TRAVEL CONTRIBUTION BY SARA D.
Destin, Florida / the Emerald Coast
"known for the pearly white sand that feels like sugar beneath your toes and the super clear emerald green waters of the gulf"
Favorite hang out spot: Harry T's on the Destin Harbour
Favorite place to dine: Dewey Destin, Fisherman's Warf, Harbor Docks (only for sushi)
|Sunset on the harbor/bay|
Favorite place for a refreshing drink: Harry T's again - amazing views of the harbour, breeze, boat watching, and great live music (featuring my talented cousin Kyle LaMonica on Sundays - http://kylelamonica.com/ (self-serving plug? haha)
|Fighter planes from WWII sometimes do airshows over the harbor from nearby Elgin air force base|
Favorite shopping spot: Destin Commons - great outdoor mall, tons of great stores, playground + fountain for kids, movie theater, other entertainment and good restaurants; Silver Sands Factory Outlets - biggest and greatest outlets I've ever been to, and everyone knows about them - don't go on a rainy day!
Favorite landmark: The beaches!
|Beach in the morning|
Destin and Emerald Coast is/are known for the pearly white sand that feels like sugar beneath your toes, and the super clear emerald green waters of the gulf. Yellow flags mean there might be some 3 or 4 foot waves. Don't expect to surf, but definitely expect to enjoy a lazy day floating on a raft. Snorkel on the sandbar to see some gulf coast and harbour native fish (that you can eat later at Dewey Destin) and dolphins. If you have a boat, or money to rent a boat, ask a local about Crab Island, a sandbar inside the harbour where hundreds of boats gather each day for basically a big grown-up party. Order pizza from a guy on a jet ski. Wear lots of sunscreen.
Overall thoughts on the city: Known as "the world's luckiest fishing village," Destin used to be the Emerald Coast's best kept secret and is now probably most popular destination for the South (always lots of LSU flags, Bama fans, Auburn hats, and Ole' Miss alums hanging around). Great place for families to vacation - good food, plenty of condos and rentals, go carts, water park, and standard beachy tourist fun like parasailing, dolphin cruises, jet skis, pontoon boat rides. Destin and surrounding areas are also known for a really great live music scene.
For a quiet, less kid friendly bars and restuarants, head east to Watercolor and Rosemary beach for the small beach town feel. Check out Seaside east of Destin to see the adorable village where The Truman Show was filmed (ft. Jim Carrey), and Sandestin also slightly east of Destin for more good shopping, live music, and restaurants with a view of the bay.