What everyone needs in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic is hope and inspiration during a time of uncertainty and there is no better anxiety or stress reliever than planning your next vacation for when the pandemic is behind us. Travelers from all over the world have been falling in love with the white sugar sand beaches and glistening emerald waters in Destin and Miramar Beach Florida. This popular vacation destination in sunny northwest Florida is referred to as the Emerald Coast and is a reasonable drive from most cities in the United States or travelers can book a flight to/from the Destin Executive Airport (DTS) or the nearby airport of Pensacola International Airport (PNS) and Panama City (ECP).
The Emerald Coast offers many things to do and places to see for all ages and is sure to please everyone from couples looking for a romantic getaway, bachelorette parties, amazing girls’ weekend, or families looking for an action-packed vacation of a lifetime. The following top places to visit have received high reviews and ratings from the almost 4.5 million annual visitors that choose the Emerald Coast for their vacation destination.
Where To Stay
There are numerous options to choose from when deciding where to stay and range from small and large beach vacation rentals, condo rentals, and also hotels depending on what suites your needs and budget. Couples on a weekend getaway may prefer the Henderson Park Inn or Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, while most families would prefer more space to spread out with a Miramar Beach vacation rental house. Miramar Beach offers excellent options for families from 1 to 2 bedroom vacation rentals going all the way up to 12 a bedroom home that can sleep upwards of 30 people, on the beach or close to the beach. Amenities vary greatly between rentals however most families on vacation prefer vacation homes with many amenities. One example of a Miramar Beach vacation rental house that is brand new and checks the box for families looking to have a memorable vacation is Miramar Beach Rentals. This house has 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms with modern beachy furniture and décor with amenities such as a 6-person golf cart, bikes, private pool, 6-person outdoor daybed, chaise loungers, large outdoor grilling/dining area, large outdoor deep seating with a fire table and a kids bunk and game room. This house is more reasonably priced since it is not on the beach, however it is conveniently located less than two blocks or a 5-minute walk to the beach and the famous Pompano Joe’s seafood restaurant. Since there are so many options where you can stay make sure you first check online reviews and work with a top vacation rental property manager in Miramar Beach. A great website to assist with your search for the perfect beach house rental is Airbnb Miramar Beach.
Plan Your Beach, Boating, And Fishing Trips
The beach is the main attraction with many public access points in Destin and Miramar Beach. Make sure you are aware of public and private access points and parking before you venture out. If you stay at a beach house or condo on the beach this is not something you need to worry about, however if you rent a beach house not directly on the beach you will need to confirm with the property manager if you have a private access point or how far the nearest public access point is to your vacation rental. The most scenic public beaches in Destin include Henderson Beach State Park, Crystal Beach, Jetty East Beach, Norriego Point, James Lee Park, O’Steen Public Park and Silver Shells. One of the largest and best beaches in Miramar Beach is the Miramar Beach Regional Access Public Beach adjacent to Pompano Joe’s Seafood restaurant. Plan ahead before you hit the beach and map out where you are going to park since the beaches are extremely busy. Another fun and exciting activity to do with your group during your Emerald Coast vacation should be a full or half-day fishing charter. Destin is known as “the world’s luckiest fishing village” and claims to have the largest fleet of fishing boats in the state of Florida. The charter boats are located in the Destin Harbor which is connected to the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. If fishing is not on your agenda then consider renting a pontoon boat or take a water taxi over to Crab Island. This is a sandbar hangout only accessible by boat and is another great destination for families and the party crowd and includes floating restaurants, bars and even has a large inflatable obstacle course for the kids.
The HarborWalk Village And Other Attractions
Daytime or nighttime is perfect for strolling around the HarborWalk Village. Overlooking the beautiful Destin Harbor, this popular area offers spectacular shopping, restaurants, bars and entertainment. If you’re looking to dance the night away, or just to listen to some great music, head on over to AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar or Tailfins Ale House, which are both located in the HarborWalk Village. Similar outdoor shopping areas to consider include Destin Commons and Silver Sands Premium Outlets. Other popular things to do in Destin and Miramar Beach include the Village of Baytowne Wharf, Big Kahuna’s Water Park, Gator Beach Alligator Park, Destin History & Fishing Museum, and Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. If these attractions are not enough then you can try your hand at one of the eleven golf courses in the area.
Where To Eat
The Emerald Coast offers numerous dining options for guests from casual all the up to fine dining. The best restaurants can be found at the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, along Highway 98 or you can over indulge at a famous beachfront restaurant such as Pompano Joe’s in Miramar Beach or the Crab Trap in Destin. For couples looking for an upscale romantic coastal setting then consider the Beach Walk Café at the 4-star Nantucket style Henderson Park Inn. The two best resources for researching and booking reservations are TripAdvisor and Opentable which should be used religiously before and during your stay. The top 10 highest rated restaurants in Destin and Miramar Beach according to TripAdvisor are Crackings, Mama Clemenza’s, Louisiana Lagniappe, McGuire’s Irish Pub, Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer, Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi, Mimmo’s Ristorante Italiano, Sarah K’s Gourmet, Beach Walk Café at Henderson Park Inn, and Pazzo Italiano.
Dolphin Cruise/Catamaran Cruise
There is no better way to close out your vacation than spending time with close friends and family members on a semi-private or private dolphin cruise or sunset catamaran cruise. There are many companies that offer various dolphin and catamaran cruises to suit your needs and all of the charters are located in the Destin Harbor. Before booking your trip, you should browse online reviews and ratings at TripAdvisor. Keep in mind that the busy season in Miramar Beach is June through August. You will need to book your charter well in advance, however if your travel outside the busy season you should not have any problems booking one or two days in advance of your cruise date. Don’t delay, book your next beach vacation to Miramar Beach Florida today.