When you think of Florida, the
Emerald Coast is not what usually
comes to mind. But northwest
Florida’s Gulf coast has a string of
fishing villages, laid-back beach
towns and islands that attract
There are the beach towns of
Destin, Fort Walton Beach and
Okaloosa Island, with the city of
Destin acclaimed as one of the
“Top 25 Destinations in the United
States” by TripAdvisor.
You’ll see the endless strings of
fishing fleets and dancing dolphins
while you enjoy great seafood.
The area has 24 miles of sugar-white
sand. In fact, more than 60 percent of
its beaches are protected and will be
The area embraces simple pleasures
like the best fishing and regular spirited
celebrations and festivals, 1,080 holes
of challenging golf and more than
13,000 gulf-edged accommodations.
What to do
Search for eight-pound queen helmet
shells in underwater sunken forests, tee
off at eight country clubs, fish from the
largest for-hire fleet in the United States
and tube down moss-draped rivers.
Pontooning, parasailing, waterskiing,
sailing and windsurfing are part of the
Emerald Coast restaurants serve some
of the freshest seafood in Florida. There
are at least 20 types of fish available
im cedar seafood shacks, lighthousebedecked
oyster bars and harbour
decks to gracious antebellum estates
and elegant cafes.
Dine on authentic Louisiana Cajun
crawfish gumbo, beer-battered fried
mullet, hush puppies and pecan pie to
continental and European cuisine.
Where to stay
There are more than 13,000 guest
rooms, ranging from inexpensive
beachside cottages and beachside
bed and breakfasts, to spacious
condominiums and popular chain
hotels, or camp at one of the five
The Emerald Coast, on
the Gulf of Mexico coast,
stretches 100 miles.
- Average sunny days per
- Unusual activities include a
fishing rodeo and dolphin
- Plan to eat well.
Originally published in Today’s Bride magazine, Spring/Summer 2013.