We have used the Hilton Sandestin Beach. It has everything you need including golf (4 courses) , tennis, shopping, restaurants and all rooms with a direct beach view.
It’s pricey but exceptional.
Sandestin Resort Beachside Towers 1 and 2. Hotel is 15 stories high, right on the beach. There is a pool. My favorite feature-the decks are very private. You don’t face anybody. I always ask for a deck facing the west, so we can watch the sunsets each day.
We’ve been going there yearly for over 20 years. It’s never bad, always good. If you get down there, check in, and don’t like your room for some reason, they will let you switch.
There are three golf courses you can play on the property, and lots of shopping and restaurants. It never seems that crowded. They have umbrellas to rent if you want them. They are condos, everything from efficiency to 4 bedroom, whatever you need.
I’ve stayed at the Hilton is Sandestin and can vouch that it is a great property. I love the 30A area and like the Watercolor Inn, but most of the time we just find a place on VRBO.
[attachment=0]Worn down hotel .jpg[/attachment]
The outside is a little rough, but the inside isn’t so bad. The bed bugs weren’t as bad as I thought they would be.
Beachside Inn at Crystal Beach
:lol: I love Sandestin. I have been going there since my honeymoon in 1980. It’s not as nice as it used to be because it’s too danged crowded, but it’s still great. The beach there must be the best in the United States. I am or was a golfer, so it was awesome.
My favorited place to stay besides the original Hilton was at Hidden Dunes. Is it still there? You could stay on the ocean with a great view and have a freshwater pool with no sand which is nice. I like to rent a kayak and paddle out from shore. One day I was way out and couldn’t hear a sound…and I thought this kayak looks like a big fish from below, so I thought a shark might want some lunch…so I paddled nearer the shore. Damn you, Stephen Spielberg.
If you are going to be there for more than just a few days or if you have a large group, try AirBnB. We rented a house in the Santa Rosa beach area, near Seaside. It was literally a block walk to the beach and we had four bedrooms, one with two bunkbeds for the youngsters. But, to get that advantage of having the whole family under a roof with a kitchen, $$$$.
Been to Destin many times. Like some of the others I like the Sandestin Hilton a lot. Some people really like Seaside but I think it is overrated and too far from things of interest. However, the best place I have ever stayed was a three bedroom house I rented just steps across old 98 from the beach.
I just left from this one, nice and on the beach
My attraction to Seaside - really, Grayton Beach a few miles away is where I like best - is that it is far away from a lot of the touristy stuff in Destin and Panama City, and that the 30a area has everything you need for the week. We typically bring our bikes, park the truck and don’t drive much for the week that we are in town.
I guess I’m not that familiar with Seaside. Maybe I formed my opinion because I just drove through it. However, as I remember there is about 25 miles of bike lanes that travel past the area I described above. I used to take my bike back in the dark ages. I would get up before the rest of my family and ride to a spot with good Bloody Marys and watch the early morning start to develop, no bickering, no kids making noise at the top of their lungs. It was what set me up for the rest of the day.
Richard, that was funny. Matt is right on this - 30A is a great place to stay. Depending on which end, a short drive to Destin or Panama City (which we prefer). Very few high-rise condos, so the beach is not ate-up with dumbasses.
We stay at Edgewater condos at Miramar Beach in Destin. I love the Seaside area, but with 2 kids, we stay closer to where all the tourist crap is. Told the wife if we ever go down there without the kids, we are going to stay at Seaside. We drive out there at least 2 times during the week we are they to eat at Bud and Aly’s.
Matt, you have any suggestions on restaurants in the 30A area besides B & A’s? We’ll be heading down there in 3 1/2 weeks.
Based on my experience, you can’t go wrong with many of the restaurants there.
My favorites are Great Southern Cafe in Seaside and Cafe Thirty-A in Seagrove. Both can be a little pricy, but the food is always great. I also like Red Bar (especially the dessert) in Grayton if I can beat the rush. That goes for all of those places, really. If you wait until 6 o’clock this time of year you’re probably going to have a 90-minute to two-hour wait, depending on how big your party is. We like to eat with the seniors at 5 o’clock, then go sit out on the beach and watch the sun go down.
La Cocina is a good Mexican place and is located just west of Rosemary. Hurricane in Grayton is a good oyster bar. My wife likes the tapas place in Rosemary. Good lunch spots are the Bud & Alley’s taco shop and the barbecue truck, both in Seaside. Angelina’s, next to Cafe Thirty-A, has good pizza.
I haven’t eaten there, but I have heard really good things about The Bay, which is a short drive from 30A on Highway 331. The head chef there is the man who owns Great Southern Cafe. I also want to try Whiskey Bravo and George’s at Alys Beach sometime, based on recommendations.
The places I have eaten and did not like is short, but it includes Local Catch in Blue Mountain. And I’m of the belief Pickle’s is a tourist trap.
Enjoy your time there. We have gone every year since we have been married, but I’m not sure if we are going to make it this summer because we already spent two weeks in a hotel with our baby this summer up in Omaha. But I might bite the bullet and take a quick trip down there at the end of the month. Or we might try something a little different and go at Thanksgiving.
nice with lots to do as is most of the area. Been around 30A since early 80’s, ditto Gulf Shores. Guess I am bored and prefer other areas and more south in fall as the water gets cold in a hurry. Lots of really good choices. San Destin is definitely old but is the standard.
Pay the extra money and stay at a place on the beach. You don’t want to have to cross a street or walk a block or two to get to the beach. You want to walk out your back door and the ocean is right there. You want a deck overlooking the ocean, from where you can watch a sunset.
My problem with Seaside, there are not many units directly on the beach.
“I haven’t eaten there, but I have heard really good things about The Bay, which is a short drive from 30A on Highway 331.”
Matt, The Bay is right on. Very good and not as packed as Great Southern, Cafe 30A, etc. It’s probably my favorite restaurant in the 30A area, just from a food quality standpoint. I’ve eaten there 4 or 5 times. The sushi is actually really good, along with other items. Great place. I like the setting too, right on the bay (hence the name).
I think the Red Bar is owned by Arkansas folks. Not on 30A but my favorite Resturant in the Destin area is Louisiana Lagniappe. Actually it’s my favorite Resturant anywhere. And I traveled for a living and have visited more restaurants than most. Highly recommended.
Café 30 A, which is great food, has a 2 for 1 main course special from 5 to 6 each day. Its a really good deal. I get a filet, my wife gets salmon free. You need to make reservations to get this deal.