Escape to the Emerald Coast
Value, sun and non-stop family fun in northwest Florida
Looking for a sunny haven? Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island all make up Florida’s Emerald Coast. You’ll find a beautiful stretch of the Sunshine State, close to the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, that’s exactly the place you need for long escapes from the Canadian chill. Winter is prime time for strolls on the beach away from summer crowds. It’s the perfect time to dine on fresh, gulf-to-table seafood, to catch the best deals of the year and for some much-deserved family downtime together.
Spend your days on the fine, sugar-white sand and in the emerald-green water. The 100-fathom curve close to Destin makes it one of the best places in the world for fishing. And with a great mix of marine life, an artificial reef and scattered shipwrecks, the area offers fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving.
Above water, go dolphin watching, deep-sea fishing (Destin is home to the largest for-hire fishing fleet in the U.S.) or even take a pirate cruise. Go sailing, rent jet skis, take up water skiing, try surfing—whatever floats your boat. Nearby state parks offer hiking trails, picnic areas and camping. And there’s an array of lush golf courses in the area catering to a range of skill levels.
Inland, you’ll find open-air shopping complexes, original boutiques, pedestrian villages, art galleries and antique shops, nightlife and a wide selection of restaurants. Find inventive and fresh cuisine—with a focus on seafood, of course. But if you’re in the mood for something else, you’ll certainly find whatever you crave—from sushi to steak, Italian to fast food. There’s no shortage of ways to keep the family entertained. You just may have found your new yearly refuge.