Last week marked the rollout of the 2014 Gulf County Tourist Development Council’s visitor’s guide, a must-have for anyone stepping foot in the county for the first time.
Those who pick up their copy from the Welcome Center or a variety of locations around the county are sure to notice one thing right away: it’s bigger.
The book, emblazoned with a palm tree at sunset on the cover, has increased in size from 60 to 80 pages.
“We added more interest-based destinations in this version,” said TDC executive director Jennifer Jenkins. “It’s all about what you can do while you’re here.”
A section dedicated to water-related activities kicks off the guide and covers aquatic adventures such as fishing, kayaking and scalloping.
For the first time, an entire spread is dedicated to St. Joe Bay and related activities.
To encourage exploring within the county, another section spotlights the beach and favorite local activities such as shelling and hunting, two big draws for visitors.
“We’re encouraging visitors to get out and about while they’re here,” said Jenkins.
A local showcase section shares information on area shopping, restaurants, music and nightlife and includes the best local recipes on how to cook up what visitors may catch on their fishing or hunting excursions.
The destinations section rounds out the guide with the wonders of Gulf County to give visitors an overview of parks, forests and other must see locales.
Much of the photography in the guide was contributed and provides a real look at the county through the eyes of locals and visitors.
“The goal of this guide is to let visitors know that there is a lot to do in in this wonderful destination,” said Jenkins.
More than 75,000 copies of the guide rolled off the press last week and can be found in 30 stands in the area including regional Welcome Centers and airports in Tallahassee, Panama City and Fort Walton Beach.
The guide is also the basis for the new TDC website which is expected to go live next month.
“The guide was produced entirely in-house,” said Jenkins. “We did all of the writing and editing and managed all of the photo shoots.
“It took us four months of hard work and we are extremely proud of it.”