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Gulf Coast Go Connects SoWal and Destin

March 18, 2018 by Manny Chavez

Curtis Spagnola wants to go where no double decker bus or trolley has gone before…by offering transportation to folks from Okaloosa Island to Rosemary Beach. 

His company, Gulfcoastgo, will feature 10 double decker buses traveling from Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach to 30Avenue in Inlet Beach, and 12 trolleys operating along the Scenic 30A corridor. With a Spring Break start date, Curtis has ramped up for his latest business venture.

Having operated a watersports business in Destin, he saw firsthand the parking and traffic issues confronting tourists and locals, especially during the Summer and Spring Break seasons.

“We want to make our mode of transportation a real attraction.  What funner way to do that than by offering cool double-decker buses and trolleys,” explains Curtis. “The double-decker buses are open-top and should be a real crowd-pleaser."

Each bus and trolley will feature a captain (driver) and a tour guide who will entertain riders along their route. Here’s what is different - there’s always someone on board to give you advice, to tell you about all things local, not just a stuffy bus or trolley driver. Local vendors will be on board to offer their attractions  - fishing trips, scuba activities, paddle boarding, fishing charters, restaurants, etc. Each trolley and double-decker bus will have small continuous-loop video monitors featuring local attractions.

With such a wide transportation span, riders boarding a bus on Okaloosa Island will be able to find out all about what is happening in SoWal. Surprisingly (to locals at least), some vacationers to the Okaloosa Island/Destin area have not even HEARD of Seaside or Rosemary Beach! These tour guides along the route will be educating travelers to opportunities they may not know about.

A third double decker express bus route will transport folks from 30Avenue to Grand Boulevard. Riders boarding buses on the Okaloosa Island side will be able to stop at places like McGuire’s, the Gulfarium, the Boardwalk, Aj’s Destin, Sandestin, the Ramada, Destin Commons, etc. Scenic 98 is also included on this route.

“Working with local vendors, we will be able to book local activities for riders such as dolphin tours, paddle boarding, fishing charters, parasailing, watercraft rentals, water parks and more,” explains Curtis.

He has been working pretty much “24-7” to get his travel company running. One, three, or seven-day passes to ride the trolley/buses will be available primarily through the GPS Citifinder travel App. The App will allow for riders to purchase passes and locate the buses or trolleys, know the walking distance to the nearest trolley stop, and the estimated travel time. The App will also point out the local points of interest like restaurants, bars, entertainment, hotels and shopping.

There will be multiple stops along Hwy 98 and Scenic 30A with Grand Boulevard being the turnaround. Along Scenic 30A, there should be a trolley stopping at each stop every 30 minutes with stops at all the SoWal beach communities. Riders will be able to hop on or off any time either at a designated stop or by using the old-timey stop pull cord positioned horizontally along the trolley windows. During peak time, operating hours will be from 6 a.m.-11 p.m. during the week and 6 a.m.-1 a.m. on weekends. All buses and trolleys are wheelchair-accessible and dog-friendly.

The trolleys are already being used for Craft Beer and Wine Tours with wedding venues now booking to transport attendees all along Scenic 30A. For more transportation information, call 850-420-8119 or visit www.gulfcoastgofl.com.

Adult tickets 13 years old or older:
1 day     $34.95
3 day     $64.95
7 day     $105.95

Kids tickets (3-12 years old, must have adult):
1 day     $12.95
3 day     $24.95
7 day     $49.95

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Manny Chavez's picture

Manny has been a working photojournalist his entire career and is now writing stories/taking pix for SoWal.com. He and his wife Kris live in Seagrove and have “seen a lot come and go.” Lots of stories have been told, with lots more to come!

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