A few weeks ago I took the weekend off to hit up the beach in Destin, Florida, where my girlfriend and I met up with my friend and his wife who are living in Miami. From New Orleans, Destin is only a 4 ½ hour drive, which felt like a breeze because I’m used to driving from New Orleans à Austin or Austin à El Paso, both about 9 hour trips. I had been missing the water because frankly there is nowhere to swim in New Orleans unless you count your own bath tub.
I’d heard from a few people that as far as nice beaches in the US go, Destin was at the top of the list…I was not disappointed. The water is a really pretty green (hence the name ‘Emerald Coast) and was a really nice temperature, not too cold to keep you from getting in easily and not so warm that it doesn’t feel refreshing to get in after bathing in the sun for a while (like Cancun). The sand is powdery, white, and doesn’t heat up no matter how hot it is outside that day. It’s made out of quartz and makes funny noises when you walk on it. The only downside about such wonderful snowy-white sand is that it was a wonderful reflector of the sun’s rays. Although I’d been given some brown skin by my Mexican mother as natural protection, I still got burned that day and felt a bit overheated after a few hours of being out there chillin’ on the beach.
Although most of the hotels in Destin are a bit pricey I found a pretty good deal at the Emerald Coast Inn & Suites for $69 a night. It was actually on Okaloosa Island about 7 minutes from Destin and was across the street from the Boardwalk which was on a very nice section of beach that seemed quite popular judging by the amount of people there. A really great section of beach we went to was on Okaloosa Island right before the bridge that goes into Destin. It was secluded, and there were only a few people there at any given time. When we were crossing over the bridge I saw that on the north side of it there was a lagoon where people had brought their boats and were partying spring-break style. On the main road in Destin are a good amount of restaurants and further down an outlet mall.
All in all I’d say that amongst the beaches I’ve been to in North and South America, Destin is definitely in the top 5. Make sure you stop by the restaurant Fuddpuckers, you’ll just have to trust me on this one…