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.
Wondering what activities you should do in Destin over the 4th of July? Look no further, because we’ve got 15 great ideas for you. If you’ve been to Destin before, you already know the basics. However, if you are a newbie, you are in for an exciting week!
First and foremost on everyone’s mind is where to watch fireworks on the 4th. In 2019, there are several options: Destin Commons, Destin Harborwalk Village, Baytowne, and Okaloosa Island.
1. Destin Commons: FREE July 3rd 5:00 Get things started early with the Smoke the Coast BBQ cook-off in Destin Commons. Following Smoke the Coast BBQ cook-off is the fireworks show at 9:30.
2. Okaloosa Island Boardwalk: FREE Wednesday July 3rd at 9:00 1450 Miracle Strip Parkway, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548 Bring a towel, blanket or beach chair
3. Destin Harborwalk Village: FREE Thursday July 4th Festivities on the Harbor begin at 7:00 with entertainment. Live music features Eli Hannon and The Manly Hero. Fireworks kick off around 9:00. Some of the best places to watch the fireworks include; the patios of restaurants on the Harborwalk, Noriego Point, the Jetties and the Bridge. Capping off the night at 9:30 is a fire spinning show. Keep in mind that many of these viewing points require some walking. Also remember that parking at Harborwalk Village is $10.
4. Baytowne Wharf: FREE July 4th The Red, White and Baytowne Festival kicks off at 7:00, with fireworks shooting over the lagoon at 9:15. During the festival, kids can play on the inflatables, get faces painted, and play lawn games.
5. Bike Parade: FREE July 2nd 4:45 The City of Destin hosts this annual bike parade at the Destin Elementary Track, for children 14 and younger. Registration begins at 4:45, followed by the parade at 5:30. Prizes are awarded for various categories in each age division. Decorate your bikes, scooters or wagons and join the fun!
6. Smoke on the Coast: $1+ July 3rd 5:00 This annual BBQ charity cook-off is held at Destin Commons from 5-9:30 and is followed by fireworks. Activities include shopping, food, family entertainment and live music. Tastings are $1 each. Participants vote for their favorite food. Sample from the 18 local restaurants and BBQ groups who are competing for the coveted People’s Choice Award. Live music provided by Forrest Williams Band and Heritage Band.
7. The Trak: Daily 9 a.m. -11 p.m. Go Karts, mini golf and So much more. Located just down the street from Sandnsol, at 1125 Highway 98 East, Destin, Florida 32541 For pricing: https://funatthetrack.com/pages/destin-location
Beach and Water Activities
8. Big Kahuna’s Water Park: Daily 10-6 Special Declaration Celebration July 4-7th When you are tired of the sand (gasp), cool off at this family friendly water park. Activities include All-American Buffet, Hot dog and Pie eating contest, Frozen t-shirt contest, and Flag raising ceremonies. As seen in the picture, Sandnsol is right across the street! They have rides for all ages. Get your discount tickets here: https://bigkahunas.com/discounts
9. Crab Island: Rent a Pontoon, jetski, or water taxi and get to the coolest floating party around. Around high tide, head out to the submerged sandbar on the bay side of the Destin bridge. Hang out with thousands of your closest friends. It will be crowded, so pack your patience along with your cooler. We’ve had good luck with Boogie’s Watersports and Gillligan’s, but there are several great options.
10. Jetski: For the adrenaline junkie, this is another favorite activity of vacationers and locals.
11. Paddle Board/Kayak: Available on site at Sandnsol, our guests can rent these for an hour or two right on the beach. If your complex does not have them, just walk up or down the beach and you will find a place that does.
12. Fishing Charter: Another option is to enjoy some of the best deep sea fishing around. Private and group charters are available.
13. Parasail: Get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Emerald Coast or the Chocktawatchee Bay. Just Chute Me, Boogie’s and Luther’s are a good place to start.
For the Adults
14. Live Music: In the evening, there are plenty of options for live music all week. Boathouse and AJ’s each have several artists scheduled this first week of July. See a Tim McGraw Tribute band AJ’s Tuesday night, or get your fill of Beatles, Blues, and rock with Phil and Foster at Lulu’s Saturday.
15. Coyote Ugly’s Independence Day Red White And Booze Bash Weekend July 4th -6th. Starting Thursday night, Coyote Ugly has drink specials, Dj’s and giveaways.
It’s never too early to book next year’s trip, consider locking in Sandnsol now! Book your 2020 dates by July 15th 2019, for this year’s rates https://sandnsol.com/availability-and-rates/
Written by Stacyloux of Sandnsol Destin Vacation Rentals
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Know your Beach Flag Warnings
Seeing the rough waters this morning inspired me to get the word out on the meanings of the different beach flag warning colors. The local Coast Guard assesses beach conditions on a daily basis and assign colors based on the current water conditions.
Green: Low Hazard
Calm waters and clear blue skies over the the gulf coast are a common and welcome sight. No worries at all when we see a green flag. Paddle boarding, snorkeling, shelling along the water’s edge and floating on an inner tube are some of my favorite activities during a green flag.
Yellow: Medium Hazard
Another common flag in Destin is the yellow flag. It indicates light to medium surf or currents. Many travelers prefer a yellow flag because the light surf is ideal for boogie boarding and body surfing. There is potential for strong surf or dangerous current. Swimming is recommended only for strong swimmers and should be done near a life guard if possible. Young children or weaker swimmers should wear life jackets and stay close to shore. During a yellow flag, you experience a refreshing gulf breeze, which is perfect for flying kites.
Red: High Hazard
Red flags warn beach goers of severe hazards in the water. High surf and dangerous currents are likely. Although you can still swim using extreme caution if there is one red flag, you should only go in the water if you are a keen swimmer.
Rip currents, also called rip tides, catch swimmers off guard. The strong under tow carries a swimmer away from shore. If you get caught in a channel of water flowing away from the shoreline, don’t fight the current. As the diagram above illustrates, swim parallel to shore until you get out of the current, then return to safety.
Double Red Flags: Beach Closed
Occasionally, surf conditions are unsafe for swimmers and the beach is closed. In this instance, Double red flags are used. Typically this happens when a tropical storm or hurricane is approaching the area. Swimming is strictly prohibited, and you shouldn’t risk entering the water. Waves are several feet high and overtake even the best of swimmers.
Purple Flags: Marine Pests
Often flown with another color flag, purple or black flags warn beach goers that they may experience potentially dangerous marine life. This ranges from sea lice to jelly fish to sharks. If the beach is not closed to swimming, be aware of the potential hazards.
Most of us know what sharks and jellyfish are, but what about the other pests? Sea lice (the larvae of jellyfish), and Blue button jellyfish (not actually a jellyfish) can cause skin irritation if they are trapped in your bathing suit. They are often more of a nuisance than a danger. Depending on your sensitivity, you may not even notice them. On the other hand, if you experience itching or a rash, usually an over-the-counter 1% cortisone skin cream or an oral antihistamine offers relief. The good news is, they are not contagious and can not survive outside of salt water. Experts suggest wearing sunscreen and not wearing a t-shirt in the water to reduce their risk of getting stung by sea lice or blue buttons.
By heeding these warning flags and tips, hopefully your beautiful day at the beach won’t result in a trip to the hospital!
After your day at the beach, rinse off in one of Sandnsol’s three updated bathrooms.
Written by Stacy Loux of Sandnsol Destin vacation rental
#destinbeachwarningflags #beachwarningflags #sandnsol #tododestin #destinglass #oceanfrontvacationrental #tododestin #moenfaucets #bluebuttonjellyfish #sharks #sealice
Entertainment options abound this month in Destin. If you’re lucky enough to be in town, there are plenty of events and activities to keep you entertained. Because of all the options for music and food, locals and spring breakers won’t be bored.
Music lovers have plenty of options to get their fix during March. Several area restaurants and bars have live music, so enthusiasts should be able find something to that appeals to them seven nights a week. This month, Hog’s Breath features some regular musicians such as Jason Findley, Cole Jordan, Austin Jennings, and Jordan Ballantyne, as well as special appearances from The Rhino Jockey’s and Roshambo. https://www.hogsbreath.com/destin/events/
Although local band, Cadillac Willy performs in several area venues, in March you’ll find them most often at Funky Blues Shack. Over the years, they’ve been recognized for their talent in many ways including Best Dance Band, Best Jam Band and Best Keyboardist. This energetic band was influenced by classic bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Grateful Dead, but also enjoys playing in the style of James Brown. Occasionally, they have even been known to break out in rap jams. Find out more here:https://www.cadillacwilly.com/?fbclid=IwAR2i7770nQloYZQyiwgAcL5wqvd_UIMdb-0YCTNICqZZIchXtXVdeFD03JY
Another popular place for live entertainment is at AJ’s Club Bemini. From 5-8 you’ll enjoy sounds of Beach, Reggae and Pop music, while a guest band and dj’s play from 9:00 p.m.-2:00 am. Although music lovers of all ages are welcome until 9:00. After that, guests must be 21 and over to stay.
Also, check out the Boat House Oyster Bar, also located in Destin harbor. Today alone, they have three different live music events! Kelly Byrd kicks it off at noon, followed by Rusty Hammerstrom at 4:00 p.m. and Gunner at 8:00. http://boathouseoysterbardestin.com/events/
Finally, for country music fans, Fort Walton Beach’s The Block is the place to be this Friday, March 15th. Artist Mark Chesnutt will Rock The Block with his tunes praised by the likes of George Strait and George Jones. Get your tickets now for $25 https://theblockclub.com/index.php
Speaking of The Block, tickle your funnybone at their Comedy Zone every Saturday night. Each week you’ll see two different comedians who tour nationally. Many of these comedians have appeared on HBO and Comedy Central. Doors open at 6pm, seating at 7pm and the comedy begins around 8:15pm.
St. Patrick’s Day:
Don’t miss the Pub Crawl Saturday, March 16th. Participating pubs include Fokker’s Pub, The Block, Salty Duck, Giovanni’s One89, and Coasters. Each location has food and drink specials. If you visit every participating location, you are eligible to win awesome door prizes or even the Grand Prize. Return your completed card to The Block by 9:45 for the Big giveaway. Luck o’ the Irish to ya!
Stay tuned later this week for more about Destin St.Patrick’s Day fun!
Where to Stay:
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/
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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
Destin Super Bowl 53 Where to Watch
Wondering where to watch Super Bowl 53 in Destin? As much as I like football, I think we all know the Super Bowl is more about the company, food and drink, and commercials! There are lots of options and we’ve got you covered. Don’t wait until the last minute, Rams and Patriots fans make your plans now.
If you’re looking to watch the big game at a fun brew pub Landshark’s Pizza is a great choice. They offer a couple of packages that guarantee you a seat at a table or the bar. Prices range from $60-85/person and include beer, wine, wings and pizza. Super Bowl watch party starts at 4:00.
Along with these specials, they still have their regular specials as well.
$8 Shock Top pitchers
$8 Domestic pitchers
$12 Domestic buckets
$6 Bloody Brian cocktails
$6.99 Brats and fries
See Brian to reserve your spot. Landshark’s Pizza is located at 300 Harbor Blvd Destin, Florida.https://landsharkspizza.com/
Another place you can reserve a table is Miller’s Alehouse. They offer 2 game day reservation packages:
*$35 4 person table with 20 wings, 2 orders of Zingers, and loaded fries.
*$70 6-8 person table includes 20 wings, 2 Mountain Melts, 2 Spinach dips and 2 Egg Rolls.
If you’re watching the game from home, order $50 of wings and get a $10 Bonus card for your next visit to Miller’s
34906 Emerald Coast Pkwy.
Destin, FL 32541
No reservation needed
More Super Bowl game watch locations are found all along the Emerald Coast highway. From Fort Walton Beach to Destin, Miramar Beach and San Destin. O’Quigleys is sure to have the game on their huge TVs. Enjoy Legendary wings, burgers or pizza at Buffalo Jacks, where every table has a tv. Baytowne Marina in San Destin is showing the game on the big screen outside (with volume) as well as on several TVs inside. Enjoy the view and drink specials as well.
No matter where you choose to watch, just cheer on your team (Go Pats!), and have fun together!
Written by Stacy Loux of Sandnsol
#superbowl53 #superbowlwatchparty #superbowldestin #destin # sandnsol #emeraldcoast #landsharkspizza #buffalojacks
Did you know today is National Pie Day? If you find yourself in Destin, you are in luck! Whether you enjoy the traditional apple, chocolate cream, key lime or shepherd pie, you won’t have to go far to find the perfect slice.
For those who crave something sweet and sour, the key lime pie at Dewey Destin’s Harborside satisfies all of your taste buds. It is homemade daily, and is light and creamy. The generous slice is served with whipped topping. It is one of my all time favorites! I suggest ordering a whole pie for the table. Really, it is that good. If you have a large group, you’ll end up ordering more slices after you try a bite! Dewey Destin’s is located near the harbor.
Follow up your brunch at The Donut Hole with a slice of homemade Pecan or Chocolate Cream Pie. The sweet tooth in your group will thank you. They are located in Destin and Santa Rosa Beach.
If your crew has many individual tastes, head over to Mary’s Kitchen. They feature a wide variety of pies including Apple Crumb, Coconut Meringue, Coconut Cream, Cherry, Chocolate Pecan, and Chocolate Peanut Butter to name a few. Mary’s Kitchen is a quaint little cafe with 50’s decor, found near Big Kahuna’s and The Track.
Remember, if you prefer a more savory flavor, McGuire’s Shepherd pie still counts as pie! This casserole filled with ground steak and veggies is topped off with their special Irish mashed potatoes. It is a hearty meal. Like many of their dishes, this can be shared. And yes, McGuire’s serves regular pie as well.
National Pie Day, not to be confused with Pi (3.14) day, has been celebrated since the 1970’s when a pie-loving Colorado school teacher declared January 23, National Pie Day. So what if it’s not an official holiday? Who am I to argue with a teacher?
Written by Stacy Loux
#deweydestinseafood #nationalpieday #Mcguiresirishpub #maryskitchen #donuthole
Calling all Music Lovers to Destin’s Winter Concert Series
Destin’s Winter Concert Series opens this Sunday at the Harborwalk Village. Music lovers of all ages can enjoy these free concerts every Sunday afternoon in January and February. The concerts take place at the Harborwalk Village main stage from 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Kicking off the first show of the season this Sunday is David Hall Duo. Some of the other performers this season include local jazz bands, Bobby D Duo, Paradise Bayou and Beachcomber Music Hall of Fame blues pianist Joe Fingas.
When: Sundays 2:00-4:00 p.m. January 13-February 24th
Where: Destin’s Harborwalk Village main stage
David Hall Duo (Jan 13th)
Tate High School Jazz Band (Jan 20th)
NW Florida State College Jazz Band (Jan 27th)
Joe Fingas (Feb 3rd)
Choctaw High School Jazz Band(Feb 10th)
Bobby D Duo (Feb 17th)
Paradise Bayou (Feb 24th)
Before heading to the concerts, hear a sample of their music:
piano man Joe Fingas https://youtu.be/_KxBbBLCHPc
Choctaw High School https://youtu.be/lVtuIjdnBkk
Paradise Bayou https://youtu.be/piK0S9HgLzY
Written by Stacy Loux of Sandnsol Destin vacation rental https://sandnsol.com/
#winterconcertseries #sandnsol #tododestin #livemusicdestin #destinconcerts
Tropical Storm Gordon will be long gone by Saturday’s Jetski FunPoker Run on the Chochatawhatchee Bay. This family-friendly fun event has seven stops around the bay, and covers about 70 miles.
There is still plenty of time to register for the 5th Annual FunPoker Run Jetski Classic on September 8th. $40 registration fee includes one t-shirt, one poker hand, and one chance to win the grand prize. $20 passenger fee includes one poker hand and a chance to win. You can register online or at the door at Lulu’s Saturday, September 8th beginning at 8 am. Pre-registration parties are at Lulu’s (Destin) and Giovanni’s One89 Friday September 7th from 6-8 p.m. Pre-registration allows you start from the location of your choice.
Participants pick up a card at each of the seven stops and compete for prizes. Stops include Lulus, The Gulf, AJ’s on the Bayou, Giovanni’s one89, LJ’s Schooners, Island Time, and 2 George’s. The first ski goes in at 10 a.m, and the last ski comes out at 4 p.m, followed by the After Party at Lulu’s. The prize for the best 7 card stud poker hand is a trip for 2 to Hawaii! If you prefer to stay on land, volunteers are needed as well.
Pre-registration through September 7, 2018
Pre-registration parties at Lulu’s and Giovanni’s One89 6-8 p.m September 7, 2018
Register at the door at Lulu’s 8 a.m. Saturday, September 8, 2018
After Party at Lulu’s 4 p.m. Saturday, September 8, 2018
The event benefits Children in Crisis, an organization that works to provide homes for children while keeping siblings together.
Written by Stacy Loux of Sandnsol Destin vacation rental
#funpokerrun #destinpokerrun #sandnsol #tododestin #jetskidestin