Just Beachy

Ahhh! I'm reveling in the feeling of being relaxed to the core. Dalles and I were in Destin, Florida last week, and it was heavenly. We really unplugged ourselves from technology {hence the scarce photos}, and it was just what we needed! Those white sand beaches and crystal clear emerald green waters do a body good!

I spent many 4th of Julys there growing up; Destin was synonymous with fireworks, Harry T's, and Wimbledon for me as a younger gal. But after my parents divorced, we stopped going. I went back once with a friend my freshman year of high school and later met up with my dad and brother, but it just wasn't the same. When it came time to decide where we wanted go to get away this summer, I suggested Destin. I figured it was time to make some new memories there!

So before I get started on that overflowing laundry basket, I'm going to revel in our trip for a bit and give you my tips on all-things Destin!

Hilton Sandestin - We were really happy with our stay at the Hilton. We were shocked at the sleeping capacity of our single room; we could have easily slept 6 adults, with room to spare! It's definitely a bargain for a family. Plus, with the way the hotel is angled, every single room has a view of the beach! Speaking of the beach, access to it from the hotel is easy as pie, which is why it won our business. They offer beach chair and umbrella rentals for $40/day {uh, gag me}, so I suggest bringing your own. {Growing up, we always stayed in a large condo at Surfside.}

Stinky's Fish Camp - There is a reason why Stinky's is listed first: IT IS HOLY MOLY AMAZING! The Taste of Stinky's is where it's at, y'all! Crawfish Pie, Catfish Meuniere, and a Crab Cake are the main features, accompanied by their freakishly good stir-fry vegetables, delicious brabant potatoes, and the best dang pepperjack cheese grits you'll ever eat in your life. It is a serious party in your mouth! Crawfish Pie is officially on my list of the best entrees I've ever eaten... and I don't even like crawfish. The crust is perfectly delicate and flaky, and the sauce has the ideal amount of spicy kick. Oh, man. I'll be dreaming about that stuff until I can go back and eat it again.
food image via Trip Advisor
The Donut Hole - I ordered a crab omelet and Dalles had french toast. I have to be honest: We weren't overly in love with our breakfast entrees, so I say skip 'em and just grab some of their sinfully delicious looking donuts that we were too full to try ourselves.
The Crab Trap - Dalles and I shared the snow crab and it was easily some of the best crab I've ever eaten, and there was something so delicious about their melted butter. I know it's just melted butter, but it was better than any I've ever had. The crab totally didn't need it, by the way. It was buttery and delicious on its own.
Ciao Bella Pizza - Their olive oil dipping sauce is to die for; order bread so you can soak it up! I'm going to be dreaming about that stuff, too! We were super pleased with our salad and pizza {pepperoni, mushroom, and green peppers} and the delicious crust on that thing; it was thin and perfectly crispy when you wanted it to be!
32 Degrees - We have several different chains of frozen yogurt bars in our community, but I've never been to a 32 Degrees. It was pretty good. They had a fairly diverse selection of yogurt flavors and lots of various toppings. I got the watermelon and tropical flavors {topped with mochi and Japanese bubble candies}, and they were really refreshing!
Kilwins  - D loved their ice cream flavors; I was all about their dark chocolate sea salt caramel apples. YUM!
Barefoots Beachside Bar & Grill {loved their fish tacos!}, Sandcastles breakfast buffet, and Picnix all had great offerings right on the hotel's grounds.

The beach is a pretty obvious first suggestion here, huh? Dalles and I had a grand old time lousily {me} throwing around a frisbee, building sandcastles, and playing in the waves. We also rented a kayak and a stand-up paddle board from the Hilton's on-site rental hut. They were both priced really well {around $20/hour for the kayak and around $25/hour for the paddle board}.
The Track - We actually never made it here due to it raining on the night we were planning on going {our last night there}, but I can attest from my youth years that it's super fun.
Gulfarium - We didn't go here, either but I can vouch for it from my youth!
Big Kahuna's Water Park - Again vouching from my younger years, Big Kahuna's is lots of fun!

Silver Sands Factory Stores - I have some awesome outlets in my neck-of-the-woods, so I wasn't thoroughly impressed with these.
Grand Boulevard Town Center - J.Crew-by-the-sea was a major letdown. I was expecting beachy perfection {how could you not with that name?!}, but there wasn't an ounce of beach or sea-ness in that store. It was filled with new fall arrivals totally unrealistic for the Florida temps, and there wasn't even a sale section. What?! I was pleasantly surprised by how many cute clothing items I found in Billabong! {cute, cute, cute, cute}

Until we meet again, Destin!


Amy Shaughnessy at: August 24, 2012 at 2:09 PM said...

Never been to Destin. Everyone here goes to Gulf Shores. I can't imagine that they are even remotely the same! The water looks so pretty in Destin!


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Kerry at: August 26, 2012 at 3:14 PM said...

I've heard a lot about Gulf Shores, but I've never been. It sure is closer than Destin, so that's got to give it some points!

The water in Destin is perfect!

Maigen at: August 26, 2012 at 4:41 PM said...

This makes me want to check out Destin! It has been a destination for several of my family members, but I have never been!

Adding to the list! :)

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