When I moved to Mississippi I'd heard about Northern Florida as a popular vacation destination. In less than an easy six hour drive from Oxford, known for its catfish and the famous “Grove” at Ole Miss, you can be at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, surrounded by ocean views and raw oysters on the half shell.
Many call the 2,400-acre resort a “destination.” I liken it to more of an “experience.” While the phrase “there is something for everyone” is rather cliché, it rings true for Sandestin on Florida’s Emerald Coast.
Along with another couple, my wife and I enjoyed a 2-bedroom condo in the Westwinds beachfront tower. Since we love to cook, we appreciated the fully equipped kitchen where we cooked breakfast each morning. One night we even cooked fresh lobster tails we purchased at an area fish market.
Landlocked in the Midwest most of my life, I’m not sure what was better, sipping my hot morning coffee on the balcony watching people get their daily walk on the beach or watching the dolphins swim as the sunset in the background.
With the room came the use of bicycles and kayaks. There are also four award-winning courses, 15 tennis courts; 19 swimming pools; a 113-slip marina and a fitness center and spa.
Village of Baytowne Wharf
There it was, ACME Oyster House. It had been 35 years since I ate my first raw oyster in New Orleans. ACME is synonymous with Bourbon Street.
But little did I know, nestled in the center of Sandestin on the Choctawhatchee Bay is the quaint Village of Baytowne Wharf that has shops, nightclubs, condos and restaurants – including ACME Oyster House. A blend of the French Quarter and Charleston’s southern charm, the village is a great option when you need a break from the beach.
The only thing I wish I had done differently was planned a longer trip so I could have experienced more of Sandestin.