Before we get started, is there an award for cheesiest headline? Because I think I just won with this one. But I don’t care because, all dairy aside, I’m going to tell you about one of Texas’ favorite vacation destinations, Sandestin, Florida, and why you need to get there as soon as you can.
I admit to being a little reluctant to vacation at a Florida beach when the idea was first brought up years ago. I’d been to Miami, Key West, West Palm Beach and a few other locations throughout the years, and I thought they were fine. But beach-wise, I really didn’t think anything could top Hawaii or the Caribbean. Then I set foot in Sandestin and realized I had been a moron.
Sandestin lies smack dab in a part of Florida known as The Emerald Coast, which stretches along the top part of the state on the Gulf side. Good Morning America recently called the Emerald Coast one of the “10 Most Beautiful Places in America.” I call it one of the “10 Easiest Places to Drive to in the Car Instead of Paying Stupid Airfare.” But yes, beautiful, too.
That’s right, Sandestin is a mere 11 hour drive from Austin, which goes by really quickly when you make your husband handle it all so you can count Waffle Houses along the way (54, door to door). You can easily stop for the night in New Orleans or Baton Rouge, if you prefer, but we usually just power through. And then our hard work is paid off with this:
The Sandestin Hilton has six restaurants, making it very convenient to just stay on-site for meals, plus a luxury spa, fitness center, kid’s club (ages 5-12), game room, bike rentals, tennis courts, and nearby golf and shopping. We love going to the Village of Baytowne Wharf, right inside the Sandestin resort gates, for even more restaurants, plus cute shops, and plenty of kid activities like a ropes course, an arcade and a zipline. We had a lot of fun there, especially after a certain someone discovered that the Fat Tuesday Daiquiri Bar has to-go cups. TO-GO CUPS.
The Emerald Coast has plenty of other activities to offer, both natural (hiking) and unnatural (Big Kahuna’s Water Park), so even a week-long stay would keep you busy. One day we rented bikes and rode them down to the village of Seaside that is absolutely adorable. They have an awesome indie bookstore, too.
Aw, now I want to go back. Since my husband’s not willing to take me, how much would an Uber cost for 11 hours with frequent potty breaks and a Manilow playlist on the stereo? Not much, right? Less than twenty bucks?
At any rate, if you’re looking to spend a week, or even a few days, away with your family (or away from your family, I guess, because it’s perfect for lady trips, too), get to Sandestin, Florida. You’ll love it and everything it has to offer, I promise. And that’s not just the to-go daiquiris talking, either.