St. Andrews, the historic village only 90 minutes south of Dothan, Alabama, has long been a destination spot for residents of Dothan, Birmingham and Atlanta. They discovered the allure of this beautiful spot long ago and early on traveled here by a train that had Panama City as its primary destination. One of St. Andrews most colorful residents, Bill (taught scuba diving and brought students to St. Andrews) and Elsa Tanton (banker), retired to their cottage on the St. Andrews Marina from Birmingham. Bill blows his conch daily at sunset.
Everyone is excited about the newly rebuilt Shrimp Boat. Many of us enjoyed riding in our boats across the bay to tie up in this marina to eat at the old Shrimp Boat. St. Andrews hit upon hard times and the Shrimp Boat was eventually torn down. Then Loren Smith promised his father Logue Smith that he would rebuild. (BTW Logue Smith's brother developed Lakewood Subdivision in Dothan and lived in Dothan, Alabama until he died just recently.) The area rejoiced with the news of the resurrection of the Shrimp Boat. Finally, November 1, 2008, the Shrimp Boat is scheduled to open. Located across the street from Hunts Oyster Bar and next door to Uncle Ernie's, the Shrimp Boat will join the Pantheon of the Panhandle's favorite independently owned restaurants. In the Shrimp boat there will be a Fish Market, Oyster Bar, Gift Shop and Snack Bar (or so we've heard). Smith hopes to start Sunday Brunch soon. There are no chains in St. Andrews.
One can also dock in front of Uncle Ernie's and enjoy a wonderful meal with daily specials. Shawn and Ben are excellent hosts and the food is always good. The Martini Bar on their upper deck is a great place to enjoy the sunset.
Uncle Ernie's and Harbour Village Condominiums have a magnificent view of St. Andrews Marina that boasts many charter boats and a boat launching site.
Through the arch and beyond the fountain pool area of Harbour Village lies a panoramic view of St. Andrews Bay from Buena Vista Point. This point was aptly named. Buena Vista Point has long been recognized as the most beautiful spot in the Panhandle. One can park their car upon arrival at Harbour Village and not have to crank it up again until they are ready to leave town. A grocery store is up Beck Avenue (great prices, especially for wines) along with a Mexican bakery (for a different taste). With the marina at hand and the best restaurants one could ask for within walking distance, why go elsewhere?
Asphalt does not dominate the view in any direction. Indeed, a professionally designed garden with fountain, paths and gazebo even lies above the garage at Harbour Village.
Locals introduced us to the Captain's Table. The owners of the Captain's Table used to take their own boats out and catch their own catch for the daily menu. It remains a favorite with locals. There is always a line waiting outside the Captain's Table and Hunts Oyster Bar on Beck avenue in downtown St. Andrews.
The Two Sisters is a great little gift shop, with wonderful wines. The St. Andrews Coffee Shop offers fantastic desserts on Thursday and Friday evenings, Tea and scones are available in the afternoon if you call ahead the day before, and Breakfast and Lunch is served daily until 2 p.m. Don't forget to visit Pappy's and try their Rouladen. The Granite Cafe has live music and a Martini bar with gourmet food offerings as well. And, Coastal Bank has remodeled the old bank of St. Andrews and is once again a working downtown bank. Across from the Marina you'll find a wonderful shop named Fiddlestix owned by Judy Davis whose husband is a former Dothan, Alabama resident.
Across the street from the newly renovated Printing Company
building which serves also as the Visitors Center, you can rent a canoe at the
Canoe shop. Stop in and say hello to Nancy Wengel the director of St.
Andrews Downtown Group. She may be out planting flowers or pulling
weeds. No one has worked harder to bring St. Andrews back than she has.
Tell her Sharman says "hi".
St. Andrews in Panama City, Florida is the REAL "old Florida." Other new developments attempt to sell their developments as designed like "old Florida" but they are merely trying to recreate what already exists in Downtown Panama City. Anchored by the area's most elegant condominium on the most beautiful point in the area with its own professionally designed garden atop a garage, Harbour Village is the jewel of the area. Here at the corner of Beck Avenue and 10th Street, one of the areas best restaurants, The Granite Cafe is pictured with Harbour village and Oaks by the Sea Park in the distance.
This view is directed down 10th street to the bay with the Granite Cafe to your right and Harbour Village to your left.
Ever wonder where "Little Dothan" (as the area was once referred to) in St. Andrews was? This is 17th Street, located West of downtown St. Andrews on the Bay close to Schlotzkys. Dothan attorney Ed Price, dentist John Flowers, and TV personality (and DHS former cheerleader) Kathy Parish Swigler ( her husband has found wonderful collection of artifacts he's found at low tide in Little Dothan. Lots of pipe stems so there's a possibility they were making pipes on the mound), all of Dothan now have homes in this area.
At the foot of Mound Avenue, early Dothan resident E. Gellerstedt (father of Sam, Scott, Shea and Steve) owned a home he later sold to Judge Larry Smith and his wife Lyn. A wee bit east Dr. Paul Flowers brought his brood of seven children to enjoy the water of the Bay in a big old Florida home on Front Beach road. It wasn't impressive like the homes of so many who now vacation in Bay County, but looked like a great place for children to romp. Sadly, it has recently been torn down. Buck (and Sam) and Drury (and Peggy) Flowers also once owned homes in this area. John Keyton reminds me that Frank and Sara Carroll Newton, the Johnstons, Dr. John Keytons, Porter, Az and Janet Flowers, McKinneys, Couches, John Solomons, Dr. Earl Moodys, and Espys all had homes in St. Andrews.
Porter Thrower, formerly of Dothan, now lives in St. Andrews and owns the Eastern Star building in Downtown St. Andrews with plans to turn it into an art gallery. His own art is on display at Uncle Ernie's. Around the corner from the Easter Star building is the historic church in St. Andrews that still holds services.
This Park playground at the Civic Center offers a delightful play area for children with a magnificent view of the Bay across from Oaks by the Bay Park...and shady places for parents/grandparents to sit while children play.
Beach Drive connects St. Andrews to downtown Panama City...a healthy walk, a nice bike ride, a short trip by car. It is one of the most beautiful drives in America with ancient oaks and stately homes. It is well worth the trip.
I find more and more that Panama City and Panama City Beach can legitimately be recognized as LA (Lower Alabama). Panama City is peopled with some of the finest, friendliest folks in the world. There is no better place to ride your bike, walk your dog, go for a drink, and go out for dinner or just coffee and dessert than the REAL OLD FLORIDA...ST. ANDREWS. It has everything.
It will take you several visits to taste the best of the Panhandle.
BTW: The lovely model on this page is Miss Lily Clare Butterworth who happens to be our granddaughter.
Southern-Style Stamp of Approval Shops Online in St. Andrew
|Ken Sizemore||(The Old Folkie) who entertains frequently at the Market held on the Marina on Saturdays from 9 til 12.|
|Patsy Forrest||Embroidery Works|