, Myron Newman and he couldn't believe 10 years had gone so fast. 

A Tropical Breeze 2002

It all started in the summer of 2002 when a neighbor told me about Cape San Blas and that it had just been named the #1 beach in the USA including Hawaii.  A trip was immediately scheduled to see the area.  A Tropical Breeze was way out of our price range, but we loved it so much we videotaped it and went back to talk to friends and neighbors about a partnership.  Fortunately, the Newman Family was in the market for investment property and our partnership was formed.  The home was first seen on July 3rd, 2002 and we were owners by August 24, 2002.  It's been a magical ten years and we have been fortunate to have many happy repeat guests, including wedding proposals, beach weddings, 50th anniversary parties, 80th birthdays and many more significant events in the lives of our guests.

A Tropical Breeze still looks outstanding for a 10 year old and the beach is better than ever. Treat yourself to a visit to Cape San Blas.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cape San Blas Park Named to Top 10 in USA

Best of America just named St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in their List of Top 10 State Parks in USA. This is the same park where my son caught the 42" redfish last Thursday. They have beautiful beaches, sand dunes, kayak and bike rentals and a small marina with a boat ramp. It's also a great place for snorkeling and scalloping.

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park - Bay View at Sunrise.

State Parks - Top Ten in the USA


Chugach State Park - Beyond the foothills at Anchorage's edge lies the third largest state park in USA.  A 500,000 acres of some of the most accessible hiking, skiing, camping, wildlife viewing, snowmachining, rafting, and climbing in Alaska. Those of us lucky enough to live here feel the influence of Chugach State Park almost daily. The mountainous backdrop to Anchorage reminds us that, although we live in an urban setting, we really reside in the middle of a vast wilderness. The Chugach foothills are a beacon for changing weather and resident wildlife have been known to wander into town.
St Joseph Peninsula State Park - has  striking dune formations, miles of white sand beaches, and a heavily forested interior. Dr. Beach once rated this beach as best beach in America. This 2,516-acre park is bounded by the waters of St. Joe Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park - Sand Dunes and Beach

Big Basin Redwoods State Park -  Established in 1902, Big Basin is California's oldest State Park. Home to the largest continuous stand of Ancient Coast Redwoods south of San Francisco, the park consists of over 18,000 acres of Old Growth and recovering Redwood Forest, with mixed conifer, oaks, chaparral, and riparian habitats. Elevations in the park vary from sea level to over 2,000 feet. The climate ranges from foggy and damp near the ocean to sunny, warm ridge tops.
Sunset Bay State Park - Situated in one of the most scenic areas on the Oregon coast, Sunset Bay State Park features beautiful sandy beaches protected by towering sea cliffs. Only a short walk from the beach, the campground has sites for tent camping and RV's, as well as cozy and comfortable yurts. Day-use and picnic facilities are located along the bay to allow easy access for beachcombing, fishing, swimming, and boating.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park - John Pennekamp  is the nation's first underwater park. Formed in the 1960's, Pennekamp Park represents over hundred square miles of mangrove shoreline, grass flats, and of course our famous coral reef. Adjacent to Pennekamp is the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary.
Wasatch Mountain State Park  - Wasatch Mountain State Park is in beautiful Heber Valley and is Utah's most developed state park. Tucked away in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains, the park is both a summer and winter destination. One of Utah's finest and affordable 36-hole golf courses is found here.  Soldier Hollow at Wasatch Mountain State Park was the 2002 Olympic Winter venue biathlon and cross-country events. Soldier Hollow is open year-round to the public for cross-country skiing, tubing, biathlon, snowshoeing,  and many more events.

New Hampshire 
Franconia Notch State Park - Franconia Notch State Park is located in the heart of the popular White Mountain National Forest. Franconia Notch is a spectacular mountain pass traversed by a unique parkway which extends from the Flume Gorge at the south to Echo Lake at the north.  Franconia Notch was once the home of the famous Old Man of the Mountain, the same "Great Stone Face" immortalized by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Daniel Webster. While you are here, visit the Flume Gorge Visitor Center and walk through Flume Gorge, ride the aerial tramway at Cannon Mountain, and explore the New England Ski Museum. Also, you can swim at Echo Lake, net a trout while fly fishing at Profile Lake, ride your bike on the Recreational Trail, watch for rock climbers, hawks, and falcons on Cannon Cliffs, or hike on the Appalachian Trail.

Fall Creek Falls State Resort Park - Fall Creek Falls State Resort Park is one of the most scenic and spectacular recreation areas in America. Its waterfalls, cascades, sparkling streams,  timberland, gorges and an unmatched variety of recreation facilities. Fall Creek Falls is one of the highest waterfalls east of the Rockies, plunging 256 feet into a shaded pool at the base of its gorge.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park - Located about an hour's drive from Amarillo lies the grandeur of Palo Duro Canyon, a  sixty mile-long and eight hundred foot-deep canyon carved out of the Texas High Plains. Visitors to 16,402-acre Palo Duro Canyon State Park are treated to towering cliffs layered with bands of red, yellow, purple and white. Patches of juniper, mesquite, sunflower and prickly pear cacti adorn the canyon slopes, while red clay and veins of white gypsum blanket the ground.
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park - Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is over 60,000 acres  and is  one of the few remaining large wilderness areas in the Midwest. Towering virgin timber, secluded lakes, and miles of wild rivers and streams make a visit to the "Porkies" a trip to remember.  This park Park was established in 1945. Since then, many changes have taken place in the way we live; however, the Porcupine Mountains are almost unchanged. The remote interior with its towering pine and hemlock seems to defy time, and the solitude of the park is mysterious and exciting. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

42" Redfish - St. Joseph Bay, Cape San Blas

A Tropical Breeze has been booked with our wonderful guests all summer.  This past Wednesday was our first gap since mid May, so we took a quick trip down to enjoy the beach and do some fishing. This picture was taken on Thursday in the St. Joseph Bay.  My son, Cody and his buddy caught the fish about 1:30 in the afternoon using a pin fish as bait. They netted the pin fish just outside of Eagle Harbor and hooked the red fish about 1/4 mile out of Eagle Harbor.  The fish was too big to keep but after a two hour fight to land it, they managed to get this great picture to share, before releasing it back into the bay.

While they were fishing, I spent several relaxing hours sitting on the beach in front of A Tropical Breeze. The weather was perfect!  

 One of the highlights of the trip for me was seeing the three sea turtle nests on the beach in front of A Tropical Breeze.  Last year we didn't have any nests near our home so this was a wonderful surprise.  Maybe I will be there to see them hatch.


Friday, June 1, 2012

The Star: A Glimpse of the Cape San Blas Sunken Lighthouse

Sunken Lighthouse as it appeared in 1885

Special to The Star
This article first appeared in the "Panhandle Beacon" in June 2000. With renewed interest in the Cape San Blas Lighthouse, I thought it would be of interest to rerun this story with a few changes.
The 1980’s and 90’s were the “Golden Age” of diving. There were still virgin wrecks and reefs, plenty of fish, not as many fishermen, less rules, and inexpensive gas. Whenever the Gulf was calm and the weather good, I, my wife, Pam, friends Erik Tomlinson and Regina Capps would explore new dive sites—one was the third Cape San Blas Lighthouse.
We watched with subdued excitement as our depth recorder printed the silhouette of a large pyramid-shaped object rising from a depth of twenty feet to within a few feet of the surface. Being a half mile from Cape San Blas, I found it hard to believe that just a hundred years ago a proud lighthouse stood here surrounded by pine and palm forests and family or two of lighthouse keepers.
We had been here several times before, but each trip was doomed because the chocolate-colored Gulf had prevented us from diving. Today, with tides and currents in our favor, the water was an eerie translucent green; clean enough to dive but not enough to make it enjoyable. We gazed apprehensively over the side at the dark shadow just below the surface.
The iron skeleton tower that sits on the Cape today is the fourth tower to have been built here. It was preceded by three impressive brick towers that now lie far offshore. In fact the Cape San Blas lighthouses were not the first lighthouses in what is now Gulf County. The first lighthouse was built on St. Joseph’s Point on the end of St. Joseph’s Peninsula. (I use the possessive as the old cartographers used). It was finished in February, l839 for shipping to the ill-fated city of St. Joseph that stood where Oak Grove is today. It was only 45 feet tall. After the demise of St. Joseph in the fall of l841, the tower was abandoned.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Memorial Day Weekend on Cape San Blas!

Cape San Blas is normally known for fresh fish, scallops and shrimp but on Memorial Day weekend, seafood takes a back seat to the Volunteer Fire Department's Annual Boston Butt Roast sale. This community event is part of the annual fund raiser which includes donation requests. Funds collected are used to improve the fire departments ability to provide emergency services to the community. To place an order or make a donation go to www.sgcfire.com.

Last year, the Volunteer Fire Department added a second fire station on the north end of the Cape in close proximity to A Tropical Breeze.  This new station keeps the fire apparatus and emergency equipment in close proximity to the volunteers and has helped reduce response time on the north end of the peninsula.

Thank you to our fire fighters and emergency response volunteers.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Weber's Little Donut Shop on the Cape - Great New Addition to Cape San Blas

I stopped by the Trading Post this morning to check out the new donut shop and had a lovely visit with the owners, George and Betty Weber. It was about 10am and they were already out of many flavors and the summer season hasn't even started.  George wakes up at 4am to mix up the donut batters and start the cooking.  They open at 7:30 am and stay open until they are sold out.  During spring break their days were short since they sold out about 8:30am.  The local residents know to arrive early so they don't miss out on their daily donuts.


Each day there is a special donut of the day. Today it was cherry chocolate donuts and tomorrow is blueberry.  I bought two donuts today, the cherry chocolate and the chocolate coconut and they were both delicious.  I'm heading home tomorrow and plan to buy a dozen to take home to my family.  Hopefully I won't sample them all on the drive home. The Weber's Little Donut Shop is a wonderful addition to Cape San Blas.  Be sure to stop by on your next visit to Cape San Blas, but plan to arrive early while the donuts are still warm and before they sell out.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Working Hard on Cape San Blas

The summer rental season is just days away.  A Tropical Breeze will be the vacation home to families from as far away as Oregon this summer.  The first guests arrive this weekend, with new families arriving every Saturday for the next 11 weeks.  I took the opportunity to drive down from Atlanta yesterday to make sure everything is ready at A Tropical Breeze.  I must admit that it's not been all work.  Here's a picture of the bike path and my shadow. I took this picture this evening while riding to the new ice cream shop at the Trading Post. 

The new Coffee and Ice Cream shop serves Edy's ice cream, milk shakes, smoothies and gourmet coffee and if that's not enough, there's a new hot donut stand just steps away.  The donut shop is only open in the mornings so I will be sure to go back tomorrow so I can report my findings.  The Trading Post owner says the donut maker gets up at 3:30 am to mix up the donut batter fresh.  There is also a special donut every day plus all of the regular favorites. Check back tomorrow for donut details.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Plein Air Painters To Capture Forgotten Coast

Mark your calendars for this wonderful event and if you're looking for a place to stay, A Tropical Breeze is still available during the 7th annual Florida's Forgotten Coast Plein Air Invitational.


More than 20 nationally acclaimed artists will gather on Florida's Forgotten Coast in early May to participate in the 7th annual Florida's Forgotten Coast Plein Air Invitational, America's Great Paint-Out, May 3-13, 2012. Painters will set up their easels and pull out their brushes to document the landscape and culture of this last vestige of authentic "Old Florida" – the coastal stretch of scenic North Florida between Mexico Beach and Alligator Point.
"Plein Air", a French word, simply translated means "open air". The roots of plein air painting are found in 19th-century Europe. An Englishman, John Constable, believed that artists should forget "formulas" and trust their own vision in finding truth in nature.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cape San Blas or Hilton Head, Where Would You Rather Be?

A Tropical Breeze- Cape San Blas
Why am I in Hilton Head when I should at A Tropical Breeze on Cape San Blas?  Instead of enjoying the beautiful white, uncrowded beach in front of A Tropical Breeze,  I find myself in the land of brown sand, jelly fish and packed beaches, in other words, spring break on Hilton Head Island. Did I mention the traffic?

Hilton Head
OK, maybe that's a bit dramatic.  The weather has been great and we have done lots of bike riding, however I do miss walking out the front door of A Tropical Breeze and heading to the beach.  I hope our guests at A Tropical Breeze are having a wonderful time. Happy Easter to all of our Cape San Blas friends!

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Tropical Breeze - Day Trip to St. Vincent Island

It looks like the last week of March and first week of April will be big weeks on Cape San Blas with many schools having spring break those weeks and Easter arriving on April 8th. 

Welcome to the Parker Family who has been coming to A Tropical Breeze almost every year since it was built and the the Brown Family who are new to A Tropical Breeze and will hopefully return many weeks in the future.

If I were on Cape San Blas or in the area on March 30th, I would attend the St. Vincent Island Open House. We have been going to A Tropical Breeze-Cape San Blas for 10 years and love it so much that we never make time to go to St. Vincent Island. This open house is the perfect opportunity to explore this national wildlife refuge.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fishing and Biking on Cape San Blas

Just back from Cape San Blas.  Our daughter had a three day weekend so we decided to head on down from Atlanta.  Every time I pack for a 3 day weekend, I wonder if it's worth the effort, however once I'm on Cape San Blas I never regret the decision.  The weather was great for early March and both our daughter and her friend got sun burnt.  Rob fished both Saturday and Sunday and caught a few small redfish and whiting. Even though I packed plenty of food, we ended up at Coneheads for ice cream on Friday and  dinner on Saturday.  We enjoyed Coneheads excellent hamburgers and fries, as well as the chicken parmesan sandwich. They were quite busy, which was good to see this time of year.

After our dinner at Coneheads, we had a bonfire on the beach in front of A Tropical Breeze, enjoyed the abundant stars and roasted marshmallows for s'mores.  Our only regret was not bringing our bikes.  The extended Loggerhead Bike Trail is almost complete and runs from St. Joseph State Park to the beginning of the Cape and Salinas Park.  Construction is in it's final phase with just the last mile under contruction.  We saw families, snowbirds and serious bikers all enjoying this great new addition.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Large Redfish Caught on Cape San Blas Shore

If you like to fish, watch this video of a 20-25lb. redfish caught surf fishing on Cape San Blas, just down the beach from A Tropical Breeze on February 21, 2012. John, who caught the fish offers tips on bait and tackle. Click on link to view video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqUOoO9bWN0&feature=colike

Friday, February 24, 2012

Welcome to the New Tropical Breeze-Cape San Blas Blog

A Tropical Breeze is celebrating it's 10th anniversary.  As part of the 10 year anniversary, we are launching a blog - featuring events and activities related to A Tropical Breeze on Cape San Blas, Florida. 

We are also launching A Tropical Breeze website  www.atropicalbreeze-capesanblas.com 

Stay tuned for festivals, fishing tips, rental specials and beautiful pictures of the amazing nature of Cape San Blas, Florida.