Taking a Much Needed Beach Vacation in Destin Florida

Taking a Much Needed Beach Vacation in Destin Florida

It's been a minute since I have last been to a beach, I think the last time was Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.  I've been so hooked on the peaceful life of the mountains that I've forgotten that yearly I would go to the beach to reflect, cleanse, and renew. 

Before the girls headed back to school in August, I wanted to take a family beach trip somewhere, but we couldn't decide on where to go.  We got together and started name dropping popular beach destinations, here are the ones that were in the running:

  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Pensacola, FL
  • Orange Beach, AL
  • Panama City Beach, FL
  • Destin, FL
  • Jekyll Island, GA

It took us a few days to make a decision, narrowing it down to Destin, FL.  It's been several years since we last been to Destin, going there for a family reunion.

So, I hopped on Priceline to check out hotel prices, and my goodness, the rates were high as heck!  $300- $400+ a night!  Crazy!  I thought prices would be lower than that since our trip would be from Sunday to Tuesday, plus it was right after the 4th of July weekend. 

But I was wrong.  It's the busy summer season, no matter what day it is, the prices are going to be high.

What I did daily was watched prices on Priceline like a hawk, going on several times a day in hopes that a 4 or 5-star hotel will go down in price.  My budget was $200 a night.

I was watching prices about two weeks for deals, and it seems like Priceline rates weren't budging.

But, on a Tuesday, about a week before our family beach vacay I hit the jackpot!  Priceline started showing me member deals instead of the regular rates, so instead of me paying $400 a night, I paid $100 a night at Hilton Sandestin Resort!!  God was looking out for us, that's for sure!

I don't believe I am a member with Priceline, but I do have an account; however, I have been using the site frequently lately when booking rooms for my trips to Pigeon Forge, TN.  Maybe that's the reason why I was rewarded with member rates.

If you don't use Priceline, you should be!  You never know if you will score an excellent deal as I did!

The Hilton Sandestin Resort

The Hilton Sandestin Resort is so beautiful and beachy!  Our room was on the first floor, located steps away from the pool and ocean; the view was gorgeous!  Just imagine opening up your patio door and walking directly to the pool and beach area.  And guess what!  The beach is private for Hilton guest only.

Taking a Much Needed Beach Vacation in Destin Florida

Taking a Much Needed Beach Vacation in Destin Florida

And that sand, though!  Powdery white.  And that water, refreshing emerald green and blue!  We didn't get into the water since we heard the news of people catching a flesh-eating bacteria from the ocean, with some of them dying.  So, we opted for the pool at the resort instead.

The Hilton Sandestin Resort

Dolphins, drinks, food, sailing, shopping, and Crab Island pretty much summons up our vacation.

Acme Oyster House Destin, Florida

We enjoyed returning to our favorite New Orleans restaurant that is also in Destin, Acme Oyster House.  I had to get my favorite dish, seafood etouffee.  Michelle got her usual, fried shrimp platter, along with a brownie sundae dessert.

Acme Oyster House Destin, Florida

Acme Oyster House Destin Florida

Acme Oyster House, Destin Florida

During our second day in Destin, we went to our favorite place in Destin, The Harborwalk and did a dolphin cruise!

The HarborWalk in Destin Florida

We were going to rent a boat so that we could drive ourselves to Crab Island, but neither of us knows how to drive one.  I don't want us to end up lost, or dead somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico!!!!

Taking a Much Needed Beach Vacation in Destin Florida

Taking a Much Needed Beach Vacation in Destin Florida

Taking a Much Needed Beach Vacation in Destin Florida

Did you know that you can rent boats?  All you have to do is take a quick written test, and if you pass, you get your boating license for one day. 

Taking a Much Needed Beach Vacation in Destin Florida

Even though we set sail on the dolphin cruise, we did get to pass by Crab Island to see what the talk of the town is about.

Crab Island in Destin, Florida

Crab Island is not even an island at all; it is like a big playground in the middle of the gulf coast.  Nearly 1,000+ visitors enjoy music, food, and entertainment in the shallow waters.   The only way to get there is by either boat, kayak, jet ski or other watercraft.  It's like the hottest social scene in the water.  I saw bouncy houses, floating bars, and vendors selling things.  It's recommended if you go to Crab Island to bring cash with you to pay for the activities there.

Taking a Much Needed Beach Vacation in Destin Florida

While on our cruise, we saw several dolphin sightings, even seeing dolphins going up to people's boats.  I assume people are feeding them, so the dolphins have grown accustomed to humans.  I also saw a lady petting a dolphin from her boat too!

Taking a Much Needed Beach Vacation in Destin Florida

Closer to the end of our cruise, the dark clouds came rolling in dropping buckets of rain all over our ship.  And the people from Crab Island quickly started coming to shore with us.

Taking a Much Needed Beach Vacation in Destin Florida

The last day of our trip was all about shopping.  I love me some shopping in Florida!  I always find the best deals at their outlet stores on super cute summer clothes and also, we did some browsing around at Destin's outdoor mall, Destin Commons and Silver Sands Premium Outlets.

2019 Toyota RAV4 in Destin Florida

We made it back home in time before the tropical storm was supposed to hit the Gulf Coast.  Driving to and from Destin in the 2019 Toyota RAV4 we endured thunderstorms and wind storms, and the RAV4 handled all that like a champ!

Wish You Were Here Mural in Destin Florida

Another fun trip in the books!  I returned home feeling refreshed, and ready to tackle what is left of summer break.  Up next, sadly time to get readjusted for back to school, returning to our school schedules.

How has your summer been so far?

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  1. Destin is a fave, but I hadn't even heard of that Harbor Walk or Crab Island. I'm ready to go back, sounds like so much fun!

    1. Sis, you got to do both when you visit Destin again!

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