My family and I are fortunate to live in the Florida Panhandle where we are within driving distance of so many fun and exciting things to do. There are lots of attractions along the Emerald Coast in Destin and Fort Walton Beach for kids, families and adults – with so many options you’re sure to find something that you love to do and activities that will make the whole family happy.
One of my absolute favorite places to stay and frankly my personal top ranked Destin vacation rental is the Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village. Located right on the Destin Harbor the condo rentals are fabulous, very comfortable rooms with kitchens and every amenity including beautiful views in every room, like the one above from our balcony. The resort has a ferry (shown above) that will take you to a private beach where you’ll find beach chairs, umbrellas and towels and you can even order room service right from your chaise.
The Harborwalk Village adjoins the property and boasts all sorts of wonderful restaurants, retail shops, entertainment and water recreation activities like the Buccaneer Pirate Ship, snorkeling, fishing, dolphin cruises, parasailing, jet skis and glass bottom boats. There are also quite a few bars and night clubs available for a little adult entertainment in the evenings.
Lulu’s restaurant is one of the absolute best places along the Emerald Coast for seafood. You’ll find fun food, boat dockage, live music and activities for the kids plus they have an extensive allergy menu for those who are gluten free or have nut, shellfish or other allergies.
For a little fantasy underwater family adventure I highly recommend a visit to Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill. The walls have hand painted murals of underwater scenes, all sorts of fish hang from the ceilings and all of the bowling ball returns feature sea life like shark, octopus and alligator. The whole place is amazing and the food is pretty darn good too!
There are so many fun things to do at Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone that you may want to plan on spending a few hours there. Available activities include the T.Rex Island Adventure Golf Course, Ptero Jump, Tree Top Challenge (shown above), Spin-O-Saurus Coaster, Inflatable Zone, Boat Battles, and the Redemption Arcade in addition to my favorite 4-D Movie Experience. Grab some pizza, wings and frozen yogurt while you’re there!
The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is also a must see while you’re in the area, especially if you’ve brought the kids along. Located right on the white sands of Fort Walton Beach, the Gulfarium is home to a multitude of marine life including dolphins, alligators, turtles, penguins, stingrays and sea lions.