Matthew left for his trip just 36 hours after we got home from Destin. Today is his last day in India. I can't believe we made it — one month apart. When we booked our trip to Destin, we didn't know that it would fall just before a work opportunity that would take Matthew from us for a month.
Again and again, during our trip and over the course of the past month, Matthew and I have reflected on how wonderful our Destin vacation was. We loved it so much. Matthew said to me last week, “I think it was one of my favorite vacations ever. It was just perfect.”
Living in Nashville, I have heard about Destin/30A for years. The Florida destination is one that many people vacation to — and now we know why. We had such an incredible week. It was the perfect mix of relaxation and fun family experiences. If your family likes beach vacations, I can't say enough about Destin. Pin this post, put Destin on your vacation list, etc. You want to go on a Destin vacation.
Here are the reasons we loved vacationing in Destin:
The beach: First and foremost, the beach was simply incredible.
The sand was like powder. The water was crystal clear and warm – even in October. If you did nothing but go to the beach every day in Destin, you would have a satisfying vacation. It truly is like a piece of heaven.
The food: As a family, we don't typically go out to eat often, which is why we had so much fun dining at wonderful restaurants in Destin. You can't beat fresh seafood and in Destin, it's available in abundance. We had a divine meal at Brotula's, which boasts some of the freshest seafood in Destin. For as much food as we had — and the quality, we were also impressed by the affordability of Brotula's. It is definitely a restaurant we will go back to.
For especially family friendly experiences, I recommend Fudpucker's and Osaka Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar. Fudpucker's has an incredible 100+ alligator experience, which our kids loved. Osaka was the first time our kids had experienced a hibachi grill and our cook did not disappoint. From his kind personality, stunning flames and phenomenal food, it was one of the best meals we enjoyed in Destin.
While most mornings we had breakfast at home, we did go out twice and had great experiences both times. Check out The Breakfast Table for a charming breakfast experience and The Donut Hole for Destin's best donuts.
The shopping: Destin has literally every store you could ever want to shop at, so if shopping is your thing while on vacation, be ready. The outlet mall was one of the best I have ever visited and had awesome stores including Crewcuts, Gymboree Outlet, Loft, Disney and so many more. We also stopped at the outdoor mall, Destin Commons several times over the course of the week. And then of course, stores like Target, Hobby Lobby and Publix are also right in the heart of Destin's shopping district.
The activities: I shared 10 things to do with kids in Destin, but I want to reiterate that we had so much fun DOING things in Destin. From dolphin boat tours to play areas, it's a wonderful destination for families.
We loved having space to spread out, separate rooms for the kids and a relaxing atmosphere. Both locations had special amenities that also made it extra fun for the kids. Our Jade East condo has a jacuzzi bathtub that my kids loved and Dolphin Cottage had a private swimming pool, which was so nice.
By using a management company (vs. a VRBO or AirBNB) our rentals came with a lot of perks, including free activity experiences. We were really impressed by our experience with Newman-Dailey, who graciously invited us to Destin. They provided excellent information, made the check-in process a breeze and offered an impressive array of options for families like ours, as well as anyone else looking to vacation in Destin. We had a few maintenance issues with the house we stayed in and because it was managed by a rental company, a repair person was sent immediately to get things fixed. This peace of mind was much appreciated.
Proximity: With stops, the drive was 8.5 hours for us from Nashville, which was very doable in a day. It also was a very easy drive, which makes a big difference!
We can't wait to go back to Destin!