4 Tips for a Perfect Spring Break in Destin, Florida

by Janis on April 1, 2013

This post is by Danielle Smith, an agricultural communications student at the University of Arkansas.

Destin, FloridaDestin, Florida photo by Tara Johnson

The breath-taking, beautiful beaches of Destin – on Florida’s Emerald Coast — are a popular destination for spring breakers. Whether you are looking for emerald-jeweled waters, dancing dolphins, or fresh seafood, Destin is a great place to spend a spring break vacation.

Here four tips on what to do, where to stay, and what to eat for the perfect spring break in Destin, Florida.

Where to stay in Destin

Voted the “Best” resort in Destin, Florida and the #1 resort on Florida’s Emerald Coast, the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort offers something for everyone on its 2,400-acre property. The resort features a variety of accommodations including sugar white sand beaches, golf, tennis, water sports, marina, fitness center, spa, biking and walking trails, and a shopping and entertainment village. The Sandestin has everything needed for a relaxing spring break vacation.

Where to eat in Destin

If you are looking for a charming, family owned restaurant, with delicious dishes, than LaFamiglia is the place for you! There are many Italian restaurants in Destin, but none of them can compete with this local legend.

My recommendation: the Lobster Ravioli with a delicious Caesar salad, yum. There are two LaFamiglia locations to choose from: the original and the Harborwalk location.

What to do in Destin

What could be better than a little spring break shopping spree? Destin offers an excellent outlet mall, Silver Sands Premium Outlets, where the spring break shopping deals are endless. When you are ready to take a break from the beach, or if you want to find some new spring outfit, head to the mall to find impressive savings at Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, DKNY, Gap Outlet, J.Crew, Kenneth Cole, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Tommy Hilfiger and more.

How to avoid the spring break crowd

Since Destin is such a wonderful place to enjoy spring break, it can be crowded in public areas, especially on the beach. If you’re not interested in partying with the college students on the beaches, then head to Henderson Beach State Park. It cost just $2 per person to get in and during high traffic times there is usually an average of 10 other small groups on the 6,000 feet of shoreline.

Henderson Beach is the perfect place to find that much needed relaxation away from the spring break crowds.

Where exactly is Destin and how do you get there?

Florida’s Emerald Coast. Image by Noles1984


The city of Destin is located on a peninsula that was originally an island until sea level changes and hurricanes gradually connected the island to the mainland.

Destin is considered a part of Florida’s  Emerald Coast — the Gulf of Mexico coastal area that stretches about 100 miles from Pensacola to Panama City

If you are trying to fly to Destin rather than driving, there are three airport options that can be somewhat confusing:

  • Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS)   This airport — located 15 miles from the center of Destin –is also referred to as Fort Walton Beach or Valparaiso airport. When searching for flights, it’s best to use to airport code, which is VPS. American, Delta, United and US Airways offer flights to this airport.
  • Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP)  Opened in 2010, this airport is located near Panama City and  is 51 miles from Destin. Southwest and Delta fly here and you may find cheaper fares (or not), but be sure you are clear on whether you are booking ECP or VPS airports as their names are similar.
  • Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport (PNS) A third option is the Pensacola airport which is 52 miles from Destin, FL and offers flights by most US airlines.

Have you visited Destin on spring break? What was your favorite discovery?  

Danielle SmithA native of Stilwell, Kansas, Danielle plans to return to the Kansas City area upon graduation.

Danielle is currently working as a social media intern with VentureTime Travel. When she isn’t working or in classes, Danielle enjoys traveling the world with her fiancée Will.

Learn more about Danielle here.


If you are curious to learn more about Destin and Florida’s Emerald Coast…..

Life at the Edge: Life at Edgewater Beach Condominium in Destin Florida

Florida Off the Beaten Path®: A Guide To Unique Places

Other sunny destinations you may want to learn more about….

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