Sandnsol Destin Vacation Rental

The Turtles are Coming to Destin Beaches

Beach-goers in Destin this time of year are likely to hear something about sea turtle nests, but few give it much thought. What does sea turtle nesting in Destin Mean for beach-goers? We may be slightly aware that turtles like darkness or that they are kind of rare, but that that is usually the extent of our thoughts.  The truth is all four of the turtle species (Loggerhead, Green, Leatherback, and Kemp's Ridley) nesting in Destin are either threatened or endangered. How we treat our beaches directly impacts the survival of hatchlings.

I often see people walking the beach with flashlights after dark. They are searching for crabs scurrying about the shoreline, but regular flashlights are actually harmful to baby turtles and nesting mothers.  Late summer and early fall is the busiest time for hatchlings who are trying to make their way from their nests to the ocean. Hatchlings use natural light of the horizon over the ocean, along with the white crests from waves to find their way to the ocean when they leave their nests

turtle species
This journey is one of the most dangerous in a turtle’s life because of the predators and obstacles it faces along the way. It’s an important stage in their lives, as this imprinting will determine where they return to lay eggs for up to 30 years.   Disoriented or lost turtles likely burn in the sun or fall prey to birds, dogs and other predators. It’s estimated that only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will reach adulthood.turtle hatchlings sand

Although most of the turtles on Okaloosa beaches nest at night, Kemp’s Ridley turtles typically nest during the daytime. What can we do to help ensure the safe passage of these tiny amazing creatures?  First of all, if you happen upon a nest or hatchling, call Okaloosa Sheriff’s office at (850) 689-5705.  Per state laws, they cordon off nests, with stakes, tape and a sign to tell people to stay away. Do not shine a flashlight on them. It is illegal to harm, harass or kill any sea turtles, their eggs, or hatchlings. sea turtle nest

What else can you do to help during your visit? Follow the county motto “Leave no trace.”

  • Keep things clean and flat; knock down sand castles and fill in beach holes
  • Remove chairs, umbrellas, toys and tents when leaving the beach for the day
  • Keep it dark; turn off lights on balconies and close drapes in rooms that can be seen from the beach
  • Plan ahead: Bring specially designed red flashlights for exploring at night, or use a turtle-safe sticker to filter the light

Follow these tips, and increase your chances of having an close encounter with one of these bigger guys in the future!

Seagar’s for Cocktails and Prime Steak in Destin

seagars martinis

Friends and guests often ask for a recommendation on a good place to treat yourself with a cocktail and steak dinner in Destin.  Seagar’s in Sandestin is our go-to restaurant for a true fine dining experience.  It’s the area’s only AAA Four Diamond steakhouse, and it lives up to the standard of being a “culinary experience to savor and enjoy”.

seagars entrance

Whether celebrating a special birthday, anniversary, new job, or just needing a romantic evening, Seagar’s is just the spot.  On our latest visit, the hubby and I began the evening with a cocktail in the bar; a dirty vodka martini with blue cheese-stuffed olives for him and a Seagar’s Lemondrop rimmed with sugar for me. Live piano music, elegant table settings, rich wood finishes and a fireplace create an intimate space. It was so enjoyable, we actually decided to stay in there and dine at the bar rather than the dining room.

As we moved from our cozy bar table, a friendly bartender welcomed us to the bar.  He was attentive and happily recommended a nice Pinot Noir from their extensive wine list. Resisting one of the numerous appetizers, we split the Seagar’s Wedge salad with Blue Cheese.  Lettuce was fresh and crisp and garnished with roasted tomatoes. For entrees, I had a mouth-watering petite fillet perfectly cooked to medium rare. Tom’s fillet oscar was prepared medium rare and we shared grilled asparagus. 

seagars fillet

Several dessert items caught our eye, including Bananas Foster, which is prepared tableside and served over ice cream.  However, in the end, we decided we would have to plan ahead next time in order to leave room for dessert.

For those who prefer surf over turf, Seagar’s offers a large selection of gulf fresh seafood as well as several lobster and crab options. Another nice touch is that the menu varies by season, as different fresh fish, vegetables and fruit become available. Several items are gluten-free as well.

It’s always entertaining to observe the staff bringing out other selections while waiting for food to arrive. Seagar’s takes presentation seriously, and the chefs make some beautiful creations. This time, we happened to see Steak Diane prepared tableside.

I could go on and on, but I better go…need to book a flight for my next visit!

More Information:

Seagar’s is located in the lower lobby of the Hilton SanDestin Beach Resort and Spa.
4000 Sandestin Blvd. South, Miramar Beach, Fl 32550

Written by Stacy Loux of 

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