A beautiful photo from Destin, FL

Tips for Planning Your Destin Vacation

Who’s dreaming and planning their next vacation? We are all hoping this year will bring us back to our “happy” places. If a vacation in Destin, Florida is on your horizon, here are some of our favorite tips to help you prepare for your getaway.

  • ¬†Reserve Now.¬† With so many terrific homes and condominiums to choose from, your options are greater if you can plan in advance. Also, sign-up for rental company emails so you can be notified of any “flash sales.” To check your options, go here.
  • ¬†Explore Your Options.¬† It‚Äôs so much easier now to search for properties online with detailed photographs and maps. Use the search function on rental websites to narrow down your choices. For example, do you want a private pool or community pool? Hot tub or tennis courts?¬†¬†
  • Location, Location, Location.¬† Once you decide on your beach location, enter your vacation dates and the number of people who will be staying in the rental property. Many rentals are Saturday-to-Saturday in the summer time, but you can explore the online calendars for shorter stay options.¬†
  • View the Photos.¬† Once you narrow down possibilities, take a good look at the online photographs for the places you are considering. The photos will give you a good idea of location, decor, bedrooms, etc.¬† If the listing says “beach view”, you should be able to see a photo of what that view is like from the property.
  • Additional Reservations.¬† Once you have nailed down your vacation rental in Destin, Florida, you can move on to planning the “fun” of your vacation. The Destin area offers a slew of activities – everything from deep sea fishing to dolphin tours.

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Must-Do Activities With Kids

5 Best Destin Activities With Kids

Planning a family vacation to Destin? You’re in luck, since there are so many family-friendly activities in the area. Family vacations are all about time spend together, and Destin does not disappoint! To make your vacation here even more fun, here are our picks for the 5 best Destin activities with kids. Take a look below and see if you have tried any of these before!

A day of fun at The Track

The Track is one of Destin’s most popular activities since it has fun things to do for kids of any ages. It’s located close to many popular Destin resorts including Breakers East, Jade East Towers, and Sterling Shores. Whether you are racing go-carts or enjoying a round of bumper cars, you are in for a treat here!

Searching for seashells at Henderson Beach State Park

For the kids who can’t get enough of the beach, spend a day at Henderson Beach State Park searching for seashells. While you are searching for shells, you can build sandcastles, splash in the water, and just enjoy the sunshine.

Destin Vacation Rentals

Dolphin cruises

Over at HarborWalk Village, you will find a number of options for dolphin cruises. These are some of Destin’s most popular activities¬†and for good reason! You will get to see dolphins in their natural habitat while they swim up close next to your boat! This activity is great for kids of all ages.

Fishing charters

For the anglers in your family, Destin’s fishing charters are one of the best Destin activities for kids of all ages! Choose a half-day or full-day charter and even deep-sea fishing for the older kids who may be experienced anglers. Check out some of our top picks for Destin fishing charters.

Gator Beach at Fudpucker’s

Gator Beach at Fudpucker’s is an attraction in Destin you won’t want to miss out on. Kids of all ages – and parents! – will find this to be as thrilling as can be. Plus, there is no admission to visit, making it a great option for a free attraction in Destin. Yes, you can even watch the alligator show at no charge. It’s the largest alligator park in the area and you can feed live alligators! It’s a must-see stop for a reason.

When planning your family vacation in Destin, stay at After Dunes Delight. Located in the Gulfside Cottages neighborhood, this Destin vacation home has a great location near fun attractions as well as the beach. Plus, it has space for 11 and access to community amenities. Make this the destination for your Destin vacation!

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Shrimp & Grits Festival Set for Feb. 27

The 2nd Annual Destin Shrimp & Grits Festival is a go! Plans are well underway for the outdoor festival to be held Saturday, February 27, noon to 4:00 p.m., at the Destin Harbor behind Brotula’s.

Last year’s event was a huge success as local restaurateurs and chefs from Fort Walton Beach to 30A, all competing to be crowned the best shrimp & Grits on the Emerald Coast.¬†

The afternoon was filled with variations of the dish, The first year festival raised more than $20,000, with all the profits going to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, a nonprofit devoted to ‚Äúenhancing the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence through its programs focused on academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.‚ÄĚ

Plan to purchase tickets directly through the website. Here are the ticket categories:

  • General Admission – $35 (includes armband for unlimited food samples and 7 drink tickets for craft beer and cocktail samples)
  • Food Only / Under 21 Tickets – $25 (includes armband for unlimited food samples)
  • VIP – $65 (includes armband for unlimited food samples and 7 drink tickets for craft beer and cocktail samples. Plus, exclusive early admission (11am – 12pm) to the event, swag bag and VIP lounge with private bar)

2020 Winners:

Judge’s Choice:
Best overall:¬†Knife’s Edge Private Chef and Catering
Best grits: Fudpuckers
Most creative: Flambe After Dark

People‚Äôs choice: 1st –¬†Sunset Bay Cafe
2nd –¬†Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar
3rd РKnife’s Edge Private Chef and Catering

Looks like it will be another fun weekend in Destin. If you are planning to attend and need assistance with a vacation in Destin, FL, check out availability here.

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When is the Best Time to Book a Family Vacation?

The Best Time to Book a Family Vacation to Destin

It’s that time of year again! Are you already thinking about planning your family vacation to Destin? Travel trends are up for 2021 and we expect that there will be a surge of visitors returning to our beautiful beaches. We are looking forward to welcoming you all this year, whether you are an early spring traveler or love the warmth of the beach in July. One thing you may be wondering about travel this year is the best time of year to book a family vacation to Destin. Today, we are sharing some of our insider tips and tricks to help you plan the best possible getaway to the Emerald Coast.

Destin Florida Vacation Homes

Even though we are seeing travelers wait closer to their arrival date to book, one trend remains strong: private beach homes will always book first and far out. If you are planning to visit in the summertime or even during spring vacation,¬†now¬†is the time to book that big beach home you’ve had your eye on. If the home is beachfront or has a private pool, it is likely to go fast. These are two amenities that are highly requested among guests, and don’t last long!

This also goes for beachfront condos as well. Condos that offer a terrific view of the beach and have resort amenities are some of the first to book, in addition to homes. So, the answer as to the best time to book a family vacation to Destin? Practically as soon as you start thinking about it!

Need some inspiration for Destin vacation rentals? Here are a few of our favorites below, all available for spring and summer with our lodging partners Southern Vacation Rentals.

Don’t forget to book your Destin vacation activities while you’re at it! We hope to see you at the beach this year!

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Crystal Dunes 105 in Destin

Your New Favorite Destin Condo Rental

Looking for the next place to spend a getaway at the beach? Look no further than Crystal Dunes 105. This condo rental in Destin, Florida is perfect for a spring or summer getaway, whichever you plan first! Or, come twice a year and stay here both times – we won’t tell anyone! Free seasonal beach service, beautiful upgrades, and a great location in the heart of Destin are just a few of the reasons we enjoy vacationing here.Crystal Dunes 105 in Destin, Florida

This condo is available with our lodging partners Southern Vacation Rentals and is located at one of Destin’s most desirable resorts. Crystal Dunes has been a longtime favorite of visitors to Destin since it looks right out onto the water. You’ll have the best vantage point of the Gulf! This ground-floor condo is located close to the dune walkover and Crystal Dunes’ private beach access. You’ll be vacationing in style in no time!

Crystal Dunes 105 has room for eight guests, with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Updated in a clean coastal theme, high-end contemporary furnishings can be found at every turn. The kitchen was upgraded to include built-in stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, and a full set of kitchen cookware. Gather around the dining table or the breakfast bar and enjoy mealtimes together. The en-suite bathroom in the master suite was also updated to include a stone-tiled walk-in shower and a dual quartz vanity. Kids are going to love the nautical-themed bunkroom too! You are sure to hear plenty of giggles coming from this room all night long.

After you have explored Crystal Dunes 105 from top to bottom, it’s time to get out and have some fun under the sun. Take advantage of complimentary seasonal beach service, a community pool, barbecue grills, and a hot tub. Plus, premier shopping at Destin Commons and Silver Sands Premium Outlets is just a short drive away, as well as popular Destin restaurants like Camille’s and The Crab Trap. Discover more of our favorite activities in Destin and start planning your getaway today!

To book Crystal Dunes 105, visit here.

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Planning Your Vacation to Destin

Planning Your Vacation to Destin

With 2021 finally here, it’s time to start planning your vacation to Destin. You’ll want to secure your spot on the sand this spring and summer as soon as possible! If you have never visited Destin before or need some help planning your trip, we are here to help. Our vacation wishlist guide below will help steer you in the right direction when planning your itinerary. With everything from tips on where to eat dinner, what sights to see, and even where to stay. As local experts to Destin, we’re excited to share all of our insider knowledge to help make planning your vacation to Destin smooth sailing.

Planning Your Vacation to Destin

 

Where to Stay

First thing’s first: you must know where to stay before you’re planning your trip. Our lodging partners Southern Vacation Rentals have some of the best rates on the Gulf Coast, and you won’t find a wider selection of Gulf-front condos, beach homes, and coastal cottages in the area. They are the authority on Destin vacation rentals for every type of traveler. Here are some of our picks for Destin vacation rentals for you to enjoy with your family:

What to Do

Looking for things to do in Destin? You’ve come to the right place! Whether you are an adventure traveler or looking for relaxation at the beach, there are so many activities to choose from. Fishing charters and dolphin cruises are some of the most popular activities in Destin, since our waters are plentiful and dolphins can be spotted right in the East Pass. There is also no shortage of shopping malls in Destin; choose from Destin Commons, Silver Sands Premium Outlets, or Grand Boulevard. Enjoy a mix of local boutiques, high-end designer furnishings, your favorite retail chains, and premium stores at great discounts.

Where to Eat

In addition, Destin’s restaurants have something for every palate. Do you love fresh Gulf seafood? Visit restaurants like Harbor Docks, Boshamps, and Brotula’s right on the Destin Harbor. For those who love southwestern and Mexican food, a stop to some of our favorite spots like Pepitos, Cantina Laredo, and La Paz is a must. Some of our other favorite restaurants include:

  • Camille’s at Crystal Beach
  • The Crab Trap
  • Jackacuda’s
  • The Local Market
  • AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar

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Join the Flock This Year

Our 2020-2021 Destin Snowbird Season

Destin Snowbirds, it’s almost time to head south for the winter! This year has certainly proved challenging, and we’re sure you’re ready for some Florida sunshine and warm weather after quarantining up north. Sadly, the 2020-2021 Destin Snowbird season looks a little different this year. The Destin Snowbird Club has elected not to hold its annual events this season in order to keep visitors to Destin safe.

Even with the shift in schedule from your normal snowbird activities, there are still plenty of things you can do in Destin during your winter getaway! If you are staying in a Destin vacation rental with resort-style amenities, you can make use of the community pool and enjoy a great morning swim. Going for a walk on the beach morning, noon, or night is not only a great way to get some exercise, but to fully appreciate the beauty of our area. The tide is usually low in the winter, and the uncrowded beaches mean you won’t be interrupted during your walk.¬†Destin Snowbird Rentals

Visiting with friends during your winter vacation to Destin? Visit The Donut Hole, a local favorite, and enjoy an all-day breakfast and the best donuts in town. Don’t forget to take a slice of key lime pie to enjoy at your Destin vacation rental! Another way to spend time with friends is to head to Destin Commons or Silver Sands Outlets in the morning, before opening, and go for a brisk walk around the shopping centers. Just be sure to bring a mask with you if you want to go in once the stores open!

Are you still looking for Destin Snowbird rentals for the 2020-2021 Destin Snowbird season? Our lodging partners Southern Vacation Rentals are still booking snowbirds for the upcoming season and would love to host you in one of their rentals. Here are a few of our favorite resorts below that accept snowbird rentals:

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Waterview Towers Yacht Club #532 in Destin, Florida

Your New Favorite Destin, Florida Condo Rental

Looking for your next getaway in Destin? Whether it’s for a last-minute holiday trip to the beach or you’re getting a head start on spring and summer vacations, Waterview Towers Yacht Club #532 is the place to be. Managed by our lodging partners at Southern Vacation Rentals, this condo has so much to offer guests. You will find this condo in Holiday Isle just a short distance from Norriego Point. Not only does Waterview Towers Yacht Club #532 have its own private beach, but it also has a great location overlooking the Destin Harbor and East Pass.

Destin Florida Condo Rental by Southern Vacation Rentals

With three bedrooms and three bathrooms, this condo can easily accommodate¬†six guests. It has over 1,700 square feet of space too, so there is plenty of room for everyone to spread out and get comfy while relaxing on vacation. Guests here enjoy free wireless internet, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a conveniently-placed washer and dryer so that you can keep beach clothes and towels clean on vacation. Plus, as part of Southern’s Clean Initiative, this condo comes with¬†fresh and clean bed linens, including comforters and coverlets, laundered prior to every check-in. Your favorite spot to hang out is sure to be on the private balcony, which overlooks a stretch of white sand beach and provides a magnificent view of the sun setting over the harbor.

Destin Florida Condo Rental by Southern Vacation RentalsIn addition, you will have access to the yacht club’s full range of amenities including a pool, community barbecue grills, a hot tub, and tennis courts. Since this condo is located in the heart of Destin, you can easily get to local restaurants, entertainment, and shopping in just a few minutes. No matter what brings you to the beach, we know you will have a fantastic time here.

Does Waterview Towers Yacht Club #532 sound like the place for you? Book this Destin, Florida condo rental here. And, be sure to check out a few of our favorite things to do in Destin when planning your trip.

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Five Stars for Sand Castle Fun

Beach Sand Sculptures continues to be 5-star rated on TripAdvisor, and ranked #1 in classes and workshops in Destin. If you are looking for something a little different, it‚Äôs definitely a fun thing-to-do in Destin, FL. A team of sand castle coaches will travel to your vacation location and instruct you on professional sand sculpting tips and techniques during a two-hour lesson. Tripadvisor reviewers say it‚Äôs a ‚Äúgreat family experience‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúpeople were envying our castles for hours after they left.‚Ä̬†

Rick Mungeam got started in his unique sandcastle business after a career as a renowned residential architect. The economic changes of 2008 resulted in he and his wife selling their Colorado home and beginning a traveling adventure which they say has drastically changed and blessed their lives. While living on South Padre Island, TX, Rick learned the basics of sand sculpting from a master sand sculptor. By mid-2011, Rick brought his talents to the Destin, FL area. The defining moment came when he created a sandcastle with a romantic heart for a wedding. He decided to turn the sand castle art into a business. Not long after that, Rick won the pro-am division of the World Championship of Sand Sculpting.

Looks like a great way to spend some time enjoying a little fun in the sun! To make an appointment, check out BeachSandSculptures.com. To find other great things to do in Destin, check out the multiple listings here.

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The Best Corn and Crab Bisque in Destin

The Best Corn and Crab Bisque in Destin

Looking for a unique dish to enjoy on Christmas? Let corn and crab bisque be the answer! We love the richness of this dish as it’s perfect for the cool Florida weather. Yes, it does get cold here in December! We scoured a few different places and found the best corn and crab bisque in Destin to be at Boshamps right on the harbor. Their chowder is a Flamingo Cafe original recipe and wildly popular among diners. Plus, since crabs are in season from October to May, you’ve come at just the right time to order this dish.

Although we know supporting restaurants is paramount right now, especially during the holidays, we know that not everybody has the opportunity to dine out right now. So, we are sharing our favorite recipe for corn and crab bisque with you! You can easily get all the ingredients you need at a local grocery store and seafood market; be sure to call ahead or check online to see if they are offering contact-free curbside pickup. You likely have most of these ingredients at home, aside from whole kernel corn and lump crab meat. Once you get those two items, you too can enjoy some of the best corn and crab bisque in Destin!

The Best Corn and Crab Bisque in Destin

Ready? Let’s get started.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (16 oz) lump crabmeat
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 1 qt. half & half
  • Whole kernel corn (1 16oz bag or 14oz can)
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups whole milk

How-To:

  • In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the onions and saute until transparent. Add garlic and sautee for 2-3 minutes, reducing heat to medium-low.
  • Create a roux with the 1/2 cup of flour, adding slowly and stirring constantly. Add black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper until you reach the desired flavor.
  • Stir in the milk and half & half gradually. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low.
  • Add crabmeat, whole kernel corn, and creamed corn and cover. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Add more seasoning if desired, and enjoy!

There are only 10 days left until Christmas, but there is still time to plan a holiday getaway to the beach. Browse Destin vacation rentals with our lodging partners Southern Vacation Rentals today to book your spot on the sand. Say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021 at your favorite place – the beach!

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