A Beach Vacation Through a Kids Lens

April 25, 2022

No matter who—or how old—you are, you were once a kid. True, that’s not the most groundbreaking revelation of all time, but amidst careers and bills and everyday adulting, it can be easy to forget sometimes, which is a crying shame.

Because being a kid is awesome! The world—and pretty much everybody’s lives—would be drastically improved if more people thought and acted like kids. You know, things like having an insatiable curiosity, a vast appreciation for even the simplest of mundane things, complete and all-consuming devotion to the quest for all things “fun.”

In short, we could learn a thing or two from our kids—including how to have an amazing beach vacation!

That’s why we’re taking a page out of our children’s books (so to speak) and coming up with a list of the can’t-miss 30A and Destin experiences from their perspective. If they were the ones planning the trip, these would be the must-do’s. Because every kid knows: beach vacations are the best thing since triangularly sliced bread. So, here’s how to visit 30A and Destin through the eyes of a kid.

Have the Ultimate Beach Day

Sure, adults love the beach. But kids take that love to an entirely new, elevated level. Having a beach day like a kid means doing everything but sunbathing and lounging. Stillness, after all, is the antithesis of youthfulness. So, skip the beach chair and the beach read, and get ready to rediscover the sheer wonder of being a kid along 30A and Destin.

Build an enormous sandcastle. Channel those many aimless hours of screen time into a fully-focused, zenned out construction gig of sand. Better yet, book a local lesson with a 30A sand castle professional who can show you and your entire family how to create completely elaborate and intricate sand cities.

Become a wave-riding wizard with a boogie board. If there’s anything more unadulterated and in-the-moment than trying to time a wave just right, then cruising it uninterrupted onto the shore, we haven’t heard about it yet.

Bring all the games and toys. Footballs, volleyballs, skim balls, soccer balls—as long as you’ve got something spherical, you’ve got the ingredients for a grand old time. (Disc-shaped frisbees are highly encouraged, too!)

If beach-fatigue sets in, simply head up the beach stairs or boardwalk for a quick, cold sugar-rush recharge at one of 30A’s many must-visit ice cream shops. Then head back to the beach and do it all over again. That’s what visiting the beach like a kid is all about.

Speaking of ice cream, nearby Destin is also in no short supply of fantastic spots for a scoop or a shake. Cups and Cones, aptly located on Legendary Drive, has some downright legendary gelato and sorbet. And the Gulf Coast Burger Company has some insanely good shakes, piled high with a Tetris-like tower of toppings. For parents, there are even spiked shakes to partake in! If you’re staying at our SunDestin Beach Resort make sure to take the short stroll over to Shakes Frozen Custard for a worthwhile experience and don’t rule out The Yard Milkshake Bar for some creative and over-the-top milkshake creations!

Discover Inland Adventure

One of the best aspects of a beach trip to Destin and 30A is that the fun is never limited to just the beach. Beyond the sugar-white sands and emerald-blue waters of the Gulf is a great big world of off-beach activities for kids and kids at heart.

Adventure parks and waterparks abound along Scenic Highway 30A. Make a splash at Shipwreck Island Waterpark or Big Kahuna’s for the ultimate adrenaline rush. If you’d prefer your adrenaline to remain high and dry, The Track Family Fun Park is always a good idea, offering a fun chance to go-kart and go big on thrills for the whole family. The Track also offers bumper cars, blaster boats, roller coasters and rides, and one of Destin’s best mini-golf putt-putt courses. In short, it’s impossible not to feel like a kid when you visit one of 30A’s adventure parks.

If you and your kids like an adventure with a slightly educational bent, Destin and 30A are positively swarming with fun options. The Seacrest Wolf Preserve offers a chance to get up close and personal with one of North America’s most mystifying mammals. The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park lets you interact with a vast array of animals, including bottlenose dolphins, harbor seals, sea lions, and even penguins.

Find Fun Dining Experiences

Forget chasing after the ultimate fine-dining experiences (though, of course, you can find those in Destin and 30A, too!). Why not opt instead for restaurants that serve up a side of entertainment along with great food and drinks?

Locally owned and operated in Destin since 1982, Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill is a stalwart of 30A food and fun. Not only do they offer delicious eats like Crunch & Munch Combos, Fried Shrimp a la Fud, and an award-winning kid’s menu, but Fudpuckers comes fully loaded with a truly one-of-a-kind entertainment experience. Two words: alligator shows. Where else can you enjoy a delicious meal while watching live alligator entertainment? It doesn’t get any more fun than that!

Want a fun-filled arcade experience? Fat Daddy’s is the place to be. Featuring over 120 of the latest and greatest arcade games, plenty of party areas with tables and chairs, and the freedom to bring any and all outside food, this place makes for a memorable night out for every family member.

Stay Up Late & Explore

If regular home life is all about routines and regular-scheduled dinner times and bedtimes, beach vacations should be all about finding a little mischief. Let the kids stay up late, way past their bedtime, and explore the area. 30A beach towns are safe and seriously fun to explore in the evening hours once the day’s heat has worn off. In Destin, the Harborwalk Village is like a little slice of the 80s with waterfront shops, restaurants, a marina, plenty of live music, and even fireworks shows.

Sleep Like a Kid Again

If there’s one thing adults are truly jealous of when it comes to their kids—aside from their flexible joints, youthful exuberance, and bright-eyed curiosity—it’s their ability to sleep like little Rip Van Winkles.

If you’re looking for a beach vacation that can double as a relaxing reset button filled with plenty of quality sleep, you’re in luck. At Scenic Stays, we have a glowing lineup of world-class lodging options that not only have the utmost in amenities and cozy accouterments but some downright comfy digs as well. Skip the meditation app sleep sounds and opt for the real thing with the ocean gently crashing right outside your window. With Scenic Stays, you can sleep like a kid again.

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