Destin: Fantastic and Fun for Families

Destin, Florida, with its white sandy beaches and emerald green waters, became a  favorite getaway spot for me many years ago. Often, I have gone there with other adults and stayed in one of the area’s many luxury hotels or resorts. And, always, I have had a fabulous time! 

But, last summer, was different. My assignment, you might say, was to plan a multi-generation trip to Destin that would include my son, my daughter and her husband, and my two adorable grandchildren (girl six, boy four). Clearly, I had to look at Destin differently, taking into account the interests of the others in my family.
 
The first priority was to find a wonderful place to stay. And, for my group, nothing would do but a beautiful condo on the beach — one with plenty of space, great views of the water, an updated and well-equipped kitchen, etc., and a price that wouldn’t break the bank. 
 
A tall order for me, but not for Newman-Dailey Resort Properties, Inc., which has been warmly welcoming families like ours to Destin since 1985, thanks to Jeanne Dailey, co-founder and current sole owner.
 
After considering several options, Newman-Dailey helped me select a great property — the Jade East Condominiums — and in it, the perfect three-bedroom, three-bath unit.  The minute we arrived on site, we knew we were going to have a wonderful and memorable vacation. Newman-Dailey had turned our dream into a reality! 
 
At check-in on Friday afternoon, we received a welcome basket that included a Newman-Dailey Gift Card for area activities. It was a nice add-on, but also the perfect “tool” for scheduling fun. 
 
We took the kids to Fudpucker’s the first evening. As advertised, it was a blast. The little ones loved the large playgrounds, sprawling buildings and Gator Beach. We all loved the food on the menus (both the one for grown-ups and the one for kids).
Afterwards, we drove one mile west, over to The Track Recreation and Fun Center to take advantage of our newly acquired Newman-Dailey Gift Card. There, we all enjoyed the Surf’ in Safari miniature golf and its featured jungle animals and waterfalls, as well as the Wild Woody, a three-tiered go-cart/roller coaster track. 
 
Next morning, as you might expect, we were eager to hit the beach. As it was just steps away from the back door of the Jade East, the walk was short and sweet! Good thing, as our arms were loaded down with beach bags full of food and drink and enough sun-protecting paraphernalia and beach toys to outfit a childcare center. But, for this reporter, that was okay!
 
For dinner that night, we drove over to Dewey Destin  Harborside Restaurant, voted the best outdoor restaurant on the Emerald Coast. We loved the relaxed, open-air environment (so kid-friendly) and the vast offerings of the seafood menu (though it did make decision making difficult). Finally, I opted for the Grouper Destin, which came smothered with lump crab, lemon juice and a special seasoning. In a word, it was awesome! 
 
You’ve got to be careful when you visit Destin, it’s easy for a trip there to become all about the food. We were reminded of that on Sunday. Twice! First, when we stopped off at Another Broken Egg for breakfast and  that night when we dined at Harbor Docks. Both (for very different reasons, of course) are considered “must-trys” here. 
 
Jade East is situated right across the road from the Big Kahuna’s Water Park, so a stop there to watch the kids slip and slide and swim was a must. So, of course, we made the stop!
 
With more than 40 attractions the water park was, without a doubt, the kids favorite “non-beach” activity. And, admittedly, watching them have so much fun there, was mine. 
 
For more information about renting a vacation home or condo along the Emerald Coast, please visit www.destinvacation.com or call  Newman-Dailey at 800-225-7652 .
 
Beverly Denver is the editor and publisher of Houston Woman Magazine.