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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for some local advice. Planning on retiring to the Panhandle next spring. Looking at these two areas mainly for the school ratings. I have a 4 and 7 year old. Schools and a safe neighborhood are my main concerns. So far leaning towards Navarre mainly because its closer to the gulf. I have been kayaking in the ocean exactly twice. Both in Roaton. Been canoeing for eons. Cant wait to actually catch fish in the ocean and never see 10 inches of snow again! Pros and cons or suggestions to other areas welcome. Thank you for your time.
 

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Tough call. If you want to be close to the Gulf....Navarre, hands down. I believe Pace has better schools, but do the research. I live in Pace and very close to several boat ramps and great (but different) fishing. We are also close to UWF, hospitals, airport, and a nice easy ride to downtown P'cola. Pretty hard to lose either way!
 

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You say Navarre is close to the gulf. Well not by boat if that's your way to the gulf.

I lived in Navarre for five years. And well you could not get me to move back there. Too many people and traffic is horrible. Retired may be different. But when I got home from work, I refused to get back out because hwy 98 is just nasty!!!

Only one way to go down there and I hated that part.

Look into Okaloosa county if you haven't. Great schools and where I live now. I live in the country up North but work at Eglin. Close to fishing and the gulf.

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I live in Navarre and kayak fish the gulf regularly. It is crowded but I like it. My son is grown but I thought the schools were pretty good when he was in them. Navarre is convenient for gulf kayak fishing but as others have pointed out - it's 20 miles or so either way to launch a boat to get in the gulf. There's a lot of good inshore fishing all around the area so really depends on what you are looking for. I work at home when I'm here and travel for the most part so I don't have to deal with the traffic generally. If the sole reason is to fish the gulf, I'd recommend you do a few (several) kayak trips in the gulf to see if it is something that is really that important to you and how often you see yourself doing it. You can always put the yak in the truck and drive 15 miles but a little harder to pick up and move your home. Good luck wherever you decide to land.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Had a moter boat in the past and I don't believe I ever want to deal with that again. I like the simplicity of canoe/kayak fishing. If I get the urge to go out with family I will get a charter.
 

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I live to the east so cant really speak to Navarre well, but Pace is very different from Navarre. I wouldn't say Pace is beachy or coastal, very different vibe. Navarre is beachy, but traffic all around there is bad 4 months a year.
I moved to Florida to raise kids and have been happy with the schools in Walton County, between Destin and Panama City. There is a development on the north side of the bay called Hammock Bay that is great for kids. Large new 1 story ranch homes, mowed front yards, miles of bicycle trails, a great pool, playgrounds... Its close enough to the beach that you can go a lot but out of the tourist zone. The other great kid neighborhood here is called Driftwood. Its on the south side of the bay, at the north end of Mack Bayou Road. Its full of young families.
 

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Suggest you join FB "Concerned Citizens of Navarre" and see if you fit in... Navarre ain't exactly what it used to be. I believe Navarre is beginning to lean towards incorporation and everything that goes with it. The Holley Navarre Water System is another topic you might want to research before you jump right in. Lastly, forget getting right in and out of your favorite restaurants during tourist season, it's not going to happen. Still a pretty nice place otherwise...
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thanks all! I greatly appreciate the input. I think Pace may be it. I got most of my big projects either underway or planned out. Got my entire sheep flock and guard donky tentatively sold. Thats prolly a rare relocation problem! Rebuilding a pool deck, adding a front deck. A whole lot of general farm clean up. Does Pace have any codes about large dogs? Above ground pools, or water catchment? I have two real deal livestock guardiansdogs that I am going to try rehabilitating into "normal" backyard dogs with anti bark collars. I know alot of people view this as cruel but I know that unless I have 10 acres there is no other way to keep them. They snap a gasket if they here a mouse fart! Never ate a possum, have ate nearly every other critter. Mud Tuttle, raccoons ect. Gave up biblical unclean critters years ago. I don't believe unclean critters are good for the body. Im not psycho about it . If I order a burger or salad with bacon I will take it off and chow down!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
lol better keep the Donkey, you can ride to the Piggly Wiggle with the neighbors...
lol she would not make it far, I would slow her down with my feet dragging. Maybe a cart if the road is real flat. Have not seen a piggly wiggle in years, I thought they went extinct with P&G's.
 

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If you want a school system that does a good job educating average and low performing students than Santa Rosa County is a good fit. If your children are needing more advanced or gifted services, then Okaloosa County to the east has more to offer. In addition, Okaloosa has middle school sports programs whereas Santa Rosa has local youth leagues until you get to high school age. I grew up in Okaloosa county, and lived in Santa Rosa until our kids got to be in 3rd and 5th grade. Then we moved back to Okaloosa for the sports and gifted programs that were a better fit for our kids.
 

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I was in the Santa Rosa County school system for 35 years. I have had a lot of friends attend both these schools and know plenty of teachers and administrators from both. You cannot go wrong with either school or either area.
 
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