A beautiful photo from Destin, FL

Last-Minute Trip To The Beach!

Book Your Last-Minute Vacation Rental in Destin

Whether you are searching for the perfect last-minute trip to the beach, or you are wanting to work remotely and experience a change in scenery, we have the perfect vacation rental in Destin for you! Mainsail is a beautiful resort right on the beach, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful views of the Gulf.

Mainsail in Destin, FLYour condo at Mainsail includes a private balcony, and we are sure this will be your favorite spot to unwind from your day on the beach. Not only does your condo have spectacular Gulf views, but it also comes with a fully equipped kitchen. You can spend your day soaking up the sun, then spend your evening cooking a homemade meal with your family.

This vacation rental in Destin has everything necessary to make your stay memorable, but the resort also features amenities you won’t find anywhere else. From tennis courts to a community pool, Mainsail truly has it all.

  • Community Pool and Hot Tub
  • Kiddie Pool
  • On-Site Fitness Facility
  • Shuffleboard Deck
  • Tennis Courts

Staying at Mainsail means being just a short drive away from all that Destin, FL has to offer. We included some of our favorite activities in Destin, but for an extensive list, visit our Things To Do In Destin page!

  • Shopping at The Destin Commons
  • Dining at Camille’s at Crystal Beach
  • Catching waves with Ride on Surf School
  • Searching for dolphins with Olin Marler Dolphin Cruises

Don’t miss your chance to book your vacation rental in Destin for late spring! Click here to learn more about Mainsail in Destin, FL!

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Emerald Coast Open to Battle Lionfish Invasion

Let’s talk lionfish. According to the National Ocean Service, lionfish are native to the Indo-Pacific, but are now established in the Gulf of Mexico, along the U.S. southeast coast, and the Caribbean.

How did the fish get here? While the exact cause is unknown, it’s likely that humans provided a helping hand. Experts speculate that people have been dumping unwanted lionfish from home aquariums into the Atlantic Ocean for up to 25 years.

Since lionfish are not native to Atlantic waters, they have very few predators. They are carnivores that feed on small crustaceans and fish, including the young of important commercial fish species such as snapper and grouper.

Unfortunately, NOAA researchers have concluded that invasive lionfish populations will continue to grow and cannot be eliminated using conventional methods. Marine invaders are nearly impossible to eradicate once established. Lionfish hunting is done by scuba diving and snorkeling as lionfish are rarely caught on hook & line.

The Emerald Coast Open was created for this purpose. The main tournament is scheduled for May 14-May 16, with pre-tournament fishing already underway. As of March 24, 484 lionfish have been turned in. Registration for the tournament is here.

If you plan to join the lionfish hunt, our friends at Destin Snorkel an assist with scuba or snorkeling equipment. It will definitely rank high on one of the most interesting things to do in Destin!

 

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Top 3 Spring Events in Destin, Florida

Spring Events in Destin

Looking for things to do during your spring vacation to the beach? Springtime is a wonderful season to visit the Gulf Coast because of the temperate weather and beating the summer crowds! Check out our team’s top 3 favorite spring events in Destin!

Sandestin Wine Festival

The 34th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival is an event in Destin you won’t want to miss. The event will take place April 15th – 18th, 2021 and feature a comprehensive selection of wine in all varieties, styles, and price ranges. The festival is not only perfect for those who consider themselves wine connoisseurs, but also those who are looking for good food, wine, and entertainment.

Spring Kite Festival

Kitty Hawk Kites’ annual “Fly Into Spring” Kite Festival is being held April 3rd – 4th, 2021 at The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island. This event is one your kids will love! Not only will you see a variety of kites flying high by professionals in the business, but you can also learn how to fly your own kite. To learn more about this spring event in Destin, click here!

Sunset Celebration at HarborWalk Village

Destin's HarborWalk Village

Sunset Celebration is an event that has a little something for everyone! Not only is it located at HarborWalk Village, one of the most popular attractions in Destin, FL, but it also features live music and family-friendly activities. Enjoy local artists, great food, and incredible entertainment while also experiencing the famous Florida sunset.

There are so many spring events in Destin, FL! Check out our extensive list of things to do in Destin by clicking here! From fishing to shopping, we have listed every activity under the sun. You are bound to find something for everyone!

Searching for the perfect accommodation? Visit Southern Vacation Rentals to find the right vacation rental for your stay on the Gulf Coast!

 

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What to do in Destin for Spring?

5 Activities in Destin

Planning a spring vacation to the Gulf Coast? From surfing to go-carts, there are so many fun activities to do in Destin! With daylight savings time approaching quickly, you will find more time in your day to fit in more activities the whole family will enjoy. Below we have listed our Top 5 favorite activities in Destin, but for an extensive list with Tripshock, click here.   

Dolphin Cruises and Tours

Ask any local, and they will tell you that no matter how many times they have seen a dolphin in Destin’s emerald green waters; they get excited every time! Hopping on a dolphin cruise is a must when visiting the Gulf Coast. Get a tour of the Gulf of Mexico while spotting beautiful dolphins. Local Tip: Book a cruise at sunset to enjoy time spent with family on a boat watching the sun go down.  

Kids running on the beach

Bike Rentals

What better way to get to know the Destin area and soak up the sun than a bike ride? Take a ride down the street to grab a bite to eat or go for a stroll with your family to see what the area around you has to offer. Tripshock offers multiple different bike rental options suitable for the whole family!  

Dinner Cruise

Searching for that one-of-a-kind date night that will provide you with a great meal and special experience? Try a dinner cruise! The Destin Fine Dining Dinner and Dancing Cruise offer an incredible meal of fresh Gulf seafood, premium beef, and so much more. You will cruise through Choctawhatchee Bay and enjoy live entertainment with a beautiful view.  

Sailing Cruise

A sailing cruise is perfect for vacationers looking for some adventure! Tripshock lists multiple sailing charters that all provide an exciting experience. Sail away and enjoy beautiful surroundings. You may even see some wildlife during your trip!   

Gulfarium Tickets and Marine Life Encounters

Visit the Gulfarium for a full day of education and entertainment! From a dolphin show to chatting with the otters, the Gulfarium has it all. You will end the day with so much knowledge about wildlife including stingrays, gators, penguins, turtles and so much more. There is something for everyone at the Gulfarium in Destin!  

Your spring vacation to Destin, FL is sure to be a memorable one. Looking for a place to stay? Visit our Southern Vacation Rentals to find the perfect condo in Destin, FL with a Gulf-front view!

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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.

Themes

  • 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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