A beautiful photo from Destin, FL

Shop Til You Drop!

Where to Go Shopping in Destin

If it rains during your stay, or if you just need a break from the sun, going shopping is the perfect activity! You can find souvenirs to remember your trip by or bring back a little something for the member of the family who couldn’t come with you. No matter where you are staying in Destin, you are just a short drive away from tons of shopping options. From local boutiques, to name brands you love, there are so many options when it comes to where to go shopping in Destin.Where to Go Shopping in Destin

The Destin Commons

The Destin Commons is your one stop shop for shopping and excitement. Here you will find brands such as Forever 21, Sephora, H&M, and so much more. After you have packed the car full of your new wardrobe, stop by Uncle Bucks for some fun. Uncle Bucks has bowling lanes, an exciting arcade, and even a delicious restaurant. You will also find other dining options at the Destin Commons including Chipotle, Formula Fresh, Smashburger and Redbrick Pizza. On top of all the options listed above, it is also home to Destin’s AMC movie theater!

Grand Boulevard

Grand Boulevard is a bit further down Highway 98 but is a great option if you are looking for a luxurious shopping experience. Here you will find brands including Antropologie, Chubbies, Pottery Barn and more. They also have delicious dining options such as Emeril’s Coastal, Flemings, and Cantina Laredo. Grand Boulevard is known for hosting special events throughout the year. One of our favorite events to attend is the Grand Boulevard Farmer’s Market that happens every Saturday from 9 am – 1 pm.

HarborWalk Village

Another one stop shop for all things dining, shopping, and events is HarborWalk Village. Located in the heart of Destin, HarborWalk Village is part of Destin’s harbor. This means as you walk along stopping in different local boutiques, you will be walking along the water. Your kids will love seeing the different boats coming in and unloading their fishing haul. On top of that incredible characteristic, HarborWalk Village is home to incredible shopping including Aloha Surf Company, Life is Good, and Sunglass World.

Silver Sands Premium Outlet Mall

If you are looking for the best deal on the coolest clothes and accessories, Silver Sands Premium Outlet Mall is the place for you! This shopping center in Destin is packed full of Designer brands at a discounted rate. You will find Tory Burch, Col Haan, Saks Off 5th, and so much more. This is where to go shopping in Destin if you anticipate spending the whole day perusing through different stores, searching for the best deal.

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Treat Your Tastebuds

Brunch Spots in Destin, FL

No matter what time of year you are visiting the Gulf Coast, brunch is always a good idea while on vacation. Lucky for you, Destin has many different options when it comes to where to brunch. Whether your family enjoys getting breakfast one day during your stay, or likes to make it an everyday occurrence, you will never run out of new places to try. These brunch spots listed below offer something for each member of your family.

Brunch Spots in Destin, FLThe Pancakery

The Pancakery is always a delicious go to! Your kids will love seeing a stack of pancakes dressed in their favorite toppings. They also have options for those who don’t love a sugar overload including incredible omelets. It is located in the heart of Destin, so no matter where you are staying, it is just a short drive away!

Café Destin

Café Destin is for those looking for great service and a traditional breakfast. You truly can’t go wrong with a single item on their menu. They are open from 7 am to 2 pm for breakfast and their lunch menu begins at 11 am. They also offer outdoor seating for the groups looking for an inviting atmosphere.

Another Broken Egg

Another Broken Egg has been a popular brunch spot in Destin for years. There is always a wait for a table so make sure to get there with plenty of time to reserve your spot. They have every breakfast menu item you could think of including a wide variety of breakfast cocktails to try. They are open Monday – Sunday from 7 am to 2 pm.

Donut Hole

This is one of the brunch spots in Destin that the locals love. The Donut Hole offers a sit down menu and a counter where you can purchase a variety of sweet treats. If you have ever driven through Destin, you have probably noticed the line wrapping around the building. It is particularly crowded on Sundays so be sure to allow plenty of time for brunch!

Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer

Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer offers a delicious Sunday brunch with a fine dining atmosphere. They only offer brunch on Sundays from 10 am – 3 pm making it a popular restaurant for an upscale breakfast.

We hope you can check out at least one of these brunch spots in Destin during your stay!

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Beach Resort in Destin, FL

Check out this Vacation Condo in Destin

Whether you are hoping to squeeze in one more trip during 2021, or already looking for the perfect stay in 2022, we have the vacation condo in Destin for you! Beach Resort is a great option for many different reasons including wonderful amenities, quick access to the beach, and so much more. To book your stay, click here, or continue reading to learn why this vacation spot is so popular year after year.Check out this Vacation Condo in Destin

Complex Amenities

Beach Resort has everything you will need to make your beach getaway a success. Your kids will love spending the afternoon swimming in the community pool while you bathe in the sun. There is even a hot tub for the evenings you want to relax and unwind. The complex also has community BBQ grills for the families who enjoy grilling out one night during their stay. On top of all those incredible amenities, the beach access is only a 3-minute walk away from your vacation condo in Destin.

Condo Amenities

These condos are one bedroom, two full bathroom, and can accommodate up to 6 guests. Because of this, they are the perfect rental for a family vacation. Each condo comes with a fully equipped kitchen, providing you with the perfect place to whip up some snacks for the beach. The spacious living room and dining area will make the rental feel like your home away from home.

What’s Nearby?

Beach Resort in Destin is in a great location, just a short drive away from area excitement. Located on Scenic Highway 98, you are staying in between great shopping including the Destin Commons and Sandestin Outlets. Nearby dining includes Pompano Joes, a beachfront restaurant known for their delicious gumbo. Make sure to visit our Things To Do in Destin page for more ideas on how to fill your vacation with fun!

Book this vacation condo in Destin today and experience bliss in the Florida sunshine!

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It’s Turtle Time Along the Emerald Coast

It’s hatching season along our coastal regions. Specially-trained turtle nest spotters are combing the area beaches each morning, looking for signs of a new nest. By law, only certified members are allowed  to interact with endangered sea turtles. Neon orange tape is used to indicate a nesting site.

For example, this beach photo shows the success of one nest. The South Walton Turtle Watch posted the following caption:

Nest #20 has hatched and been excavated! The results 👇
🦸‍♀️Found by Katie M.
🌊Washed over by storm tides
⭐️Hatched Day 61
85 hatched
20 whole eggs
105 Total eggs
80% Success Rate

 

To help the turtle babies come into this world, you can help make a difference.

Our local turtle watch groups, the South Walton Turtle Watch and the Emerald Coast Turtle Watch, are promoting #cleandarkflat. They are calling on all beach goers to remove everything from the beach at the end of the day.

Sea turtles can’t back up, so if they move forward and become entangled in chairs, tent frames, volleyball nets, or fishing nets, they will carry it to the water and eventually drown.

 

Also, please be sure to fill in your holes on the beach every day after building sandcastles. 

Follow both turtle watch groups on Facebook to receive updates on the turtle nesting season.

If you are interested in a visit to the area during turtle time or anytime, go to our lodging partner, Southern Vacation Rentals, for available accommodations. 

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Labor Day Weekend is Quickly Approaching!

5 Must Do Activities in Destin for Your Long Weekend

Are you visiting the beach this Labor Day weekend? You are in luck! There is no shortage of activities in Destin for your long weekend. From water activities to delicious dining, we have listed 5 must do activities that offer something for the whole family.

Still looking for the perfect accommodation. Visit our blog, Reserve Your September Stay Today!, for more information on the perfect resort for a beach getaway.5 Must Do Activities in Destin for Your Long Weekend

  1. Hit the Beach

Of course, when you visit Destin, FL the first thing that comes to mind is the beach. Relaxing in the sun while you listen to the waves crass against the shore…what is better than that? Pack a beach bag, your favorite snacks and soak in that Florida sunshine. There are tons of activities to do on the beach for every age group. Bring a football for the teenagers, grab some sandcastle molds for the young ones, and don’t forget a book for yourself. There is no better way to experience Destin, FL than at the beach.

  1. Crab Island on a Pontoon Boat

One of the local’s favorite ways to celebrate Labor Day weekend is by boating out to Crab Island. Mix up your favorite cocktail, grab a water float and experience some water adventure in Destin. Be mindful, Crab Island gets crowded during Labor Day, so be sure to get there early and reserve your spot. There are food and drink options on Crab Island, however we encourage you to pack a couple of sandwiches in case the lines get long. To rent a pontoon boat in Destin, click here!

  1. Dine at The Gulf

The Gulf is a popular restaurant in Destin due to the cool atmosphere, delicious menu, and creative cocktails. Locals will arrive by boat and dock right next to the restaurant. It is located on Okaloosa Island is open daily from 11 am – 10 pm. Their happy hour is also every day from 3 – 6 pm. Fun fact: the entirety of the restaurant is made from shipping containers! Such a cool design feature. During your visit, you must try the Smoked Tuna Dip. Order one for the table and savor every bite before it is gone!

  1. Shop at the Destin Commons

If it rains during your stay, go shopping at the Destin Commons. You can spend the day visiting brands you love including H&M, Sephora, and Bass Pro Shops. There is also a variety of food options including Zoes, Chipotle, and our personal favorite, Smashburger. Before you go, consider visiting Uncle Bucks! They offer bowling in an under the sea atmosphere, an arcade, and a delicious menu.

  1. Attend the Labor Day Celebration at HarborWalk Village

Labor Day weekend is also packed full of fun events in Destin. One that you won’t want to miss is the Labor Day Celebration at HarborWalk Village. Live music, entertainment, and tons of dining options are available at the local event. Before the music starts, be sure to grab a bit to eat at Harry T’s Lighthouse for the best view of the sunset! This is one of the many activities in Destin for your long weekend that every member of your family will love!

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Time to Plan for the Destin Fishing Rodeo

October is a very special month in Destin. We celebrate the bounty of fish in the Gulf of Mexico with the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo. This is not an event that will be canceled. With plenty of open gulf and open air, it would be a great time to join the fishing fun. This will be the 73nd year for the rodeo to be held in Destin area waters.

Held the entire month of October, hundreds of anglers will leave the harbor each day in hopes of bringing back a winner at the daily weigh-ins. You can now go online to the Destin Fishing Rodeo website to find a listing of registered boats. You can also find information about events planned for children under the “Rodeo Fun” tab.

The artwork and t-shirts issued for the Rodeo each year are always a popular souvenir. The store for t-shirts, hats, and posters will soon be available in the online rodeo store. 

If you are planning to fish in the Destin Fishing Rodeo, we can help you line up a day trip with some of the very best in Destin fishing. We have partnered with our favorite charter boat captains to bring you a fishing trip of a lifetime.

 

It’s also a great time to line-up lodging for October. It’s a popular month in Destin – especially with milder temperatures. Check with our lodging partner, Southern Vacation Rentals, for availability and any special rates.

We advise booking your vacation in Destin, FL as soon as possible to score the best availability.

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Experience Destin Fall Events

Fall Events in Destin for Your Beach Getaway

Are you visiting the beach this fall with your friends or family? If yes, you must get out and experience all the area has to offer. From water activities to delicious dining, there is something for everyone in Destin, Florida. One thing you must do during your trip is check out the many fall events in Destin. The fall season is home to local’s favorite annual events. We are so looking forward to bringing them back this year and we hope you join in on the fun! View a couple of our favorites below.

Still looking for the perfect accommodation for your fall vacation to the beach? Look no further! Click here to view an extensive inventory of vacation rentals in Destin. Reserve your stay before time runs out!

Burgers, Bourbon & Beer FestivalFall Events in Destin for Your Beach Getaway

Happening September 18, 2021 from 12 pm – 4:30 pm, visit Destin’s Harbor for the Burgers, Bourbon, & Beer Festival! This event in Destin is benefitting the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast, so get to know the community a bit better and give back. You will find gourmet burgers from local restaurants, local craft beers, a variety of bourbons, and live music. Tickets go on sale on August 16th and they expect to sell out fast, so be sure to claim yours before they are all gone!

Destin Seafood Festival

The Destin Seafood Festival is near and dear to every local. It has been taking place. This is the 43rd year the festival will take over the Destin Harbor with tons of different vendors and activities. Fresh Gulf seafood, handmade jewelry, local business booths, and so much more await at the Destin Seafood Festival this year. It will be held from October 1-3 and is free to attend. The festival lasts all day and is one that will have you wanting to come back for more each day. The weather is perfect to take a stroll down the Harbor and learn more about the Destin community.

ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival

If you are traveling with kids, or love to wander looking at Art, check out ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival in Destin. Taking place on Sunday, October 9 – 10, this festival will feature local artists from up and down the coast. It will be held at Grand Boulevard and will not only have art, but also food and drinks. Spend the day perusing through different booths while enjoying a cool atmosphere and delicious food.

These are just some of the many fall events in Destin happening this year! Be sure to look into which events are happening during your stay.

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Popular Google Questions About Destin

Where do you fly into to go to Destin, Florida?

The Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) is the closest airport to Destin. It’s located just 16 miles away in Valparaiso. Airlines flying into VPS include Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines. This answer needs updating. As of February, 2021, Southwest Airlines now serves VPS.

What is the best month to go to Destin, Florida?

The best time to visit Destin is in April and May when the water is warm, the sun is shining and the temperatures are comfortable (expect highs in the mid-70s and 80s). If you visit any earlier, you risk cooler weather and chilly water. A summer trip will put you among the crowds and the peak prices. We would update this answer to include all the fall months. The weather is wonderful, the crowds are smaller, plus there are usually numerous local festivals. It’s a perfect time for a beach vacation to Destin, FL. The holidays have also become very popular times for family gatherings at the beach.

Why is Destin so popular?

Snuggled against the Gulf of Mexico in northwest Florida, Destin is rightfully famed for its sugar-white sands and emerald-hued waters. And due to its plentiful and always hungry underwater population, Destin is widely known as the “world’s luckiest fishing village.” You can find charter boat captains here. 

 

Are there alligators in Destin, Florida?

Over 80 live alligators have been spotted in the center of Destin. Don’t worry it’s safe! Gator Beach is located beneath Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill and has Free admission year round. There are a series of gator shows each day in which a gator handler answers questions and provides an interactive experience.

A public sighting is rare in the Florida panhandle, but alligators can be found in Florida in fresh and brackish bodies of water — including lakes, rivers, canals and golf course ponds. 

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Where to Happy Hour in Destin

The Best Happy Hour in Destin

Destin is a great place for families to visit due to the tons of activity, great accommodations, and dining options. However, Destin also has tons of opportunities for young adults to have some fun along the Gulf Coast. One of those options is the many places that offer happy hour in Destin. We have listed some of our favorites below. Each offer a different happy hour menu, unique atmosphere, and a good time.

The Best Happy Hour in Destin790 on the Gulf

790 on the Gulf is one of the local’s favorite places to dine. They have an incredible happy hour. Not only do they have deals on drinks, but also delicious food items as well. The restaurant is in The Inn at Crystal Beach and features gorgeous views of the beach. Their happy hour in Destin is from 3-6 pm. You will find beers under $3 and wines under $4. They also have deals on specialty drinks. The eats menu is one of the best along the Coast. New Orleans BBQ Shrimp and Grilled Ribeye Quesadilla are just a couple to look forward to.

The Craft Bar

The Craft Bar is a cool atmosphere in a very accessible part of town. Their happy hour is served a bit differently than others you may check out. It is from Monday through Friday, 2-6 pm and all their menu items are $5. This includes food such as soft pretzels and mac n cheese to a rotating drink menu that changes often. Draft beer and wine are offered for $5 and be sure to ask the bartender what their recommendations are.

Marina Café

If you are looking for fine dining and elegance, then head on out to Marina Café. An unbeatable ambiance, great views, and delicious menu items awaits during their happy hour in Destin. They offer deals and discounts on menu items every day from 5 pm – 7 pm. You will find half priced wines, domestic beers, and a variety of eats including fish tacos. The Marina Café in Destin is the perfect place to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. Make sure to bring your camera and snap a photo with the great view.

The Back Porch

The Back Porch is a beachfront restaurant in Destin that offers fun drinks and a gorgeous view! Their happy hour is daily from 3 pm – 5 pm. They have various drinks half priced and delicious shrimp to peel and enjoy. After grabbing a drink and appetizer, take a walk on the beach and watch the sunset. This is another spot you will want to snap a few photos to hep remember your trip to the beach! There is no better place to watch the sunset in Destin than the beach.

Bric a Brac

This happy hour in Destin is from 5 pm – 6:30 pm every day and often features live music to add to the atmosphere. They have outdoor seating and a delicious menu, so after enjoying happy hour make sure to try one of the entrees on their menu. It will not disappoint! You may even get lucky and dine with a crowd that is likely to hop up and hit the dance floor. This trendy restaurant in Destin is perfect for the group of friends taking a beach getaway.

For more restaurants in Destin, check out our website. Tons of dining in Destin offer happy hour, so be sure to check out your favorite restaurants and see what deals they have.

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Favorite Beach Gear

Part of the fun in prepping for a beach trip is gathering all the necessary supplies for your days in the sun. Today, we’ll take a look at some our favorite beach gear for your vacation in Destin, FL –  plus give you a few links that explore additional items such as umbrellas and surfboards.

Beach Bag – Our first choice would be the very popular Bogg Bag. The large bag runs $90 while the small runs around $60. With the flat bottom, it stays upright and can be easily rinsed clean of any sand accumulated during your beach day. The difficulty is finding one. The bags are so popular that they sell out very quickly. We would suggest that you find a boutique in your hometown that carries the Bogg Bag and check with them on stocking. Our second choice is the bag that says “Beach Please“. Doesn’t it make you smile?! I would use this year-round to remind me of my beach days. It’s available on Amazon, but it’s also carried by boutiques. The linked boutique currently has it priced at $43. Prices vary so additional research would be helpful on this find.

Beach Chair – Wirecutter ranks the Tommy Bahama 5-Position Back Pack Beach Chair as the best pick for your beach comfort. According to Wirecutter, “Its built-in padded backpack straps make it simple to carry down to the beach. You can easily adjust between five seated positions while in the chair. Sturdy canvas backing makes the chair comfortable – and strong enough to hold 300 pounds. This chair also features a pillow, a large zippered pocket, a cup holder, and the cooler in the back – which fits up to seven 12-ounce cans.” Expect to pay about $70 for this beach chair. Here are additional recommendations from The Spruce.

Beach Towel – LL Bean is always a popular choice in this category. For $30, you’ll get a nice beach towel that will last you several beach seasons. Some designs are out-of-stock so you will need to be flexible with your design choice.

Beach Blanket – This is our favorite new product, especially if you are traveling with babies. The easy automatic pop-up design allows you to set up and fold down the ground cover in seconds. Called the SandyBumz, it’s listed for $29 on the SandyBumz website. The product website also shows it currently out-of-stock, but there is availability on Amazon. 

 

For additional favorite beach gear supplies, Wirecutter is a good source for product reviews. 

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