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5 Activities for Rainy Days in Destin

5 Activities for Rainy Days in Destin

The Emerald Coast is known for its white sand and warm waters, a perfect place for a vacation that involves lazy days lounging on the beach. But sometimes it rains…what do you do? Not to worry, there are plenty of activities to fill the day.

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

You can come face-to-face with the native marine life at the petting pond, watch one of the daily shows with dolphins or sea lions, and enjoy the exhibits to learn more about the animals. While most of the Gulfarium is outdoors, there are overhead awnings that connect the exhibits.

Escape Zone 60

You’ll have 60 minutes to look for clues in order to solve the puzzles required to escape the room. With different rooms available, such as Special Ops Mission or Zombie Apocalypse, everyone will enjoy breaking out of the Escape Zone.

Destin History and Fishing Museum

Ever wonder how Destin transitioned from a small fishing village to a major tourist destination? You’ll be able to find the answer as you wander through 5,500 square feet of exhibits that display the history of Destin.

Fired Up

Take home a handmade souvenir when you paint your own art on one of the 400 unique pottery pieces. The family-friendly studio has pieces for all ages and expert levels.

Relax in your Vacation Rental

Enjoy your stay at the rental unit by kicking back with a good book or catching up on new movies. With fully-equipped kitchens in each unit, you won't even have to leave when you get hungry. It'll be peaceful to watch the rain drops until the sun comes back out.

Make your reservation today because, rain or shine, the Emerald Coast has something for everyone. 

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Posted on Sunday, February 18, 2018

Spring into the Emerald Coast

Spring into the Emerald Coast

Flowers blooming, birds chirping, and sun shining are all signs that spring has arrived. And fortunately, spring weather arrives a little early to the warm Gulf beaches along the Emerald Coast. Here are a few options for enjoying the spring during your next vacation.

To experience the blooming flowers during your trip, plan to visit the Eden Gardens State Park . The park consists of about 163 acres of land that was once part of the historic Wesley homestead, with the original house still available for tours. You can stroll through the nature trail to enjoy the beautiful gardens or pack a picnic to relax near the water. If you like being on the water, and have a kayak or canoe, you’ll be able to launch it so you can ride out to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Choctawhatchee Bay.

With such wonderful weather, spring is also a great time to revel in outdoor festivals. At the 5th Annual Tequila and Taco Fest at Harborwalk Village on March 10th, you’ll savor tequila samplings, tacos and live music. South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival is a multi-day event from April 26-29 at Grand Boulevard, where you can sample over 800 wines, delight in a tasting seminar, and try foods from local restaurants. From May 18-20 Alys Beach will host Digital Graffiti , an outdoor projection art festival showcased on the town’s famous white walls.

Whether you come this Spring for the nature or the festivals, the Emerald Coast has a variety of options to please everyone. Start planning your trip today with a beach rental along thse warm Gulf waters.  

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Posted on Saturday, February 3, 2018

Finding the Perfect Vacation Rental

Finding the Perfect Vacation Rental

The beaches along Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast are known for their beautiful white sand and emerald clear waters. If you’re looking to spend some quality time in the sun, you’ll want to stay as close to the beach as possible. Dale E. Peterson is the premier vacation rental source for your trip to the Emerald Coast.

For a quaint spot to unwind, you can book a stay at one of the Nantucket Cottages . These units are located directly across the street from the Gulf of Mexico. You’ll be in a prime location of Destin near restaurants and shops. With the beachy decor inside each unit this will be the perfect coastal getaway.

If across the street is too far, you’ll want to reserve your unit at the Inn at Crystal Beach so you’re situated right on the beach. You can choose to enjoy complimentary beach service or lounge by the pool overlooking the Gulf. You’ll have access to a 24-hour front desk with attendants, state-of-the-art fitness center, and a business center.

When the entire family is gathering, a rental home like Captain Jack’s will be perfect. This home has 6 bedrooms that sleep up to 18 comfortably. You’ll be a short walk to the beach and have quick, easy access to the harbor, bay or Gulf by boat via the canal. With spacious rooms, fully equipped kitchen, and smart televisions, everyone will feel comfortably at home at Captain Jack’s.

These are just a few examples of the rental options offered by Dale E. Peterson. You can be certain that each unit has a range of amenities like complimentary WIFI, recently remodeled furnishings, and beautiful views. Some units are even pet friendly for those traveling with fur babies.

With options ranging from beachfront condos to large homes, you’ll be able to find the perfect space for your family vacation or romantic getaway. Make sure to reserve your spot on the Emerald Cost today!  

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Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Warm Up This Valentine's Day

Warm Up This Valentines Day

February can be dreary and cold in many places, making it difficult to plan the perfect Valentine’s Day with your loved one. If you want to warm things up this year, head to the sugar white sand beaches of the Emerald Coast. Whether you want to enjoy the pleasant weather outdoors or are looking to relax, you’ll find this is the perfect spot for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day. 

To delight in an evening on the water, reserve a spot on the Valentine’s Day Sunset, Dinner and Dancing Cruise aboard the 125 foot Solaris yacht . The cruise will include a delicious 3-course, chef-prepared meal while you have fun dancing the night away under the star filled sky. 

If you want to renew your vows, Lulu’s is hosting the Annual Tropic Re-Union at 1:00 pm on Saturday, February 10. There will be complimentary champagne and wedding cake, flowers for the “brides”, and certificates of re-union. Enjoy live music with family and friends as you re-celebrate your love. 

For a cozier Valentine’s Day, start by booking a couple’s massage at one of the spas in the area so you can unwind. Then head to your rental condo to cook a romantic dinner for two. Afterwards, go for a moonlit stroll along the beach where the only sounds are the waves crashing and your hearts beating. 

No matter what you decide to do, Valentine’s Day along the Gulf waters is the perfect romantic getaway to warm things up.

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Posted on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Antiques: Hidden Gems on the Emerald Coast

Antiques Hidden Gems on the Emerald Coast

Going to antique shops may sound like an outdated activity, but they are great places to spend time browsing the past. The Emerald Coast offers several antique shops where you’re certain to find hidden gems you can take back home as gifts or keep for yourself.

To begin your treasure hunt, head to Miramar Beach where you’ll locate the first two stops. Visit Antiques on Holiday to uncover furniture, oil paintings, fine china and other accessories from all over the world, including vending booths where local artists and jewelers display their work. Head next door to Smith’s Antique Mall , which has been in business since 1993. With 25,000 square feet of collectibles and several antique dealers with their own booths, you’re sure to discover a rare find to take home.

Drive west to Fort Walton Beach to stop at De’France Indoor Fleamarket Antiques and Collectibles . There are over 100 booths and vendors full of hidden treasures to fit every style. Check out the calendar of events for workshops and demonstrations. Make sure to meet the resident Boston Terrier, Porsha, who loves greeting all the customers. The last stop for the day is in Gulf Breeze at the Iron Gargoyle Antique Mall . They carry everything, from smaller items like clothing, jewelry, and pottery to larger pieces like furnishings, tools, and equipment. 

Plan your next trip to the Emerald Coast today to discover unique gems you’ll treasure for a lifetime.  

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Posted on Friday, December 22, 2017

Waterfront Sunday Brunch

Waterfront Sunday Brunch

The weather is finally cooler and the sun is shining, making it the perfect time for outdoor activities. One of the most delicious outdoor activities on the Emerald Coast is Sunday Brunch while sitting on a terrace overlooking the water. Here are four appetizing choices you'll want to try during your  stay . 

790 on the Gulf

With menu items ranging from the Grilled Shrimp & Grits to Beignet French Toast to a Destin Grouper Sandwich, you’ll get the best of Florida seafood with distinctive Louisiana flavors. Enjoy the tranquil beachside Gulf coast views while you sip a Cajun Bloody Mary or the bottomless mimosas.  

Giovanni’s One89

Whether you arrive by boat or by car, this is the place for a beach dining experience offering a buffet brunch that includes an array of expected favorites like french toast and omelets but adds some unconventional delights such as prime rib and crab legs. You can also choose to order a la carte from the menu to enjoy one of their classic Italian dishes.

The Bay

One of the brunch favorites is the chilaquiles, made of crispy corn tortillas mixed with avocado, jalapeños, sour cream, cheese, and chorizo topped with 2 sunny-side up eggs. Delight in the view of the Choctawhatchee Bay by sitting on the deck or get a little closer to the water by sitting near one of the fire pits. Make sure to keep your eyes open for any dolphins that are usually sighted here!

The Other End Restaurant and Beer Garden

Overlooking the docks, you’ll find an Airstream food-truck serving a variety of pancake styles and stone ground cheesy grits. The most savory item on the menu is the breakfast tacos served with grilled pork belly, eggs, gouda and pico de gallo. To quench your thirst, try one of the 16 craft beers offered on tap in the Beer Garden.

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Posted on Monday, December 11, 2017

New Year's Eve on the Emerald Coast

New Years Eve on the Emerald Coast

New Year’s Eve is synonymous with fireworks, and in most of the country people are freezing while standing outside to watch them. You don’t have to be one of those people! The Emerald Coast offers breathtaking firework shows over the reflective waters of the Gulf, which are sure to keep everyone warm.

For something a little different this year, sign up for Blingin' in the New Year 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run, a glow run at 6:00 p.m. in Downtown Fort Walton Beach. You'll get to keep the bling to help you keep glowing into the new year. The run will be followed by a party at the Landing that will include live entertainment, specials at the local restaurants, and waterfront fireworks at midnight. 

If you're traveling with children you'll want to check out  Lulu's 3rd Annual Noon Year's Eve in Destin. Starting at 10:00 a.m. there will be arts and crafts, a sandcastle building contest, and family-friendly music. The event will end with a huge beach ball drop at noon while the kids make their own "fireworks" by stomping on bubble wrap. 

If you want to avoid the crowds, plan a more intimate fireworks viewing by having dinner at your beachfront condo rental with family and friends. At the stroke of midnight, you’ll be able to view the fireworks from your balcony while making a champagne toast with your loved ones. 

Don't get stuck in the cold weather! Make your reservation to welcome 2018 on the Emerald Coast today.

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Posted on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Business Spotlight: Destin Brewery

Business Spotlight Destin Brewery

The popularity of craft beer is on the rise, inviting small, independently owned breweries to create interesting brews that will keep drinkers happy. The Emerald Coast is no exception to this surge in microbreweries. One tap room you’ll need to visit is Destin Brewery , which was founded by head brewer Kelly Taylor in 2015.

Whether you occasionally enjoy a cold pint of beer or have been a beer enthusiast for years, Destin Brewery offers a variety of choices that will surely please every palette. There are five flagship beers regularly on tap, all brewed with local ingredients like Destin honey and Florida citrus fruits.

Flagship Beers:

Destin Ale: a blonde ale made with flaked oats and Pilsner malt

Emerald Köast Kölsch a rice-lager style made with a Kölsch Ale yeast for a light body 

Red Sky Rye: an unfiltered pale ale brewed with rye in the mash

East Pass IPA: a traditional-style India Pale Ale brewed with local Destin honey

Bridge Rouble Double: a double India pale ale that balances a hefty malt profile with a hop-forward aroma

In addition, Destin Brewery rotates several seasonal variations, barrel-aged small batches, and guest taps you'll also want to try. While you can order by the pint, flights of four are available if you can't decide on just one beer or ask for "The Works" to sample every beer on tap. You can take some home for your friends, or for you later, to enjoy in growlers or six-packs. If you can't make it to the brewery, you'll be able to find a variety of Destin Brewery's beers on tap at many of the area's restaurants. 

Regularly scheduled events take place at the brewery, such as Mind Body Brew, a yoga class that incorporates beer drinking. If you're traveling with the family, bring them along for a game of  cornhole and the kids can enjoy a cup of in-house made root beer. 

Make your condo reservation today to ensure you get to try this season’s beers before they’re gone.

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Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Gift Buying on the Emerald Coast

Gift Buying on the Emerald Coast

Buying a gift for a loved one can turn into a stressful experience if you're searching for something that your friends and family will love but can't find the perfect items. Fortunately, the Emerald Coast offers several shopping options where you'll be able to find the ideal gift for everyone on your list.

One popular option is the Silver Sands Premium Outlets , which offers over 100 stores ranging from apparel to sporting goods to kitchenware. No matter what you're looking for, you'll be able to find name-brand items at discounted prices. Another option is the  Destin Commons , which was voted "Best Place to Shop." With over 95+ different stores and restaurants, you'll find the perfect gift for the fashionista on your list or that friend with a sweet tooth. Many of the stores at these locations offer gift cards, a practical idea for that someone who likes to choose their own gift.

If you are looking for something unique, head east toward Seaside . There are several boutique and art galleries that offer handmade and eclectic goods, many of which are inspired by the white sand beaches on the other side of Highway 30A. Also along Highway 30A you'll find  Gulf Place Town Center with several shops and the Artist Colony. Stroll through the colorful galleries that house the work of local artists, where you can purchase pieces you like or sign up for a workshop to make some of your own art.  

With so many options, there is something for everyone! A luxury condo in  South Walton is the perfect place to store all your goodies and enjoy the beaches.

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Posted on Friday, November 10, 2017

A White Sand Christmas

A White Sand Christmas

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” is a popular phrase around this time of year. There is even a song with that title, which you’re probably humming in your head now.  But THAT white Christmas means shoveling snow, icy roads and bulky jackets. A perfect white Christmas includes sandy beaches, tropical sunsets and flip flops — all of which are available on the Emerald Coast.

If you still want to experience some traditional winter activities, take the family to The Village of Baytowne Wharf's  Baytowne on Ice . If you visit on a Wednesday, stay for the Holiday Concert at 6pm followed by a visit with Santa for the children. Additionally, the entire family will be in awe during the 12 Nights of Lights, a fascinating lights show set to holiday music every Friday and Saturday in December. 

For those who have some last minute gift buying to do, the Destin Commons has a variety of stores. While there, make sure to see the fully lit and decorated 38’ Christmas tree and the 12 reindeer topiary shrubs. As part of the Destin Commons’ Jolly Jubilee there is an assortment of entertainment for the whole family to relish, including carolers, performances by local schools, and Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops. 

Every member of the family will agree on the perfect gift this year: a white Christmas on the Emerald Coast! 

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Posted on Wednesday, November 1, 2017