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Mexico Beach, Florida

Mexico Beach is a small-town beach community located right on the Gulf of Mexico, just west of Port St. Joe, and a fair distance east of Panama City Beach. Scenic Highway 98 runs right along the coast through Mexico Beach, much like A1A through Flagler Beach on Florida's Atlantic Coast. In the eastern part of Mexico Beach, all the buildings are constructed across the street from the beach, so you have an unobstructed view of this beautiful white sand beach and clear water while driving by. The western part of town has buildings right on the beach side of the road, so the view is obstructed.

 

Mexico Beach seems to have been overlooked by the condominium developers (or perhaps they were told "thanks, but no thanks). Colorful older beach houses line the coast, creating a casual and very residential beach town where everything seems to be just a few steps from the beach. I've spoken to quite a few people who return to the relaxed beach-town atmosphere of Mexico Beach year after year. They love it.

A few thoughts based on my limited experience in Mexico Beach: If you want to stay here, consider staying in the western part of town where you can get a place right on the beach. I think it's better not to have to walk across US Highway 98 every time you want to go out onto the beach. It's not a super busy road, nor is it a high-speed highway, but especially if you have kids, choose a place right on the beach. If you are staying nearby and need beach access, stop along the side of the road in the eastern part of town and there are beach accesses provided (photo below). Also, there is a public parking lot beside the El Governor Hotel at 19th Street (called Sunset Park). It has restrooms.

 
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Above: Driving through Mexico Beach on the two-lane scenic US Highway 98. The eastern part of town offers unobstructed views of the beach and Gulf as you drive through. I snapped this photo from my car window while driving west through Mexico Beach.

Above: There are several spots where you can pull off the road (barely) and use these dune crossovers to access the beach. But it is safer park further off-road at one of the beach parks nearby.

Above and below: White sand, clear blue-green Gulf water at Mexico Beach.

 

Above and below: The western side of Mexico Beach offers vacation rentals right on the beach.

 

Above: The five story El Governor Hotel seems to be the largest building in Mexico Beach and is very close to the Gulf. It is rather plain-looking, but has balconies overlooking the beach (big plus!) It also has excellent reviews on TripAdvisor.com, which is notorious for having a large number of unfavorable user reviews of just about every hotel.