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Bamajedi
Alabama Fan
Member since Sep 2017
137 posts

Beach vacations
I am about 4 hrs from Destin and we go there about once a year just to do the ocean thing and relax. I have looked at various islands down the coast of Florida and even Caribbean trips (Jamaica, DR, Bahamas, etc) and I can't see why I should spend that much more time and money to visit. Am I missing something? Looking at images on the web, I haven't seen any beaches/water that look higher quality than Destin.



slinger1317
Houston Astros Fan
Northshore
Member since Sep 2005
4213 posts

re: Beach vacations
I feel the same way. It will be hard to find prettier water/sand than Destin without making a major trip.

The reasons to looks elsewhere would be to see a new place/culture, eat some different food, check off a country that you’ve always wanted to visit. At the end of the trip you could either say “Meh, been there done that,” or already be planning your return visit.

I always challenge myself not to fall into the familiar rut when looking to travel. Sure we have places we love and try to hit every few years, but we like to venture out and try new things. Some have been awesome, some have been not that great- but they’ve all been better than being at work!


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91
baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
13820 posts

re: Beach vacations
There’s better snorkeling elsewhere and fishing for some species. As said it’s international so there’s some food and culture also. But in general people go to the Carribean to be around fewer people and because it makes them feel better about themselves. If you enjoy Destin, no there’s no reason to feel like you need to go somewhere else.

ETA: if you’re are flying or further away then 4-6 hours it makes some sense to go elsewhere also. When you can be somewhere in 4 hours by car though that’s hard to beat.
This post was edited on 1/9 at 11:56 am


Paul Allen
Notre Dame Fan
Montauk, NY
Member since Nov 2007
65654 posts
 Online 

re: Beach vacations
Turks and Caicos and Bahamas are both beautiful places that aren’t that far from mainland US.


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41
Yeti_Chaser
Member since Nov 2017
1688 posts

re: Beach vacations
If you're just gonna go hang out at a resort then yes, you're probably right. But if you enjoy getting out and exploring the culture in a new country...well you can't really do that in Destin. Also many of the Caribbean countries have mountains and rainforests. I absolutely love the rainforest and there's nothing like it in the states.


nicholastiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2004
22978 posts

re: Beach vacations
No offense but after about three days of destin or any other gulf coast beach I’ve had it
The crowds the heat the sand

I like to venture to other places where you can snorkel and actually see the bottom of the ocean like in Carib or keys
I like seeing different places like San Diego or Hawaii or Maine
Destin is not cheap and you can find deals in other places
This post was edited on 1/9 at 4:39 pm


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31
wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
43421 posts
 Online 

re: Beach vacations
Depending on how much you eat out in Destin, it could be cheaper to fly to some of the islands and Mexico than to vacation 4 hours form your house.


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60
AUCE05
Auburn Fan
Member since Dec 2009
34666 posts

re: Beach vacations
I have been to the Atlantic, Pacific (specifically San Diego), Hawaiian, and Caribbean beaches. It will be hard to beat a gulf coast beach.


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32
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USA
Member since 2001
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tigerstripes
LSU Fan
Loranger, LA
Member since Aug 2006
437 posts

re: Beach vacations
Cape San Blas is pretty nice. Way less crowded than Destin or Panama City.


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20
Shaun176
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2008
1923 posts

re: Beach vacations
The biggest difference is the winter and the resorts generally provide more services(beach set up, towel service, beach waiters, pool bar) for you than you get in Destin. For a couple, Destin really isn't cheaper. For families, especially with teenagers, Destin is cheaper and you generally get more space.





baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
13820 posts

re: Beach vacations
quote:

The biggest difference is the winter


This is a great point. Caribbean’s busy season is the winter, same as South Florida. Where as panhandle gulf coast busy season is spring and summer and now fall.


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Floating Change Up
Houston Astros Fan
Austin
Member since Dec 2013
8142 posts

re: Beach vacations
quote:

I haven't seen any beaches/water that look higher quality than Destin.


It all depends what you want from a "Beach vacation".

If you're just looking for a place to throw out a couple of towels, drink some white claw and go piss in crystal clear water surrounded by hundreds of others doing the same... Destin is fine.

If you want to experience pristine beaches where the only foot prints in the sand are your own... see an abundance of sea critters in their natural habitat, and at night be able to look up at the sky and feel like you're the only person on earth...

you need to visit a Bahamas out island. Andros, Eleuthera, Abaco, Cat Island, et. al. will all provide an experience that you absolutely will never get close to at Destin.

FYI - I lived in Ft. Walton/Niceville area for a couple of years. I've spent many days and nights in Destin. I love it there -- splendid beaches for sure. But there is way better available if you don't mind the trek.


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40
LouisianaLady
USA Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Mar 2009
74906 posts

re: Beach vacations
The thing with panhandle beaches is that it really lacks a plethora of resorts where you get the service/relaxation you'd get in the Caribbean or even Mexico.

Everything is self-serve on the panhandle since most people are in condos. So you're lugging your own ice chest with alcohol and food down to the beach. Bringing your own towels (and washing them yourself). That kind of stuff. Not that there's anything wrong with those things, but it is very different from being at a Caribbean resort where they provide everything and you basically just show up at the beach with nothing.

There's also not as many families when you venture out, especially if you select a resort that is not family friendly. So rather than being shoulder to shoulder with people taking their big family vacation like many do in Destin, you're more likely to just be around other quieter couples.

Like others have said, the culture/food is also different. I like the beach, but I'm someone who likes to get out and about too. So being somewhere interesting certainly prevails over Destin where its pretty much just beach all day and a standard southern dinner somewhere at night.


craazyjose
LSU Fan
BTR
Member since Mar 2017
97 posts

re: Beach vacations
Wayyy too many people in Destin/30A/OBA in the summer time for me and the drive from BR is a miserable 4-6 hrs.


Paul Allen
Notre Dame Fan
Montauk, NY
Member since Nov 2007
65654 posts
 Online 

re: Beach vacations
quote:

Wayyy too many people in Destin/30A/OBA in the summer time for me and the drive from BR is a miserable 4-6 hrs.


And it’s just getting worse with traffic woes and every restaurant being 1-1.5 hour wait times. You have to eat before 5 or after 9.

It wasn’t like this 15-20 years ago. Somewhere along the way it got to be way too crowded and gotten to be more expensive.


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Saskwatch
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Feb 2016
9273 posts

re: Beach vacations
The more remote the locale (Whether it's in U.S. or Intl.) usually better beaches and water. Of course usually less conveniences and probably more expensive as well.


Floating Change Up
Houston Astros Fan
Austin
Member since Dec 2013
8142 posts

re: Beach vacations
VRBO on Eleuthera for a week is about the same as a condo in Destin. Food actually would be similar... depending on how often you eat out in Destin vs. cook at the condo. Obviously transportation time and costs are higher.

But the rewards for better beaches and zero people on a 3 mile stretch of beach... doesn't get any better.


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