Welcome to A Tropical Breeze!

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December’s Insider Tip: Don’t bring firewood from home


At a Tropical Breeze on Cape San Blas, building a bonfire while the sun is setting is one of our very favorite activities and definitely leaves a big impression on guests, since so few beaches allow campfires on the beach. This tip took me by surprise so I wanted to be sure to share with all future guests.

From VisitGulf.com: Gathering around a campfire at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is always an awesome adventure!

If you ask Park Manager, Mark Knapke what one thing he wishes everyone knew, he will tell you about wood.
“Don’t bring firewood from beyond 50 miles of the State Park. People don’t know why this is important but it’s because of bugs or disease. You may unknowingly bring disease into the park that trees and/or vegetation haven’t been exposed to. We sell firewood. And, please keep your campfire within designated fire rings. Always, leave it the way you found it – leave no trace.”

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Tropical Breeze - Always Making Improvements for our Guests

The salt air, sun and wind can be tough on your skin when you spend a week at the beach. Can you imagine what it does to a home's exterior after years of sun, salt water and strong winds.   When you own a home at the beach, you are constantly replacing or repairing something.  Rust is our enemy and through the years we have learned the hard way to replace any thing possible with stainless steel or plastic.  Last week we replaced the metal roof with one that is guaranteed for 30 years.  The last one started to rust after only 7 years.

 This week we are having all of the exterior white trim painted.  I can't wait to see how pretty everything looks with the new white paint and white roof.  A Tropical Breeze has been such a blessing to us and we want to do our best to keep it looking like new for our guests.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cape San Blas and St. Joseph Peninsula State Park listed in 5 NW Florida Beaches You Won't Have to Share

Pictures: 5 Northwest Florida Beaches You Won’t Have to Share
By: Lauren Tjaden
Yearning for empty sweeps of sand, where you can hear the sounds of the surf? Where you never-ever have to fight for a place to spread out your beach towel?
Read on. These five hidden gems have your flip-flops written all over them.
Beaches are listed from west to east. All are located in Northwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. 

Pensacola’s Fort Pickens, located in Gulf Islands National Seashore, is an area must-see. On the way there, you’ll pass miles of pristine beaches.  Make sure to ditch your sandals and check out the sand.
Located in Gulf Islands National Seashore between Pensacola Beach and Navarre, Opal Beach was born in 1995 when Hurricane Opal flattened the dunes to create a smooth, glittering paradise of sugar-sand beach.
.WindMark Beach has entirely escaped notice, yet its waters are calm and clear, and its sand begs for attention from your toes. This lovely wonder is located between Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe on Florida’s Forgotten Coast.
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, which encompasses the north end of Cape San Blas, is home to this beach, one of the most highly acclaimed in the nation. But almost anywhere on the peninsula, you’ll have oodles of soft, white sand and emerald-hued waters practically to yourself.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tropical Breeze - Happy 12 Year Anniversary!

We have been so blessed to own this beautiful piece of paradise on Cape San Blas called A Tropical Breeze.  Today is our 12 year anniversary of moving into A Tropical Breeze. It's been a great 12 years with lots of wonderful family times for us and our guests. In that 12 years we have experienced weddings, engagements, graduations, silver and golden anniversaries, important birthdays and one Ohio State National Championship. There's been a few bad times too with hurricanes, oil spill worries and the frustration of the salt water air trying to rust every piece of metal in site.

We want to thank our wonderful guests who have treated A Tropical Breeze as their own, especially the guests that come back year after year.  You Bless us in so many ways!  Thank you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cape San Blas Light House Move

Well it's finally happening - the Cape San Blas lighthouse is moving to Port St. Joe. Very sad to lose this iconic landmark from the Cape, but its new home in Port St. Joe looks pretty good too.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

King Mackeral - Fish On!

We didn't start out fishing for King Mackeral but sometimes you have to go with what's biting that day. Today we caught 8 large king mackeral, 1 lone red snapper, a few shark a Jack Cravelle and Cody even speared a flounder.  It was a really fun day of family fishing.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Scalloping in St. Joe Bay

We are having an action packed 4th of July weekend and it's scallop season.  We found quite a few but forgot to take a good picture.  We were stashing them in the live well of our boat. Overall we found about 80 in the St. Joe Bay by the time we were done.

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July in Port St. Joe

The last time we were in Port St. Joe for the 4th of July was 2002, the year we came to see what this #1 beach in the USA, Cape San Blas had to offer.  Little did we know we would come home under contract for a beautiful home called A Tropical Breeze.

This year we were just back for fun and there was a lot of that in Port St. Joe and on the tip of Cape San Blas. The city organized a parade, a big band outdoor show and amazing fire works plus The Thirsty Goat at the Port St. Joe Inn had entertainment every evening. During the day there were lots of boats out at the tip of the Cape and we ran into friends and enjoyed cooking out on their boat.  It was a really fun 4th of July evening and I think we will have come back next year too.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Red Snapper!

First Day of Snapper Season and we caught our limit. So happy to have a whole week at A Tropical Breeze and celebrate Memorial Day with Rob's brother who is a Vietnam Vet.

12 Red Snapper, limit 2 per person

It's Something Big!
This fish looks fake but it's the real thing.

So serious

Beautiful Sunset out on the Gulf

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Atlanta Magazine Has Found Cape San Blas and The Forgotten Coast

Cape San Blas will rekindle your love for the Florida Panhandle
The "Forgotten Coast" provides quiet relaxation
Photograph courtesy of Rockin M Ranch Beach Horseback Riding
“Well,” I said to my husband, “I don’t think I have ever dined out looking so grubby in my life—but I don’t remember when I last felt this relaxed.” With another swig from a bottle of PBR, I leaned back in the wooden bench on the wide front porch of Indian Pass Trading Post and listened as Kerry James, whose sun-streaked hair and leathered skin testified to decades of beach bumming, belted his way through “Sweet Caroline.” 

Just ten minutes before, Jim and I had been sprawled on a blanket, watching horses clomp through cottony sand and splash through azure surf. I wore a Braves cap over a wet ponytail, and—good God—a tank top and ancient gym shorts over a damp bathing suit. Flip-flops. Salt water was still drying on my skin.

A half hour later, seated inside, we shared a plastic picnic table with a family of locals and watched the kitchen crew shuck just-caught oysters with the breakneck pace of contestants in a Top Chef challenge. Popped open, sparkling with brine, and arrayed directly on school cafeteria–style trays, oysters were delivered to crowded tables in a room where beer was available by self-service—and on the honor system—from two draft taps.

The Trading Post (Indian Pass Raw Bar my notes)traces its roots to 1903, when it opened as the company store for a turpentine concern that operated along Cape San Blas, a seventeen-mile barrier island that curves along St. Joseph Bay at the eastern edge of the Florida Panhandle. In the 1930s, Gypsie McNeill added food service for the few travelers who ventured to this distant strip of coastline.

Today the Trading Post (Indian Pass Raw Bar), located on the edge of Highway 30E, bustles thanks to its minutes-from-the-water oysters, harvested by Gypsie’s grandchildren and other members of the McNeill clan. It’s also busy because, frankly, only a handful of restaurants operate on this still-underdeveloped stretch of coastline, where turpentine and timber businesses occupy acres of land, and wildlife preserves take up much of the rest. The two-lane highway runs up the center of the cape, with most locals’ homes fronting the calmer waters of St. Joe Bay (known for its freshwater scallops).

This crescent of the Panhandle is known as the “Forgotten Coast.” Once a thriving center of commerce anchored by the Port of St. Joe, it fell into hard times during the latter part of the twentieth century. This beachy escape may be called forgotten, but spending a few days there made me remember why I fell in love with the Panhandle when we first started going to Seagrove Beach more than twenty years ago. Back then there were no mega shopping centers, no gingerbread-bedecked developments or colossal beachfront mansions with six-car garages. The only place to eat was the family-owned Wheel House, where the catch was fresh and you sat a few feet from the fishermen who’d reeled it in.

“I know that I promised to write about this trip,” I told Jim. “But now I don’t know if I want everyone else discovering this place.”

Where to stay: Most people opt for rental cottages or houses, available by the week or month (visitgulf.com). If you plan to visit for just a few days—or don’t need a family-sized house—Cape San Blas Inn has rooms and suites ranging from $175 to $285 and provides breakfast; coffee service; minifridges; and use of beach chairs, bikes, and canoes.

Where to eat: The Indian Pass Trading Post’s raw bar (850-227-1670) is a must-visit. Cape Tradin’ Post (850-229-8775) stocks beach essentials, fishing tackle, groceries, and a few takeout items (the hoagies are a good bet). It’s adjoined on one side by a closet-sized but impressively stocked liquor store and on the other by Cape Coffee Shop. If you go into Port St. Joe, Dockside Cafe serves fresh grilled fish and bay scallops, and provides a great view of the marina. My note: Of course you should stay at Dunes Club 2A or A Tropical Breeze.

What to do: Thanks to its unique geography, Cape San Blas offers fishing for freshwater bass and scallops in St. Joe Bay and deep-sea grouper and king mackerel in the Gulf. For mellower adventures, try kayak and canoe tours by Happy Ours, or Two-Bit Stable’s horseback rides in the surf. Shelling, sunbathing, snorkeling, and lolling in the surf are the amusements of choice at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, which covers more than nine miles of untouched beach.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

WSJ: Old Florida includes Apalachicola near Cape San Blas

One of my favorite afternoon trips while staying at A Tropical Breeze on Cape San Blas is to drive over to Apalachicola to browse the shops, take pictures of the shrimp boasts, to see the oyster boasts out in the bay and to enjoy a pleasant lunch or dinner at The Owl Cafe or one of the seafood/ oyster restaurants with a water view.  Here is a recent Wall Street Journal article about Apalachicola.

THE SOUTH'S BEACH | Apalachicola
GO FISH | Boats docked in Apalachicola Sara Clemence/The Wall Street Journal
Up until recently, the sight of oystermen using long-handled rakes to harvest shellfish in Apalachicola Bay was about as common as new condos in Miami.
The local oystering industry is going through tough times; Georgia has been draining the rivers that supply oyster habitats. But a fishing-town feel remains in this Panhandle spot—as does the Southern vibe that results from being closer to Alabama than Orlando. And though the old French consulate now houses a shop where you can buy woven belts and vintage sterling-silver teaspoons, Apalachicola hasn't been totally taken over by tourists—yet.
Opt for an elegant bed-and-breakfast: Coombs House Inn, a 1905 mansion with polished wood paneling, oriental rugs and four-poster beds. The shops, galleries and restaurants of downtown, where much of the architecture is from the same era, are just a few blocks away.
Café con Leche, a coffee shop across from the waterfront, serves up wicked pastries, like strawberry scones and sour cream-cardamom-walnut coffee cake. Next door, Forgotten Coast Books specializes in used and out-of-print titles focusing on Florida. Around the corner, Bowery Art Gallery & Studio features works by local and regional artists.
Walk to the western end of Market Street, where shrimping boats dock and there's an enormous pile of spent oyster shells. (You may be more likely to see oyster skiffs tied up in gritty Eastpoint, on the far side of the causeway.) Take an estuary tour by motorboat or kayak to spot wildlife and learn about local ecology; there are several outfitters in the area.
Head to Up the Creek Raw Bar in time for sunset. Its high-ceilinged dining room, adorned with nets and stuffed fish, overlooks the tawny grasses of the bay. It goes beyond the usual fish-house fare—blackened mahi-mahi comes with fried green tomatoes—and, of course, it serves oysters.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Men's Journal: The Last Stretch of Unspoiled Florida

It's extra cold in Atlanta this evening and I just looked at the cover of my husband's Men's Journal and saw on the cover: Wild Beaches - Undiscovered Florida.  I just knew it had to be Cape San Blas or as they call it, St. Joseph Peninsula.

On page 54, John O'Connor describes St. Joseph Peninsula as a place where gulf winds have created miles of huge dunes, some of the highest and most pristine in the country; and loggerhead turtles nest here in the summer. St. Joseph Peninsula has everything you are looking for in a beach getaway - the sugary sand is impossibly white and the sea stays warm all year round - as well as a vast network of hiking trails, where you are likely to spot ospreys sweeping across the massive dunes on the hunt.

They also talk about Indian Pass Raw Bar - deeply local, though oddly welcoming.  Yum!! Baked oysters and a beer are sounding mighty fine right now.

For those wondering, Cape San Blas is on the St. Joseph Peninsula.  Sometimes, I think the reason this is the Forgotten Coast is it has too many names for anyone new to the area to keep straight. Now that I think about it, maybe that was done on purpose, so this area remains as the Last Stretch of Unspoiled Florida.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sea Turtles Scheduled For Release from Cape San Blas

Jan. 13. 4:30 PM -- Gulf World Marine Institute along with the  help of FWC and University of Florida will be releasing approximately 50 of the cold stunned sea turtles at Cape Palms Park on Cape San Blas. The release will take place at11am EST/10am CST tomorrow January 14, 2014.
Before the turtles are released they will be weighed, measured and tagged. Six of these sea turtles are the more endangered Kemp’s Ridley, the remaining of sea turtles are endangered Greens. The temperatures of the bay water during the cold stun reached a low of 37 degrees. The turtles will be released into the warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
We would like invite the media and public to watch this wonderful event with the understanding that we will establish a designated area for media and spectators.
There are also five Green sea turtles that will be transported back to Perdido Key area of Gulf Island National Seashore for release.
There are six sea turtles that will remain in rehabilitation at The Institute due to other medical illness or and injuries. The turtles will be retained for medical treatment until cleared for release.
Gulf World Marine Institute (GWMI) has received approximately 50 endangered sea turtles in the past two days.
These marine turtles have been stranding due to cold temperatures in shallow bay waters.
These marine reptiles are cold blooded; they cannot thermo regulate their body temperature.
As a result, the cold temperatures are placing these animals in a hypothermic state and they become very weak and can cause secondary illnesses.
The body temperature of the animals coming into rehabilitation are between 40-50 degrees and some of the animal’s heart rates are as slow as one beat per minute.
GWMI, FWC, Fish and Wildlife, Gulf Island National Seashore, and University of Florida volunteers are finding and transporting the turtles to GWMI for rehabilitation.
All the animals that we have received so far in rehabilitation are in intensive care. Their body temperatures will be slowly warmed and any necessary medical treatments will be administered as needed.
Rescue teams will continue to search until the water temperatures are warm.
Along with the current cold stun at Cape San Blas the Gulf World team is now responding to a live stranded marine animal.

We will send more details after the team has evaluated the situation.