TRAVEL DIARY: DESTIN, FL

We spent last week in Destin, FL!  This wasn’t our first trip to Destin and it certainly won’t be our last.  We love it there and I am excited to share everything from where we stayed to where we ate and drank with you all!

This was the first time in several years that Ethan and I had been able to take a full week off and go on vacation.  We we’re really pumped about being able to relax and enjoy all Destin had to offer but getting to do it with my family made it such a memorial trip!  My mom, stepdad, brother, sister and little pug (he’s 13 yrs old and still loves his travels) all were there!  Nothing better!!!

WHY DESTIN?

Being from Lexington, KY makes Destin, FL about a 10 hr drive.  For us, this is perfect because it is not TOO long to where you can’t easily make the drive in one day if needed.  This time we left on Friday evening after Ethan got off work and drove part way.

We met my parents in Greenville, AL and stayed the night.  (Although our 4am alarm didn’t allow the girls too much sleep.  We all woke up early and piled in one hotel bed to watch all the royal wedding coverage!  So fun!)  Saturday we took our time getting breakfast and getting out of the hotel and drove the remaining few hours to the beach.  It was perfect timing because then we were able to check into our condo.  On the way back we just got up early and drove straight home.  That wasn’t bad either.

Aside from the distance, we also love Destin because of the beaches and way the city is set up.  The beaches are excellently maintained.  There is no trash and the sand is powdery white.  It is the only place in Florida I have ever been that will rival a beach in the Caribbean.  Not grimy or full of rocks and rough patches.  Just fluffy, clean sand!  There are also tons of places to stay along the beach (on Scenic Gulf Drive) and they are within walking distance to restaurants.

WHERE TO STAY?

We stayed in a pet friendly condo in Maravilla this year. We liked the location but were not completely sold on the exact unit we rented (they needed to upgrade some of their kitchen appliances and cooking utensils).  But we had a view of part of the ocean from the balcony and the beach was only a short walk away so that was really nice.  The property was well kept and clean, there were two pools (one oceanside), and they had a few grills.  We took advantage of the grills and made some really yummy burgers and steaks while we were there.  Nothing better than coming in from a long day in the sun, showering, skipping the makeup and hair dryer and just walking downstairs with a glass of rosé to grill out dinner! I loved the nights where we did that.  Super relaxing!

WHERE TO GRAB COFFEE?

We did frequent a few coffee shops while we were in Destin.  You know Ethan and I love vanilla lattes and trying new places is one of our favorite things to do when traveling!

BAD ASS COFFEE

This was definitely my favorite stop! I had been here before, but it never disappoints!  It is right on Scenic Gulf Dr so we were able to walk there and they offer a large menu full of speciality lattes.  All can be served hot, iced or frozen.  I finally tried the frozen option this year and omg–it was yummy!  Fun fact, they use coffee ice cubes.  How amazing is that for a place located in a hot area??

2 BIRDS COFFEE + CAFE

This was a short drive from our condo and the staff was super nice!  Our lattes were yummy and the decor is very colorful and beach like.  The seafoam green accents and flamingo salt and pepper shakers definitely made you feel like you were on vacation!

AMAVIDA COFFEE AND TEA

This is a really small shop but it is new and nice!  The lattes were good and they did have outdoor seating options too.  We went to the Miramar Beach location.

MOJO’S COFFEE SHOP

Certainly my least favorite.  The service was slow, they had to ask us what we ordered again while we were waiting and they still didn’t get the lattes right.  I’d suggest skipping this one.

WHERE TO EAT?

I had the best seafood I have EVER had on this trip so I would definitely recommend the places and things we ate!

ROYAL REDS FROM DESTIN ICE + SEAFOOD MARKET

We love to get seafood and bring it back to the condo to cook in while on vacation.  #gulftotable  If you like shrimp and lobster then you HAVE to try the royal reds if you ever see them.  We got three pounds of them this year and ate every single one.  They are huge shrimp that you just boil for 90 seconds and then peel and dip in melted butter.  I swear they taste more like lobster than shrimp though.  The meaty texture and the flavor…amazing!  We made a huge salad and some bow tie pasta with vodka sauce to go with them.

DEWEY DESTIN’S

Amazing, fresh seafood.  I have been to both locations (Destin Harbor and Crab Island) and I highly recommend going to the Crab Island location.  The difference in the food is night and day.  It is just a little hut down by the water where you stand in line to order at the window and then grab a picnic table to eat at, so don’t expect anything fancy.  The crab cakes and hush puppies are OUT OF THIS WORLD though!  If you like crab cakes, then this is a must go!

SURF HUT

This is right on the beach and the food is much better than you’d expect from a popular beach restaurant.  I got the taco trio (fish, shrimp and pulled pork) and they were fabulous.  We always get the fried pickles for an appetizer too because they use sweet pickles instead of dill! So good!

KENNEY D’S BEACH  BAR & GRILL

This was right down the street from our condo so we walked down and gave it a try one night.  We loved it so much that we ended up going back again on our last night!  It is another laid back place but the food is just amazing.  We sat outside and I had a corona and the fried mahi mahi per the waiters suggestion.  Best fish I have EVER had.  The portions were huge so we ended up all trying each others meals.  Everything we got was wonderful.  Several dishes are cajun.  On Friday night they had live music too!

POMPANO JOE’S SEAFOOD HOUSE

We did not eat here (the food has just been average in the past) but it was close to our condo too so we walked down here for drinks one night before dinner.  It was so nice because it’s right on the beach.  We got to watch the sunset and take some pics before walking down to Kenney D’s for dinner.

BRUSTERS

We discovered this ice cream place years ago in Destin and immediately fell in love.  It turns out it is now a chain and they have several locations.  I never go to the one close to home but we always frequent the Destin spot when we are at the beach (you know, when the calories don’t count since you are on vacation)!  It is a super popular spot where there is always a line to order at the window.  Totally worth it though because the ice cream is amaze.

WHAT TO DO?

Well, by now you know we ate and drank a lot and other than that we pretty much laid at the beach and laid at the pool.  Tough life, I know.  Ha!  But we did get up and walk each morning along the Scenic Gulf Drive which was really nice too!

I think I pretty much covered everything from our trip this time but if you have any questions please feel free to send me a message on IG (@weekendwishing) or shoot me an email (linds@weekendwishing.com)!

 

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