Take Me to Florida!!! (Destin, to Be Exact)

Swifties worldwide eagerly anticipated the release of Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department. One of her edgier songs was a spicy one, featuring hurricanes, swamps, and timeshares, appropriately entitled, “Florida!!!”

When interviewed about the song, she said, “When you just want to escape from everything you’ve ever known. Is there a place you can go?” And the answer to her was very clear: Florida!!!

Now, there are many fabulous places you could escape to in our great state. However, I have to agree with T Swift that I would totally “work your life away just to pay for a timeshare down in Destin.” If I were to book a vacation, Destin would absolutely be at the top of my list. Here’s why:

It’s a Great Place to Bring Your Family

If you’re one of Taylor’s friends who “smell like little babies,” you’ll be in the perfect location! Destin is a fantastic place to bring your whole family. More mellow than neighboring Panama City, the spring breakers tend to stray from this part of the panhandle because they find it to be too family-friendly. There are countless parks, playgrounds, places to zipline, ride go-karts, do a ropes course, jump on trampolines, putt-putt, play laser tag, and ride water slides in Destin.

All of that sound too busy? Well don’t forget Destin’s main attraction:


Stunning Beaches and Sugar Sand

I challenge you to find another location in the Sunshine State that could easily pass for a far-away tropical oasis. The water in Destin is crystal clear and “emerald” green, hence the nickname “the Emerald Coast,” and boy-oh-boy does it live up to that name. The sand is snow white, soft, and as fine as sugar. Whether you are there chasing munchkins or catching up on your latest read, the beaches of Destin will not disappoint!

Great Food

After a long day of fun in the sun, you’ll need to grab a bite to eat! Before and after I started my gluten-free journey, Destin remains a standout for one of my favorite cities to eat in. In our post-college, pre-kids years, my husband and I traveled there often for work. This allowed us to try out all of the fine, quirky, and laid-back places that Destin has to offer. Anytime we go now, we have to plan our days and activities around which restaurants we have time to visit because the food is that worth it. Destin is home to some of the freshest seafood you will ever come across as it comes straight from the fishing boats in the Gulf to the restaurants. On that note…

World-Class Sport Fishing

Whether you’re an avid fisher, first timer, or just along for the ride, fishing while in Destin is like riding a roller coaster while in Orlando. You kind of have to do it! You can either rent a boat in the bay, go on a captained charter in the Gulf, or cast a line off a pier for this experience. We’ve pulled in Mahi, catfish, snapper, grouper, amberjacks, and redfish, just to name a few, but you’re almost guaranteed to land something. Fishing not your thing?


Crab Island

So Much to Do

Not wanting to fish but still want to be on the water? You can also rent a boat and head to Crab Island, paddleboard, snorkel, take a dolphin cruise, surf, parasail, or rent jet skis to name a few more options.

With 30A just a stone’s throw away, Destin is host to an outrageous array of upscale shopping, as well as outlets, and other fun local stores to window shop in.

The Blue Angels are stationed in Pensacola to the West, and you can frequently catch their practice flights overhead.

We’ve gone to Destin for babymoons, getaways, toddler trips, and multi-generational vacations (ages 6–90!). There is literally something for everyone. Each time we visit, we find more reasons to fall in love with the area and say we are whenever, “ever, ever, getting back together” there.

So if you are looking for the ultimate road trip to a “town you’re just a guest in,” please consider this the ultimate Destin-ation. Taylor approves.

Caitlyn Hawkins
Caitlyn is a happy-go-lucky wife and Mama who loves football, Icemen hockey, and fishing. A Jax local through and through, she has called the 904 'home' her entire life. But don't let that fool you! She and her little ginger family are avid world travelers. When they aren't on the go, this Osprey Alumni is helping folks sell and buy homes in our great town. She wanted to find a balance between being a working Mom in an ever-changing field and wanting to be present in her children’s everyday lives. This is how she came up with being what she calls a “stay at home(s) Mom”. She chronicles those experiences, along with various other home maintenance/design/repair tips learned along the way on her blog ClosingsAndCarSeats.com .


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