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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Destin Review

I have been working on this post for a couple of days but just never had time to finish... what with all the poop and such. Anyway, as I said earlier, each time someone we know goes on vacation I'm always interested in any tips or likes and dislikes they had. Since we just got back from our Destin vacation last week, I thought I would share our insight (for what its worth) before we forget.

A FEW THINGS WE DID RIGHT:

* We left for Destin around 9:30 at night. It was wonderful because the kids slept pretty much the entire way.

* Since I knew we'd be stopping for gas a few times, I brought a noise maker and tucked it behind the kids' seats. The white noise drowned out the sounds that would have awakened the kids.

* And perhaps the smartest thing we did, instead of hooking up the dvd player, we bought the girls individual ipod nanos. I can't remember how many movies fit onto one, but it was well over ten. We have SO much trouble with those hang over the seat dvd players.... It's hard to reach back to change movies. Inevitably someone pulls out a cord. They are loud. No one wants to watch the same movie. With the nanos, each girl picked her own movie whenever she wanted, and the headphones were heavenly. PLUS they also took them in with us to dinner, and instead of being bored during the meal, they sat like little angels and watched their movie. Now, I wouldn't advocate this all the time, obviously. But for Matt and me and the peacefulness of our vacation, IT WAS WONDERFUL. (By the way, you can find these refurbished at the Apple store for a discounted price. Pick your color--we ended up with pink and blue.)

A FEW THINGS WE DID WRONG:

* We did not leave late at night for the trip back home, and we paid for it dearly.

* We should have bought sunscreen at Sam's. It is almost 1/2 the price there.

WHERE WE STAYED:

We stayed here at the Pelican Beach Resort in Destin.

Matt found a great deal through ResortQuest and ended up getting us a discount of around 40%. You would be amazed at what you can get if you ask and are persistent.

What we loved about Pelican Beach:

* Great rooms
* Great view
* Close to restaurants and other fun stuff
* A large discount package to lots of local restaurants and free passes to several different activities such as water parks, fishing boats, sight seeing boats, etc...
* Most of all, the KIDS PROGRAMS!!! On Tuesday and Thursday nights they do a kids' themed program for kids ages 4-12 for just $15 per child. You can drop off your kids at 6 pm, and for three hours, the kids' staff entertains them with crafts, play, and swimming. Matt and I got two date nights (even though we had Jeb) while we were there. It. Was. Awesome. AND the kids absolutely loved it. Plus, everyday they have kids activities somewhere within the resort.

What we didn't so much love:

* A crowded beach
* washer and dryer not in the room

Where we ate:

I have to admit, going to dinner at the Destin restaurants is probably my favorite part of our Destin vacations. Love it. Love it. We have some favorites and tend not to branch out. Here's what we did this year.

Monday Night: The Backporch

I had the shrimp and crab linguini which was SO good. I was so full I didn't get the key lime pie, but they are famous for theirs with good reason.

Tuesday Night (A no-Belle and E Dru night): Louisiana Lagniappe

Going to be honest, this place is not cheap. Matt and I specifically budgeted so we could pull this one off, but it is by far our absolute favorite place to go while in Destin. Matt LOVES the hushpuppies they bring out before the meal, but I'm not so crazy for them. But LL's food... amazing. Get a seat outside if you can. The restaurant sits in the harbor, and the view is beautiful.

Wednesday Night: Pompano Joe's

The girls LOVE Pompano Joes, as well as me and Matt. The atmosphere is fun. The service is great. The view is beautiful. And the Reggae Rolls are a MUST.

Thursday Night (another no-Belle and Dru night): Fisherman's Warf

We really enjoy Fisherman's Warf. The restaurant sits directly on Destin Harbor. The food is wonderful, and if you time it just right, you can sit and watch the boats come in with their day's catch. The kids love it. Plus, their fried green tomatoes are another must have.

Friday Night: Pompano Joe's AGAIN (Girls' choice)

Just as yummy at two nights before!

Then Saturday morning before we left, we noticed a discount that came with our hotel package to Breakfast with the Alligators at Fudpuckers. I was a bit leery, but we really enjoyed it. It was buffet style, and the food was really good. Plus, the kids got to see the alligators--even pet one.


And we can't forget the Donut Hole.

I'm pretty sure they don't have a website, but for breakfast or yummy desserts, it's the place to go. The key lime pie is HEAVENLY. But be sure to get there early. There's almost always a line. It's well worth the wait.

If you vacation in Destin, I would love to hear where you love to go!

6 comments:

The Young Family said...

Our family loves Santa Rosa Beach which is just 10 miles outside of Destin. Being just a few miles out really takes care of the crowded beach part. We LOVE the Donut Hole, too!!! We went twice this year. Once we just got donuts to go. The other time we waited in the LONG line, but it was very worth it.

Steph said...

Thanks for all of this, it gives me great ideas for next year!!!

Superchikk said...

I would've never thought about an iPod for movie viewing. What a great idea! We will be looking for something for C soon, but I don't think he's old enough for an iPod yet.

Karey said...

I am jealous, we aren't going to the beach this summer. It looks like you and your fam had lots of fun. Beautiful family you and Matt have.

I so am glad to know Jeb is just as ornery as Nash. I am known to say, if Nash had of been my first born, we may have only had one child. Aren't they lots of fun and keep us on our toes? Hope to see you soon.

Josh and Kate said...

Glad we got to see you guys while you were there!!! We ended up running into 9 NWA families while we were there. Popular place! Glad you all had fun.

ashley said...

I saw your blog on the Kennedy's blog. We have been going to Destin for years and the best place is called Rosemary beach its about 20miles from destin. Google it, its amazing!!