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First time Destin-er here

Maryland
Level Contributor
51 posts
41 reviews
First time Destin-er here

Hi all,

Doing some research for our first vacation to Destin, and so far I've gathered that we are searching in high season (August), we should avoid grocery shopping on Saturdays, and that I am just all the way confused about where to stay. So, hoping someone can help me on here!

A little about us and our likes:

We are a family of 4 with young kids so we are looking for at least 1 bedroom, budget ~150-250/night, preferably on the lower end :)

Direct beach access and use- like beachfront, and beach umbrellas/chairs or loungers

Calm water that is "safe" for toddler age kids, powder white sand

We plan on having a car (flying in to ECP)

And a couple questions:

Based on the above, any suggestions on where to stay? We plan on having a 4 night vacation

Are Emerald Coast and Pelican Beach locations like a beach, or are they resorts? I've seen those two come up on this forum and I am getting all mixed up

Thank you in advance!

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10 replies to this topic
Cincy
Level Contributor
521 posts
18 reviews
1. Re: First time Destin-er here

As far as your grocery comment we order ahead of time from Walmart and just pick it up. Saves a lot of time and we don’t have to worry about the lines.

Waterscape resort across the bridge in Fort Walton is very kid friendly if you can find a unit in your price range. Later August is cheaper than early August. We have rented from Kimberly Lang vacation rentals in the past and been happy.

Apalachicola...
Level Contributor
3,518 posts
119 reviews
2. Re: First time Destin-er here

Look at Shoreline Towers. 2/2 with direct beach assess and reasonably priced. It’s a good, central location in Destin near the water park.

Maryland
Level Contributor
51 posts
41 reviews
3. Re: First time Destin-er here

thank you for the suggestions- the walmart store pick up is a great idea!

our dates are now flexible and am looking anytime between june and august. i know this is high season and it's a little late to book, so it will all depend on availabilty, but does anyone have any other suggestions? I'd like to narrow it down to at least 3 or 4 properties. Our budget can also go up to 300/night.

Maryland
Level Contributor
51 posts
41 reviews
4. Re: First time Destin-er here

Also, any hotels that are recommended? I can't seem to find any that are right on the beach, it seems to be all condos.

How do guests of places not on the beach get a spot on the beach? Is the beach (west of Henderson state park) public, except for right in front of beachfront properties where guests have their chairs set up? Because it's high season, will it be very difficult to find a spot for my family? Or do I need to take the family to the state park for a spot on the beach?

Destin
Level Contributor
8 posts
13 reviews
5. Re: First time Destin-er here

Most places right on the beach will be condos. Shoreline Towers was mentioned before which is directly on the beach with 2 bedroom condos, Edgewater is directly on the beach and they have 1 & 2 bedroom condos with beach chair set up. Beachside Inn is more like a hotel and they are right across a small street from a private beach access. All have a pool. Not sure about Shoreline Towers but pretty sure that Edgewater and Beachside are in your budget during August. You are probably looking at $100 plus more a night during June and July. Hope this helps.

Maryland
Level Contributor
51 posts
41 reviews
6. Re: First time Destin-er here

Thanks so much for the suggestions, it really does help!

Edited: 11 April 2018, 22:27
Destin, FL
Destination Expert
for Destin
Level Contributor
3,195 posts
7 reviews
7. Re: First time Destin-er here

The later in August you go, the better... rates will be cheaper and crowds will be all but gone.... Powder white sand is everywhere here.... That's what we are known for, as well as crystal clear, emerald green waters.

Safe for kids beach, all depends on the weather/waves.... some days it can be flat as a lake, others not so much.

Pelican Beach is a resort, The Emerald Coast is just a name for the general area that has been adopted (from the water).

Many, many great places to stay right on or just across the street from the beach.... I am kind of partial to the Crystal Beach and Miramar Beach area, but you really cannot go wrong anywhere here!

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
85 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: First time Destin-er here

One thing not being mentioned here is the 4 day rental might be tough. During high summer time, most rentals will be 7 days.

Maryland
Level Contributor
51 posts
41 reviews
9. Re: First time Destin-er here

Thank you for the clarification regarding emerald coast amd pelican beach!

Yes, in doing more research I realized that the condos we were interested in all had saturday to saturday bookings. Thanks for the tips everyone!

Woodbury, Minnesota
Level Contributor
1,258 posts
22 reviews
10. Re: First time Destin-er here

If you can go later in August, you will probably have better luck with less than a 7 day Saturday to Saturday booking. Also as mentioned, the prices tend to go down after the second Saturday in August.

And if you do decided to go the hotel route. Okaloosa Island has many beach front hotels - there are new Hilton Garden Inn and Holiday Inn that have nice lazy river type pools, there is also a Radisson and Sheraton beach front, and a Wydnham and a few others.

Edited: 13 April 2018, 08:23
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