Wouldn't you rather be at the beach? That’s an easy question to answer. The tough question is, “Where to stay?”
There are a lot of great accommodation options along Florida’s Emerald Coast, so when you’re looking for the one that’s just right for you, you’ve got to look at the perks. We found plenty of them with Newman-Dailey Properties when my family – my wife and I and our two kids – had the chance to stay at Jade East Towers in Destin, a condominium right along the coast and across from a local favorite, Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park.
Jade East Tower from the surf
When we first arrived at our condo, we were amazed at how big it was. Our boys, one almost 4 and the other 17 months, ran around exploring everything with great enthusiasm – such enthusiasm, in fact, that my wife and I made sure to move anything breakable to the kitchen bar (we put it all back in place before we left). Speaking of the kitchen, this one was a just like home (if not better). It wasn’t just a dinky microwave and coffee pot, but had a full refrigerator, dishwasher, stove and more. It had everything AND the kitchen sink, which is appropriate because it did have a nice sink.
The rest of the condo was just as nice, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a view that you cannot describe. Well, I probably could describe it, but this picture will do a better job.
Why can’t every backyard look like this?
The stunning view and the sound of waves along the shore at night are my top reasons for a condo stay along the Emerald Coast, but here are some other reasons a vacation in Destin is so special:
Sugar sand - The Emerald Coast is famous for its sugar sand. The sand is soft and doesn’t get too hot for your feet, yet it’s still perfect for making a great sandcastle. The kids loved playing in it and one even tried to eat some of it.
PRO TIP: The sugar sand isn’t made of sugar, so do not attempt to eat it.
Emerald waters - It’s pretty obvious how Florida’s Emerald Coast got its nickname. From a distance, the coastline has a beautiful emerald glow to it. As you get closer to the water, you’ll find that it is crystal clear. You can see everything as you walk through the water, from small fish to sand dollars. I felt completely safe with my kids in the water next to me because they could see everything around them. My oldest enjoyed watching the fish dart through the current as we walked through the gentle surf. As someone who has lived in Florida all his life, I found Destin to be a perfect beach for beginners like my two children. The surf wasn’t too strong and the boys could walk out pretty far before having to actually swim.
Yes, it's really that green
Pool Time - Not a fan of sand? Try a pool next to the ocean. When the kids tired of the beach, we headed over to pool at our condo. At the pool, I didn't have to worry about our youngest running away to chase seagulls.
The kids loved it - Whether it was playing in the sand at the beach, splashing around in the pool, or running around in the condo, the kids were having a blast. I scored major dad points.
The beach is always a great time, but sometimes the kids need a little change of pace. Newman-Dailey had us covered. As a bonus for staying at select Newman-Dailey properties, you receive a gift card good for all sorts of great activities for the family. Here are just a few:
- "Points" to The Track Recreation Center - The gift card gets you a reloadable card from The Track Family Recreation Center with 12 attraction points, which can be used on everything from a three-story go-kart track to bumper cars, and two rounds of mini-golf. You can reload the card each day of your stay.
The Track was a big hit with my son
- Admission to Big Kahuna's Waterpark - One adult admission to Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park per paid night stay. That’s a lot of time on the lazy river!
- Destin Snorkeling - Want to see what’s under the sea? Explore the pristine waters surrounding Destin with an all-day snorkeling tour or one 3-hour snorkeling and shelling tour per day.
- Dolphin Cruise Aboard Captain Nemo or Sea Blaster - Get one adult fare onboard Captain Nemo or the Sea Blaster per paid night stay. Destin has some great wild dolphin watching and this deal offers a great way to get out on the water.
- Destin Parasailing – Get a bird’s-eye view of the clear, green waters that give the Emerald Coast its name by taking to the skies on a parasail. The Newman-Dailey gift card will get you one parasailing excursion per night stay.
We didn’t get to try everything the gift card had to offer, but some people might have frowned on trying to strap a 4-year-old into a parasailing harness.
We didn't have enough time to do everything on the Newman-Dailey gift card, but that just means we’ll have to get back to Destin soon. Will we be back?
Not looking for a condo? Newman-Dailey also has Destin home and townhome rentals, pet-friendly rentals and South Walton rentals.
If You Go
What: Newman-Dailey Properties
Where: Emerald Coast (Destin, Fla.)