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A Week at the Beach in Cape San Blas, Florida

Kevin and I had an absolute blast in Cape San Blas, Florida! If you’ve been wanting to go on a Florida getaway, this is definitely the place to do it!
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For Kevin’s birthday this year we took a little getaway to Cape San Blas, Florida. It was our first time to visit that part of Florida and we absolutely fell in love! Not only were the beaches gorgeous and secluded, but it was also PET-FRIENDLY!!! Miley and Howie could go!! And they could run on the beach and play with us! :)

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How gorgeous is this beach? It had sugar white sands, a beautiful blue ocean, and clean, clear waters. The water temperature was perfect! It truly felt like a tropical paradise.

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We stayed at Barrier Dunes in the Pelican View condo. I’ll be sharing more about where we stayed in another post. Our condo was the fourth from the left, the one that’s jutted out further than the two beside it, and has a red umbrella on the bottom balcony. Each unit is 4 floors, so we had all three beachfront balconies in that unit! :)

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Here was our view from the balcony. We could watch the sunset right from our condo.

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From our balcony, we could walk down the stairs to the boardwalk leading to the beach. This was our daily view!

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A Long Walk on the Beach

Oh my gosh you guys. Miley and Howie FREAKED! :) They LOVED the beach!! It was so funny seeing them go so crazy running in the sand!!! They were so-so-so excited every day for their morning walk on the beach.

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We had the whole place to ourselves!! We would normally take our walk between 9 and 10 am and we could be out for an hour and never see a single soul. As you can see on the left, there were no huge hotels or condominiums packed with people. Just single-family beach houses and cabins. Barrier Dunes (where we stayed) was the largest complex we saw on the beach.

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I couldn’t get over Miley and Howie’s cute little footprints in the sand as we’d walk on the beach. Little munchkins!

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At night we’d sit out on the beach and watch the sunset.

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The beaches of Cape San Blas face west, so the sun sets over the water every night. A rare view from the Florida panhandle!

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On our first morning at the beach, we woke up to this stunning double rainbow right outside our window stretching over the ocean. What a perfect way to start the week!

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We’d head out every morning for our daily walk on the beach.

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And when we’d get back, we’d set up camp and relax! :)

Here’s a preview of what our morning playtime was like with Miley and Howie:


Click the Play button
above to watch the video and be sure to turn on the sound so you can hear the relaxing waves :)

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Then they’d nap hard on the beach in the afternoon! :)

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We’d come back out again just in time for sunset.

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You guys know how much I love sunsets, and we seriously saw some of the most stunning, memorable sunsets ever at Cape San Blas.

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Loved sitting out on the beach every night, watching Miley and Howie play at sunset.

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Can I transport back here right now??

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One morning we woke up and there so many shells on the beach during our walk!

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I have seriously never seen anything like it.

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We had so much fun collecting a few of the big, unbroken ones as souvenirs! :)

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Someone had even made this cute beach shell wedding cake. :)

Another video! :) It was so hilarious watching Miley and Howie play in the waves! They were not afraid at all. They loved splashing and eating the waves! :)

Play the video above and watch where Miley catches the frisbee at the end. She totally hams it up and looks right at the camera after she catches it, lol!! She’s like “Did you see that Mom?? Did you get it??” Lol!

She is such a ham. When there were people on the beach in the afternoon, Miley would catch the frisbee and do a “victory lap” looking around to see who all was watching her (they all were!) :) If anyone was cheering she’d promptly take the frisbee and drop it right at their feet for them. Of course they would all throw it again for her, lol! :)

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We’d come back out to the beach every night just in time for sunset.

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We even saw another rainbow on the beach! Wish I could Photoshop myself into this photo!! :)

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And this one. :)

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Shells, sunsets, and my two little stinkers.

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Kevin and I would snuggle on the beach and watch this every night.

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Making S’mores

You know what else is awesome about Cape San Blas?? You can have beach bonfires!! :)

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That’s right… That means BEACH S’MORES!! :) We loved this tradition each night. We couldn’t resist sitting out on the beach, watching the dolphins, listening to the waves crash, and warming up by the fire.

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We would walk off all the calories the next day during our morning walk ;)

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We would also see the dolphins on our morning walk.

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We saw tons of these little guys digging holes all over the beach! :)

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One night there was a storm rolling in (on the left side of the screen) right at sunset and the sky was seriously the most crazy, incredible sky I have ever seen.

By the end of the week, Miley and Howie had the waves all figured out! :) They loved diving into the waves and “surfing” them back. The water was really shallow so they could run really far out and still be able to touch. This is my favorite video of the week, love how Howie just dives right into the waves, lol! :)

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Miley and Howie are too cool for the beach! ;) They played hard and they napped hard. :)

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Howie had a grand time digging in the sand and rolling around in it, so on the last day — after a big day of running on the beach and playing in the waves — we dug him a big hole and he climbed right in, lol! Of course we were mean and couldn’t help but bury him. ;) He is such a good boy though. He didn’t seem to mind one bit. He was in no hurry to get out, lol! :)

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Our final bonfire on the beach, at sunset.

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I will never forget the sunsets at Cape San Blas!

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Loved sitting on the beach with Kevin and watching them with Miley and Howie every night.

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On the last night we invited our neighbors who we’d gotten to know over the week to join us for beach s’mores.

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We totally converted them to the Ritz Peanut Butter Cup S’more!! They are new fans!! :)

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Thanks so much for looking!! :) If you’re thinking about planning a trip to Cape San Blas, I’ve got a few more posts coming up about where to stay and where to eat. :) Stay tuned!! :)

Have a great Wednesday!! :)

See more posts from our week in Cape San Blas:

Where to Stay in Cape San Blas
Miley and Howie on the Beach


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The Best Pet-Friendly Dog Beach in Florida! Cape San Blas, near Port Saint Joe on the panhandle. Just one hour from Panama City!

The Best Pet-Friendly Dog Beach in Florida! Cape San Blas, near Port Saint Joe on the panhandle. Just one hour from Panama City!

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106 Responses
  1. Laura M

    This brings back sweet memories. My late husband and I honeymooned on CSB.  Doesn’t sound like it’s changed much since 1989.  Makes me want to return.  

  2. Norma Jean

    Amanda…what time of year did you vacation in Cape San Blas? I am very familiar with the area. I lived in Mexico Beach for a while and we vacation on St George Island. I have seen the abundance of shells like that before at Mexico Beach at times and cannot remember what time of year it was or even if that has anything to do with the abundance of shells!

    Have you been back since the Hurricane in 2018? Was this before or after the Hurricane? Just wondering if they have been able to build back since and how bad they were affected.

    1. Cindi Bena

      I am curious about the 2018 Hurricane damage too. We are planning a trip in July 2019 and were thinking there might be a few issues. Any information would be appreciated.

    2. Amanda

      Hi Cindi! We were there for Christmas 2018, after Hurricane Michael in 2018. When we were there most of the restaurants on the cape were closed, but I think most of them are open again now! I don’t think you’ll have any issues. Have a great trip!

    3. Amanda

      Hi Norma Jean,

      We were there in August when we saw all those shells! The last time we were there was Christmas 2018, after Hurricane Michael in 2018. There was some damage, and most of the restaurants on the cape were closed, but the general store was still open, and I think most of the restaurants are open again now. Have a great trip!

  3. Jeff L

    Great, great blog. My daughter and I especially love the videos of your dog’s playing on the beach. We’re heading to CSB in 2019 and can’t wait.

  4. Anita

    Going to vacation at Cape San Blas for the first time this summer. Really enjoyed your blog and your tips on eateries as well! Will be trying out your Reese’s version of smores! War Eagle!

  5. Alice

    Thank you for sharing your awesome vacation. What time of year did you visit? The pictures were stunning and the four of you seem like such a sweet family. God bless!

  6. Cindy Williams Leonard

    Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this post and your photos! It was almost as good as being there myself! So beautiful!

  7. Sally B

    I was already excited about our upcoming trip to Cape San Blas but your photos and videos put my excitement into overload! I love shells, sunsets and puppies so I hope to see all three. Thank you so much for your post!

  8. Steve

    Looks like you guys had an awesome vacation! My wife and I now live at the beach! Can’t beat it! Next time you guys gotta do some fishing from the surf!

  9. MArlana Dollar

    I wanted to show you what we found on the beach there last year, but I can’t get my picture to post here.   Just down the beach from us, someone caught a 4-4.5 foot bull shark.  They kept it long enough for pictures and then released it.  Port St Joe & Cape San Blas are two of my all time favorite places to visit in FL.  So calm & peaceful.  So glad to see that you enjoyed it as well!!

  10. Debbie L

    We vacationed at Cape San Blas last summer. Not much to do, but beautiful! I was wondering, were you there in October and if so do you remember when the sunset? Thanks!

  11. Brett

    Hi Amanda,

    I came across your website when my wife and I were going to Italy back in September. Your pictures of Cinque Terre were incredible. All of your pictures are really great. I just happened to find your Cape San Blas pictures while looking up CSB pics online. Great shots! We are going there this weekend for the first time, heard a lot of really good things about it. The end of this page mentions another post with places to eat but I couldn’t find it. Do you have restaurant recommendations? We are also staying at Barrier Dunes and are looking forward to some dinners on the deck! Thanks in advance!
    Brett

  12. Kathy

    Lovely !!!…..what time of year were you there & what was the temperature like. Was the condo crazy expensive? Is it a kid friendly area?
    Thanks
    PS: Fabulous Picts.

    1. Amanda

      Thank you Kathy! We were the the second to last week of August. The weather was really nice. Hot during the middle of the day of course, but we would go out for lunch so we could be inside during the hottest part of the day, then come back when the weather cooled off to be on the beach in the afternoon and for sunset. I would say it is more pet-friendly than kid friendly. It’s not UN-kid friendly, but there’s not a lot of activities other than the beach and a pool. No jet skis, no para-sailing, no go karts, no mini golf, no shopping, nothing like that. Just a secluded beach and a sunset over the ocean! :) Hope this helps!

  13. Steve

    We love all the good press. But, I am pleading with you all to write the Gulf County Board of Commissioners to ask them allow the same dog friendly beach access so many of us have come to enjoy- which is now enforcebly banned. Dog are no longer free to swim, fetch balls, or roam the empty beaches.

  14. Greg

    If you like the sunsets you got to see the sunrise over the bay right across the street. The fishing is great also. Your pics got me planning a trip with my dog.

  15. patto

    Wow your dogs are so gorgeous. I have a boston terrier puppy also but hes mental…beautiful sunset and loving the beach loving hot guy posing more ;)

  16. Erin Kaven

    SHHHHHHH!!!!! We have been trying to keep the Cape a secret so it doesn’t become another Condo infested FL beach!!!! We go once a year to BD and our dogs love it. Just keep it quiet.

    1. Norma Jean

      Dee…it’s between Panama City and St George Island. Going East from Panama City; there’s Tyndall AFB, then Mexico Beach, then Port St Joe, then Cape San Blas, then St George Island. Hope this helps!

  17. Jessica @ The Budget Savvy Bride

    I *LOVE* all the pics of the dogs! I would love to take our pups on a trip with us– how did you find a beach that was dog-friendly?

  18. Marion

    Hi Amanda,
    Great pictures. We were actually your neighbors that week at Barrier Dunes. It was great meeting you all (including Miley and Howie). We had such fun watching them play on the beach. I also love your blog.
    Cheers from Atlanta!
    Marion

  19. Tori

    Amanda – your pictures are absoutely amazing. Just beautiful. The pictures of Miley and Howie chasing the frisbees in the other post are just amazing as are the sunset photos. You are a truly talented photographer. I always look forward to seeing your pictures, wheter of brownies, puppies, jewelry, anything – all are wonderful.

    Where in FL is this? I’ve never heard of it. We go to the Destin area every year. I would love to check this out. It looks awesome.

  20. Renee - Kudos Kitchen

    These are some of the most amazing photos I’ve ever seen. Your little Bostons look like they had the time of their lives! Miley and Howie are simply adorable and two very lucky pups! I also have two Bostons but they have yet to travel and see the world. I completely understand your passion and love for the breed. They are the best dogs, EVER! Thank you for sharing them with us :)

  21. Jill Meiser

    Cape San Blas is our favorite place. We’ve been going down there 2-3 times a year (from Atlanta) for 8 years now, and Barrier Dunes is wonderful. We’re renting a unit there for a week in mid-October, as a matter of fact. Your photos are just gorgeous, and indeed there is nothing like a western-facing beach view for the best sunsets. Thank you for sharing your fantastic images of our favorite little “finger of paradise”.

  22. Preston Russ

    Wow! Great pictures. My wife, Sherrill and I moved to Cape San Blas in March, 2000. We loved the fact that there are no high rises located here. It has been a great place to live and our dogs love it. I must warn you that you rarely see deputies here, but they will write you a ticket for having your dogs off lease. I don’t worry about it because my dogs and I run every morning around 7:00 AM before anyone patrols. This is a great place to escape the rat race and get away. Again, I love your pics and look forward to seeing more.

  23. Shaina

    I can just imagine you converting those neighbors to the Reese’s S’mores: “You have GOT to try this!” Love the photos! I miss those little stinkers.

  24. Pech

    What incredible gorgeous photos! The colors are just amazing with all those blues, all that sunshine, all those SUPER EXCITED doggies. It seems like it was a present for them more than Kevin! The beaches you are showing are so different than the ones I am used to seeing here on the West Coast (which are more rocky). Florida is a long way from us (harder to get to than Hawaii!) but I’ll have to bookmark this place to my bucket list for maybe one day… Thanks so much for sharing.

  25. Deemarie

    Beautiful photos. Sounds like you both had a wonderful vacation. I love the beach too the best place to relax. Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to your second post on Cape San Blas, Florida.

  26. Annette

    Beautiful pictures! What kind of camera did you use and what were your settings? …if you don’t mind. There are a group of us girls that have been going there for 10 years, staying in our friend’s beach house and we all agree that there is no better place on earth. Its beautiful! Thanks for sharing your pictures.

  27. Jocelyn Edwards

    We love barrier dunes 12…stayed there many times… Have been to the cape since 1994-you should have seen it there before the hurricane -the dunes were so beautiful. Cudos to the county for restoring the beach -fabulous!! Love this place!

  28. Cinda

    I loved all your pictures! And that may be my next place to visit!, it truly looks beautiful!
    Don’t you just love small beach towns! We had a wonderful beach house in Crystal Beach, TX. But, unfortunately Ike came, we will rebuild ! May take a little longer but, I love the quietness of a small beach town! The people are always wonderful! Thanks for the pics, truly enjoyed!

  29. Kelley

    I love your photos. You have a great eye. However, they just don’t look real. They look over done. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on why you edit photos so heavily, particularly the colors.

    1. Amanda

      Most of these were taken on an iPhone, and I do think they come out a little more saturated on the phone than on my camera. I love color though, so it doesn’t bother me! :)

  30. Molly at Duchess of Fork

    Gorgeous photos, Amanda! Isn’t San Blas just wonderful? It’s only a short drive from us in Destin and my inlaws get a house there every summer. We love going scalloping. You’ll have to try it the next time you come down!

  31. Anilu

    Wow!!!… I’m stunned!!!, not only by the amazing landscape, but your pictures…. are unbelievable!!!!, seriously!, they are beautiful! =)

  32. Shirley

    Such gorgeous photography. It looks like you guys had the whole beach to yourselves!! Thanks for sharing! You are a great looking couple!

  33. Gary Shannon

    What a great bunch of pictures, are you guys professional photographers?
    We’ve been going to the same area, Alligator Point, St. George, Carrabelle,
    and Apalachicola for the last 10 years, and love it. What time of the year
    were you y’all there? Again, great pics and videos,{luv the dogs}, we take
    ours too, he loves the water, but not the waves, we’re both getting old I guess.
    One more thing is the beautiful dark skies, I do a lot of video astrophotography
    with my scope, the place is just an astronomers dream….Gar

  34. Gail Deavers

    Our family went to Cape San Blas, Florida last year…and I do agree, it was beautiful, the shells were amazing!! The only thing we didn’t like is there’s no place to shop much or go out to eat there!? If there’s something I must do at the beach–it’s EAT!!! Love me some seafood. We had to go into either Port St. Joe or Apalachicola. My brother has a friend who has a beautiful home there that’s on the beach side, only a few walking steps to the beach,….but really, they need some local restaurants in the worse way! I love to cook, but didn’t expect to have to do that much while on vacation. A grocery store would have been a plus as well…Love your photos!!! Awesome sunsets!! Thanks for sharing!
    Gail
    Trussville, Al.

  35. Kathleen

    I always love your photos, so many of them have taken my breath away at times but these pics are just THE best I’ve ever seen. Beautiful. Glad you had a good holiday and thanks for sharing your knowledge of photography with us!

  36. Sally

    Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful photos with us! We recently moved to FL and have never even heard of this place. We will be sure to check it out with our two dogs. (But they aren’t nearly as photogenic as your two little cuties!)

  37. Rachel

    You take THE most beautiful pictures Amanda! I know you’re super talented with photography, but do you use photo editing as well? Your vacation looked phenomenal! Thanks for sharing!

  38. Heather K.

    We have been to Alligator Point, about 80 miles away, before with our dog and loved it. I have looked at this place online in the past, but your pictures do it much more justice than what I had previously seen. I want to go! Great photos!!

  39. Terry

    We love the Forgotten Coast ~ my husband and I were at Cape San Blas 36 years ago when we decided to get married! Then in the early 80’s we discovered St. George Island ~ and love Apalachicola’s small town feel with neat shops and good food too!

  40. Jacqueline

    OMG! 1. I am obsessed with all these fabulous pictures!!! And 2. THOSE SEASHELLS???? Are you kidding me??? I just went on my honeymoon and I walked up and down the beach for hours looking for seashells for souvieners….and I came home with about 20 little tiny ones. I would be in seashell heaven there!!

  41. KeeKee

    My goodness these pictures are awesome! How did you guys ever leave? I would want to still be there right now! You and your hubby are gorgeous together and Miley and Howie are too cute. Looks like they had a ball!

  42. Emma Strobelt

    Can we please have some how-to posts for your amazing pictures?? What did they look like SOC and how did you edit them? They’re absolutely gorgeous!

  43. Lynne

    Amanda: you always take great photos, but you have outdone yourself this time! Gorgeous shots!!! Cape San Blas is beautiful and I want to go!!!! You both look fabulous btw –

  44. Jen

    I love your photos! I was at the beach (in North Carolina) the same time you were in San Blas (following on Instagram), and your photos were giving me great inspiration as an amateur photographer. I would love to know the settings you used, or what programs you used to edit them! The link to your settings doesn’t seem to be working just yet, but I know you just posted this morning. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Amanda

      Hi Jen! Thank you so much for letting me know! The settings should appear immediately as soon as I make a post, so if they don’t, something went wrong, lol! Thank you for calling it to my attention so I could fix it. :) If you click the photos now, you should be able to see the settings. I took a lot of these photos with my iPhone though, so if the settings are blank, that means I took it with my iPhone :) Hope this helps!! :)

  45. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    I love all your posts with Miley and Howie, they look like they live the life! And the cape is gorgeous, St Joe bay is our favorite place to kayak.

  46. Emily F.

    I wish so much I could somehow hang that picture with the storm in my house! It is seriously amazing. I would buy to get a copy of that picture. Such talent you have.

  47. Paola

    Absolutely love Cape San Blas! This is probably my favorite vacation spot ever. My fiance proposed to me there and we are returning next summer to get married on the beach! Super excited to see your next post :)

  48. Leslie MacFadyen

    First of all my favorite posts are about Miley & Howie and my 2nd favs are about trips you guys take so this might be my all time favorite post. Love the photos, sounds like you guys had such a wonderful trip. My husband & I love looking at your posts together, we feel a “kinship” with you guys as we are married with 2 dogs and no children and have a full, fun life as well. Thanks so much for sharing with all of us!

  49. Julie @ follow your heart woodworking

    Beautiful photos, especially the ones with the dogs. I have a Chihuahua and we’re always looking for pet friendly places, so thanks for that information as well.

  50. Anele @ Success Along the Weigh

    WOW! I’ve never heard of this place but you can bet I’m going to check it out now!

    You realize that Miley and Howie’s happiness now depends on you moving to the beach, right? It’s the right dog parent thing to do! ;)

  51. jenny Flake

    Oh my goodness, this might be my favorite travel post yet!! These pictures are just stunning. Your sweet pups had the time of their life, little cutie pies! Those sea shells are killing me, so fun! xoxo

  52. Susan Kay "Omi"

    LOVE this post!!! Miley and Howie are amazing little critters and the pictures are gorgeous!! We will have to explore this area. We’ve seen plenty of Florida but never here.

  53. Simone

    1. Your pictures are breathtaking! It looks so beautiful and relaxing 2. I cannot even handle Miley and Howie right now – they are so cute! They look like best friends who just got their dream vacation to the beach!

    Great pictures!

  54. Trisha

    Awesome! Great memories for you and the family. Mother nature was nice to you on your trip, thanks for sharing and Happy Birthday to Kevin : )

  55. Viola

    Lovely photos, Amanda, makes me miss the years I used to enjoy the natural seaside in South Carolina. My fav pic is the BTs in goggles! The reason the coast had so many shells one morning, is there was a storm and currents/tide which brought them in. From the years when my mom lived in SC this would happen, thus she had an enormous seashell collection with so much variety and perfect pieces not even broken.

    Isn’t it fun how BTs love the ocean and playing in the waves! My Phoebe would dive in with her face and retrieve shells as she stood in the water. Thanks for this visit to the beach in your photos!

  56. Lisa List

    Hi Amanda!

    WOW! It looks like you’re all having a blast! How fun to be able to bring Smiley and Howie too :). I used to live in Tallahassee and I’ve been to St George which isn’t too far from Cape San Blas. I can’t believe I’ve never been here, it looks so beautiful.

    Happy birthday to Kevin and have fun!

  57. Sonia

    We’ve been going to cape San blas for several years. We also choose it because it is pet friendly!! We love it there!! In fact we are going to be spending January and february there next year!! I hope you ate at up the creek oyster bar. Our favorite. Can’t wait to read and see more pics of your vacation howitzer wish we were there!!

  58. Maureen

    I’m officially depressed, Miley and Howie had a better summer vacation than me. . . Lol! Beautiful pictures of an even more beautiful place. Thanks for sharing with all of us!

  59. Becca

    Oh Amanda…what fun you all had…!
    The pix of Miley and Howie’s happy faces were priceless!
    What a great vacation. So happy for ya!
    Looking forward to more!
    Florida Hugs,
    Becca

  60. Julia @ hungryandconfused

    Miley and Howie are sooo cute. We dogsat a Boston Terrier this summer and she was a bit jittery, so not sure she would have conquered the waves like those two! I love Bostons (and French Bulldogs) because they have similar personalities to pugs (I used to have two pugs and miss them terribly). Definitely considering getting one to be a brother or sister to my boyfriend’s Basset Hound!

  61. Sarah @ The Wanderblogger

    What a beautiful place to stay AND a great way to spend a birthday! I like being on sections of beaches far away from the high rise condos and hotels. Crowded beaches are definitely not my thing.

    How in the world did you get the dogs still enough to take a photo of them with goggles on?!

  62. Callie

    What awesome pics!!! I was amazed! The trip was wonderful but the models (your dogs!) really great!!! A big kiss from Greece! We have nice sunsets in Greece too, but the ones you was were fanastic! What kind of photo editing program do you use? Thanks for the answer in advance! Callie

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Meet Kevin & Amanda

Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes for busy weeknight dinners, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. Meet our Boston Terriers. Take a tour of our house. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.

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