Image by Hannah Jacobson

If you haven't been to Destin, what are you waiting for? 

International borders are slowly opening up as the pandemic, Covid-19, is calming down. But are you ready to travel internationally again? And if not an international trip, are you itching travel somewhere in the states? If you’re like me, a beach is a MUST every summer season.

If you're looking for a beach that makes you feel like you have used your passport, make your way to Destin, FL.  Destin is an excellent choice for beach lovers who have exhausted and/or have no interest in the beaches on the east or west coast.

 

Destin is part of the Gulf of Mexico. The lure of this beach is beautiful white sand and clear waters. It is very reminiscent of a beach on a Caribbean Island. You walk on the sand with no shoes and it’s not hot, temperature wise, even with the sun beaming on it. The sand feels like cool baby powder. The water has waves but it’s pretty calm. So you can jump the waves or float face up and let the waves rock you up and down.

 

If you live in cities like Atlanta or Tallahassee, you can drive a few hours instead of flying.  But, there are also two airport options to get to Destin, which are Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) or Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP).  From there, you will have to travel by car another 15 miles, approximately, to reach Destin.

I have been multiple times and it’s a real beach town. It has a relaxing vibe, plenty of fresh seafood and activities. Some of the restaurants are open air and sit on the water. Boshamp's is one of their most popular seafood restaurants. The views from the restaurant are amazing. Destin also has a party element if you are looking to have a bit of adult fun at night at one of their bars or clubs. Walking down the HarborWalk (boardwalk) is a must. There are restaurants, fun games, souvenir shopping and even a house of mirrors and an escape room (which was super fun). If you have been on a boardwalk in a beach town, this boardwalk has the same feel. Sort of carnival mixed with established storefronts and restaurants. And if you like to shop until you drop, there is outlet shopping available at Silver Sands Premium Outlet, with a good selection of stores and even some higher end brands. There is also the Big Kahuna, which is a huge water park for the kid in you and if you would like to experience more than just the beach.

 

If you’re looking for an abundance of five star accommodations, you may be hard pressed to find them there. That is the only downside for me. It’s not like South Beach Miami, where a lot of the hotels with beach access are 4-5 star hotels. You definitely want to stay in the Destin area and not Fort Walton. Fort Walton has lower priced hotels but you will also have to drive about 15 miles to the nearest beach access point.  And if you want to do multiple activities, you would have to take multiple trips back to your hotel. I don't know about you, but I like to be where the fun is.

Destin opened back up in mid-May 2020. And with any popular vacation destination, making hotel reservations well in advance are recommended. I would also recommend an Air BnB. I’ve seen quite a few online that were contemporary and beautiful.

 

Destin is one of our hidden gems in the states. I heard about it from a friend years ago. And when I saw the pictures of the beach online, I was sold. Once I went, I was thoroughly impressed. I try to go back at least once a year. So if you need some cool white sand between your toes and to be able to see down to the sea floor when you’re in the water chest high, Destin, FL is your optimal choice.

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