I had already reported in another post on our first day, when we stayed at Comfort Inn for Friday night and our nostalgia tour through Destin. Comfort Inn suited our purposes- nothing fancy but very quiet and we were happy with it.
Since we stay the Sat-Fri at a condo on 30A, we haven't wandered back into Destin much but we enjoyed getting some cooked shrimp for take out from Blalocks one day and lunch at McGurie's another (DH had a hankering- music is always too loud for me but so much food leftovers made another meal). I forgot to mention we finally went to the dreaded Fuddpuckers after arriving after 9PM Friday night (LONG 12 hour drive from Texas). I can understand the complaints about the food and prices but our waitress, Jessie, was very cheery and prompt after her own long day. All we wanted was sustenance and adult beverages within walking distance of Comfort Inn ;-)
On Saturday, after our visits to Harbour Walk, Publix, etc (see link above), we started our week of beach, eating and drinking. 5A at Blue Mountain Villas has been our condo home away from home 4 times over the last decade- it's just great with free wifi, right on the beach, clean and quiet. We recycled cans, plastic and glass for the first time on vacation- place up on 98 not too far from Publix- I felt much better about the trash situation.
More folks on the beach than we remember in Septembers past, water was not perfect but the sand was clean and white, the beer was cold. We rent our chairs/umbrellas from Burkes, they set them up/tear them down each day- life is good. So nice that visitors have caught on over the years to taking ALL of their stuff off the beach at the end of the day.
Although the bridge on 30A at Big Redfish wasn't open until our last day, we still took the detour over to Bud and Ally's, Hurricanes Oyster Bar (twice) and the Pickle Factory- my favorite pizza anywhere. Lots of friendly folks to chat with while eating, drinking, relaxing. Due to location and circumstance, we ate at Marie's Bistro 4 times- three times for sushi (had the fabulous buffalo chicken twice) and one great breakfast (REAL cream cheese on the bagel-yea!)- can't say enough about the service and food. Hanie and Marie are so charming.
We didn't eat at Redd's Fueling Station but going to the Open Mic Night on Wednesday was definitely a highlight of the trip. Great performers who were friendly and generous with visiting musicians. We had good intentions for getting back over to Red Bar for Dread Clampett but didn't make it. Have a long list of restaurants and bars that each trip I swear I will visit- ah, well- next time. Visited all 4 of the fresh fish markets just to check them out- ended up getting amberjack at Shrimpers because they were closest and had what we wanted.
Tried Grayton Beach Bar and Grill our last night- glad we checked it out, good beer selection but not particularly impressed with the food. They have a Sunday brunch with live music so that might be the way to go for our next trip.
Side note about our route: for years we have stopped a night in NOLA on the way down and on the way back to break up the long drive. We muscled though 12 hours each way this time- won't do that again! Also tried different route coming down through Jackson, Hattiesburg to Mobile- didn't care for it. Went back our regular way on I-10 to 49 to Shreveport, then over to Tyler. Little longer but better traffic and highways. Even dodged the crazed LSU fans heading to home game in Baton Rouge.
A shout out to the folks at Lee's VW in FWB, especially Joey in service- thanks for taking time to ease my mind about my little red bug.
As always thanks to everyone who posts on this forum. Even if it ends up being three years between trips again (I REALLY hope not!), I read the forum to live vicariously through other people's visits and very much appreciate local's advice. Thanks for sharing a little bit of paradise with the rest of us.