Okay – I am finally getting around to blog about our trip to Destin, Florida. Life has been ridiculously hectic as we were playing catch up when we got back home, 2 of our 4 kids started school the week after we got back and picture sessions/editing didn’t slow down for me either. I had to put this on my to-do list to get it accomplished and done so here we are!
Let me just start off by saying that this DESTINation was one for the books. Hands down, one of, if not the, best vacation I’ve ever been on. I’ve been all over the country, the Pacific coast, Jamaica twice, Haiti, Dominican Republic twice, Mexico several times, on a cruise, all-inclusive vacations, you name it. I’m going to be honest by saying that I really didn’t expect much from this vacation. My husband and I try to do a vacation with the kids yearly and also a vacation for just us adults. We wanted to do something simple and cheap this year because we plan to travel more for our 5 year anniversary next year to Iceland, Spain, Ireland, etc (eeeeekk, can’t wait!). We flew in and stayed with some old neighbors of ours and seriously had the time of our lives.
Call me naive, but I had no idea that the United States had water and land this beautiful. I truly only thought I could find this by traveling out of the country and being on a resort somewhere. They don’t call Destin the Emerald Coast for no reason. The water, rocks, scenery, animals, fish, were all just breathtaking. There were little to no waves whatsoever and it was so crazy being able to see all of the fish, hermit crabs, and jelly fish swimming around us. We cannot wait to go back again and take the kids with us this time – they have no idea that water like this exists and it’s a must see! I’m telling you, if you can’t quite afford an overseas vacation, go to Destin. You will not regret it.
While we were there, we saw the Blue Angels in action. I feel like I’ve maybe heard about them in the past, but never really tuned into it because going to an air show just never seemed to tickle my fancy. Not my cup of tea. BUT NOW… obsessed. Seeing them fly over the water was just phenomenal. The precision and skill that it takes for them to fly so close and so in unison is mind blowing. My jaw was on the ground for pretty much the entire air show. I heard that they go to Pensacola every year to perform and when we plan our next trip, seeing them again is an absolute must. Even Fat Albert made an appearance!
Our favorite locals told us another must was to travel down 30-A while there, so Dirk took us on an adventure. You should probably plan out an entire day to travel and sight-see throughout 30-A… you won’t want to miss it. We toured Panama City, Rosemary beach, Seacrest beach, Alys beach, Seaside, Grayton Beach, and Blue Mountain beach to name a few. If you’ve never dreamed of being a multi-millionaire and owning your own ridiculous beach house, you will the day you tour 30-A. Our first stop there was at a German restaurant called Hofbrau. Oh my goodness… food was spectacular. My mouth still waters thinking about it – the best bratwurst I’ve ever had and their german potato salad was the bomb.com. Grayton Beer had some fantastic brews and Blue Mountain Beach Ice Cream was sooo yummy. Try the Butter Pecan.
This stunning view was at Rosemary Beach. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen the movie The Truman Show (if you haven’t, don’t), but it was filmed at Seaside. It was pretty neat seeing the building from the movie. One place to for sure, for sure visit while there is the Shrimp Shack. It is just that. A shack with shrimp. But the best shrimp that will ever touch your lips. See photos.
We didn’t make it to the infamous Crab Island, but we did find a super secret beach access spot that hardly anyone knows about and could see Crab Island from where we sat. It didn’t look to be our forte. What is our forte when we travel is food. No surprise there. Some places to check out are:
McGuire’s Irish Pub- such a touristy spot, BUT totally crazy inside as you look around and see over two million one dollar bills hanging throughout the restaurant. The Irish Wake drink is a must and you get to take home a nifty mason jar glass when you’re finished with it, my husband loved the Prime Rib and I got a burger that was pretty awesome. Go early.
Mimmo’s Ristorante Italiano – is the number one restaurant in Destin and it didn’t disappoint. Anywhere I eat Italian food, my typical is the Chicken Parm. However, I tried my husbands dish and holy sweet Jesus in Heaven… delicious. I wish I could remember what the exact dish was that he got, but it was a special that night. It was almond crusted grouper over a risotto and spinach. Fabulous.
Louisiana Lagniappe (lan-yap) – Josh had the Blackened Redfish. Fresh filet of redfish, blackened then topped with jumbo lump crabmeat, medallions of lobster and both hollandaise and garlic-beurre blanc sauce. I had the Seafood Lagniappe. Gulf Grouper, sautéed and topped with medallions of lobster, hollandaise sauce, and a light garlic-beurre blanc. The food was stellar and the view was even more spectacular. I wish I had my camera on me that night, but I didn’t take it to dinner. A few cell phone pictures captured it, but they don’t do it justice.
The Gulf – is a great place to go to for lunch or just to hang out. It’s an all outdoor restaurant and will give you the illusion that you are on an island in the Caribbean. Couches everywhere on a beach, palm trees, music, etc. The shrimp tacos were delish.
We also visited Okaloosa, Pensacola, and Fort Walton Beach. We cannot waaaait to go back and visit this area, but we are definitely taking our kiddos next time. I’m sure I could talk your ear off about this vacation, but this post is crazy long already! If you plan to visit or have any questions, please ask and I am so very happy to help you out!
Mom, wife, photographer, animal lover, and honest to a fault forever. Living in the land of the Pines and I left teaching to start a creative business five years ago and hope to inspire others to believe they are capable, good, and in control of their own destiny. Not only do I speak about photography, but about mental health as I believe deeply in making your mess your message because nothing is all sunshine and rainbows. Want to know more? Click below!