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Summer Family Reunion in Destin, FL

Planning Your Summer Family Reunion in Destin, FL

Planning a family reunion to the Gulf Coast? How exciting! We would love to help guide you on how to make this family reunion in Destin, FL one you will never forget! Looking for accommodations? Consider Cottages by the Bay in Destin, FL. With room for up to 50 guests, it is the perfect vacation rental in Destin for a family reunion.

La Paz in Destin, FL

Image courtesy of La Paz in Destin, FL

One way to make your family reunion memorable is by choosing a theme for the entire vacation! We have listed some of our favorite themes and ways to incorporate your theme throughout the vacation below.


  • Family Olympics
  • Family Heritage Awareness
  • Sun, Sand, and Surf
  • Mexican Fiesta
  • Oldies Dance Party
  • Wedding Anniversary or Birthday
  • Western

Things to Plan For

Food – Choose different meals each night that reflect your theme. For example, if you choose Family Heritage Awareness, search in old recipe books for a recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation. Serve that to your family and give them each a copy of the recipe to continue on the tradition.

Did you happen to choose the Mexican Fiesta theme? Check out a local favorite Mexican restaurant, La Paz, for delicious queso and margaritas!

Activities- There is always something to do in Destin! However, think about ways to make your daily activities centered around your designated theme. For example, if you chose Oldies Dance Party, host a talent show (with no judgment, of course) and give everyone 1 day to come up with their talent. For activities to do in Destin click here!

Decorations – Instead of going out for dinner, stay in one night and throw a theme-inspired party! Decorate your condo in Destin to reflect your family reunion theme. You could even take it a step further and provide fun costumes for your family to dress up! For example, if you chose Western, provide cowboy hates for people to wear throughout the night.

Choosing a theme for your family reunion to the beach will make it a vacation no one will want to go home from! For more information about family reunions at Cottages by the Bay, click here.

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Favorite Family Fun – Dolphin Cruises in Destin

Does it get any better than a dolphin cruise at sunset? Dolphin cruises, which leave daily from the Destin Harbor, remain one of our favorite, family fun activities in Destin. Here’s some of our favorite tour boats which are ready to take your reservations for spring fun:

  • SOUTHERN STAR DOLPHIN CRUISE – Southern Star has been hosting cruises for two decades. The company has been featured on National Geographic Explorer and CNN Earthwatch. The company offers 90-minute eco-dolphin or sunset cruises where you go in search of the beautiful bottlenose dolphin. Family owned and operated by Captain Steve and Wendy Wilson, they operate an 80-foot glass bottom boat. If you are headed to the area for spring break, Southern Star is currently offering a spring break discount.
  • OLIN MARLER DOLPHIN CRUISES – The Hannah Marie runs dolphin cruises daily. Also family owned and operated, the one hour cruises are perfect for watching dolphins play in their natural habitat. These boats feature a glass bottom viewing area, snack bar, restrooms and an air conditioned and heated cabin. Concession stand on board for light snacks and beverages.
  • DESTIN SEA BLASTER DOLPHIN TOURS – If you want to kick it up a notch, the Sea Blaster, a 73-foot custom speedboat, is perfect for a fun and exciting dolphin cruise. Capt. Larry has been entertaining families in the Destin area since 1995. The Sea Blaster offers a variety of cruises including snorkeling and dolphin cruise combination trips, afternoon beach dolphin cruises, and relaxing sunset dolphin cruises.

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Your Summer Vacation Awaits!

Summer at Crystal Dunes in Destin

Are you looking for a summer vacation the whole family will love? Look no further! Crystal Dunes in Destin, FL has everything you could possibly need for a memorable beach getaway. These spacious 2–4 bedroom condominiums can accommodate up to 16 guests and overlook the Gulf of Mexico. Check out Crystal Dunes condos in Destin to reserve your stay today!

Crystal Dunes in Destin, FL

Visiting the Gulf Coast during the summer means enjoying lots of Florida sunshine, powder white sand, and exciting activities in Destin, FL. Crystal Dunes features incredible amenities making your stay one you will never forget. From the resort pool to the BBQ Grills, you will find enough entertainment to ensure you never have to leave your condo in Destin! On top of those amenities, Crystal Dunes has direct access to the beach. Grab your sunscreen and your beach chairs and get ready for a relaxing afternoon watching your family enjoy all the beach has to offer.

For the days you want to stay indoors, you will find everything you could need within your condo in Crystal Dunes. You could spend the evening cooking a delicious meal and eat together as a family on the spacious balcony. Finish the evening by relaxing on the couch, or congregating around the dining table for game night!

Not only does staying at Crystal Dunes in Destin mean you are vacationing at one of the most popular condos in the area, but you are also in a great location, just minutes away from tons of entertainment options. Venture out of the gated condo and you will find popular attractions such as The Track and Big Kahunas. You will also find that one of Destin’s most popular attractions, HarborWalk Village, is only a short drive away. Check out some of our favorite Destin activities here.

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Destin Shrimp & Grits Festival is This Weekend

Festival season is back! Kicking off the fun this Saturday, Feb. 27, is the 2nd Annual Destin Shrimp & Grits Festival.

Chefs will be competing for the title of shrimp & grits king starting at noon 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 competed to be crowned winner of the best shrimp & grits on the Emerald Coast. 

The first year festival raised more than $20,000, with all the profits going to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast.

Plan to purchase your tickets directly through the festival 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)

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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The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village

Destin will always hail as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”. Destin charter boat captains are second to none when providing day or half-day fishing trips. Our gulf waters have an abundance of red snapper, grouper, amberjack, scamp, triggerfish, all caught bottom fishing. King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, bonito, black fin tuna, are all inshore trolling fish. Blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish, swordfish, yellowfin tuna, are offshore deep water trolling fish (and a little more difficult to find.)

If you see a fishing trip in your future, here’s two charter boat options with links to websites for scheduling:

First Light – Captain Steve Haeusler has over 30 years of fishing experience in Destin waters and has been chartering deep sea fishing trips & family fishing trips for over 20 years. With competitive rates and expert knowledge of the area, First Light is an excellent choice for fishing trips in Destin, FL.

The Phoenix – Another excellent option is The Phoenix. Captain Scott Robson started working on charter boats when he was in college. He started out as first mate, then received his captain’s license in 1982. “All the charter boats were wooden back then and slow. Now we have nice, big, and fast fiberglass boats,” according to Robson. “I’ve been a captain for over 35 years now and I love seeing the expressions on folks when they are catching big saltwater fish, especially the young ones. They get so excited.”

Happy Fishing!

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Get in Shape for Spring Break

Best Fitness Activities in Destin

Fitness is something that’s important all year long, not just for your New Year’s resolutions! And, with Spring Break around the corner, the motivation you need is here. Fortunately, there are tons of great fitness activities in Destin, from gyms to fitness classes to yoga on the beach. Discover some of our favorite places to get fit in Destin, and let us know yours on our Facebook page!

Fitness in Destin

  • Pure Barre – Barre is a huge trend in fitness right now, and Pure Barre studios are popping up all over the Gulf Coast. The classes combine low impact and high-intensity movements to strengthen and tone your body. The movements are similar to ballet exercises and you will surely feel the burn in your shoulders, glutes, and core after just a few classes!
  • Orangetheory – Orangetheory is another trend that’s popping up everywhere and is a favorite among fitness enthusiasts. The goal is to generate “the Orange Effect” by incorporating endurance, strength, and power to keep you burning calories for up to 36 hours after a 60-minute workout.
  • Destin Yoga by the Sea – Are you looking for something a little less intense than Pure Barre and Orangetheory? Yoga is a great way to strengthen both your mind and your body in a low-impact way. We love Destin Yoga by the Sea since it’s held on the beach. Just bring some sunscreen and sunglasses to beat the sun. Putting a towel over your yoga mat will also help keep the sand at bay when you are ready to practice again.

Do you still need to book your Spring Break vacation to Destin? Our lodging partners Southern Vacation Rentals have some incredible condo rentals at Crystal Dunes that are available for your spring vacation. This inventory is going fast, so don’t wait to book! Crystal Dunes 106 is a new condo rental that looks right out onto the water, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms to accommodate 10 guests. Plus, it even has complimentary beach service! When you come for Spring Break, you’ll be here just in time to enjoy a beach chair set up!

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Mardi Gras 2021, Destin-style

Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, February 16, this year and, while the grand celebrations in New Orleans and Mobile are on hold, there are family-friendly outdoor events scheduled for Destin.

Destin CommonsFriday, Feb. 12

Let the good times roll with live music, free face painting, and a photo booth beginning at 6:00 p.m. The Commons will also host a Mardi Gras parade beginning at 7:00 p.m.


The Village at Baytowne Wharf Sunday, Feb. 14

Baytowne’s version of a Mardi Gras parade will travel through village streets beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Expect costumed dogs and their humans along with colorful floats, golf carts, and pick-up trucks. Mardi Gras music will fill the air as our four-pawed friends and parade participants shower parade-goers with a barrage of beads, moon pies, and other trinkets.


The Village at Baytowne WharfTuesday, Feb. 16

On Mardi Gras Day, the celebration continues with the Baytowne Mardi Street Pardi. Set for Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the good times will begin at 6:00 p.m. The village street party will feature music, street performers, entertainers and more. 

There’s plenty of time to make plans to join the fun. Visit our lodging partners to schedule your vacation rental in Destin, FL.

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Summer at Breakers East in Destin

Summer at Breakers East in Destin

Breakers East Condos in DestinHow would you like to spend your summer vacation soaking up some sun on our powder-white sand? With bright sunshine, blue waves, and white sand, there’s no better place to spend summer than in Destin. If you need us, we’ll be spending our summer at Breakers East in Destin! Breakers East condos in Destin are some of the most popular spots on the beach, and for good reason, too! These two-bedroom condos can accommodate as many as eight guests and overlook Destin’s emerald green waters. Check out Breakers East condos in Destin to reserve your stay today!

When you visit the Gulf Coast this summer, you can expect lots of warm weather and bright skies this summer! Breakers East in Destin features lots of exciting amenities to help you make the most of your time outdoors. With two beachfront pools, lighted tennis courts, barbecue grills, and shuffleboard, you’ve got an endless list of ways to have fun under the sun. Not to mention, private beach walkovers will take you straight to the shore. Breakers East offers beach service for a fee, so grab your rented umbrella and beach chair and get ready to relax.

For the times that you are indoors lounging about inside your condo, you’ll find everything you need to have an enjoyable time at the beach. Each condo features high-end amenities for you to enjoy, and not to mention some of the largest floor plans and balconies overlooking the Gulf. Inside each condo, you’ll find a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and free WiFi. The balconies span 30 feet wide, so you have plenty of room to stretch out. Breakers East Condos in Destin

Breakers East condos in Destin also enjoy a fabulous location just minutes away from area fun. That means you’re within walking distance to attractions like The Track and Big Kahunas, and a short drive away from HarborWalk Village and Destin’s multiple shopping centers. Simply put, it’s hard to find a better place to stay in Destin! Check out some of our favorite Destin activities here.

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Golf Continues to Boom in the Pandemic

(CNN) The pandemic has popularized a lot of unexpected activities. Remember when everyone was doing puzzles and baking bread? Thanks to social distancing, the sport of golf has seen a resurgence, too.

At the beginning of 2020, golf courses were seeing business as usual. There was no big nationwide increase in the number of rounds of golf played, according to data from Golf DataTech. There was no indication that this would be the biggest year yet for the recreational sport.
But when everything came to a standstill because of the pandemic, things changed.
When states started reopening in late April and May, sprawling, socially distanced golf courses were one of the first “safe” spaces that were able to get back to business. Interest in the sport quickly followed.
In May, the number of reported rounds of golf in the US — defined by Golf Datatech as a single authorized “start” at a self-reporting club or facility — rebounded from a 42.2% decline during lockdowns to a 6.2% increase over last year.
Then, rounds began to surge. Since June there have been over 50 million incremental rounds of golf played, according to the National Golf Foundation. October’s year-over-year numbers are the greatest yet adding just over 11 million additional rounds for the month than in 2019.
In fact, the NGF reports there’s only been one other year that saw a bigger rise in interest in the sport: 1997, the year Tiger Woods became a massive sensation. ###
Retail sales of golf clothing and gear are also up as well as golf event viewership. Ready to schedule your next round of golf in Destin, FL? Link over to our golf partners here. (CNN: Lauren M. Johnson, Photography: Emerald Bay Golf Club)

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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’s 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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