Mex­ico Beach: Sweet Sen­sa­tions, Beau­ti­ful Town

2017 Travel Guide to Florida - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - BY STEVE WIN­STON

In Mex­ico Beach, every­one says hello ... and means it. You won’t get a ticket for jay­walk­ing be­cause there are no stop­lights. And you won’t be eat­ing in a chain restau­rant, ei­ther, since there aren’t any.

Mex­ico Beach is one of those beau­ti­ful lit­tle towns you never thought ex­isted any­more. It’s where the plea­sures are sim­pler, the sur­prises sweeter and the beach is one of the best in Amer­ica. Your view of the beach won’t be blocked, ei­ther, thanks to a four-story build­ing limit.

Here, sweet plea­sures con­sist of five miles of sugar-fine, white-sand beach into which you can sink your toes; the sooth­ing Gulf wa­ters; pri­vately owned lit­tle shops; mag­nif­i­cent sun­sets; de­li­cious seafood that was swim­ming in the Gulf wa­ters only an hour ear­lier; and, of course, the peo­ple.

SEE

The Mex­ico Beach City Pier is a lo­cal gath­er­ing place, stretch­ing more than 822 feet—al­most three foot­ball fields—into the Gulf of Mex­ico. Not only is the fish­ing great; views of the beaches and emer­ald-green wa­ters seem to stretch into in­fin­ity.

SHOP

Mex­ico Beach doesn’t have high-end re­tail­ers or chains. What it does have are unique shops where you can find trea­sures that dis­tinctly re­flect Mex­ico Beach and its sur­round­ings.

From orig­i­nal works of art by lo­cal artists and jew­elry crafters at the Left Bank Art Gallery and wooden furniture and home dé­cor at The Grove of Mex­ico Beach to the fish­ing-ori­ented shops at the Ma­rina, there’s some­thing for every­one. At the Ma­rina shops, not only can you pur­chase some­thing for your tackle box, you can also gain some tips on what’s bit­ing, where and who can take you there.

EAT AND PLAY

Fol­low­ing a day at the beach, Tommy T’s is a great place to cool off and re­lax with hand­dipped ice cream, root-beer floats and old­school ar­cade games you never ex­pected to see again. Beach­front din­ing at Tou­can’s fea­tures fresh fish dishes as well as sig­na­ture burgers.

On week­ends, en­joy live mu­sic at the Tiki Hut and its Sports Bar up­stairs. And the Look­out Lounge of­fers live mu­sic out­side and the chance to bust loose on its karaoke stage in­side.

TOP: The Mex­ico Beach City Pier. CEN­TER: En­joy­ing sim­ple plea­sures in Mex­ico Beach.

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