"Carrying Jean Bouler's guide to the gorgeous beaches and towns and backroads of Florida's most undiscovered corner is like having a good, wise friend at your side."--Mark Childress, author of One Mississippi and Crazy in Alabama
"Bouler's exploration of one of our nation's great treasures, the Emerald Coast of Florida, is destined to become a classic. If you are not already enchanted with this region, you will be after reading Exploring Florida's Emerald Coast."--Cassandra King, author of The Sunday Wife
"This is a rollicking trip through an enchanted time and place--the Emerald Coast--from Paleo-Indians to modern celebrities, from mastodons to loggerhead turtles. Bouler's enthusiasm for its splendor and history is contagious."--Faith Eidse, editor of Voices of the Apalachicola
"Illuminates the history of the once-quiet, now-booming coast between Panama City and Pensacola. The narrative takes readers on an enjoyable and thoughtful journey."--Kathryn L. Ziewitz, co-author of Green Empire: The St. Joe Company and the Remaking of Florida’s Panhandle
More than seven million visitors journey to some part of Florida's Panhandle region each year, and 4.5 million travel specifically to the 100-mile stretch between Pensacola and Panama City dubbed the Emerald Coast, where the beaches are some of the most stunning in the world, famous for their white sands and emerald waters. New construction booms and overnight changes are transforming the area--one of Florida’s last frontiers--into an increasingly popular destination for business and pleasure. Exploring Florida’s Emerald Coast is an engaging introduction to this unique region.
In vivid narrative, Jean Bouler guides the reader through a fascinating history that includes ancient tribes and Scottish pioneers, a Civil War camp and a pirate's playground. She tours Destin, the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village," and Seaside, the New Urbanist community where The Truman Show was filmed. Bouler discusses the importance of the eighteenth century turpentine and lumber industries, describes the development of the largest Air Force base in the free world, and highlights the area’s ecological importance as the home of live oaks and a migratory stop for Monarch butterflies.
Taking readers off the main roads, she explores the nature trail at Grayton Beach and the backcountry of Rocky Bayou. Bouler explains what makes the water so green and the sand so white, and reveals why the wetlands are cherished.
Jean Lufkin Bouler is a former reporter for the Birmingham News.
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A good companion for a beach vacation.
...a charming, highly readable account of the people and forces that shaped an enchanting coastline, now enjoyed by 4.5 million visitors a year.
--The Chicago Tribune