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Trip List by wendigo

Redneck Riviera - Destin, Florida

May 1, 2006  Destin, Sandestin and the towns along Hwy 30-A are the true jewels of this destination
3.5 of 5 stars based on 8 votes

Florida's "panhandle" is often called the "Redneck Riviera" for its combination of fine white-sand beaches and "laid back" residents and visitors from the Deep South.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Destin
  • Category: Perfect weekend
  • 1. Destin

    Destin is at the heart of this area, bordered by Fort Walton Beach, Sandestin, and extending out to Santa Rosa Beach, and the towns along 30-A including Grayton Beach, Watercolor, Seaside, Seagrove and Rosemary Beach.

  • 2. Grayton Beach

    Grayton Beach still does things at a slower pace, preserving the beaches and the land, while fostering a thriving artistic community. Stay in a quaint bungalow or low-rise duplex and take life easy. Grayton lies just off Hwy 30-A and is a short skip to famous Seaside.

  • 3. Seaside

    Seaside is a famous beachside community, featuring a mixed-use development of quaint cottages alongside shops, townhomes, a school and a chapel. It is bordered by Watercolor, a new development that echoes the idea of a planned community. An activities council makes sure there's always something going on, from music festivals to wine tastings.

  • 4. Rosemary Beach

    A unique community of cottages, shops and green spaces. A peaceful vacation retreat just a short drive from Destin or Panama City.

  • 5. Beaches of South Walton

    From Fort Walton to Destin, Sandestin and down along Hwy 30-A, there are so many places to see or to stay. Take a drive and stop in Blue Mountain Beach, Dune Allen or Seacrest, and travel on to Rosemary Beach. You'll find miles of beaches, unique restaurants offering casual seafood to fine dining, and shops galore!

  • 6. The Whale's Tail

    My favorite beach bar and grill in Destin is The Whale's Tail, now a part of the Seascape resort. This little beach shack is located right on the side of Old Hwy 98. Soak up the sun on the beach and when your stomach growls, toss on the flip-flops and make a beeline for the Whale's Tail for a fresh grouper sandwich, popcorn shrimp and a cold beer!

  • 7. The Lucky Snapper

    Destin is known as the "luckiest little fishing village," so what better way to experience it than a casual meal of the freshest fish around, paired with a gorgeous view of Destin Harbor? Enjoy dining with the Gulf breezes blowing through your hair, the fishermen unloading their catch of the day, and even catch one of Destin's famous sunsets. The Lucky Snapper is located at 76 Highway 98 East. Sit out on the deck and enjoy a sea breeze!

  • 8. Cuvee Beach

    For a fine dining experince in Destin, try Cuvee Beach Cellar and Wine Bar Restaurant. The restaurant offers three private dining areas, wine maker dinners and the largest retail wine selection on Florida's Emerald Coast.

  • 9. Beach Walk Cafe

    Destin - Located on the first floor at The Inn at Crystal Beach, Beach Walk Cafe offers fine dining in the evenings, as well as fine food for breakfast, lunch and Sunday Brunch. There is seasonal outdoor seating. Beach Walk was created by Executive Chef / Owner Tim Creehan, one of the most celebrated chefs in the country.

  • 10. AJ's

    There's always a party happening at AJ's Seafood & Oyster Bar in Destin! Visit this casual bayside restaurant for fresh seafood in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Find seating inside or enjoy the sunshine and sea air on one of many outside decks. Music, food and fun - AJ's has it all!

  • 11. Village at Baytowne Wharf

    Sandestin - This is a perfect village by the Bay, and is part of the Sandestin Resort properties. You can find accommodations, shops and many restaurants, both casual and fine-dining, at Baytowne. If you're staying on the Sandestin property, free tram service is available to take you from your accommodation to the beach, the Village, to dinner - park your car and let Sandestin Resorts do the driving!

  • 12. Bistro Bijoux

    Sandestin - Quaint Provencal-style bistro serving authentic "new" New Orleans cuisine. Enjoy Bistro's cozy bar and fireplace with adjoining winecave. Plus outside terrace seating overlooking the lagoon and Events Plaza. Wine tastings Friday and Saturday nights!

  • 13. Rum Runners

    Sandestin - For a casual dinner in the Village at Baytowne Wharf, or a little bit of fun afterward, head to Rum Runners. The "World Famous" dueling piano players perform all the hits from the 50's to today daily. There is a sports bar located upstairs, so catch the game while enjoying a meal!

  • 14. Seagar's Prime Steaks and Seafood

    Located in the Sandestin Hilton on the extensive Sandestin Resort property, Seagar's is acknowledged as the most elegant setting along the Emerald Coast. This is a five-star dining experience and so worth the splurge! Service is impeccable, and the staff is knowledgeable about the menu. The Sommolier is top-notch, and provides expert assistance in pairing wine with your meal, whether you want to spend a little or a lot. This is a truly outstanding dining experience, consistently.

  • 15. The Red Bar

    Grayton Beach - Actually Picolo's Restaurant and The Red Bar, this casual place is perpetually packed to the gills during high season. It's the place to see and be seen in Grayton Beach. Dining is a unqiue experience, with the ever-changing menu of five to eight dishes presented at tableside on a chalkboard. The Red Bar Jazz Band plays almost nightly. This is an experience that can't be missed! They don't accept reservations, so grab a drink, chill out and enjoy the sights and sounds while waiting for a table.

  • 16. Fish Out of Water

    Seagrove - Treat yourself and splurge with a visit to Fish Out of Water, the restaurant located at the tony WaterColor Inn, located in between Grayton Beach and Seaside. This upscale spot features fine cuisine, fresh sushi and an extensive wine list. Reserve the wine room and dine surrounded by shelves of the best vintages!

  • 17. Destin Commons

    Destin - Shop! Shop! Shop! Destin Commons is the perfect place to find a unique boutique or a big-name store. There's a splash pad for the children to cool off, a movie theater, and lots of restaurants serving sandwiches and burgers, to fresh seafood and cocktails.

  • 18. Silver Sands Factory Stores

    Sandestin - This is the place to come to find a deal. Store after store offers bargain buys on your favorite brands. Don't miss Sak's Off Fifth!