We are just over a month away from our first time in Destin. And although this is nowhere near our first time to the beach this will be our first time to the beach and not staying at a resort where everything is provided on the beach. Last October I went to Sanibel to photograph a wedding and felt like I was on the set of Castaway the day we went to the beach. Ok, not that bad but it's wasn't the nice relaxing day on the beach I had hoped for. We flew down so no way to bring chairs or anything and since none were provided we found ourselves cooking in the sun with nothing to sit on and hot drinks. We are driving this time so should we bring our own chairs and umbrella (we would have to purchase them) or should we just rent some on the beach? We are staying at The Palms (so not on the beach) and honestly the thought of having to drag everything in and out of the car doesn't sound like much fun.
Other than chairs and an umbrella what else are your beach must haves? Are coolers allowed and what is and isn't allowed as far as drinks go? Alcohol? I'm assuming no glass bottles. Are there places along the beach that you can get drinks and a bite to eat without having to pack everything up?