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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Pearl Hotel (Review) Rosemary Beach, Florida

The Pearl is a luxury boutique hotel located in the charming seaside town of Rosemary Beach. We checked in and sipped on complimentary wine while our car was being parked.  Our luggage was delivered to our room while we relaxed from our long drive. We could not have asked for a better reception.

The Old World European architecture of the Pearl is unique to find in the Florida Panhandle.

It was cool the day we were there, but we still enjoyed the pool and rooftop lounge.

 Nice boutique shops, small restaurants, and beautiful beach houses located around the hotel.

The use of the three community pools comes with the romm rental. Unfortunately, one of the pools was closed for renovations and this one was very dirty. I'm not sure if it is just not cleaned during off season or what. It was heated, so we could have used it.

The beach is just a couple minute walk from The Pearl.  Beach chairs and umbrellas are complimentary.

Things to know before you go:

The area around the Pearl is very busy, all the time!

There is no parking at the hotel. You must use valet parking. There is not particular place they park your automobile, just wherever they can find a spot on the side of the road.

It is an adult only hotel.

The Pearl Hotel is located:

24 miles (40 minute drive) from Panama City
32 miles (50 minute drive) from Destin
115 miles ( 2 hour drive) from Pensacola

Address: 63 Main Street, Rosemary Beach, FL 32461

Overall, we were pleased with our stay. We would like to go back when it's not off season and see if things will be a little better.

Happy Travels! 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Visiting a Greek Island in Florida (Alys Beach)

Want to feel like you are on an island in Greece without leaving the United States? I have the perfect spot for you!  Alys Beach, located in the Florida Panhandle, reminds me of Santorini in Greece.

The beach town of Alys Beach feels like a world away. The white stucco architecture and stone walkways are stunning! The fact that it has beautiful white sand beaches and clear emerald water makes it a perfect!

Alys Beach is more of a residential area, so lodging is limited to vacation rentals.

We recommend checking out George's for dinning. Their seafood dishes are amazing!

Alys Beach is located:

24 miles (40 minute drive) from Panama City
32 miles (50 minute drive) from Destin
115 miles ( 2 hour drive) from Pensacola

Address:  30 Castle Harbour Dr, Alys Beach, FL 32461

Happy Travels! 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Activity Guide (Destin) Florida

Destin is located on Florida's Emerald Coast between Pensacola and Panama City. It is known for it's emerald green water and white sand beaches. But there is so much more to this beautiful area besides it's beaches! We didn't even get a chance to do everything we wanted to, so I guess we will have to get back there soon!

We have been through Destin many times without ever spending much time there. The last week of February, we decided to have a mini vacation and see what it had to offer. Let me tell you, we were very surprised at all the things to see and do!

You can pretty much find anything you could possible be interested in, on land and in the water! We found fantastic places to shop, unique little villages to explore, amazing restaurants, and so much more.

Destin Harbor Boardwalk

The Harbor Boardwalk is a walk along the water's edge with access to charter boats, local restaurants, shops, and a multitude of water activities. It was early morning and cool the day we were there. We walked along the boardwalk for an hour with only seeing about five other people, all workers at one of the local shops or boat owners. I am told that Spring break is the start of the busy season and with all of the things to do, I'm sure it is packed in the summer.

Address: Address: 102 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541

The Beaches

A trip to Destin would not be complete without spending time on the beautiful beaches. 
There are several public beach parks. 

Web page with information about beaches: 

Destin Commons

Destin Commons has over 90 stores and dining options in it's shopping village. Two of our favorites were the Southern Living store and Paula Deen restaurant.

We loved the cheerful murals located throughout the village!

Address: 4100 Legendary Dr, Destin, FL 32541

Silver Sands Premium Outlets

Silver Sands Premium Outlets has over 110 designer and name brand outlet shops.

10562 Emerald Coast Pkwy W, Miramar Beach, FL 32550

Hours: 10am - 9pm daily

Grand Boulevard at Sandestin

Grand Boulevard at Sandestin is an upscale shopping center with fine dining and a movie theater. Our favorites were the Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer stores.

Address: 495 Grand Blvd, Miramar Beach, FL 32550

Destination Donuts

I have to admit, a photo on the internet put this place on our must do list. I thought about donuts all night! The next morning I was up and ready for some donuts only to find out they didn't open until 10am. We decided we could wait to eat, so at 10 am we pulled up to the shop and  they were closed! There was a note on the door saying they were open inside Cups and Cones in the Destin Commons Village.

We finally found them and they were worth the trouble!

Address:  4279 Legendary Drive Suite J113 Destin Commons, inside Cups and Cones 


Tuesday - Sunday 8AM–7PM

Monday 10AM–7PM

Uncle Buck's Fish Bowl

Uncle Buck's Fish Bowl  is a restaurant with underwater themed bowling lanes.  We thought it was pretty unique and had a good time. I have heard that it gets crowded and the wait for the lanes can be up to two hours. Being there during off season, we didn't have to wait.

Address: 4251 Legendary Dr, Destin, FL 32541

Hours: 11am - 9pm daily

Pompano Joe's

Pompano Joe's is Caribbean influenced seafood restaurant located directly on the beach. After a delicious meal, take a relaxing walk on the beach. Great place!

Address: 2237 Scenic Gulf Dr, Destin, FL 32550

Hours: 11am - 9pm daily

Bad Ass Coffee

Bass Ass Coffee is a coffeehouse serving Hawaiian roasts coffees. The coffee is good, but the name is what made us check the place out. Ha Ha!

Address: 1708 Scenic Gulf Dr, Destin, FL 32550

Hours: 7am - 5pm daily


LuLu's is a colorful restaurant all about family fun and relaxation. Waterfront Dining, a sand beach, colorful seating , and shopping are all included in the experience.  The menu includes a wide variety of foods for the whole family. They even have allergy menus.

Address: 4607 Legendary Marina Dr, Destin, FL 32541

Hours: 11am - 9pm daily

Village of Baytowne Wharf

The Village of Baytowne Wharf is an attraction located on the Choctawhatchee Bay in the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. We were there during the off season, but you can tell this is a busy place during warmer weather. The village offers an all- inclusive experience for the whole family. Clothing boutiques, restaurants, an ice cream shop, zip lining, obstacle courses, a playground, live music and seasonal activities are a few of the things that will keep you entertained. Web site http://www.baytownewharf.com/

The village is located in a gated community, so you will need to stop and get a pass. The pass is free. Parking can be difficult so use the parking garage.

Address:  9100 Baytowne Blvd, Miramar Beach, Florida 32550

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is a small marine park located in Fort Walton Beach.  We visited it a while back, but did not have time to visit it again on this trip. My daughter and her friend loved the dolphin encounter and penguin feed. The staff made it a very memorable experience. Encounters range from $18 for a reptile Safri to $169 for the dolphin encounter.

It is only about a 7 minute drive from the Harbor Boardwalk.

Address: 1010 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

Hours: 9am - 4:30 daily


Adult (ages 13-61) $23.95

Senior (ages 62 and up) $22.95

Child (ages 3-12) $15.95

Gilligan's Watersports

I you are looking to get out on the water, Gilligan's rents boats, waverunners, offers dolphin tours by waverunner, and parasailing. Check prices and availability here.  https://www.gilligansofdestin.com/

Happy Travels!