Destin, Fl

May 24 – June 1, 2024

“Sunshine mixed with a little hurricane!” – Unknown

Destin, Florida is a beautiful beach town located on Florida’s Emerald Coast, known for its white beaches and emerald green waters. The area was originally a small fishing village but has grown into a popular tourist destination.  Destin known for its fishing also offers challenging golf courses, delicious seafood restaurants, and stunning Gulf views. Visitors can enjoy a range of year-round activities that make it an ideal destination for families. The area boasts luxurious accommodations, including condo vacation rentals, beach houses, and top-rated resort hotels

Florida is known as the Hawaii for the mid west.  Since we were going with family that are currently residing in Oklahoma.  We thought what better spot to go check out. Let me just tell you, it did not disappoint.  As mentioned above there is a variety of lovely places to along this beautiful stretch of coast line.  We picked a Harbor View Condo on Airbnb.  This location was reasonably priced and very conveniently located.  Also there were fireworks a number of nights which you could see perfectly from the balcony of our Airbnb. Although I will say if I ever return I would stay further East down the coast, in one of the smaller beach towns. 

Destin’s is busiest from Memorial Day to Labor Day according to some of the locals.  May is a gorgeous time to visit as you can still enjoy moderate temperatures and beaches aren’t quite so crowded yet.  Destin has been named the #1 Best Florida Beach by U.S. News, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty and charm of Florida’s Emerald Coast.

You are most likely going to need a vehicle while visiting and I will say it is huge plus if the place you are renting comes with a golf cart.  However, you can rent them for about $100 a day or you can rent bicycles for around $25 a day.  Destin is not the cheapest place to visit.  It ended up costing our family of 7 about $800 per person for the week with stay and all activities. 

With the stunning white sandy beaches and clear blue green water many of our days were filled with lazy afternoon beach snoozes, building sand castles, morning beach walks and evening crab hunts.  The sand is not like any other kind I have ever felt, it literally fills like silk as you walk through it.  When we weren’t fighting over beach chairs we were out cruising highway 30A checking out the surrounding area, floating on a pontoon at crab island, diving a ship wreck or just walking the Harbor Boardwalk.   

30A is a scenic highway along the Gulf Coast of Florida, located between Destin and Panama City Beach. The area spans roughly 20 miles along the Florida coastline.  It’s a collection of small, unique, beautiful Florida beach towns nestled quietly together earning it the nickname the “Emerald Coast”.  The area is filled with vacation activities for all, including live music, shopping, dining, community events, beach activities, biking, fishing, parks, and state forests.

Some of my favorite areas of 30A would have to be Seaside and Rosemary both quant, quite beautiful charming little beach towns. Definitely, will be where I stay during my next visit.

When deciding between Destin and 30A, consider that Destin offers a rather lively lifestyle with an active nightlife and a big focus on outdoor activities like boating and golfing, while 30A provides a more laid-back atmosphere with easy access to the rest of the Emerald Coast. Ultimately, the choice depends on your individual preferences and what you’re looking for in a vacation.

Activities we loved and recommend!

Sunset Tiki Cruise – We did this our second night in town and it was a lot of fun and lovely all around.  We had beautiful weather and it was nice to be out on the water once most people had come in for the day.  I highly recommend doing this but I do fill it is a bit over priced.  (We even got a discount with our stay)  However, our captains were awesome and even let the kids drive for a bit.

Beach Weekend Pontoon Boat –  We rented a 25′ Double Decker Pontoon Boat with Slides and Lilly Pad for an 8 Hour day with Captian. We headed out for a day of fun in the sun at Crab Island.  This is a must if you visit Destin.  We had the most amazing time!  By far one of everyone’s favorite things we did. Overall per person this was worth every penny and reasonably priced.

Scuba Tech Diving – Diving is a must for me any chance I get.  When I saw the Florida coast water there was not chance of me missing out!  Emerald Coast Scuba was highly recommended but they were all booked so we went with Scuba Tech Diving.  They were great.  The team and crew that took us out were fun and professional, just all round great people! And very reasonable priced.   

Other activities easy to access and fun in the area – Zip lining, Golfing, Fishing, and Jet Ski Rental.

*Side Note – If you are military ask everywhere if they do a military discount.  This is a military town and very gracious!*


Al’s Beach Club Burger Bar – Beachfront haunt with weekly firework shows, DJs & a menu of burgers, craft beer & milkshakes.  This place is loud and fun and really good food surprisingly.  The chicken here is amazing served in any shape and form.  We found this restaurant very entertaining!

The Local Market – We thought this was a local market but upon entering we quickly realized it is a rustic cafe with a chalkboard menu of American comfort foods plus smoothies, juices, coffee & beer. They do have few things beverage wise to buy like market style. 

Capriccio Cafe – Snug spot with a stylish, pared-down interior serving imported Italian coffee & inventive cafe fare.  Walking distance from our place with sweet staff and a bit of charm.

Boshamps – Locally sourced Southern-style seafood served in a casual setting with ocean views & 2 full bars.  This place came highly recommended.  It is way bigger then you think.  They do not take reservations so go early otherwise always seems to have a very long wait.  But really good food and great setting.

The Gulf – Stylish bayside hangout for seafood & cocktails featuring multiple indoor & outdoor areas.  Lovely spot on the water with lots of shade. Food was good; Drinks were great! 

The Back Porch – Grilled seafood stars at this joint with a long porch, beach chairs on the sand & gulf views.  We only stopped in for a drink.  But this spot is right on the beach and has a large selection of food and drink to enjoy!

Louisiana Lagniappe – Upscale waterfront venue serving Louisiana-style seafood amid tropical decor & harbor views. This was in walking distance from our airbnb. Very popular and very good! 

Barefoot Bar & Grill – Very kid friendly beach bar in Panama City.  This was not our favorite place. However, it is reasonably priced and awesome setting for families with small children who want to enjoy a cocktail while the kiddos stay busy.  Staff is very sweet but there is not rush!

b.f.f. frozens – Serving the yummiest frozen Rose in town!  Located in Seaside in Great Southern Cafe. Southern specialties come with a twist at this warm spot that gives classic recipes a modern spin.

Henderson The Rooftop Bar – Lovely little casual spot located at The Henderson, with sweeping views of the coast line and State Park.  Great for a Happy Hour Sunset Toast!

Dewey’s Snoballs – NOW this was an epic find! Quant little spot on the bay.  Serving incredible shaved ice.  So good the kids made us go back a second night!

The Edge – Enjoy Destin seafood and watch local fishing boats unloading their daily catches, tour boats chasing dolphins and beautiful views along the working waterfront of the Destin Harbor Boardwalk

McGuire’s Irish Pub – Irish pub grub delivered with ales brewed in copper kettles, plus live music most nights.  I can not tell you how many people recommended this place to us.  It was insane.  I however, did not love it. It was fine for what it is.  Some of the food was pretty good, I would say more of an experience then a food lovers paradise.

In regards to the quote at the top. I picked it because we were so lucky and had the most beautiful weather our entire trip until the very last night a storm rolled in and it was crankin’!  The thunder and lighting where spectacular to watch.  It kept us up a good portion of the night but the kids loved it and it was exciting to experience a Florida storm.

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