September is drawing to a close, and as autumn fast approaches, I find myself wanting to hold onto as much Indian summer as possible. It’s not that I dislike the other seasons — it’s just that I like summer the best, and that is probably because of my lifelong infatuation with the beach. If it was possible to make a career out of being a professional beach bum, I would be all over it. I love the seashore so much, that every time David and I drive out to Disney World, which is about five times a year, I make sure we stop on the Emerald Coast for a day side trip. Because of this, I’ve spent a lot of time in the Destin/Santa Rosa area. My family went there growing up, David and I go there multiple times a year, I even had my bachelorette party there. You could say that the worlds luckiest fishing village and I have quite the history.
Destin and Santa Rosa are two beach towns that border each other. Destin is busy, and full of restaurants, hotels, and shops, while Santa Rosa has a much sleepier feel, with mostly beach and vacation homes. I’ve stayed in both, and spent considerable time in both, and which you prefer is probably going to be highly dependent on what kind of experience you’re looking for.
I personally prefer Destin. I think the water is bluer, I like the proximity to restaurants and things to do, and I think it’s just a fun place to stay. I in no way dislike Santa Rosa, it just doesn’t win in the match up for me. Try out both though, and make up your own mind. Find your own beach road trip pitstop destination of choice and make some sunny memories.
In Destin, we recommend staying at the Inn on Destin Harbor. It has a fun nautical feel, will cost you way less than staying on the beach, but still has harbor views, and has a good breakfast.
In Santa Rosa, we recommend staying at 30A Suites — these newly built condos also aren’t on the beach, but are within a short walk or drive. They’re a great value, and gorgeous on the inside.