In early October, I had the opportunity to spend a few days at the SanDestin Golf and Beach Resort. I very much enjoyed my stay. I had a studio-style room in the Pilot House building. Though not large, it was perfectly lovely and adequate for a couple with a child. (I had a queen bad, and the couch folded out. In addition, there was a small kitchenette (sink, coffee maker, microwave, mini-fridge) and balcony.
On one of the upper floors of the building, there is a beautiful rooftop garden, pool area, and fitness center exclusive to guests of the Pilot House. Additionally, the Pilot House abuts the Baytowne Wharf area, where the resort offers robust choices for shopping and dining (Acme Oyster House, Grafitti's, a fun little wine bar, seafood restaurants, pizza joints, you name it). Rooms at the Pilot House don't have a bay view, but other than that, they are ideal. Though prices are higher than normal at Baytowne Wharf, there is something to be said for the convenience of strolling to dinner and then ambling back to one's room.
I really enjoyed my time at the SanDestin. The property is large and beautifully maintained. One can spend time lounging by the pool, walking on some of the trails and boardwalks, admiring the bay, golfing, or renting boats and the like to actually get out in the water. The resort also offers kid-friendly activities such as ropes courses, a carousel, and hidden tree houses on site.
Also, if you're wanting to get to the beach, no worries. The resort has a shuttle service that picks up throughout the property and delivers one right to the beach. They didn't even mind that we brought our daiquiris with us!
To consider: the property was not crowded in early October, and the weather was gorgeous. I would imagine, however, that visiting here in the summers would be more of a trick.