Written by gwynethmarta on 17 Nov, 2008
Sitting majestically along the coast of the Florida Panhandle, Destin is without doubt one of the most gorgeous stretches of beaches in the world. A relative newcomer among the popular vacation destinations of the Emerald Coast, this city is fast becoming one of the best…Read More
Sitting majestically along the coast of the Florida Panhandle, Destin is without doubt one of the most gorgeous stretches of beaches in the world. A relative newcomer among the popular vacation destinations of the Emerald Coast, this city is fast becoming one of the best places to go for sun, sand, and relaxation along the Gulf of Mexico. In Destin you will find not only the multitude of golf courses and the beautiful beaches but also the abundance of water activities that will keep you coming back year after year. As a part of the Emerald Coast, Destin is blessed with the same attributes as the other cities that line the southwestern corner of the Florida Panhandle. The beaches have sugar white sand, whose color is caused by the Appalachian quartz that arrives at the coast from the mountains, that is perfect for a stroll along the water or for simply throwing down a towel and catching some sun. The most distinct feature, however, is the sparkling emerald-green water, which creates the area’s namesake hue from the sugar white sand that lies beneath the crystal blue water. Whether you want to build a sandcastle, play in the water, or work on your suntan, the beaches of Destin can accommodate your needs and look amazing doing it.I think that one of the best places in Destin to swim and simply enjoy an all-around exciting day is Henderson Beach State Park. Located off the Emerald Coast Parkway, this park is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and lays claim to over 6,000 feet of shoreline. While swimming is the most popular activity on the beautiful beach, you can also enjoy a nice picnic lunch in the afternoon or cast out a line on one of the docks. If you want to break up your day and experience more than the water, there are nature trails for hiking and wildlife viewing is not an uncommon activity as dolphins regularly emerge from the waters this area. Destin features some of the most breathtaking waters in the world and not to take advantage of the numerous water adventures and sports is just a crime. Snorkeling is a popular inshore option since the exceptional water quality makes it easy to catch sight of vibrant yellow angelfish, manta rays, and loggerhead sea turtles. If you want to venture offshore, rent a wave runner for some action-packed excitement on the water and to view the impeccable shoreline of Destin. For those looking for a more calm experience, rent a kayak and create your own adventure by paddling into the open waters and exploring different nooks and crannies.The Destin area is home to some of the finest year round courses in the country, meaning the hardest part any golf enthusiast’s vacation will be deciding which courses to play. While enjoying the beach and the emerald-green water of the Gulf of Mexico, it’s great to stay at a private Destin vacation rental. I rent one with my friends and it had a private pool, Jacuzzi and a game room which was excellent for the evenings. It was also great for an easy access to the beach and everything this amazing city has to offer. Close
Written by Kataries on 23 Jul, 2008
When planning our trip to Destin one of the main things we wanted to do was to take a deep sea fishing charter. The trip included my husband, me and our 12 year old son Brandon. We chose the Seawinder with Captain Stan and the…Read More
When planning our trip to Destin one of the main things we wanted to do was to take a deep sea fishing charter. The trip included my husband, me and our 12 year old son Brandon. We chose the Seawinder with Captain Stan and the deck hands name was Hugh. We started our trip out at 6:00 am. On the way out to sea we stopped to fish for our bait. After it was determined we had enough bait to last through our 8 hour trip, we then headed out to sea. Not even 30 minutes into the trip we saw an absolutely huge manna ray. REALLY COOL! Then we started trolling on our way out to deeper waters. We started catching fish right away. We caught a couple king mackerel, and a couple spanish mackerel. We also caught some kind of tuna which they said was not good for eating, but they were sure fun to catch. The deckhand Hugh worked tireously to help my 12 year old son, and us, get these fish into the boat. Then he would really quickly rebait the hooks, cast them out, while the whold time noticing we had fish on our lines before we even knew. He knew exactly what we caught every time, most of the time before we ever even got them up to the boat, I don't know how he did it. All I can say is that he is very good at his job and had a very great attitude. Our captain found fish quickly and then we started bottom fishing for snapper. We quickly caught our limit of 2 red snapper per person. We also caught black snapper. My son had a really nice size red snapper that he was reeling in, with much help from Hugh, when out of nowhere a very large baracuda swam up and bit off half of the red snapper in one bite. Now THAT was really neat and my son has told the story about a hundred times since then. The baracuda actually hung around and kept taking our fish for a little while but try as we might we could not catch him. Too bad.This was our first deep sea fishing trip, for all of us. We really lucked out picking this boat and crew. Captain Stan found the fish quickly and kept us very busy. And Hugh did a wonderful job. I do not know where he got all his energy from as it was quite a lot of work for him to help my son and I getting those fish reeled in. I highly recommend that if going deep sea fishing in Destin that you search no farther than the Seawinder, Captain Stan and Hugh. You will not be disapointed. Close
Written by Ratlie on 17 Feb, 2006
Destin has quickly become one of my favorite vacation spots. I have been twice now, once on my honeymoon and once on a family trip. Each time we go is just as enjoyable as the first. From all of the activities and dining places, not to…Read More
Destin has quickly become one of my favorite vacation spots. I have been twice now, once on my honeymoon and once on a family trip. Each time we go is just as enjoyable as the first. From all of the activities and dining places, not to mention shopping, you are guaranteed to have an excellent time with or without kids. Make sure you grab one of the entertainment/guide free books in the lobby of your hotel, as they will have several coupons and discounts to area attractions and dining.One thing to definitely explore is the Southern Star dolphin cruises. You are guaranteed to see dolphins, and these cruises are very laid-back and a good time. They are also inexpensive! I do recommend making reservations ahead of time, as the cruises can fill up quickly. We also took a jet ski tour that was an early morning excursion. We left at 8am and it was a 2-hour tour. Several companies offer different tours, so check around for the best price. We did one of these tours and saw so many dolphins some close enough to touch, although you cannot bother them. This was a great time for us, and if you really want to ride a jet ski, this is the way to go. You have a guide, so you are not limited on where you can go. The vendors set up right on the ocean tend to be a bit expensive, and your boundaries are so close, it's not worth the money. If you have kids with you, you may want to spend a day at Big Kahuna's water park. Although we've done this twice, it is a fun time but is a little pricey, so make sure you have a full day to spend, as lines can be long in peak season.If it is food you are seeking, Destin has some great choices for food. My personal favorite is Fudpucker's. I would suggest going in either late afternoon or around lunch time, as the wait can get very long. While you wait, you can look down at the alligator pit ,where they have roaming alligators just hanging out for people to view. You can also purchase food and feed them, which always stirs up excitement. At certain times they have a baby alligator for the kiddos or adults. You can take a picture while holding this alligator (moms, don't worry , the mouth is taped shut and it's very gentle). This is a great memento to have.Joe's Crab Shack also has a family-friendly atmosphere that kids and parents alike will be sure to enjoy. While you take in the great food and awesome decor, don't be shocked when the wait staff breaks out in song and dance right there around all the tables. I high recommend this place.If you are looking for something a little more low-key, you can try AJ's. The wait here is long as well, but it has a stunning view of the harbor and can be quite romantic, but it good for families, too. They have great food and are a little pricier than some of the places, but it is well worth it. And you can't leave out the shopping. Destin has a wonderful outlet mall with some great name-brand shops where you can find excellent deals throughout the year. This is perfect for that rainy hour of the afternoon that always seems to pop up... Close
Written by Travlgrrl on 16 Aug, 2004
The beaches of South Walton, including Destin and Navarre, are absolutely breathtaking. With so many beaches--what's a person to do? Take your time and visit them all! Maybe not in one trip--you don't want to rush the experience, but over time--try and visit them all.…Read More
The beaches of South Walton, including Destin and Navarre, are absolutely breathtaking. With so many beaches--what's a person to do? Take your time and visit them all! Maybe not in one trip--you don't want to rush the experience, but over time--try and visit them all. Each is more beautiful than the last! You all know how I feel about Destin (perfection), but I also can't say enough about Navarre Beach and Seaside. I was lucky to spend time at both. What I remember about Navarre is that the sand was the whitest I had ever seen and the water the greenest I had ever seen. It was SO clear and the beach was SO large and wide. Even if there were large crowds you would be able to find your own special spot. When we were there in April 2004, it felt like the beach was all ours--it was SO quiet and secluded. I am sure that is NOT the case in the summer! It is a short drive (15-20 minutes) from Destin and well worth it.
Seaside is like a DREAM! Seaside is the town "The Truman Show" with Jim Carrey was filmed. It is a small, quaint seaside (pun intended) village with a small town square, a handful of shops and restaurants, beautiful beach houses and one spectacular, dreamlike beach! It is worth the drive on SCENIC 30-A! It makes a great day trip and if you are a beach lover like me, you can daydream about living in a place like this. The smell of coconut oil and BBQ grills filled the air. People get around on bikes and flip-flops seem to be a requirement! Check this town out (and the surrounding beach towns of Santa Rosa Beach, Seagrove, Grayton Beach and Rosemary Beach--among others)! You'll love it!
Written by katyb on 28 Mar, 2002
The attention to the preservation of the environment was impressive. The sand dunes are so protected that some are not allowed to be transversed. Water safety is a major concern and flags are flown at public beaches to alert swimmers to the conditions. Blue: optimal…Read More
The attention to the preservation of the environment was impressive. The sand dunes are so protected that some are not allowed to be transversed. Water safety is a major concern and flags are flown at public beaches to alert swimmers to the conditions. Blue: optimal for swimmer safety, yellow and red indicates undertow and/or riptides (yellow - be cautious, red - don't go in the water at all). We were "wonderstruck" by the sand on the beaches. It is of pure white, fine grains of glistening particles comprised of Appalachian Quartz. As legend has it once packaged and sold as sugar by the natives to unsuspecting visitors, this extraordinary sand appears to the eye as glistening snow and when you walk it even crunches like snow.
During our time at the Emerald Coast we had a unique surprise in store. "Red Tide", a trick of nature that happens under special conditions such as unseasonable warm weather and strong winds announcing an upcoming storm. Spores in the water bloom in the warmth and are spread into the air by the winds coming from the East causing the air to become thick with their effects as they permeate the strong breezes. This causes tourist and locals alike to feel a slight smothering with each breath and some coughing. Nothing to be concerned about, they say, and will cease to be a problem after the storm clears the atmosphere. The Gulf itself showed signs of the action that was taking place with red/orange spots in the normally crystal clear water as the unusual rough waves hit the shore. Not knowing about the "Red Tide" made it difficult for us to comprehend what was happening, but after it was thoroughly explained by "people-in the-know"; we came to view it as a most phenomenal and marvelous, natural event. One we would not have wanted to miss.
Destin is a water-sport lover's dream come true! You can rent a fishing boat, catamaran, pontoon boat, jet skis and more! You can parasail, scuba, go on a dolphin cruise, glass-bottom boat or AJ's Sea Blaster! No matter what your passion for water is --…Read More
Destin is a water-sport lover's dream come true! You can rent a fishing boat, catamaran, pontoon boat, jet skis and more! You can parasail, scuba, go on a dolphin cruise, glass-bottom boat or AJ's Sea Blaster! No matter what your passion for water is -- you'll find it on the EMERALD COAST! Be sure to pick up those local coupon/travel guides. You will find some great rental/tour discounts. Close
Written by ALVincent on 18 Jul, 2000
At the foot of the Destin bridge lies Harborwalk. The Harborwalk has a little bit of everything from shopping, dining, and boat rentals. You can buy a frozen drink at Fat Tuesday's and walk along the harbor and browse through the shops.…Read More
At the foot of the Destin bridge lies Harborwalk. The Harborwalk has a little bit of everything from shopping, dining, and boat rentals. You can buy a frozen drink at Fat Tuesday's and walk along the harbor and browse through the shops. At the end of Harborwalk is the boat charters. You can charter a boat for a snorkel tour or a dolphin cruise. Or, you can just hang out and observe the day's catch from the fishing boats. It was from watching these boats that I saw my first shark. Close
Written by ajl01 on 21 Mar, 2002
Destin Florida is located along the Emerald Coast Beach in the Panhandle area. This is a beautiful stretch of white sand beaches. There are many areas along the coast in which to rent a private home or a hotel. The area in…Read More
Destin Florida is located along the Emerald Coast Beach in the Panhandle area. This is a beautiful stretch of white sand beaches. There are many areas along the coast in which to rent a private home or a hotel. The area in which we stayed was also about 20 minutes from Seaside, featured in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show. Homes are also available for rent in Seaside, but be careful the price does go up compared to some of the other beach areas. Seaside was also very crowded, but the shops and other activities make it a nice day trip. Close
Written by love_thebeach on 10 Sep, 2008
First off if you love sushi you have to go to harbor docks !! It is right on the bay and the rolls are awesome !!I am new to the site and done want to come off as pushing a product.. so I will not…Read More
First off if you love sushi you have to go to harbor docks !! It is right on the bay and the rolls are awesome !!I am new to the site and done want to come off as pushing a product.. so I will not :-) We go down to destin and the gulf coast a lot. I was using a travel site called vrb0 and had trouble looking at all the listings and emailing everyone. I found a better site that does that for you and i have never seen that before ? You know with out calling a mgmt company or travel agent and paying crazy prices. I think it is really cool renting from the owners and this site really took care of me. http://www.vrcbc.com/vrcbc/index.htmWhen you go to destin bring your golf clubs and fishing poll !! they have the best of both.I think it is great when people care and do there job !!IGOUGO site by the way we are going to hawaii soon will report back! Close