Northwest Florida features epic beach communities including WaterColor and larger towns like Destin, which are both popular with Texans and perfect for soaking up the sun during Spring Break. Here, enjoyment awaits for every age and interest.
Some may believe that traveling with parents and or extended family is a hassle, but 30A and Destin make it easy. The athletic ones in the family can bike through the beach communities, stopping midway from WaterColor to Rosemary Beach at The Hub for drinks and to catch a game on the big screen. If you are the type that goes on vacation to completely relax, indulge at the Salamander Spa at The Henderson in Destin. Luckily for the foodies of the family, the possibilities are endless when it comes to fresh seafood. And if you want to tie it all together, Lulu’s is the perfect place for every member of the family.
Here’s a snapshot of all the fantastic family fun throughout Destin and WaterColor.
Horizons is one of five restaurants The Henderson Resort in Destin has to offer. Horizons has an extensive menu revolving around fresh seafood. My personal favorite dish is the Shrimp Fra Diavolo With Linguini—the perfect combination of Italian and seafood. The Salamander Spa at The Henderson is calming and peaceful. Spa guests get a glass of their special lavender champagne, the perfect addition to the experience as a whole. The spa’s wide range of services include massages and facials, such as the not-to-be-missed Essentials Balancing Facial.
You don’t have to book a service to have a great time at the spa because of the amenities, which include a hot tub, sauna, pink Himalayan salt room and Experience Shower. The spa’s relaxation lounge is where all your worries drift away. The Mommy and Me spa day and other kid services—including manicures, pedicures, and hairstyling, as well as teen massage and facial options—make it the perfect day for the whole family.
The Primrose restaurant at The Henderson has a variety of choices when it comes to breakfast. The large windows surrounding the space, which overlooks the pool and beach, only add to the enjoyable atmosphere.
Lulu’s is a lively, family-friendly restaurant in Destin. They are known for their Krispy Kreme donut bread pudding, which was initially created by Lucy Buffet, the restaurant owner. Buffet was friends with the owner of Krispy Kreme and, since there were so many extra donuts, she decided to be resourceful and create a masterpiece that can now be loved by sweet enthusiasts visiting the coastal escape.
The Southern star Dolphin Cruise ends with a beautiful sunset drifting back into HarborWalk Village, right on the water. We saw so many dolphins throughout our tour. These weren’t amateur dolphins either, they knew how to put on a show for us. It was very entertaining and a great reminder that seeing animals in their natural habitats is so valuable and always ends with a good experience.
At WaterColor Inn, overlooking the sugar sands of Santa Rosa Beach, you can’t go wrong with the view. Sitting right on the beach means pretty scenery no matter what time of day it may be. One of my favorite parts of staying here was waking up with such an exceptional view. In fact, sitting on the balcony and reading was one of my favorite parts of the trip.
The Gathering Spot at WaterColor Inn has hearty breakfast and coffee options. They have a Create Your Own breakfast bowl concept (start with a biscuit and add eggs, meat, grits and avocado— or just about anything you want). Pair that with a cappuccino and you’re ready to enjoy your beach day.
The Pearl is a boutique hotel in Rosemary Beach, along 30A. Havana Beach Bar & Grill is located in The Pearl and knows how to win you over from the very beginning with their five-star bread basket. The Gulf Coast shrimp and grits and the housemade macaroni will keep diners coming back—six out of five stars.
The Destin area is a place you and your family will feel the need to return to, especially because every time you come back, you can stay somewhere new that will have a totally different feel to it. Florida never gets old, and new memories are always ready to be made.
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Cover: Sunset at the Destin pier. Courtesy photo
Analise Flatt is a marketing major, with a minor in travel and tourism, studying at Stephen F. Austin State University. She’s been traveling to Florida since she was one and looks forward to returning time and time again.