Family Fun and Adventures in Destin and Fort Walton Beach #EmeraldCoasting

Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village

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.

Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village

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

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.

Uncle Buck's Fishbowl & Grill

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!

Wild Willy's Adventure Zone

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.


It's Not Just the Journey, It's the DESTINation!

It's Not Just a Journey, It's a DESTINation

I spent last weekend at the Brandcation conference in Destin, Florida getting to know many of the local attractions and businesses and bonding with my blogger friends. We stayed at the beautiful Emerald Grande at Harbor Walk Village and there was so much to see and do there that we rarely rested.

The rooms were gorgeous and had incredible views of the beach and the pool. There was a perfect spot for weddings or celebrations overlooking the beach and lighthouse shown above and we even witnessed two weddings during the weekend while we were there. So many restaurants are located in the Harbor Walk Village that you're sure to find any type of food you're in the mood for. We ate at the Grande Vista inside the hotel a couple times for breakfast and lunch, had an Italian family style dinner at La Famiglia, lunch one day at Harry T's,

and dinner with music and dancing at the Cantina at Crab Island. The food was scrumptious everywhere we went and I was thrilled to have fresh local seafood for several meals.

In addition to lounging around by the pool or on the beach, there are many activities to choose from. We enjoyed the Buccaneer Pirate Cruise one night with dinner catered by Jim and Nicks Catering and Restaurant. We went snorkeling and snuba diving with Destin Snorkel, cruised around Noriega point to a private beach for sunbathing, shopped at some terrific stores along the harbor and even played laser tag one afternoon when the weather kept us from visiting Big Kahuna's water park.

The entire trip was so much fun that I can't wait to go back and take the whole family with me. Almost everything was within walking distance, including a couple of nightclubs that several of us ladies visited. The staff were all very friendly and welcoming everywhere we went and we never lacked for exciting activities and fun stuff to do. This trip proved that it's not just about the journey, it's the DESTINation!


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