Plan Your Beach Trip Like a Pro

April 5, 2022

Thinking about a getaway to someplace sunny and warm? Lazy days under a clear blue sky listening to the waves lap against the shore sounds pretty relaxing. We can’t think of a better place to indulge than Northwest Florida. With miles of powdery white beaches, tons of family-friendly activities, and a plethora of restaurants serving Gulf-to-table cuisine, the area plays host to an influx of visitors each summer.

Although there’s certainly no reason to plan every minute of your trip, a little bit of preparation can help eliminate surprises and delays that sometimes occur when traveling during peak season.

Here are some essential tips for planning your summer beach getaway to Northwest Florida.

How to Plan Your Summer Beach Getaway to Northwest Florida

Prepare for Beach Excursions

Destin and 30A offer a mix of activities on and off the water, but you’ll quickly realize the beach is the main attraction. Pristine sugar-white quartz sands bordering the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico offer stunning vistas that are sure to be the highlight of any trip to the area. You’ll more than likely be spending a good bit of time on our sandy shores, and a few essentials will help you get the most out of your days at the beach. Be sure to pack sunglasses, sunscreen, towels, swim gear, and a large bag with beach toys, buckets, and small shovels to keep the little ones entertained for hours. Most restaurants offer casual dining, so a change of clothes might come in handy should you want to grab a bite or do a little shopping afterward.

Resist the urge to transport everything, particularly large or bulky items, and consider renting them. La Dolce Vita provides everything to make your stay more enjoyable, from beach chairs, umbrellas, and golf carts to paddleboards, jet skis, and pontoon boats. You’ll also find plenty of stores nearby to replace forgotten items, and be sure to check out the local weather and beach conditions before heading out. Knowing expected water and air temperatures, surf conditions, and precipitation will help you prepare accordingly.

Book Fun Activities

Do some research on available activities, particularly if you’re traveling with people of different ages and interests. Although you’ll want to be open to adventurous pursuits and jump on opportunities as they arise, we’d suggest buying tickets to major attractions in advance. Shop around for deals, check websites for coupons, and lock in an excursion or two before your arrival.

Book a pontoon boat, a dolphin excursion, or a sunset cruise at Harborwalk Village on the Destin harbor. Rent bikes and explore the Timpoochee Trail on 30A, or spend the day at Big Kahuna’s, a family-friendly water park with rides, slides, and so much more!

Pre-Plan Some Meals

If you’re traveling to the area by car, pack non-perishables and bring sandwich bags to transport snacks easily. You’ll want to minimize stress come dinnertime when dealing with hungry, tired kids who’ve been at the beach all day. Popular restaurants fill up quickly, so consider making a reservation to secure a table in Destin and on 30A. Be aware of potential no-show fees and cancel ahead should your plans change. Consider booking through a second-party app like OpenTable, a dining reservation network. Narrow down preferences by specifying dates, times, cuisine type, and price range, then make your selection and reserve.

Other dining options can be loads of fun and present excellent photo opportunities. Known for great views and even better cuisine, Dewey Destin’s and Brotula’s are just a few restaurants that offer the option to cook your catch after a day on the water. Try something new like a beach bonfire complete with a Southern low country boil, or plan a catered meal to help commemorate a special event during your trip.

Check Event Calendars

Summer brings lots of fun events to Destin and 30A, and it’s not a bad idea to check out what’s happening in advance should you want to plan around a particular activity. Concerts, festivals, and movie nights are just a few things available during the summer, with new activities surfacing annually, so be sure to check periodically.

If your travels bring you to Destin, you’ll find plenty to see and do all year long at The Village of Baytowne Wharf and Harborwalk Village. Both offer great shopping, excellent restaurants, and tremendous views throughout the year, with seasonal activities mixed in. If one of the communities along Scenic Highway 30A will serve as your home base, reference events on 30A and events in South Walton – both great resources for the area’s happenings no matter when you plan to visit.

Book Comfortable Lodging

Give some thought to the type of vacation you’d like and what that might mean in terms of accommodations. Where you stay can make a huge difference in your travel experience, and you’ll want comfortable, safe lodging, preferably with a few amenities thrown in. A private pool, bikes for exploring the area, or a golf cart for fun travel to restaurants and shops are just a few ways to enhance your stay. Consider any other special requirements you may have, including separate sleep quarters for the kids, large kitchens for cooking meals together, or flex spaces that can readily accommodate both private work areas and open spaces for large gatherings.

Once you’ve determined the type of vacation you’ll be planning, know that Scenic Stays can address all of your travel requirements. Select from an array of inviting homes and condos that are sure to satisfy your unique needs for the perfect coastal getaway!

A Little Preparation Goes a Long Way

Preparing for a trip doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated. Pre-planning in a few key areas can help reduce stress, avoid unexpected costs, and prevent unnecessary delays so you can enjoy every minute of your time here doing what you love most.

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