Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 3/31/2017 9:16:14 AM EDT
Heya hometown Florida,

The wife is able to retire in 4-5 years and we're looking for a warmer climate. We checked out Texas and liked that, but we are also going to take a good look at FL, specifically the panhandle.

I am checking into Pace, Crestview, Niceville, Milton. I learned about Pace from scanning prior threads here.

Both of us are seeking a dramatically warmer climate than where we are now, North of Phila.

-----------------------------------------

My wish list:

Either a place to shoot (gun club), or enough land to make my own range. I do find a lot of gun clubs around looking at online maps.

Low crime

Out of the city but not boondocks

-----------------------------------------

Wife's wish list:

Near enough to the beach (under an hour)

Interesting destinations for us to go to on the motorcycle.

-----------------------------------------

Any thoughts or experiences to share are most welcome.
Link Posted: 3/31/2017 7:28:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2017 7:35:23 PM EDT by SWMP15AOP]
We just bought a second home in the Naples area. I know a lot of people up in the Florida panhandle and in Gulf Shores Alabama. You'd better check the climate up in that area, a lot of people from SW Florida complain how cool / cold it gets up there in the panhandle in the winter months. The beaches in the area are beautiful, we passed on that area in favor of warmer temperatures further down south.
Link Posted: 3/31/2017 8:56:26 PM EDT
Lived there for 5 yrs, and moved to Tampa. We traveled back last week and it was in the 60's. feel free to pm me if you have any Q's.
Link Posted: 4/1/2017 9:38:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/1/2017 9:51:41 AM EDT by Murooka]
Are you looking for a specific kind of employment, or is that not a factor?

I'm in the Fort Walton Beach area.

All those places you listed are pretty nice and not too "city". I also believe that there is a good outdoor public range within close range of any of those locations as well.

In my area it's at least an hour drive in any direction to an outdoor range, unless you have base access to use Hurlbert's range.

Another thing I've noticed is that if you're located anywhere from Gulf Breeze to FWB, you're kind of "cooped" in, traffic-wise, either by the water or base property. Traffic on 98 at certain times of the day does come to a crawl. But that's kind of the price you pay to be within 5-10 min. to the beach. You may or may not have to deal with Eglin AFB traffic as well up in Niceville.
Link Posted: 4/1/2017 10:08:34 AM EDT
drake - pm sent.

Murooka, thanks.

No specific employment. I telecommute from home and will be semi-retired. My wife will be retired with a pension.

She might get a part time job (at my insistence to get her off my back), but not necessary.

I'm a long range shooter, and I find Core Shooting solutions up North about an hour away from Pace. Costly but excellent with multiple 1000Y ranges. Plenty of local clubs around too it seems. The beach is also an hour away so it's pretty much even-steven.

Based on the weather data I am looking at:

Pensacola vs. Phila

I am explaining there are some months where she won't WANT to go to the beach.
Link Posted: 4/1/2017 2:22:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/1/2017 2:27:30 PM EDT by bassackwards]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fargo007:
drake - pm sent.

Murooka, thanks.

No specific employment. I telecommute from home and will be semi-retired. My wife will be retired with a pension.

She might get a part time job (at my insistence to get her off my back), but not necessary.

I'm a long range shooter, and I find Core Shooting solutions up North about an hour away from Pace. Costly but excellent with multiple 1000Y ranges. Plenty of local clubs around too it seems. The beach is also an hour away so it's pretty much even-steven.

Based on the weather data I am looking at:

Pensacola vs. Phila

I am explaining there are some months where she won't WANT to go to the beach.
View Quote
There are only days in the winter months when it is chilly.  Every winter month will have 70+ degree strings of days along with a 50-60 day mixed in occasionally.  Our Scout troop camped on Perdido Key in January and it was a delightful 75+ degree weekend and dropped to the high 50s at night. 
Link Posted: 4/1/2017 2:32:07 PM EDT
Bass - Thanks.

That doesn't suck.
Link Posted: 4/1/2017 11:33:19 PM EDT
I'm in Pace. I really like it. Place is growing but it's still nice. I'm close to Pensacola, but hardly go as just about everything I need is here In Pace. Traffic on 90 sucks, but I don't find it no where near as bad as traffic on 98 in Navarre or Gulf breeze.
Housing is good in Pace. Plenty of new homes being built
Link Posted: 4/2/2017 6:28:15 AM EDT
I'm a Pace resident as well. Pretty pretty much hits all your marks.

Escambia River Gun Club is close by. Just past the Santa Rosa County Shooting Center.

Beaches are about 40 minutes away at the most (barring traffic).

My wife and I love it up here.
Link Posted: 4/2/2017 9:28:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/2/2017 9:46:01 AM EDT by fargo007]
Damn guys, that's really great to hear!

Thanks for throwing in on this for me.

I don't think the traffic will bother me coming from NE Phila. Besides, I will get to pick when I go anywhere for the most part.

ETA - I know FL has a very strong 2A position at the moment, but is it a very secure stance in terms of the future as well? I'd be bringing four pro 2A votes FYI.

/Fargo007
Link Posted: 4/2/2017 10:35:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/2/2017 10:39:01 AM EDT by davewvu86]
Crestview sucks, it's got a meth problem and there's a fair amount of commuter traffic to get between it and the beach and shopping on a daily basis.

Niceville is great, at least most of it is. There's a bit of a meth problem too in the middle/western part of town. The eastern part around Bluewater Bay and Rocky Bayou are very nice. Traffic isn't bad unless you're trying to cross the Mid Bay Bridge to Destin on a summer weekend. Even then, if you're on the road early you'll be fine.

I don't know much about Milton or Pace. Maybe take a look at Navarre too?
Link Posted: 4/2/2017 1:46:46 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By davewvu86:

Crestview sucks, it's got a meth problem and there's a fair amount of commuter traffic to get between it and the beach and shopping on a daily basis.

Niceville is great, at least most of it is. There's a bit of a meth problem too in the middle/western part of town. The eastern part around Bluewater Bay and Rocky Bayou are very nice. Traffic isn't bad unless you're trying to cross the Mid Bay Bridge to Destin on a summer weekend. Even then, if you're on the road early you'll be fine.

I don't know much about Milton or Pace. Maybe take a look at Navarre too?
View Quote
85 is a terrible road. I hate driving it going south in the mornings.

I used to live in Navarre. Was great when I moved there many years ago. It is now nothing but neighborhoods and dollar stores. Traffic on 98 is terrible every day with all of the Hurlburt traffic. If I moved back to that area, I'd go a little further west to the Midway area.
Link Posted: 4/2/2017 11:26:43 PM EDT
Don't underestimate the beach traffic.  98 bottlenecks down to 1 lane each way through Destin.  I asked a local Realtor about the traffic problem and he said "Stay away during 4th of July week".

An hr to go a mile is not unheard of. Sometimes walking is faster 
Link Posted: 4/3/2017 7:20:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2017 7:23:42 AM EDT by MikeJGA]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bassackwards:
Don't underestimate the beach traffic.  98 bottlenecks down to 1 lane each way through Destin.  I asked a local Realtor about the traffic problem and he said "Stay away during 4th of July week".

An hr to go a mile is not unheard of. Sometimes walking is faster 
View Quote
Don't trust anyone that won't post their state of residence. 98 does NOT bottleneck to 1 lane in Destin! Destin is on the island and has multiple lanes. Ft. Walton Beach (on the mainland) on the other hand bottlenecks. 98 sucks year round, but moreso in the winter with the snowbirds. But, at its worst, it is better than Atlanta (for example).

I live in Mary Esther right off 98. Since I have base access, it is great. I would not recommend it to someone with no Military background or base access.
Link Posted: 4/3/2017 9:07:10 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MikeJGA:

Don't trust anyone that won't post their state of residence. 98 does NOT bottleneck to 1 lane in Destin! Destin is on the island and has multiple lanes. Ft. Walton Beach (on the mainland) on the other hand bottlenecks. 98 sucks year round, but moreso in the winter with the snowbirds. But, at its worst, it is better than Atlanta (for example).

I live in Mary Esther right off 98. Since I have base access, it is great. I would not recommend it to someone with no Military background or base access.
View Quote
OK so 98 finally has 2 lanes going each direction until they stop moving.

Destin is on the mainland and the far easterly portion of Ft. Walton Beach is on Santa Rosa Island. 
Link Posted: 4/6/2017 10:46:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MikeJGA:

Don't trust anyone that won't post their state of residence. 98 does NOT bottleneck to 1 lane in Destin! Destin is on the island and has multiple lanes. Ft. Walton Beach (on the mainland) on the other hand bottlenecks. 98 sucks year round, but moreso in the winter with the snowbirds. But, at its worst, it is better than Atlanta (for example).

I live in Mary Esther right off 98. Since I have base access, it is great. I would not recommend it to someone with no Military background or base access.
View Quote
Meh, might as well be only 1 lane for as bad as the traffic gets. And hell, the Mid-Bay Bridge might as well be a 1 car ferry for as long as it takes to get across the bridge once all the tourists show up. There are days I can probably launch and paddle my yak across the bay faster than I can get across the bridge.
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 7:45:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2017 7:46:21 PM EDT by AcidGambit]
Only 1,000yd range you'll get in Pensacola is Pensacola Rifle and Pistol Club... There is a waiting list and it's a Fudd range, a nice range, but a Fudd range nevertheless. I'm probably going to start driving the 1.5hrs to Core.

BTW: Homeowners insurance is going to be a sticker shock for you.
Link Posted: 4/13/2017 10:55:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/13/2017 10:58:13 AM EDT by rfm05]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bassackwards:
OK so 98 finally has 2 lanes going each direction until they stop moving.

Destin is on the mainland and the far easterly portion of Ft. Walton Beach is on Santa Rosa Island. 
View Quote
Unfortunately the city of Destin has no real desire to solve traffic whatsoever. I would try to move somewhere away from hwy 98. 
Link Posted: 4/14/2017 9:06:11 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AcidGambit:
Only 1,000yd range you'll get in Pensacola is Pensacola Rifle and Pistol Club... There is a waiting list and it's a Fudd range, a nice range, but a Fudd range nevertheless. I'm probably going to start driving the 1.5hrs to Core.

BTW: Homeowners insurance is going to be a sticker shock for you.
View Quote
Thanks for the heads up on HO insurance. Looks like that club only has 300Y. Unless they haven't updated their website.

Yeah, I need a close by club for load devel, zeroing, and short gun stuff but as a long range DMR & sniper comp shooter, core looks like disneyland to me.
Link Posted: 4/14/2017 10:40:34 PM EDT
Pensacola Rifle and Pistol is 300yd. max.

Best bang for your range buck is Escambia River Gun Club. About 140yd max.

Not fancy, but good, safe place to shoot.

http://escambiarivergunclub.org/index.php
Link Posted: 4/24/2017 3:23:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/24/2017 3:25:14 PM EDT by redfish86]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bassackwards:
OK so 98 finally has 2 lanes going each direction until they stop moving.

Destin is on the mainland and the far easterly portion of Ft. Walton Beach is on Santa Rosa Island. 
View Quote
It's had 2 lanes forever. Traffic gets bad if it rains and everyone leaves the beach but I t doesn't take an hour to go a mile unless there has been an awful accident and the whole road is closed.

Honestly, you're talking out of your ass.
Link Posted: 4/25/2017 6:56:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/25/2017 7:05:16 PM EDT by bassackwards]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By redfish86:


It's had 2 lanes forever. Traffic gets bad if it rains and everyone leaves the beach but I t doesn't take an hour to go a mile unless there has been an awful accident and the whole road is closed.

Honestly, you're talking out of your ass.
View Quote
LOL.   

From NWF Daily News: Now that the world knows the Emerald Coast is paradise and all that, our coastal highways and byways can feel a smidge crowded.So what’s a local — or anyone who hates stop-and-roll traffic — to do?With the help of our faithful readers and Daily News Facebook friends, we brainstormed a list of our best traffic hacks!So read on. These tips are sure to preserve your sanity through all the congestion to come:
Plan ahead. And leave early. Especially if you’re taking U.S. Highway 98 from Fort Walton Beach to Destin mid-morning on a Saturday. Trust us.
Avoid Destin. This is drastic, but lots of folks do take a break from May to October.
Check the time. Avoid driving on U.S. Highway 98 in the heart of Destin between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Try a back road. To bypass the worst of U.S. Highway 98 when heading west, hop on Commons Drive and take it to Airport Road, continue onto Legion Drive, swing a left on Beach Drive and a right onto Mountain Drive and coast all the way to Stahlman Avenue, which spits you out just shy of the Destin bridge.
Slow your roll. If you’re heading west to Navarre Beach, that is. The closer you get to the Navarre Beach bridge, particularly just before noon, the more congested U.S. Highway 98 is likely to be.
Manners, y’all! Remember, this is the South. Be patient, courteous, use those turn signals and stay off your phone.
Link Posted: 4/25/2017 11:47:18 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bassackwards:
LOL.   

From NWF Daily News: Now that the world knows the Emerald Coast is paradise and all that, our coastal highways and byways can feel a smidge crowded.So what’s a local — or anyone who hates stop-and-roll traffic — to do?With the help of our faithful readers and Daily News Facebook friends, we brainstormed a list of our best traffic hacks!So read on. These tips are sure to preserve your sanity through all the congestion to come:
Plan ahead. And leave early. Especially if you’re taking U.S. Highway 98 from Fort Walton Beach to Destin mid-morning on a Saturday. Trust us.
Avoid Destin. This is drastic, but lots of folks do take a break from May to October.
Check the time. Avoid driving on U.S. Highway 98 in the heart of Destin between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Try a back road. To bypass the worst of U.S. Highway 98 when heading west, hop on Commons Drive and take it to Airport Road, continue onto Legion Drive, swing a left on Beach Drive and a right onto Mountain Drive and coast all the way to Stahlman Avenue, which spits you out just shy of the Destin bridge.
Slow your roll. If you’re heading west to Navarre Beach, that is. The closer you get to the Navarre Beach bridge, particularly just before noon, the more congested U.S. Highway 98 is likely to be.
Manners, y’all! Remember, this is the South. Be patient, courteous, use those turn signals and stay off your phone.
View Quote
You do realize I live here and drive these roads every day right? Like I said, quit talking out of your ass. But hell, I'm sure you know more than I do, I mean you live next to Kenny chesney after all.
Link Posted: 4/26/2017 8:15:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/26/2017 8:19:44 AM EDT by MikeJGA]
Bassackwards, you need to quit when you are behind. You started off with
Don't underestimate the beach traffic.  98 bottlenecks down to 1 lane each way through Destin
View Quote
Which is flat out wrong. 98 is 2 lanes in each direction from Pensacola till you near BassPro/Mid-Bay Bridge, then it becomes 3 lanes for many miles then back to 2 in each direction near Fuller Lake.
I drove from Mary Esther to Pensacola Saturday and from Mary Esther to Niceville via Mid-Bay Bridge Monday. When was the last time you have driven on 98?
Link Posted: 4/27/2017 8:09:08 AM EDT
Hwy 98 is a minimum of 2 lanes each direction from Blue Angel Pkwy (west Pensacola) all the way east through Panama City. The only time it's one lane each way is during construction.

That's not to say that traffic doesn't suck at times. But I've been driving that stretch daily for the last 19 years so it's manageable. But I wouldn't live on that corridor anymore. I enjoy the Pace area and don't mind the short drive to get to Pensacola or the beaches.
Link Posted: 4/28/2017 9:42:56 AM EDT
I was there 3 weeks ago giving Destin one last look before I wrote and offer on a place further East.  98 was crawling from Sandestin to Gulf Shore Drive.  I didn't go any further west than that. Getting out was a little better.  I don't want to spend my beach weekends frustrated by the traffic.

To each his own I guess 
Link Posted: 4/28/2017 9:49:54 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bassackwards:
I was there 3 weeks ago giving Destin one last look before I wrote and offer on a place further East.  98 was crawling from Sandestin to Gulf Shore Drive.  I didn't go any further west than that. Getting out was a little better.  I don't want to spend my beach weekends frustrated by the traffic.

To each his own I guess 
View Quote


Good luck with PCB. There's NEVER any traffic there. (or shootings, but I digress)
Link Posted: 4/28/2017 12:25:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2017 12:28:29 PM EDT by bassackwards]
I'd be a liar if I said the shootings in PCB weren't concerning.  It is most definitely a consideration at the top of our list.... right there with traffic.

Perdido Key looks better all the time.

Seems like everywhere is being ruined by "teens"
Link Posted: 4/29/2017 2:53:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2017 3:04:54 AM EDT by AcidGambit]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fargo007:


Thanks for the heads up on HO insurance. Looks like that club only has 300Y. Unless they haven't updated their website.

Yeah, I need a close by club for load devel, zeroing, and short gun stuff but as a long range DMR & sniper comp shooter, core looks like disneyland to me.
View Quote
They have a 1,000yd range, I'm a member there, I've shot on it. I think it was a complete waste of Club money personally, I've only ever seen two other people using it, they could have built 6-8 shooting bays. Its a nice range, the nicest and least crowded in the area, but it is run but the Bulls-Eye/High Power/Fudd crowd. No 50cal, no Full Auto (that was ruined by some idiot), not drawing from a holster, you cannot even carry unless you have a CCW, stupid shit like that. A bunch of us wanted to get a group together are shoot defense oriented scenarios every other week (long time members mind you, wouldn't have cost the club a dime), on of the board members said "Never going to happen." I used to live ten minutes away and you can shoot up until 9pm (unless that has changed) and it was nothing to throw a couple of boxes of ammo in the truck and get a quick shoot in once or twice a week. I've moved further away and go less.

I've been to Core, they are great people, I just don't know if I would drive over an hour or how often. I would either go much more (because the place is badass) or go rarely. I've sold off a bunch of guns and have been eyeing an AI, so that makes the place even more attractive. I could always pistol shoot indoors when I felt like it.

Look at Universal Property and Causality for insurance, their prices are reasonable and they are not some fly by night place. Everyone at the insurance office uses them and some of my friends as well.

Property Taxes are fairly high in Escambia County for Florida, it is also on the lower Economic scale vs other Counties in FL (often kicked around that it is the poorest County of it's size in FL)... The local Gov't are a bunch of idiots, but the Beach is nice (traffic sucks on the weekends) and there isn't a whole lot to do here, people are somewhat cliquish. It's an old school Southern town that is changing. Winter can get pretty cold for FL, and it's a humid cold.

I cannot stand Texas.
Link Posted: 5/3/2017 4:18:27 PM EDT
Thanks AcidGambit, lots of good advice there.


I'm a board member of a club that has the same thinking. I'm the youngest by far at nearly 50 years old and it's very difficult to deal with at times.

Gun clubs I think are the same all over.
Link Posted: 5/6/2017 12:27:05 AM EDT
I lived in Florida for over a decade in the 80's and 90's, including Pensacola. Pensacola is one of my favorite places. My daughter still lives there. Here are some things a few of my northern friends didn't quite grasp before they moved to the Florida panhandle:

Heat and humidity - Unlike up north, where it cools off at night, the heat and humidity stay day and night from June til October. You most likely won't want to go to an outdoor range in the summer til you get acclimated.

Bugs - With the heat and humidity come all the bugs. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, biting gnats (in April), deer fly (sometimes called yellow flies - they bite hard), chiggers (worse itch ever, much worse than mosquitoes), flying cockroaches, love bugs, fire ants, etc. Stock up on insect repellant (don't work on deer fly, though), and use WD-40 to clean love bug juice off front grille of your car.

Hurricanes - Not just wind and floods but the discomfort afterwards. I've been through 5 of them in my life time. Power and water usually go out for a few days or a week or more. So fill up every tub in the house and buy as much bottled water as possible til the shelves run out. Also fill up all your cars and gas containers. Gas stations can't pump gas without power, assuming they have any left. Stock up on batteries, flashlights and candles, too. Cell phone towers and landlines will likely go down, too.

Beaches are awesome, some of the best in the world. But watch out for jellyfish (usually invade once a year), small stingrays (shuffle your feet in the sand, don't step), and bull sharks (one bit a kid's arm clean off at Pensacola Beach). Someone mentioned Perdido Key - awesome place and would love to live there if I could. The Pensacola NAS Air and Space Museum is amazing. Both fresh and saltwater fishing are great, too. What some folks call "soul food" is just good ole down home southern cooking and there's lots of it in the Panhandle area.

Good luck and enjoy y'all's retirement!
Link Posted: 5/6/2017 11:19:05 AM EDT
I'm also looking at moving to the Pensacola area later this year or next year. I can transfer with my company and the gf will try and get on at navy federal. My question is what parts of Pensacola are safe and what parts of town should you avoid?
Link Posted: 5/6/2017 8:39:14 PM EDT
I always thought Gulf Breeze and Perdido Key were real nice.
Link Posted: 5/6/2017 10:00:53 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Blaze556:
I'm also looking at moving to the Pensacola area later this year or next year. I can transfer with my company and the gf will try and get on at navy federal. My question is what parts of Pensacola are safe and what parts of town should you avoid?
View Quote
North Hill and East Hill in Pensacola are good. The area near the Navy Fed credit union is good, Beulah area.

Avoid Brownsville, parts of Warrington. If moving to Pensacola, I'd go to the Beulah area near the Navy Fed campus. If you wanted to live outside Pensacola, I'd look at Pace.
Top Top