Luxury on the Emerald Coast: Bal Harbour Shops Pop Up in Sandestin

by Wendi Baird on June 14, 2024 in Lifestyle, Fashion, Travels,

The white sand beaches and turquoise waters of South Walton, Florida, are known for their laid-back charm, but this summer, a touch of Miami’s high-end glamour has arrived in the form of the Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop-Up Tour. 

From May 24 to July 19, Bal Harbour Shops, the iconic luxury retailer from Miami Beach, has taken over the North Lawn of Grand Boulevard at Sandestin®, transforming it into a tropical oasis of high fashion, fine dining and exclusive events.

A Unique Retail Experience in Sandestin

These shipping containers have been transformed into The Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop Up with luxury boutiques, fine dining and a tropical garden. Courtesy photo.

This isn’t your average pop-up shop. Designed with 30 custom-built shipping containers, the Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop-Up features a curated collection of the world’s most prestigious brands. For the first four weeks, shoppers can browse the latest collections from Cremieux, Dolce and Gabbana, Etro, Frette, Golden Goose, Lanvin, Orlebar Brown, Santa Maria Novella, Silvia Tcherassi and Tiffany & Co. The latter half of the pop-up will showcase a fresh lineup, including Addict, Assouline, Bonpoint, Eleventy, Golden Goose, Marie France Van Damme, Scanlan Theodore, Tiffany & Co., Veronica Beard and Vilebrequin.

A Vision of Tropical Luxury

The Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop Up, with its palm trees, koi ponds, and curated luxury boutiques, transports shoppers to its namesake shopping destination in Miami Beach. Courtesy photo.

“We’re thrilled to bring the tropical luxury shopping and dining experience of Bal Harbour to South Walton for the first time,” said Matthew Whitman Lazenby, President and Chief Executive Officer of Whitman Family Development, who also has a part-time residence in nearby Alys Beach. “With this roving Pop-up, we introduce a new and innovative solution at the crossroads of high-touch personal service and high-tech logistics to deliver on our mission and impact and impress our guests with our distinctive level of excellence.”

The pop-up isn’t just about shopping. It’s a fully immersive experience designed to transport visitors to the heart of Bal Harbour. Covered walkways with fans, a retractable canopy and lush greenery create a cool and inviting atmosphere. Koi ponds, fountains and piped-in music evoke the tranquil ambiance of the original Bal Harbour Shops. The Whitman, a fine dining restaurant with seating for 150, offers a full bar and lounge, serving up delectable dishes and refreshing cocktails.

A Showcase of Luxury Brands

The beautiful Dolce & Gabbana boutique at The Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop Up. Courtesy photo.

Each luxury brand is housed in its own custom-built, well-lit, air-conditioned space. Elegantly decorated interiors with glass fronts showcase the merchandise, creating an atmosphere of luxury.

The Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop-Up Tour has already made successful stops in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Sarasota, Florida, but the South Walton Pop-Up promises to be something special. Stacey Brady, Marketing and Communications Director of Grand Boulevard, describes it as “an amazing opportunity for exposure to the best retail brands in the world.” She adds, “We love that the Bal Harbour experience will be synonymous with Grand Boulevard this summer.”

Signature Events

To make the most of the experience, the pop-up is hosting weekly events throughout its eight-week residency. These include weekday Happy Hours, High-Tea Tuesdays, Après Golf: A Gentleman’s Happy Hour on Thursdays, and a lavish Sunday Brunch. Other signature events planned for the summer include “Beach Basel” on June 25, benefiting the Cultural Arts Alliance, and “A Floral Farewell Fete: An Evening with the Symphony” on July 17, benefiting Sinfonia Gulf Coast.

Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast, a foodie, or simply looking for a unique and luxurious experience, the Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop-Up in Sandestin is not to be missed. It’s a chance to indulge in the finer things in life while enjoying the laid-back beauty of the Emerald Coast.

Luxurious Accommodations in Sandestin

The Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa is a premier luxury destination, with pristine white sand beaches that are perfect for relaxation and recreation. Photo Wendi Baird.

As you immerse yourself in a summer of luxury, the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa offers an idyllic escape with the perfect balance of relaxation, amenities and fine dining.

The resort’s most coveted asset is its exclusive beachfront access, where rows of umbrellas and beach chairs invite guests to enjoy the year-round sunshine and gentle ocean breezes. A sprawling beachfront deck, with poolside chaise lounges and private cabanas, serves as a popular hub for soaking up the sun and enjoying the tropical surroundings.

Resort Amenities

Each treatment room at the Serenity by the Sea Spa is an oasis of relaxation. Courtesy photo.

As a full-service beachfront resort, Hilton Sandestin Beach caters to every whim. The Serenity by the Sea Spa offers a peaceful sanctuary for relaxation. The luxury spa features a comprehensive menu of treatments, ranging from indulgent massages to revitalizing facials. The 14,500-square-foot haven includes relaxation areas for both men and women with cascading whirlpools, sauna and steam rooms, private lockers, plush robes and zero gravity loungers. A 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center caters to those seeking a workout any time of day. Guests can also hit the links and spend the day golfing on nearby championship courses.

Room with a View

Bunk beds in the junior deluxe suite add a fun touch of convenience for a family vacation at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Courtesy photo.

The resort has 590 spacious guest rooms and suites, divided between two towers. Many rooms offer private balconies with partial or full gulf views. Families will appreciate the junior deluxe suites, which feature bunk beds with TVs as an additional sleeping option.

Fine Dining in Sandestin

Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, a AAA four-diamond restaurant at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Courtesy photo.

Hilton Sandestin Beach offers guests six onsite restaurants, including the AAA Four-Diamond steakhouse Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood. This fine dining experience is not to be missed. Choose from a variety of fresh seafood, or even a seafood tower, for your first course. Salad options include Seagar’s Traditional Caesar Salad prepared tableside. For your main course, enjoy the finest cuts of prime, wagyu and kobe beef with a selection of starches and vegetables served family style. But save room for dessert. The Bananas Foster, also prepared tableside, is the perfect culmination to your dining experience.

Bananas Foster, a decadent dessert of caramelized bananas in a delicious buttery sauce served over a bowl of ice cream, is prepared tableside and the perfect ending to a delicious meal at Seagar’s. Photo Wendi Baird.

Bijoux, located near the resort’s entrance at The Market Shops, is another luxurious dining option. Bijoux embodies “coastal cuisine with a New Orleans flair.” Its menu features the freshest Gulf seafood, prime steaks and a large selection of wines and specialty martinis. For starters, we recommend the Crab Beignets followed by a main course of Seared Diver Scallops or the 20-oz Bone-in Cowboy Ribeye.

Bijoux is a fine dining experience that serves delicious steaks and seafood with a New Orleans flair. Photo Wendi Baird.

Rise & Shine

The breakfast buffet at Sandcastles serves a vast selection of both hot and cold foods. Courtesy photo.

If you wish to start your day with a hearty breakfast, then head downstairs and eat at the resort’s Sandcastles Restaurant. This popular restaurant offers an extensive buffet with something to please all ages. You will find everything from hot omelets and pancakes to pastries and fruit.

Fresh baked pastries and a cozy atmosphere make Black Bear Bread Co. a popular destination for breakfast. Photo Wendi Baird.

If you are headed out to do some shopping at the Grand Boulevard, then make plans to eat at Black Bear Bread Company. This Parisian-style bakery also has locations in Grayton Beach and Seaside. Choose from a selection of freshly baked pastries or delicious breakfast sandwiches. They proudly serve Stumptown Coffee and even sell bags of coffee beans to take with you.

When you’re on vacation, indulge in Strawberries & Cream Cheese Waffles like those served at the Sunset Bay Cafe Sandestin. Photo Wendi Baird.

For breakfast with a view, dine on the patio at the nearby Sunset Bay Cafe. This casual cafe has a wide variety of homestyle selections including blackberry pancakes, strawberries and cream cheese waffles, and numerous benedicts.

Breakfast with a view at the Sunset Bay Cafe Sandestin. Photo Wendi Baird.

Whether you seek relaxation, recreation, or a blend of both, Sandestin promises an experience that will leave you eager to return. With its stunning location and luxurious amenities, this community truly embodies the essence of a dream beach vacation.

A beautiful day on the Emerald Coast. Photo courtesy Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa.


Cover photo courtesy The Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop Up.

Wendi Baird is the Editor in Chief for Texas Lifestyle Magazine. As a fifth generation Texan, her roots run deep in the Lone Star State. She loves traveling and writing about her experiences.