Being an early bird has its advantages, especially if you wake up to an ocean view. Sunrises on the beach are amazing and wildlife abounds.
St. Patrick’s Day was briefly mentioned in my previous post about live entertainment in Destin. Today we take a closer look at what’s happening up and down the Emerald Coast. You’ll be seeing green more than just in the emerald waters this weekend.
Saturday, March 16th
Yes, I know, St. Patrick’s Day is on Sunday this year, but who can object to getting a jump-start on fun?
Start out the celebration with downtown Fort Walton’s Lucky Leprechaun 5K/10K Run/Walk. Before you head out, grab your favorite green attire, as costumes are encouraged. Entry fees $30-35. Register that morning, or online: https://www.active.com/fort-walton-beach-fl/running/distance-running-races/lucky-leprechaun-5k-10k-run-walk-2019?int&fbclid=IwAR1JYc9njqtZC7UVqAib32qJXnjFFWW8fZnhVcUx8LX34lGVi5iBziOJNyI
Later, join the locals in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl in Fort Walton. Complete your pub crawl card by visiting each of the following establishments throughout the night: Fokker’s Pub, The Block, Salty Duck, Giovanni’s One89, and Coasters. http://fwbpubcrawl.com/
30-A Starting at 3:00, that’s where you’ll find the area’s free to enter, St. Patrick’s Day parade. The 4 mile parade route runs from The Preserve 30-A to County Road 393 Gulf Place. They expect a record number of floats vying for the coveted Best in Parade trophy. This year, Oliver Petit, owner of the recently burned down Red Bar, is the Grand Marshall.
McGuire’s: You can bet your lucky Irish stars that McGuire’s is a great place to be Saturday night as well. With music by Pete O’Dea and Whiskey Kiss, the place will be rocking! In fact, because they’re open until 1:45 a.m., technically, you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day twice!
Sunday, March 17th:
Harborwalk Village, Destin Harbor
Bring the whole family down to the harbor for the St. Paddy’s Day family party noon-2:00 p.m. Enjoy kids’ crafts and a leprechaun treasure hunt. During the festivities, there is also a performance by the Carpenter Academy of Irish Dance.
McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day Extravaganza Of course, McGuire’s Irish Pub is the most logical place to get your fill of Irish grub. For the complete St. Patrick’s Day experience, Corn beef and cabbage, boxty’s and green beer are a must! Can we start now? Although festivities begin at 10:00 a.m., you can’t get your signature Irish Wake or green beer until after noon Sunday. If you have the luck of the Irish, you might even hear bag pipes playing the classic Irish tune “Danny Boy’”! Fun continues throughout the day with music by Pete O’Dea, Austin Jennings, A Drunker Shade O’Green, Horseshoe Kitty, and DJ Zoran.
Village of Baytowne Wharf:
Finally, the St. Patty’s Day Delight kicks off at 6:00 p.m. with the funky rhythm and blues music of The Blenders. Following this four piece band, is a performance by the Drake School of Irish Dance at 7:00 p.m.
Remember Sandnsol vacation rental when booking your stay in Destin. Our oceanfront 3 bedroom 3 bathroom condo in the heart of Destin has amazing views! Always save by booking direct: https://sandnsol.com/availability-and-rates/
#destinnightlife #destinentertainment #livemusicdestin #mcguiresirishpub #pubcrawl #peteodea #austinjennings #drunkershadeofgreen #horseshoekitty #djzoran #theblenders #irishdance #stpatricksday #30aparade#baytownewharf #stpattysdaydelight #sandnsol #destinvacationrental #oceanfrontcondo
National Margarita Day is February 22! If you’re like me, you might assume that the day to celebrate margaritas would be Cinco De Mayo. However, it’s actually today! That’s good news if you like to imbibe in this sweet and sour concoction.
So where do you go for the best Margaritas in Destin? Now that’s a good question, and I’ve got some great suggestions for you.
Beginning in the Destin Harbor area, Crab Island Cantina has several fun options. They come in 3 sizes, regular, large and jumbo! If you get there around 5:00, you have plenty of time to make your selection, grab a seat and enjoy the sunset over the harbor.
If you want to go where the locals go, head over to Pepitos near the harbor. Choose your tequila; choose your flavor and your size. Not to be outdone, they offer 4 sizes of margaritas, including the over the top 64 ounce Pepito Pitcher! https://www.mypepitos.com/drinks
Besides the harbor area, Miramar beach has some great margaritas too. Lulu’s margaritas are made with their special house margarita mix. While sitting by the bay, try a lime, strawberry, mango or The Big Blue shark margarita. See their full drink menu here:
For something a little less traditional, ask the bartender at the Inn at Crystal Beach to make you a jalapeno margarita. This flavor is a bit unexpected when it comes to margaritas, but it is just the thing for those of you who like things a little spicy. I was lucky enough to be there when the bartender was trying his hand with this new recipe on a warm summer night a few years back.
More favorites for sipping margaritas include Pompano Joe’s and Royal Palm Grille. Although Cantina Laredo at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin isn’t on the beach, rumor has it they pour a pretty darn good margarita too!
Another option for the mixologists among you, is to stay-in at Sandnsol and make your own. Simply pick up some frozen limeade, limes, tequila and amaretto down the street at Winn Dixie. Our gourmet kitchen has a blender, and there is plenty of room in the Whirlpool freezer to store your ice and frozen drinks. Take one down to the pool or beach to catch the sunset, or just enjoy the waves and view from the balcony.
Stacy’s Classic Frozen Margarita:
1 can frozen Limeade
½ can tequila
¼ can amaretto
Juice from ½ lime
Dash of Sugar
Put the limeade in the blender. Using the limeade can, measure the tequila and amaretto and add to the blender. Add lime juice and sugar. Add ice cubes, leaving an inch at the top. Blend until smooth. Rim glass with salt and serve with lime wedge. For a fruity twist, add a handful of frozen berries in place of some ice.
Whether you like them frozen, on the rocks, salty or without, National Margarita Day is just the right way to end the day Friday. Seas the Day and Sip Away!
#nationalmargaritaday #sandnsol #crabislandcantina #pepitos #lulusdestin #cantinalaredo #winndixie #publix #whirlpool #margarita #destinmargaritas #oceanfrontcondo
Gumbo craving? Come out to Sandestin’s 30th annual Gumbo Festival. The 2-day event kicks off tonight, February 15th from 5-7 with a seafood boil at Hammerhead’s Bar and Grill. Continue with the seafood treats during the main event Saturday February 16th. Where else can you sample gumbo from great restaurants like Dewey Destin’s, Harry T’s, Bubba Gump all at the same time?
During Saturday’s main event, festival goers enjoy samples of the area’s best gumbo recipes. Whether you prefer light or dark roux, chicken, sausage or seafood, your taste buds will be satisfied. Vote for your favorite and discover which one is selected as “People’s Choice”. Which concoction is the “Area’s Best”? That is up to celebrity judges to decide. Saturday’s activities begins at noon.
Wash down the gumbo with a cocktail at a new event this year: Best Bloody Mary’s on the Beach! Some of the Destin’s best bars and restaurants are serving their signature Bloody Mary’s and you get to vote for your favorite. Because the winner earns the title of “Best Bloody Mary’s at The Beach”, the cocktails are sure to impress.
During this annual event, listen to the live music from Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe. There are also children’s activities, so there’s fun for everyone.
Time is running out, however. Today is your last chance to order your tickets for the event online so order now. Tickets are $35. The Gumbo Festival happens rain or shine.
After being inspired by all this great gumbo, head back to Sandnsol to try your hand at making your very own batch! Guests say our gourmet kitchen is one of the best equipped in Destin. While cooking up your roux, take in the oceanfront view.
2018 Gumbo Festival Winners
1st Place People’s Choice: Dewey Destin’s
Veteran’s Award: Marina Bar and Grill
Best Non Restaurant: Gibson Catering
Top pick Under 5 years: Slick Lips
Best Display: Crab Island Cantina
New Participant: Slick Lips
Hammerhead’s Bar and Grill
137 Fisherman’s Cove
Destin, FL 32550
#GumboFestival #Sandestingumbofestival #Gumbo #BloodyMarys #Sandnsol #oceanfrontcondo
#Roux #seafoodgumbo #chickengumbo #sausagegumbo #DikkiDu #gourmetkitchen #hammerheadsbar #DeweyDestins #HarryTs #Marinabarandgrill #gibsoncatering #Crabislandcantina #slicklips #bubbagump #peopleschoice #beach #gumbocookoff
Book direct vacation rentals is the key to saving big money . Today is the 2nd annual Guest Education #BookDirect day. I’m here to explain how to find, book safely and save on outrageous travelers fees.
Before rushing off to book your next oceanfront vacation through one of the large travel sites, there are some important things to consider:
First and foremost is your pocket book. Travelers Bookdirect at sandnsol.com for our Lowest Rate Guarantee. By booking direct through vacation rental owners, you avoid extra fees. Service Fees on major travel sites like VRBO and Air B&B range from 3%-20%! I’m not talking about a few dollars, in many cases it is hundreds of dollars of cold hard cash. Cash you work hard to earn. Cash you use to enhance your trip. Instead of paying those fees, rent that jet ski, parasail over the emerald green waters, or enjoy a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant!
Secondly, communication between the owner and guest is open and direct before you book. You can ask any number of questions you have before you commit to book. Oftentimes owners can accommodate special requests. There’s no pressure to instant book.
Another benefit of booking directly with an owner is the personal knowledge and attention you receive from them. Owners have a unique understanding and knowledge of the property and surrounding area. Access insider tips, videos, bucket list activities and numerous pictures on individual property websites.
Finally, did you know that many of the best vacation rentals, including Sandnsol, aren’t event listed on the major sites anymore? Because of the horrible business practices and cost of using the big sites, many rentals with the highest demand can no longer be found on the major booking sites.
HOW to #BookDirect:
*Social Media *No fee regional vacation rental sites *Branded property websites
Since the fees on major booking sites have increased exponentially, owners have taken to social media to advertise their spaces. Facebook is a great place to start, just search for your destination. For example, Destin has multiple groups where owners list properties and guests search for them. Destin Florida Vacation Rentals is one of my favorites.
Because of frustration with the bigs, numerous new listing sites are modeled after the “old VRBO”. Emerald Coast By Owner (ECBYO), Houfy, Vacation Soup and Alabama Vacation owners are just a few of the no-fee sites gaining traction. They allow owners and guests to communicate before they commit, and do not charge exorbitant fees to travelers or owners.
More and more owners are investing time and money in branding. They create websites for their individually named vacation rentals. If you find a named rental, search to see if it has its own website. This is where you will find all the insider information, extra pictures and the best rates. Call or email through their branded site.
Just yesterday, one of my repeat guests saved over $500 for a one week rental! She did this by booking our oceanfront condo directly rather than using our property manager!
You work hard for your vacation, cut out the middle-man and book direct.