It’s officially that time of year, and I know what is on your mind: what do I need to do to have a good summer? Whether you are going with friends or family, the beach is calling your name, and here are some tips to ensure a safe and relaxing time on the Emerald Coast:
- Find a place to stay
- Know the rules
- Grocery shop after check-in
- Where to go out to eat
- Drink responsibly
- Uber or Lyft
- Check out crab island
- Stay with your group
- Don’t walk on Hwy 98
- Have fun!
#1 Summer Tip – Find a place to stay
It’s hard to experience the Emerald Coast without having the right place to stay. Staying in a condo in either Destin or Miramar Beach is going to be your best option. Condos are better than hotels because a) there is more room to hang out with friends and family and b) the full-size kitchen. Nothing makes a vacation better than being able to cook all of your meals in a full-sized kitchen packed with all of your basic and not-so-basic necessities. You’ll never realize how important it is to have a blender till you make it to the beach and need to make a homemade margarita or strawberry daiquiri – while you have your fun in the sun! 😉
#2 Summer Tip – Know the Rules
It’s important to note that each property you look at has its own HOA (Home Owner’s Association) rules in effect, especially during peak rental season, pool hours, rental policies, pets, and whether or not they are going to require wristbands. Breaking these rules could land you in more trouble than just being dismissed off of the property, so it’s essential to review them with everyone in your party before your stay.
#3 Summer Tip – Grocery Shop After Check-In
Grocery shopping after check-in is a good rule of thumb to follow no matter the time of year you visit the Emerald Coast. Check-in time is after 4:00, so it’s not wise to get your groceries prior to that time. We have seen too many people fret after their groceries have been baking in the hot sun because they shopped that morning since none of the properties have an extra place to store them. You are allowed to relax by the pool or hang at the beach the day of your stay, so we recommend doing that and heading to the store after you get into your room.
#4 Summer Tip – Best Places to Eat
Being Destin locals, we know all of the best spots to grab a great bite to eat. Whether you’re looking for fresh seafood from the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village or even a great steak or a burger, we have you covered.
- Seafood: In Destin, we recommend heading to, and of course, Dewey Destin’s. When in Miramar Beach, you have to stop by Camille’s. The seafood is the freshest you will find and prepared amazingly.
- Steaks: Spoiler Alert: there is a Ruth’s Chris Steak House in town, but have you tried the steak at McGuire’s Irish Pub? It’s amazing! Make sure to grab that and an Irish Wake, and you will be all set!
- Italian: In Destin, your Italian destination is going to be Mimmo’s, and in Miramar Beach, you will find Fat Clemenza’s. Their food is so amazing that for just a short while, it will have you take a break from the beach and traveling to little Italy.
- Sushi: Harbor Docks, McGuire’s, Camille’s. Yes, that’s right, all three of our restaurants are listed above for their other amazing foods, but the Sushi is an absolute must when in the Destin-Miramar Beach areas. What’s our favorite sushi roll in Destin? The backdown roll!
#5 Summer Tip – Drink responsibly
This could go along with the “know the rules” listed above, but it is vitally important to understand the risks involved with underage drinking. The Okaloosa and Walton County Sheriff’s Offices patrol the beach and adjacent neighborhoods looking for violators. The deputies are in uniforms and plain clothing, on foot or ATVs, and they carry special devices that test your drinks even if they are in different containers. Please remember to drink responsibly and don’t contribute to minors for underage drinking.
#6 Summer Tip – Uber or Lyft
We know that the beach and the pool are the perfect place to unwind, crack open a few cold ones and enjoy your time with friends and family. We aren’t knocking you for it… we encourage it! (If you are of age, of course). At Gibson Beach Rentals, we are the #1 fans of a good brunch and mimosas. But we are also advocates for catching a ride if you are going to drink and need to go somewhere. Lyft and Uber are both in the area, so please, if you haven’t already, download the apps on your phone, and it could quite possibly save your life or someone else’s.
#7 Summer – Check Out Crab Island
Everyone who hasn’t even been to Destin knows about Crab Island, but seeing is believing, and we encourage you to check it out for yourselves. You can only get there by boat, so we suggest making a day of it! If you need a boat rental, you can get that information here.
#8 Summer Tip – Stay with your group
We know how much fun there is to be had here on the Emerald Coast, especially during Summer in Destin. But, staying with your group ensures that everyone in your group is safe and can continue to have a good time. Think back on every lifetime movie you have ever seen. Nothing good ever happens when one person leaves the pack in an area they aren’t familiar with.
#9 Summer Tip – Don’t walk on Hwy. 98
We have to let you in on a little secret- nothing good ever happens when drinking and Highway 98 are involved, especially when someone is on foot. Even without drinking, Highway 98 can be a scary road to be on. Please use crosswalks and make sure to look both ways before crossing the street. We want you to stay safe!
#10 Summer Tip – Have fun!
The most important rule of all is to… HAVE FUN! You are visiting one of the best vacation destinations. With the emerald green water and fine sugar sand, there are so many activities available to you at your fingertips that is sure to ensure you have a fantastic week here on the Emerald Coast. From fishing charters, dolphin tours, Paddleboard, kayak rentals, and so much more, there is something for everyone. We hope that you have a safe and fun time here with us on the Emerald Coast!
Gibson Beach Rentals is here for you for all your activities and needs on the Emerald Coast. Check out our page if you are looking for other fun things to do while staying in Miramar Beach.