Barrier Dunes, Cape San Blas, Florida 2020 Vacation

I have Florida pics to share with you!!! The problem is, I couldn’t downsize it much because I think each photo is very important you see it. A video link at the end has additional photos. So there are more pictures than I intended for this post. It’s probably more than the recommended amount per post. But…. suck it up and scroll !!! I just couldn’t help it. I’ll try to keep my chatter short to make up for extra photos.

We went to Barrier Dunes in Cape San Blas, FL. It’s a super clean, pet friendly, not very populated beach, in a gated community with pools and I almost hate to tell you about it. It’s a peninsula off of Port St Joe. With the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the bay on the other.  It’s our favorite place and I really don’t think people should find out about it.
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We’ve passed cotton fields before but on the way down we had the perfect opportunity to stop and look closer.
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Pretty neat when you haven’t seen it before.
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We got here after dark the night before, so the next day was our first venture out to the beach. 7 years ago when we were here the sandbars were not there as much as they are now. The water seemed deeper, quicker and stronger. I know it changes season to season and many things effect it. This was great as it’s better and safer to play in.

Having said that, some of the pictures you will see make it appear Ashlyn is in deeper, harsher waves. She is not. No hate bad mom messages please. She was never in anything more than waist deep water. With no strong waves pulling her back. Only waves pushing her in. We avoided the change in water at high and low tides to avoid ebb and rip currents. She was only ever on these shallow sandbars. We had a life vest with us but felt she was safe at all times.
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This is what she was dying to do while here. So we hit up Piggly Wiggly and got a body board. Piggly Wiggly in Port St Joe has the best fresh meat and fruit by the way.
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Didn’t’ take too long to pick it up. The hardest part was learning on the small waves you get here, but it was enough for her to have fun on.
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Off season like this, you don’t have many people on the beach. Ever. Which is what we love most. Crowds are not our favorite. I think we saw a totally of 5 families out there at once one day. Maybe a few people fishing here and there. Someone walking their dog occasionally.
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One of the perks to getting out of the water before high tide late afternoon is we found that’s when the best shells roll in.
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7 years ago I believe we had trouble getting a good sunset due to weather. This time, every single night was beyond gorgeous. We saw that shrimp boat every evening at the same time.
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So, so pretty. Many people that weren’t on the beach during the day, came out just to watch the sunset.
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The beach. Sand. Water. Waves. Sounds. Smell. It never gets old.
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The shells were not near as plentiful this time as they were before, but we still managed to find many good ones. Early morning walks were good for this.
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Something about being the first one to walk on the beach. Best way to start your day.
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So this is the main club house I guess you’d call it. It was closed at the moment for being off season and covid reasons. Otherwise they have many, many, many activities going on in there for all the guests and renters. This is the beach side pool, which is not heated.
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Palm trees. Love them so much.
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Landscaping here is immaculate and maintained extremely well.
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Here is a glimpse of the unit we stayed in. Getting in the night before did not allow me to take photos before unpacking. So we’ve already settled in but you get the idea how nice it is. This is Ashlyns bathroom and bedroom.
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She had a sliding door too, overlooking the pond.
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This is ours. Overlooking other units with a sliver peek of the gulf.
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Very spacious and nice. No picture but they have laundry here too. Which I take full advantage of packing less.
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From dining room into the kitchen.
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All open. Everything like the kitchen is fully equipped with everything you need. They make it easy on you for sure.
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One flight up to this first level. Another flight up to bedrooms. Some units have one more flight to accommodate large groups. Unfortunately, Toby was unable to handle all the steps. We had to carry him up and down, every single time he had to go potty or go to bed. It was a workout, haha. But was a better option than having him stumble down them.
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The parking area. Grill and outdoor showers. Closet full of beach chairs and toys.
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We had the end unit, which was nice having the side yard for Toby.
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We were the end one, so the upper and lower deck looked out over the pond. Which Ashlyn was allowed to feed the fish, ducks and turtles.
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These oversized chairs were the best !! So comfortable. Many coffee’s and glasses of wine drank sitting here.
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Toby was whooped from traveling but loved his walks around here.
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Saw many of these little guys.
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Toby got to enjoy the beach too but we made sure not to overdo it for him. He’s 15 and has had his share of health issues this year.
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Clarity of the water is very good here. During the changes I’d say you get more of the emerald green water as opposed to blue though. Overall the beaches and water are very clean though.
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And oh so serene. Why must all vacations come to an end. I hate the part that we have to leave. If given the opportunity, Ashlyn and I didn’t have to think twice, we’d move there in a heartbeat.
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In the middle of the place is the heated pool and tennis courts. Decent size. Especially when no one else is in it. One day there was someone else in it for awhile.
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She didn’t complain, she loves having the pool to herself. Everything here is within very short walks. Kids are allowed to ride scooters and bikes and golf carts are allowed too.
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We had one chilly day. Was still a very nice day, just chilly for swimming. So we went to St Joseph Peninsula State Park, which was just down the road from us. Only downfall was, you could only park so far, then you had to walk/hike the rest of it. Which Toby and Jamie are not up for and we didn’t plan on that. So we just hopped out, checked the beach here out and left. There was nowhere to set my camera, so we had to take separate pictures. You can also rent kayaks and canoes on the bay side, snorkeling and things like that.
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This was back at The Cape. Attempted a few family photo’s throughout the week but had no one to take the picture. I just set the camera on our towels or beach bag and used the remote. This way is not preferred as it’s hard to focus and even tell if we are in the picture but it’s all we had some days. Easier with the tripod, which I did not bring. We are in it so I’ll take that.
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On our chilly day, we took advantage of heading over to St George Island. Another area like The Cape, but it’s an actual island with a 4 miles bridge over the bay to get there. The store at the cape was not as good of shopping as we remembered. They had less stuff and it was more pricey. But they have food, all your basic groceries. St George had a separate grocery store and a kicken shopping store!! We could have spent way more than we did. Ashlyn and I LOVE all the beachy clothing and items at stores like this. Anyway, back to St George. Oh and they had really reasonable prices too.
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Their beach wasn’t as smooth of sand as The Cape is. It’s more rocky/shelly but still clean. The water was stronger so might not be as good for playing in. Otherwise basically the same. A local said the fishing is really good. And there is general public access here. The Cape is basically just who is renting or living there.
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St George Island.
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Back to The Cape. I really wish I could have a palm tree like this back home in our pool area. Better yet, it’s snowing as I type this. I’ll bring my home and pool area to this tree instead.
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Palm trees and salty water and sand just does more for me than corn fields, dust and pollen.
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Toby was not interested in another family photo attempt.
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The look when you finally got your first ride all the way back to shore.
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Literally…. til the sun went down, everyday. This is our happy place.
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If only the beach had street lights….
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Wipe out !!
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Look at it. It’s just so perfect.
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Here are the same units but ON the beach. You literally are on the beach. Those units are out of our price range, but man they have a perfect spot.
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Many people ask about these fences. They think they are unsightly and wonder the purpose of them. They are to protect the turtles during nesting season which is May through the end of October.
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Got her in a pic with our afternoon shrimp boat.
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She really had the hang of it with some decent waves the last day. Still small waves but they were great for learning.
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I don’t have a photo but would like to give a shout out to Coneheads. A restaurant near the entrance of where we stayed. Food was so good and will definitely go back next time we are here. Friendly service too.
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Until we meet again beautiful beach. Hope to you see you next year.
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Here is the youtube video that includes a few more photos. I have a few questions if you are willing to share you own piece of paradise locations.

Do you have a favorite, fairly secluded, not populated beachy place to recommend? This is really the only place like this, down south, that we are aware of. I know there are many more, just not aware of them.

Do you prefer oceans or lakes? (I love both)



  • Brenda Hamilton December 14, 2020 at 9:24 pm Reply

    Awesome pictures! We are thinking about taking a vacation there next summer. It looks beautiful and we love the “no crowds” beach. Just wondering if the water is as clear and beautiful as Destin area. Thanks!

    • Everyday Snapshot December 15, 2020 at 7:34 am Reply

      Hi Brenda. No crowd beaches are the only way to vacation! I have never been to the Destin area so I can’t compare the water clarity. But where we stayed it was very clean and clear. Not tropical island crystal clear but very clear. My daughter won’t get in anything that is even a little murky, she has to “see” around her and she had no problem having a blast in it. If you go next summer, I hope you love it as much as we do !!

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