I wish you a warm welcome to my condo at Waterscape. I hope you are ready for a fun and relaxing vacation. Please do not hesitate to text me if you have questions or need anything at all.
Yummy stuff to eat:
First, we love Stewby's. It's extremely casual and since most of my renters have young children, this place is ideal. Best of all, the food is fresh, local, and surprisingly inexpensive. Stewby's is in a little shack, exactly what you should expect from a great "local place."
There is a new restaurant across the street called "The Gulf." You can walk to it--it is across Hwy. 98 (the busy highway). They serve fresh seafood and the menu changes daily. This is a fun environment and your kids can play along the bay's shore while you wait for your food.
Asiago's is just right across the street (walk, parking is tight), and this is the best breakfast in town. The honey butter biscuit easily feeds two people (YUM ALERT!). Everything I've had is good, except the sausage patty which is like McDonald's (yeh, not my fave).
There is a convenient ice cream place (with a small putt putt course in front) that's also walkable. The name is Okaloosa National Mini Golf and Ice Cream. Go to the street (Santa Rosa Blvd) and turn left. Walk a couple of blocks and you will run right into it. It's also a great wagon ride for the little ones. They have a Facebook page, but not a website. Here is their number: (850) 888-3404.
Cool stuff to do:
Waterscape has activities onsite throughout the week from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Some of the highlights are a Fireworks show over the pier (you can see it very well from our beach) Wednesdays at 8pm, and a movie at the pool Friday nights at 8pm.
The Gulfarium is next door and you can spend an entire day there. They have shows with dolphins, seals, and sea lions. They have a dolphin encounter experience where you can swim with the dolphins. This must be planned ahead and space is limited. If you are interested in this, please call ahead for details.
The Destin Harborwalk is an activity filled adventure and has all kinds of cruises, including dolphin cruises and fishing excursions. Our personal favorite is the Buccaneer Pirate Cruise. It's a little pricey if you have a large party but it's really worth the money. It's really fun and the parents will enjoy it too. The pirate crew will completely occupy your kids for the duration of the ride, so Mom and Dad, you get to relax!! There are also pontoon boat rentals for the more adventurous. You can cruise over to Crab Island and play on the island inflatables. We have done the pontoon rental and it was a highlight of the trip. Dinner and a late night stroll persuing the million dollar yachts is fun also. If you aren't satisfied yet, you can try ziplining or just hang around and peruse the shops. On Thursdays in the summer they have fireworks at 9pm. ALL THIS is at the Destin Harborwalk. Be sure to check their website for a latest list of events as they change frequently.
Another place to spend an entire afternoon or evening is at the Baytowne Wharf. This is just a splendid little jewel of a place and they have fireworks, concerts, magic shows, movies on the lawn, and more. They have nice places to eat as well as fun little shops to visit. I probably like this place more than the Destin Harborwalk, but it is a little futher away and they don't have all of the cruises/boat rentals. Be sure to check their website for a latest list of events.
If you brought a little "extra" money, renting jet skis is CRAZY FUN and it is worth the money if you have it to spend. You can ride through the bay on the jet skis and cross over into the ocean (but plan on it just for a minute because the water is ROUGH). You can encounter dolphins in the bay if you look, especially later in the afternoon. All the businesses charge the same rates. The most convenient place to rent is Crab Island Watersports, which is just across Hwy. 98 (the busy road in front of Waterscape), right behind Alvin's Island gift shop. You can also rent pontoon boats from here. We have done both. Lots of fun!
Crab Island Watersports
Of course, our favorite place of all is right on the Waterscape property. Grilling poolside is hard to beat.
PS. Let me give you a little warning about Destin traffic. There's lots of stuff to do there but don't go over there if you are in a hurry. :-)