“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it’s the journey that matters, in the end.” -Ursula K. Le Guin
The beach, with all of my family and friends, is still my favorite place to be. Destin, Florida is where I have been coming since I was a teenager and the first Gulf Coast Beach I have ever been to. I love the beautiful white sand beaches, the emerald water, and the beautiful blue skies. In general, I really like the area itself. What I like most about the Destin/Ft. Walton/Miramar Beach area is that while it is full of tourists in the summer, it is slightly less touristy than somewhere like Panama City and it is so much more family friendly, as it is less of a party area. Don’t get me wrong…people still party here. It is just less than say, Panama City Beach.
This trip has been just a quick getaway, and time with my husband. While it is a short visit, we always fit a few MUSTS in. One of which is McGuire’s Irish Pub (https://www.mcguiresirishpub.com/). This is a place my family has been going for as long as I have lived in the south. If you are looking for seafood and your typical beach food, this is definitely NOT your place. However…if you are looking for absolutely delicious food this is the place to be. The boxty is one of my favorite appetizers here and is VERY Irish, but don’t count out the Reuben egg rolls, because they will knock your socks off! While there are MANY enjoyable items on the menu, my absolute favorite item to order here is the sharp cheddar and bacon steak burger. The perfect amount of char on the burger that lets you know it was cooked over a fire just takes this one over the top! There is a Ben and Jerry’s in Miramar Beach (https://www.benjerry.com/miramarbeach) that we frequent, with a Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzz for the coffee lovers like me! Buffalo Jack’s (http://buffalojackslegendarywings.com/) is a must try for some fabulous pizza with Mama Sherry’s (https://www.facebook.com/mamasherrys) running a close second. If you go around lunchtime in the offseason you are likely to meet Sherry herself, covered in flour, taking care of customers, and waiting for her husband to get back from his delivery. We added a new one to our list of Go To’s on this trip. Lobster Tail (https://www.facebook.com/lobstertailflorida) in Fort Walton on The Boardwalk was fabulous! As a person allergic to shellfish, I typically get odd looks, and even a few comments, when I go to seafood restaurants and tell them I’m allergic. Not only did our waitress Chelsy not give me a funny look, she made sure everything I ordered was perfectly safe and delicious. My husband was eating Lobster Bites and Lobster Mac and Cheese, so she even brought us an extra straw for our shared Blueberry Smash.
With all of the wonderful food and ice cream, we have to get a little exercise so we like to drive over to Navarre Beach for a nice peaceful walk up and down the beach, collecting seashells and watching the dolphins play. It’s a beautiful place to enjoy the sun on your face and feel the ocean lapping at your feet without all of the big buildings and houses obstructing your view.
A great place to stay in Miramar Beach is Majestic Sun (https://www.wyndhamvacationrentals.com/florida/destin/majestic-sun-complex OR https://majesticsun-destinfl.com/ ). While not directly on the beach, it is right across the street, with absolutely nothing blocking the view. There is an indoor pool that attaches to part of the outdoor pool so you can swim right through, and coded gates that allow you access to and from the beach. If you prefer Destin, the Beach Street Cottages are always a wonderful choice.
As much as I hate leaving this place, being able to have a few days getaway more often is better than one long trip one or two times a year. If you haven’t been here yet, be sure to come down and spend a few days soaking up the sun and enjoying some local food. You’ll be glad you did.