I finally paid a visit to Salinas Park outside Port Saint Joe, Florida. I had noticed the Salinas Park sign before with intentions to stop and investigate but always missed it on the way back from Saint Joseph Peninsula State Park and this day was no exception. Today though I reversed course at Highway 30A and turned into the park past the fire station on the left and found a parking space in the sand. There aren’t many parking spaces for this public access beach but there were only a couple of cars there at midday and there is more parking across the highway at Salinas Park Bayside.
Walking through the sand to the wooden beach access walk I noticed many horse prints in the sand. Salinas Park is popular for horseback riding on the beach. How cool would that be! Check out the Rockin’ M Ranch for details on just such an adventure.
Following the wooden walk to the beach I knew I had found yet another Port Saint Joe area beach that I would love. The sandy path through the dunes led past tall beachgrass whose seed heads and long stems waved in the wind as if to welcome me to their beautiful Forgotten Coast beach.
Wow! Looking left and right I saw nothing but sand and surf. There was a couple walking on the beach and a few people down the coast but otherwise I was alone exploring this sandy jewel near Cape San Blas, Florida under a gorgeous blue sky with the sound of the surf calling me to the water.
There are houses along the beach but they are far enough away that the beach feels quite private and I stood for a while lost in my thoughts and memories just breathing while taking in the natural beauty of this amazing place. A couple of vehicles passing by broke my reverie. Driving on the beach is allowed but you have to buy an annual permit which last I checked in Gulf county Port Saint Joe was fifteen dollars annually for residents and one hundred fifty dollars for non-residents and no beach driving at night.
I decided to continue on my way to lunch but before I did I took a moment to check out Salinas Park Bayside which is across the highway from Salinas Park and offers grills and covered, screened picnic areas and restrooms. It seems to be mostly for viewing the bay and kayaking. There is an awesome boardwalk leading out into the bay that terminates in a viewing platform with a wide stair tailor made for launching your kayak. Man, I gotta get me one of those!
This is such an amazing place filled with natural beauty and wildlife. I stood on the boardwalk surrounded by the grass growing in the shallow areas of the bay and watched kayakers in the distance, beautiful blue skies, fish in the water and what may have been an eagle as well soaring above. Naturally gorgeous and amazing. I could have stayed there longer but lunch at Triple Tails was calling. You simply must check out Salinas Park the next time you are in Port Saint Joe. It is only nine miles from Port Saint Joe at 280 Cape San Blas Rd.
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