Fun Places For 2 Year Olds In Ft Walton Beach Plan a Vacation in Destin, Florida

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Plan a Vacation in Destin, Florida

Your perfect vacation in Destin, Florida.

Hello! As a long time local of Destin, FL (over 30 years) many of my clients ask me about places to go and things to do on the Emerald Coast. I worked out the perfect vacation week to “locate” on the Gulf Coast. It’s a balance of beach time, shopping and activities.

My first recommendation is a 10 day trip. Why? The reason is the weather. Florida is a tropical state and we have regular afternoon thunderstorms or rain. It usually doesn’t rain all day. In fact, if you are willing to drive, you can find another beach area that is sunny.

I want you to get the most “bang for your buck” on your beach vacation. After 10 days, I’m sure you’ll have plenty of beach time for the perfect tan.

My second (very important) recommendation is sunscreen and being mindful of the time you spend on the beach. Our beaches have some of the whitest sand in the world. It is also highly reflective and umbrellas do not offer complete protection. By the time you realize you’re sunburned, it’s too late. During the first two days of your trip spend only a few hours in the morning and late afternoon on the beach. That way you’ll have a basic tan. Be careful to put sunscreen on the top of your feet, your ears, hairline and under your nose. If you do forget those spots…you won’t forget them next year.

My third recommendation. This is also very important. We do have a garden variety of thunderstorms that pop up along the Gulf Coast very quickly. Lighting is often associated with these storms. It can be fatal. More people die from lightning strikes than hurricanes and both are preventable. If you see a storm coming, leave the beach. It is not safe to be in the water or on the beach. Period. If you can hear thunder, you may be hit. Fortunately, most storms (unless it’s a big front moving through) only last about an hour or two. To be safe. Don’t risk it.

Are we ready to have some fun now!

There are three major vacation areas to choose from on the Gulf Coast: Ft. Walton Beach, Destin, and South Walton. It is within 45 minutes driving time from one end to the other. I will choose activities from all three to familiarize you with the area.

Day 1. Arrive. Most times in a hotel or apartment is after 3pm. I suggest just settling in and relaxing. The sunset time during the summer months is between 6pm and 7:30pm. I recommend getting some plastic glasses (no glass on the beach) and a drink to go out and enjoy the sunset.

Day 2: Beach time! Sunrise is beautiful on the Gulf Coast if you feel like getting up that early. The beach is empty and it’s the perfect time to exercise. Enjoy the beach until around 10:30. Then go to Publix supermarket to get groceries. The lines are shorter during the day and it’s not as empty. Don’t go after dinner…everyone thinks it’s a good idea…if you know what I mean.

Afternoon: Check out the Destin Commons. They have shops and a playground/water area for the kids.

Evening: Go out for dinner early…around 5pm. Then you’ll beat the dinner rush and lines. I recommend a restaurant along the Destin Harbor. The Lucky Snapper has a nice view and you will be able to see the sunset. If you want to go out for a drink, there are places on the Harbor Walk.

Day 3: Enjoy the beach in the morning, then plan an afternoon sailing trip with one of the boats in Destin Harbor: Southern Star, Silent Lady AJs sailboat, and Nathaniel Bowditch. Usually you will see Dolphins. They also have sunset cruises. Sometimes they offer special wine and cheese cruises. In the evening go to Baytowne Wharf. They have outdoor concerts and fun things for kids and adults.

Day 4: Relax on the beach (you should now have a basic tan). There are also several golf courses in the area to enjoy as well. Just Google Destin Golf Courses. In front of the surfside lodge, they are beach vendors with jet ski rentals or again go back to the Destin harbor for boat or jet ski rentals.

Day 5: Take a break from the beach with a trip to the Spa at the Hilton Serenity by the Sea NOT the Sandestin spa. It still needs renovation. Then head down to South Walton for shopping and sightseeing. Stop at Grayton beach, Seaside and Water Color. If you want to go further down 30A, check out Rosemary’s beach. Every small town has interesting shops and cafes.

Day 6: Deep sea fishing in the morning. For this you will have to get up early. There are also backwater fishing tours as well. For the ladies I would stop at Silver Sands outlet mall and the Grand Blvd at Sandestin.

Day 7: Enjoy the beach all day.. you deserve it.

Day 8: A rainy day… there will be only one or none.. if you’re really lucky. At the Destin Commons they have the RAVE theater. There are also some paint shops for the kids to make their own pottery: Shooting on the Coast. There is a Barnes and Noble and Books a Million near the Destin Commons. Just kick back, rent a movie and relax at the condo.

Day 9: Enjoy the beach one last time or take a canoe trip through the coastal dune lakes in South Walton. Rent a bike and ride along 30A. Go to Ft. Walton beach and enjoy the shops and great restaurants just over the Brooks bridge in Historic FWB.

Day 10. Time to leave. Hopefully it won’t be too sunny this day.. that makes it hard to go. But don’t worry, we’ll still be here next year and we look forward to welcoming you back.

I hope you enjoyed your vacation to Northwest Florida. Be sure to come back down and see us. The door is always open.

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