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Destin VS Sandestin

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philadelphia
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Destin VS Sandestin

Hi, we are traveling for the first time to the FL Panhandle. I am looking for advice on choosing between Destin or Sandestin. I have found condos at the Sterling Sands in Destin and Tops'l in Sandestin. We are a family of 5 with kids ages 12, 9, and 6. Being on the beach is a high priority and also in walkable distance to a few restaurants. We are also not found of overcrowded beaches. Thanks for any insight!

United States
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1. Re: Destin VS Sandestin

It's just my opinion of course, but with high rises come more people on the beach. If you want to avoid real crowded areas, you might consider an area of low rise units, or a beach house. The Crystal Beach and Miramar Beach areas have less density, as long as you don't go too far east where there are some high rises. If you decide to look in that area and narrow it down to some places, people here will be glad to give their thoughts on them.

philadelphia
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2. Re: Destin VS Sandestin

Are there walkable restaurants near these areas? We typically like the option of leaving the beach and walking to lunch if possible. Thanks, I will take a look at both beaches!

Roswell, Georgia
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3. Re: Destin VS Sandestin

Crystal Beach is nice. You can walk to 790 on the Gulf, Camilles and Crab Trap.

United States
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4. Re: Destin VS Sandestin

There's also Capt. Dave's on the Gulf, and Pompano Joe's.

Nashville, Tennessee
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5. Re: Destin VS Sandestin

We stay every year in Sandestin, and love the Baytown Warf and all it offers. However, I personally can't handle the resort beach. Saying it is crowded is an understatement. You can't move right or left without stepping on someone. You also have to earn your way to the front of the beach near the water by staying so many days. I can't take it at all, so when the rest of the family heads to the Sandestin beach, I usually get in my car and drive down the road to the state park beach which is always empty.

The one thing we do like about the resort beach is that there is a pool nearby. This works out well since some of the kids love to swim in the ocean and some prefer the pool. We usually let the guys hang out at the pool bar while the women sun bathe on the beach, and then the kids are free to go back and forth between the two.

philadelphia
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6. Re: Destin VS Sandestin

Thank You!

U.S.
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7. Re: Destin VS Sandestin

Note: Be aware of the Difference between Tops'l and Sandestin.

Two very different resorts, right next to each other.

But, one will not give you access to the other.

The Sandestin resort beach WILL be packed during high seasons.

Tops'l next door, might be less so.

But, Tops'l also doesn't offer as much as a huge resort like Sandestin can.

We have walked up to Barefoots at the Sandestin Hilton.

And, I believe that Baytowne Wharf is open to the public.

Visitors, I think, must park in a parking area near the gated entry, and take the shuttle tram.

Edited: 30 May 2013, 15:17
Miramar Beach
Destination Expert
for Destin
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8. Re: Destin VS Sandestin

During the off season you can get all the way into Baytowne and park in the parking garage. It is only during busy times that they make you park up front and take a shuttle.

Nashville, Tennessee
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9. Re: Destin VS Sandestin

One thing I forgot to mention, there is lodging right there at the Baytown Warf. I can't remember what its called. My sister has stayed there a few times and loves it for the location. You can just walk out the door and you've got restaurants, shops, entertainment, and a free shuttle that goes back and forth to the Sandestin beach. We miss the conveinance staying there offered, but since we have a car, its not such a big deal for us now to stay in a house which gives us more room.

Kansas City
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10. Re: Destin VS Sandestin

I second the vote for Crystal Beach or Miramar Beach, preferably a low rise. Traffic is not as bad in this area either. You are a bit away from the crowds but short drive into Destin if you want to go to the Harbor.

Be sure to take a drive out past Sandestin along 30A through the Blue Mountain, Grayton, Seaside area and you will find some great stops, and wonderful uncrowded beaches.