Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Destin - Is it our bubble relocated?

My family made the journey to Destin for Williamson County spring break this year for the first time. We have never been to a panhandle beach for spring break. Our senior claimed it as her last high school request, so away we went. I have to admit I was more than a little nervous about what we would find when we arrived, especially since the forecast was cold and cloudy. The weatherman were right for once and we were glad we brought our sweats that first morning.
In the past, our family beach trips have been in the summer to secluded Fort Morgan, Alabama where you rented a house and the beach in front of said house was all yours. We could go all week without seeing anyone even remotely familiar. I was expecting Destin to be the opposite of that experience. But the ritual of hitting the panhandle in the cool spring must be tried, so away we went proudly wearing our chosen college tshirts and toting our beach chairs.
We stayed at the Embassy Suites, Miramar Beach, which was a little off the beaten path from the true "action" on the beach. Three other families from Brentwood High School stayed in our hotel and maybe others from surrounding schools. We saw them at the complimentary breakfast every morning, we hung out at the beach, and reassembled again for dinner two nights. But when we hit the beach, where we braved the cold and tried to stay low and out of the wind, we saw many more familiar faces. We saw the Smiths, whose dad was doing sand art on the beach. Mark crafted a huge hammerhead shark (see photo) and the next day a race car. It was unexpected fun to invite our friends, the Moores, to join us on the beach each day. Their residence was down by the "action" and they enjoyed a little more of a family atmosphere with us. A little further down the beach were big groups of chaperoned BHS seniors which our seniors visited for a day. With so many friends and acquaintances around, we found ourselves entertained and still relaxed.
One morning, we scooted down the road a few miles east to Seaside and Seagrove to look around. It was a slower pace and more upscale shopping, but the difference was the crowds and traffic. Most patrons in this area ride bikes or walk to the shops. This area is definitely of interest for future vacations.
All in all, I'd say Destin probably has something for everyone, but our family prefers more privacy, a little less traffic, and shorter lines at dinner. But we have now been there and done that with no harm, no foul! Is it Brentwood South? Yes, but we were pleasantly surprised by that being a positive experience. Just pick your hotel carefully!


  1. I've yet to make the trip but you made it sound worth visting. Maybe when Maya can drive, that would be the time to go. We came back from a trip to NYC last week. We saw "Hair" (which will not be coming to Nashville any time soon) and went to ground zero (against my better judgement - it was still so very sad). Now back at work. Thanks for starting this Kelly!

  2. I've never read blogs before, but you were right on with the "brentwood bubble relocated"! Thanks for your perspective.

  3. Good info, Kelly. We want to go this summer. Not knowing the area, I've been overwhelmed by the choices of hotels and areas surrounding Destin. This helps--

    Trish Miller

  4. There are no good hotels to choose from in that area, but condo choices are plentiful. The only place for bike riding is on the resort of Sandestin, which is upscale, but a totally different atmosphere from Seaside and those towns farther east along Hwy 30 A. With the whitest beaches in the U.S. its a great place to visit anywhere along that stretch of the panhandle!