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Good spot for a one-night stop near I-10 b/w Pensacola & Tallahassee

Good spot for a one-night stop near I-10 b/w Pensacola & Tallahassee

Old Jan 7th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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Good spot for a one-night stop near I-10 b/w Pensacola & Tallahassee

My mom and I are driving from Houston to Ft. Myers along I-10 and want to find a nice place to spend the night on the way. We would like to get farther than Pensacola, but not as far as Tallahassee. I was thinking something on the water would be nice (I realize that might mean a bit of a detour) but we're flexible. It's just for one night so it would be nice to stay in a place that is nice to walk around in the evening, have dinner, etc.

thanks!
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 07:54 PM
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You are going to have to go south to US-98. There are many places along the Gulf Coast and in the Fort Walton and Panama City area. Can't help with an exact name of a place along the coast. If you decide on that route stay on 98 until you get to Perry and take US-98/19 south until you pick up I-75.
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 11:21 AM
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if you are between tally and Pensacola you need to stop some where along 30-a and as far a eating go to nicks on the bay its a bit out of the way but its the best sea food and best nicest staff around
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 06:34 PM
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I'd recommend you stay at Grayton Beach if possible... it's a fun, funky, old-timey village with a wealth of excellent restaurants. Only one place I know you can stay for just a night, as most places are rental houses, but check out www.hibiscusflorida.com/ and see if it would meet your needs. It's a very walkable beach town and the Red Bar/Piccolo's Restaurant is famous for its atmosphere and good food. Also Criolla's, nearby, which is justifiably pricey (read any review online).

If that doesn't appeal to you, then possibly Sandestin, a bit further west, which has several hotel chains to choose from, including Courtyard and Residence Inn. The Baytown Wharf area has everything you can imagine from restaurants to shops to clubs, very family-oriented and all walkable, although a shuttle is part of the hotel fee you'll pay. See www.sandestin.com/default.aspx

But I'm going to tell you right now that when you come off the Eglin AFB reservation at Destin pass, you're going to wish that's where you could stay. It's the most spectacular single piece of waterfront in the panhandle. Only place to stay nearby that I know of is www.innondestinharbor.com/accommodations.html, but dining at the Lucky Snapper is sublime just for the view and the breeze, even in the summer. So maybe you could stop there for lunch? Right hand side, just after you cross the bridge.

One disagreement with RedRock, staying on 98 beyond Panama City is going to eat up time like you wouldn't believe. It's a nice drive if you can afford the time (except for the drive through the swamp to get to Perry-get gas before you start through there!), but if you want/need to move along, take Hwy 231 north out of PC to Hwy 20, then east to Tally to join up with I-10 again via Capitol Circle. Boring drive, but hours shorter.
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 07:01 PM
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FlaAnn-- Why not have the travelers see some of our state besides the Interstate. By the time you drive the almost 50 miles north on US231 from PC to get back to I-10 and then drive all the way to Lake City in the centeral part of panhandle to get to I-75 to trun south you have waisted a lot of time and driven a lot unnecessary miles... Once you get to Perry on US-98 the road south, US98/19, is 4 lane w/65MPH speed limit. Very little traffic at all. You can rejoin I-75 north of the greater Tampa area and you are on your way south to Ft Myers.... I always take that route rather than fight the trucks on I-75 and drive the extra miles....
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 06:56 AM
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Definitely stay on 30A. Grayton beach is charming, very "old Florida" and the Hibiscus would be a great place to spend the night. But don't limit yourself to Grayton. Drive over to Seaside, park, and wander around. Seaside is more walkable and has a lot more to see than and do than Grayton. (I highly recommend going to the bar at Bud and Ally's for the sunset.)

I agree with Red Rock about staying off the interstate if you have time. Driving through Panama City will be time consuming but after that US 98 follows the coast for a long way and is a very enjoyable drive. You will pass through what little is left of the Old Florida fishing villages. See it while you can!

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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 10:51 AM
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When do you plan to travel? There are few, if any, nice motels on I-10 between Pensacola and Tallahassee. The best of the worst would be in Crestview. Avoid Defuniak Springs, Ponce de Leon, Bonifay, Chipley, Marianna, and Quincy.
If you decide to detour to the Navarre, Fort Walton, Destin, Grayton, Sea Grove areas, be prepared for congestion and high prices during the months of March, June, July and August.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 12:07 PM
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Oh, I thought I noted that if they can afford the time, the Hwy 98 drive is nice (although I still say the swamp portion into Perry is just boring and can be a little unnerving, esp. for women travelers, if you end up driving it in the evening). But the trip back north and east from Panama City is actually a little FEWER miles (using the route I suggested) than going along the coast, and takes much less time.

I love the road from Port St Joe to Lanark, but it is SLOW and now that Hwy 98 has been rerouted off the coast past Mexico Beach, we have lost some of the best unspoiled scenery. I do hate I-75 (the 8-lane racetrack to Disney), and if I'm going south in no particular hurry, I always take Hwy 90 out of Tallahassee at Capps, a great unspoiled, 4-lane divided highway... when it joins up with Hwy 19/27(still a 4-lane divided road), through the heart of the state to Ocala (the state's horse heaven) it also gives you a scenic tour of the "real" Florida past my old stomping grounds on the Suwannee, which most people don't associate with this state... no beaches there! But maybe I'm just partial to farmland and rivers.
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Old Jan 13th, 2008, 09:17 AM
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Thanks so much for all these detailed suggestions! We will be there the night of March 6. And we really only have one night. We are coming in from Houston, so we'll be getting in around 5-6 (depending on where we stop) and have to make it to Ft. Myers by Fri around 5 for a family reunion.

As I said this is just for one night, we won't have time to "do" much other than stroll around a bit and have dinner, then sleep! Grayton Beach sounds great.
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 01:28 PM
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March 6 is right in the middle of Spring Break. You will probably near reservations if you stay in the coastal areas.
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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Just realized that you are trying to get to Ft. Myers by late afternoon, in one day. Believe me, you do not want to take 98 through Perry. You can get behind a log truck and not be able to pass for miles. Stay on interstates and maybe you can arrive before dark.
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 01:38 PM
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Don't forget Cantonment, Milton and Pace, Gracie!
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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I meant to say that you would probably NEED reservations if you stay in along the coast.
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