We had not been to the Gulf coast in several years. It was at the top of Dorothy’s list. When we started camping there 30 years back, there was no reason to make reservations, especially in early Fall. We would have the place pretty much to ourselves. She has told way too many people about it and it has been discovered. It’s still not densely populated with condo’s and beach clutter like it is from Gulf Shores to Panama City, but it has been discovered. So we made reservations, ugh!, and hoped the weather would be kind to us. A little cool and no sand flies was all we asked. We got humid mornings, mostly gray skies, showers before noon, but the sea breeze kicked in by mid-afternoon and the flies were no problem. I think there have been three Blood Moon’s this year, clouds covered all of them where we were.
We started this trip by visiting friends in Mobile, then another couple in Pensacola. The drive from Pensacola through Panama City is thorough a densely populated residential and commercial strip - mile-after-mile at 45mph. Once you get to Mexico Beach commercial places drop to near zero and there are no buildings taller than two stories. It’s as close as you can get to Old Florida. Here’s a blurb about the area from Wikipedia.
Florida's Forgotten Coast is a registered trademark, coined in the early 1990s, by the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce. The name is most commonly used to refer to a relatively quiet, undeveloped section of coastline stretching from Mexico Beach on the Gulf of Mexico to St. Marks on Apalachee Bay in Florida.
The Oregon coastline maybe be more scenic, but the white quartz sand here is remarkable. The sand comes from rivers in lower Alabama.