A beautiful photo from Destin, FL

How to Plan a Destin, Florida Vacation

How to Plan a Destin, Florida Vacation

It’s no secret that Destin is one of the most popular places to travel all year long. It doesn’t have to be summertime for people to be excited about visiting Destin, although the weather is beautiful at that time of year! You can visit Destin year-round and have just as much fun in November as you would in July. If you’re thinking about visiting Destin next year or even before the year is over, be sure to save our tips for how to plan a Destin, Florida vacation. With just some simple planning, you’ll be on your way to the beach in no time!Breakers East

Consider the time of year you want to visit – do you love summertime when the sun is shining and the temperatures are warm? Or, do you like to visit in the fall, when the beaches are less crowded and the fishing rodeo is in full swing? There’s no wrong answer for when you want to visit Destin. It’s all about personal preference. Once you’ve nailed down the year, you’ll have to lock down your vacation rental in Destin, Florida.

We love working with Southern Vacation Rentals for their wide variety of vacation rentals in Destin and the level of service they offer. We’ve been staying with them for years and have always been impressed with their services. If you want to get away to Destin this year, consider a stay at Breakers East. These vacation condos are in the heart of Destin, resting beachfront and right across the street from exciting attractions like Big Kahunas and The Track. If you want to stay for 2020, check out Destiny Beach Villas. These townhomes are just across the street from the Gulf of Mexico in Miramar Beach and offer a terrific location minutes away from shopping, dining, and more. You can’t go wrong with either!

After you’ve found where you want to stay in Destin, consider what activities you would like to do. Most vacationers are here for the beach, but it’s fun to pepper in a little adventure here and there! If you venture out to HarborWalk Village, you’ll find something exciting happening just about every week, from live music to local events and everything in between. Southern Vacation Rentals also offers discounts for their guests called Southern Perks. If you have been wanting to embark on a dolphin cruise or try out a fishing charter, you’ll receive an exclusive discount on these attractions. You can also rent pontoon boats, parasail, jet-ski, and more.

Those are a few of our favorite tips on how to plan your vacation to Destin, Florida. We love Destin and hope you do too! We’ll see you at the beach!

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Top Captains – Destin Fishing Rodeo

After 31 days of mostly glorious fishing, five boat captains are winners of this year’s Captain Award for the Destin Fishing Rodeo.

This was the 71st year for anglers and captains to take to the waters for the annual event held each year for the entire month of October. The Captain Awards are determined by an accumulation of points from each day’s catch.

Each captain receives 20 points for a first place finish on the leaderboard, 10 for second place, seven points for a bonus or weekly award and one point for a daily award. In all, there were 285 captains who participated in this year’s rodeo. Here are this year’s winners:

Charter Boat 25-foot-under – Capt. Josh Calhoon of Destin Inshore Guides (photo)

Charter Boat Division – Capt. Robert Hill of Twilight

Party Boat Division – Capt. Cliff Cox of Sweet Jody 

Private 25-foot-and-under Division – Capt. Andrew Dover of Muscle Memories 

Private Boat Division – Capt. Forrest Dalton of Sea Bandit

Would you like to schedule a fishing trip on your next visit to Destin, FL? Go here to link up with some of our favorite boat captains.

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The Latest November Events in Destin

November Events in Destin

Destin Crafted

October was packed full of fun festivals and events, but the fun doesn’t have to end just because the month is over! Read on below for some of our favorite November events in Destin. There are still plenty of food and beer festivals, some with a festive twist!

  • Blues, Brews, & BBQ – Come on down to HarborWalk Village on Saturday, November 9th from 12-4 PM for live blues, cold brews, and hot-off-the-grill BBQ. Block parties are not just for summer! Get your tickets today.
  • Destin Crafted – There’s another beer festival happening in Destin this weekend! Destin Crafted combines craft beer, bourbon, and great food for a day full of fun on Saturday, November 4th from 1-4 PM. If you score VIP tickets, you’ll enjoy access to a VIP event Friday night at 5 PM and a VIP brunch on Sunday, November 10th. Purchase tickets here!
  • Turkey Trot Fundraiser – Also known as the “East Pass Slacker 0.5K,” this is a fun way to participate in a race in a new way. Your morning starts off with a Bloody Mary, then walking, skipping, or running up the hill to partnered stops where you’ll find out who can eat donuts, throw toilet paper rolls or shoot a screwdriver faster than anyone else. Bring a bag of dog or cat food, 20lbs or bigger, as a donation to Panhandle Animal Welfare Society for an additional three free raffle tickets and three free drink tickets! Register here.
  • Santa’s Arrival & Tree Lighting Ceremony – Say hello to Santa at Destin Commons’ Annual Santa Arrival & Tree-Lighting Ceremony on November 22nd at 6PM! Free face painting, photos with Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman, music, and a holiday photobooth take over the streets at Destin Commons. After Santa comes to light the tree, the night rounds out with a spectacular light show!

Bird of Paradise

Have you booked your beach home for the holidays yet? Bird of Paradise in Destin’s Gulfside Cottages community is the place to be! Its two bedrooms and two bathrooms make it ideal for a group of six, and you’ll love having access to a community pool as well as the Gulf of Mexico.

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Where to Stay in Destin This Fall

Where to Stay in Destin This Fall

Crystal Dunes 106

It’s chilly on the Gulf Coast today, which means that fall is officially in full swing! This is also the best time of year to take a beach vacation, since the water is beautiful and the rates have never been better. Not to mention, what better time like the present to plan your vacation to Destin? Our lodging partners Southern Vacation Rentals are continuously adding to their inventory and have just introduced two new vacation condos in Destin, Florida that we think you’ll love. When you’re ready to book your vacation to Destin, their teams are ready to help!

Crystal Dunes 106

Sleeps: 10 | Bedrooms: 3 | Bathrooms: 2 Full

It doesn’t get much better than this ground-floor vacation condo in Destin! Located at one of the most popular resorts in Destin, Crystal Dunes 106 is a beach lover’s dream come true. Its three bedrooms can easily sleep 10 guests, making it perfect for your dream beach getaway! To get to the beach, you only need to step out of the sliding glass doors onto your patio. The beach is your backyard!


Sleeps: 6 | Bedrooms: 1 | Bathrooms: 2 FullBeach Resort 205

For a peaceful beach retreat, there is nowhere better than Beach Resort 205. Tucked back from the hustle and bustle of a beachfront complex, Beach Resort 205 is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the sandy white shores of Destin. This one-bedroom condo can easily sleep six guests, with a bonus room and additional accommodations in the living room. This condo has brand new upgrades, including hardwood floors, granite counters, and stainless steel appliances. Beach Resort also comes with resort-style amenities, including a zero-entry pool, hot tub, and barbecue grills. Guests at Beach Resort have access to a private stretch of beach!

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Halloween Fun at LuLu’s

Lucy Buffet’s LuLu’s of Destin kicked off the Halloween week festivities with a darling costume contest for the wee ones. Such a fun time for all who gathered for the 5th annual BooLu’s Halloween event. Just one of the many fun things to do in Destin, FL !

Activities included free arts and craft projects and entertainment by Captain Davy and his pirate crew, and a candy-filled trunk-or-treat.

Lulu’s will be hosting another event this weekend. The cheerleaders of Destin Middle School, Fort Walton Beach High School, and Niceville High School are sponsoring the 5th annual LuLu’s Marlin 5k. This event is a competitive or friendly run or walk through the beautiful Regatta Bay Golfing Community. 

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Where to Trick or Treat in Destin

Where to Trick-or-Treat in Destin

Halloween is this Thursday, and kids of all ages will be donning their best costumes to fill their baskets up with candy. While neighborhood trick-or-treating is incredibly popular, many businesses in Destin will be hosting trick-or-treating events where families can come collect candy in a safe environment. Learn more about where to trick-or-treat in Destin on Thursday! Be sure to share your costumes with us on our Facebook page as you trick-or-treat!

Where to Trick or Treat in Destin

  • Halloween on the BOOlevard – Come on down to Grand Boulevard on Halloween for a frightfully fun time! From 4-7 PM, kids dressed in their best costume can visit participating stores and collect candy. Dogs are welcome at Grand Boulevard as well, so bring them too!
  • Trick or Treat Street in Baytowne Wharf – The Village of Baytowne Wharf transforms into a Halloween Extravaganza on Thursday from 6-8 PM! Visit merchants for delicious treats while enjoying some frighteningly good tunes, crafts, and balloon animals. There will even be a costume contest at Coconut Kidz!
  • Splash or Treat at GulfSCARIUM – Over on Okaloosa Island, the Gulfarium is hosting its annual Splash or Treat Halloween Celebration! On Thursday, October 31 from 4-6 PM come join the Gulfarium for exciting marine life and lots of candy!
  • Destin Library Costume Parade – Halloween is not just at night! On Wednesday, October 30th at 9:30 AM come to the Destin Library for a morning of stories and treats all while wearing your favorite costume. Parade through the shelves while grabbing your favorite candy! A spooktacular storytime will take place in the children’s area afterward.

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Best Destin Vacation Homes for Thanksgiving

Best Destin Vacation Homes for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, now is the best time to go ahead and secure your vacation home in Destin for Thanksgiving. We love celebrating Thanksgiving in Destin, since it’s the perfect chance to combine time with family and a trip to the beach all in one. When it comes to finding a rental, we always look to Southern Vacation Rentals for the best Destin vacation homes for Thanksgiving, since they have a wide inventory of homes and condos that are perfect for any size group. To help make planning a little easier for you, we’ve selected three of our favorite vacation homes in Destin for Thanksgiving. If any of these homes work for you, simply follow the link to book! Happy Holidays, from the iLoveDestin family to yours!

Palm Haven

Sleeps: 10 | Bedrooms: 3 | Bathrooms: 3 Full

Palm Haven

You will find this lovely home in Miramar Beach’s Emerald Shores neighborhood, which offers a variety of amenities including a pool, tennis courts, and barbecue grills. Beach access is also just a short five-minute walk away. All the bedrooms are located on the second floor, lending the first floor to a spacious living room with an open-concept kitchen. This allows for plenty of room for everyone to spread out!

Aqua Easy

Sleeps: 8 | Bedrooms: 3 | Bathrooms: 3 Full

We guarantee that you’ll love everything Aqua Easy has to offer, since this home has been recently renovated from top to bottom with new interiors, appliances, and more. Located in Destin Pointe, beach access and the popular Destin jetties are just a few minutes away, as well as a myriad of fun things to do for your holiday getaway to the Emerald Coast.

2 Sea Dream

Sleeps: 10 | Bedrooms: 3| Bathrooms: 2 Full, 1 Half

Also found in the Emerald Shores neighborhood, 2 Sea Dream is the beach home of your dreams. You’ll love the farmhouse table in the dining area, with enough room to create a Thanksgiving day spread! In addition, four bikes are included with this home, so you can cruise the streets of Destin while enjoying the beautiful November weather.

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New Vacation Condo in Destin, Florida!

Stay at Crystal Dunes 106 this Fall

Are you looking to get away to Destin this fall? Our lodging partners Southern Vacation Rentals are expanding their inventory each week, adding new properties that you and your family will love. From beachfront condos to beautiful homes, you are sure to find something that will suit your whole group. Southern has just brought on a new vacation condo in Destin, Florida at Crystal Dunes 106. If you have ever vacationed in Destin, you know that Crystal Dunes is one of the premier beachfront rentals. Explore this charming vacation condo in Destin, Florida and be among the first to stay here!

The first thing you will notice when you enter is Crystal Dunes 106’s incredible location on the ground floor. That means you can step out of the sliding glass doors and onto the private patio to look out on the water! There is truly nothing better than waking up to the waves every morning. This three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo is just the right size for 10 guests, with additional arrangements in the living room to accommodate your guests. Everything you need for your beach vacation is right at your fingertips, including a fully equipped kitchen, an in-room washer and dryer, and free WiFi.

You’ll also have access to the amenities at Crystal Dunes, including a beachfront pool and barbecue grills In addition, Crystal Dunes 106 comes with complimentary in-season beach service! When you are not swimming in the pool or exploring all Destin has to offer, you are sure to be lounging in a beach chair under your umbrella, with your toes in the sand and soaking up some sun.

Don’t let the chance to stay in this beautiful Destin, Florida vacation rental slip on by! Explore availability at Crystal Dunes 106 in Destin today.

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Best Rainy Day Activities in Destin

Best Rainy Day Activities in Destin

As beautiful as Destin is, not every day is bright and sunny. Take this week, for example, where gray clouds are filling the skies and blocking the sun. This is not ideal beach weather (although we know some will flock to the beach anyway), which begs the question: what are the best rainy day activities in Destin? The good news is that there are plenty of fun things to do in Destin when it rains. Check out our list below for some of the best rainy day activities in Destin! Let us know how you’ll be spending these next few rainy days on our Facebook page.

  • Don’t let the rain deter your plans to shop! Silver Sands Premium Outlets’ covered walkways will keep you shielded from the rain as you go from J.Crew to Saks off Fifth to Nike.

  • One of our favorite ways to get out of the house but away from the rain is at the movies – head to the AMC Theater at Destin Commons or Grand Boulevard’s Boulevard Cinema 10.
  • Also at Destin Commons is Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl, where you can bowl while enjoying a delicious lunch or dinner. This is a great event that’s fun for the whole family!
  • Meanwhile, over in Fort Walton Beach, the Gulfarium on Okaloosa Island provides endless family fun! Embark on a dolphin or any other kind of animal encounter – this includes stingrays, alligators, penguins, and more!

If you aren’t in Destin and you’ve got vacation planning on the brain, don’t let a little rain in the forecast deter you from visiting. After all, it doesn’t rain for long at the beach! Our lodging partners Southern Vacation Rentals have some great vacation rentals in Destin, Florida that are perfect for your fall vacation. Start planning your trip to the beach today!

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Plan Your Holiday Party in Destin

Plan Your Holiday Party in Destin

The holidays are fast approaching, and if you’ve been thinking about planning a holiday party in Destin, now is the time to spring into action! This is the time of year when people are planning their holiday parties, so if there is a vendor or venue you’ve had your eye on, the moment is here. Planning any type of holiday party can be daunting though, so we’ve compiled some tips to help you out. Plus, our pick for the best event venue in Destin as well as accommodations to host your whole gang!

Destin Bay House

  • If the holiday party is just your family, then you’ll have a good understanding of how large the group will be and who can make it. For a corporate event, you will want to ask your attendees to sign up by a certain date to ensure your venue is large enough, and any catering company you use provides enough food.
  • Set a date! Planning your party two to three months out gives attendees enough time to arrange for childcare, travel, and other factors. Don’t plan too close to the holidays – that’s considered “crunch time” and you will likely not get the date you want.
  • Determine a theme! Everyone loves a themed holiday party and now is the chance to let everyone’s creativity shine. Whether it’s a cocktail hour or an “ugly sweater” theme, your guests will love the chance to look festive at your holiday party in Destin.
  • Finding a place to host your party is no easy feat, but fortunately, some of the best event venues in Destin are geared up to host your holiday party. We love our friends over at the Destin Bay House! They have the indoor and outdoor event space to bring your dream to life, with a stunning location right on Choctawhatchee Bay. It truly doesn’t get much better than this!
  • If you have out of town guests coming to your holiday party in Destin, you’ll want to host them somewhere. If you’re hosting your holiday party at the Destin Bay House, then the nearby Cottages by the Bay are an ideal spot for everyone to stay! They are just across the street from the Bay House so you can walk to and from your soiree. Plus, the beautiful old Florida-style interiors invoke a quiet sense of luxury that will have you feeling right at home!

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