Visit Village of Baytowne Wharf
Nestled inside the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort (on the Bayside) is a cozy little place called the Village of Baytowne Wharf. Here you can find all sorts of shops, candy stores, & restaurants, & even nightclubs. There is also playground for the little ones just across a wooden bridge at the edge of the village.
A frequent stop of ours is ACME Seafood & Oyster House. (Try the Oysters Rumalade - it's delicious!) Of course we always have to stop at the candy store so the kids can get a good sugar buzz. They always have a big selection of chocolates & fudge, taffy, & pretty much anything you can make with sugar.
You can take a ferry across the water to the village, or you can simply drive.
In the middle of the Sandestin Resort there is an amazing shopping and restaurant district. There are some amazing restaurants in the Wharf with great seafood and a couple bars. At one end of the wharf there is a long dock that leads out into the gulf...you can take boat rides from here and there are amazing views of the sunset from here. On the other end there is a bridge that cross over a man-made lake. There is a small amphitheatre with live music in the center of everything. Most of the shopping is fairly expensive, but nice to look at.
"Destin FL Beach"
Powder white sand, snorkeling, sun, sun, sun, and fun.
This is where we have stayed for the past three summers. We rent a townhouse from a friend that sleeps all of us!
I've lived in Florida my entire life, but I was amazed at how beautiful the beaches are in Destin. To be honest, they remind me of the beaches in the Bahamas.
The sand is pure white, fine, and powdery. There is little to no debris found on the beaches, and there is minimal seaweed. In addition, the sand is free from broken shells and stones, making it delightful to walk upon.
The water is usually CRYSTAL clear, and ranges in color from tranquil blue to green.
Another amazing thing about Destin is the plentiful amount of dolphins in this area. It is extremely common to see groups of dolphins playing in the waters; you can even see them driving over the destin bridge!
"As A Tourist..."
Destin is a GREAT place to visit. It's very accessible: located on the panhandle of Florida, only a relatively short distance away from many other states (Georgia, Alabama, Mississipi, Tenessee, Louisiana, etc.). It's a lot cheaper than going to the Carribean, and you will find the same quality and beauty in Destin beaches.
If you are debating whether to stay on Okaloosa Island or Destin...STAY IN DESTIN! See my "general tips" for more info (trust me on this one!).
Besides all the fun things to do on the beach, Destin offers a wide variety of activities, which will keep everyone in the family happy. Destin is known for its fishing; you can either fish off of a jetty or beach, or take a chartered fishing trip.
For the sports enthusiast, there is surfing, kitesurfing, kayaking, skiing, water skiing, and parasailing. The Track also offeres go-cart racing, bungee jumping, and a variety of other adrenaline-pumping rides.
Other activities in Destin include mini golf (at the Track), dolphin boat rides, sunset/dining cruises, chartered boats, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The Gulfarium offers daily dolphin and marine shows, and is located on Okaloosa Island. Big Kahunas is a fun water park, located in Destin.
Destin also has a wide variety of shopping. The Destin Commons is the most popular place to shop; it is a delightful outdoor shopping center, featuring an enormous Bass Pro Shop. For bargain-shopping, the Silver Sands Outlet mall is located 8 miles east of Destin and is full of top-brand name stores (Coach, Ralph Lauren, Saks 5th Avenue, etc. etc.). The Market Shops of Sandestin is a cute collection of unique shops, located near the Sandestin Resort.
The majority of the restaurants in Destin are....SEAFOOD! Destin has numerous seafood restaurants which are either located directly on the beach, or have wonderful waterfront views. The best place for eating directly on the beach is Pompano Joe's, located on Scenic Hwy 98. It has great food, a fun atmosphere, and great views over the beach. Another great place is Gilligans - a rather small, easy-to-miss place located on Hwy 98. It has a spacious outdoor deck with a spectacular view over the Destin Harbor. Their food is excellent; the seafood is delicious and their hamburgers are the best in Destin!
However, if seafood isn't your thing there is still a wide variety of restaurants featuring other cuisines (although they will be harder to spot!). There are many italian,mexican, japanese, chinese, steak houses, and traditional american restaurants. See my "restaurant" tips for some ideas!
There are several great nightclubs in Destin, each providing a fun and upbeat atmosphere. For those under 21, the only 18+ nightclubs in the area are Howl-At-The-Moon, The Swamp, Fudpuckers, and Nighttown. Everything else is 21 and up. One thing to note...the covers are pretty steep, especially during high season. Covers are typically $10/$15/person over 21, and $15-20/person under 21. See my "nightclub tips" for my favorite places to go out in Destin!!
"As A Local..."
Destin is an amazing place to live. The weather is beautiful year-round, and there is a constant upbeat and fun atmosphere to the area. However, I do miss the advantages of living in a big city; most of the activities in Destin are touristy, and there is little culture.
Nonetheless, I can walk to the beach in less than 5 min from my house. You just can't beat that!
If anyone needs any tips/advice about an upcoming trip to Destin, let me know -- I'd love to help!
We have a vacation coming up soon to Destin and was wondering if anyone has been to some of the local spas? Specifically, the spa in the Sandestin Resort or the Hilton Spa (Serenity by the Sea). I would like to surprise my girlfriend with a massage. But she is pretty picky when it comes to the massage. She needs a male massage therapist, experienced and good looking (or at least somewhat appealing). And not someone with a gift for gab. Anyone?