Summertime is coming to a swift, and seamless close. As water begins to cools down and the birds start to migrate to the area and even further south. We know we have some avid birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiast that come from around the world, especially in the season to come. So we thought we would share some of the best areas to view these interesting flight animals.
Interesting fact about where some of the birds migrate on the Panhandle- St Vincent Island, which is on the migration path for birds heading to South America and other warmer climates for the season. This allows for a lot more viewing of birds that are not as common in the area. Shorebirds, Wading birds, raptors and song birds call St. Vincent home while the nations bird, the Bald Eagle, nest there during the winter months. St. Vincent is a National Wildlife Refuge that allows for a bunch of engaging activities, whether you just want to take in the serine view of the Gulf of Mexico, while having a quick snack during a picnic, just don’t feed the birds any bread from your meal- it is actually not nutritious or filling and can stop birds from eating their natural diet of insects and vegetation. Or you want to take a hike on the 90 miles of trails and rough it a little bit to find the birds in their natural habitat.
Another beautiful location to do some glorious bird gazing is at the Destin’s Norriego’s Point, which host various types of birds from the egrets, herons, terns, Eastern Towhees and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and many more. The good thing about this area is that is a little off the beaten path to most individuals who don’t know the area, so it tends to be the least crowded. There are a variety of birds that come to this location almost everyday. So you can take a chair, grab your binoculars and set back and enjoy the perfect white sand and clear Emerald water while witnessing the differences of birds on their daily journey.
Fall is a beautiful time to take some time to relax and enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer. Indulge in the sightseeing, watch the sunset over the water and add to your list of new birds to discover. Even if you don’t directly head to a wildlife sanctuary to view these beautiful creatures. There are birds all along the Emerald Coast that can uncover through simply watching them fly in the sky or skim fish off the ocean’s surface which can truly make the soul happy.
We love Fall here on the Emerald Coast!
It’s that time a year again, the summer is halfway over and children are heading to class. We know this year going to be a little different considering the experience we’ve had in the previous school year with the global pandemic and a lot of at home teaching/learning. Parents are on edge and kids are anxious and excited to begin this almost new beginning in a different environment. That means beginning healthy habits for routines, waking up early, engaging with other children, school shopping and so much more! We also know that that means preparing the house, the kids, all while getting set for the work train again.
We thought it would be helpful for our fellow parents to have some fun snack recipes that will keep the children happy and healthy!
Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt Bark
- 2 Bananas, Ripe
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 2 tbsp Style peanut butter, natural
- 2 tbsp Chocolate chips, mini
- 2 cups yogurt, plain
- Mash Banana in yogurt
- Spread onto baking sheet
- Drizzle on Peanut Butter
- Add Sliced banana
- Mini Chocolate Chips
- Freeze and break into pieces
Chunky Monkey Banana Bites
- 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter, natural
- 1/2 Dark Chocolate or Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 Cup Powered Sugar
- 1/2 Cup tsp Vanilla
- 1 bag Pretzels
- Put peanut butter on powered sugar
- Add Vanilla and a little salt; mix
- Refrigerate for 10-15 min
- Roll in a ball and smash two pretzels on both sides
- Melt the chocolate chop & dip half or whole pretzel in it
- put on baking sheet and refrigerate
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Granola Apple Bites
- 2 Apples
- 1/4 cup Granola
- 1/4 cup Peanut butter
- 1 Chocolate Chips, semisweet
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, ground
Coat tops of apple wedges in peanut butter and sprinkle with granola and cinnamon.
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring in 30 second increments until melted. Be careful not to overheat.
Drizzle wedges with melted chocolate, set on a large platter and serve.
- 2-3 Slices of Boar’s Head Maple Glazed Honey Coat® Ham
- 2-3 Slices of Boar’s Head American Cheese, white
- (1) Fresh Cucumber
- Handful of fresh matchstick carrots
- Optional: toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Slice cucumber into large ¾-1 inch thick slices (removing peel if desired).
- Hollow out center of cucumber using a melon baller. Leave about ½ inch of cucumber from the edges.
- Stuff cucumber with small rolls of ham, cheese and carrots until center is filled.
- Garnish with toasted sesame seeds if desired.
- Serve cold. Refrigerated leftovers in tightly sealed container.
Top 10 Best Spots for Happy Hours on The Panhandle!
- The Craft Bar: Happy Hour Monday-Friday 2-6 p.m. Selection of cocktails, craft beers, wines and snacks featured on a $5 menu.
- Burrito Del Sol: Happy Hour from 4-6 p.m. daily with two-for-one Corona bottles, $3 SweetWater 420, and $2.95 Margaritas.
- Crab Island Cantina: Happy Hour daily from 3-6 p.m. with $4 margaritas, $3 Corona, $2 Bud Light, $4 house wine, and a specially priced appetizer menu.
- Harbor Docks: Happy hour from 4-5 p.m. daily serving half-price appetizers, $2 off sushi and half price on all well drinks and domestic beers.
- LuLu’s Destin: Monday-Friday 3-6 p.m. $2 select draft beer, $3 house wine, $4 house margarita, $6 frozen margarita and daiquiris.
- AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar: Happy Hour runs weekdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with $1 off all drinks. Weekdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. oysters are discounted to $12.
- Boshamp’s Seafood and Oyster House: Monday-Friday 3-6 p.m. offering well drinks for $3.50, House wines at $4 a glass, 16-ounce domestic beer for $2.50, and 16-ounce imported beer for $3.50.
- Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill: From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Fudpucker Punch is $5.99 and Smirnoff Martinis are $4.99 all day.
- Harry T’s: Weekdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. offering half-price drinks and $5.89 appetizers at the bar.
- 790 on the Gulf: Happy Hour 3-6 p.m. daily with select house wells for $5, margaritas on the rocks for $5 and select wine specials. There is also a featured daily appetizer for $6 during Happy Hour.
Welcome to Adventures on Crab Island!
If you have ever made a trip to Destin, or told someone that you planned to make a stop here, you have probably heard of Crab Island. An “island” where people rent a boat and anchor down for a day of relaxation and fun, right in the middle of the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. Crab Island has been featured on HGTV and Good Morning America, as it has grown to be rapidly popular over the years. Although, you may be wondering exactly what Crab Island is and what there possibly is to do in the middle of the Gulf? So we are here to enlighten you on some of your most frequently asked questions!
#1: What is Crab Island?
Crab Island is a raised sandbar that actually used to be an island years ago, but eroded overtime with the help of the occasional hurricane. The sandbar is around 1-4 ft all the way around, making it a fabulous place to rent a boat and park for a day of fun in the sun. This used to be a place where the locals would anchor for the day, however over the years this has become a hot spot in Destin for tourists to hang out with their families for the day.
#2: What is there to do at Crab Island?
Crab Island is home of many floating vendors and restaurants, which include lots of good food, snacks, and even t-shirts. However, vendors are no longer allowed to sell alcohol on the water, but you may still bring your own with you! People also love Crab Island for the environment. It is filled with so many people who love to throw the football, float on a floatie, play loud music, or even just take a good nap while basking in the sun. You are in the middle of the ocean, so what you choose to do is endless, just go and have fun!
Some of the vendors on Crab Island include: Crab Island Boiled Peanuts, Crab Island Grill, Frickin’ Ridiculous BBQ, Sea Cow Ice Cream and Smoothies, A Bite of Paradise, Jimmy’s Ice Cream & T-Shirts, the Crab Island General Store, Wild Coconuts & Pineapples, Gulf Coast Gelato.
#3: How do I get to Crab Island?
Crab Island is accessible by boat, jetski, kayak, or paddleboard. Swimming to Crab Island is highly discouraged, as the currents are too strong to swim to the island. Many people rent a pontoon from one of the amazing boat rentals companies within the Destin Harbor, which is a 5-10 minute boat ride to the island. There is also an option to shuttle to the island on an excursion that will stay with you the entire time, while you explore the island for 2-3 hours.
#4: Is it Family Friendly?
Crab Island is made for all kinds of people with families and without. There is something for all ages! The Baldock family personally enjoys taking their girls to Crab Island to swim in the beautiful blue-green waters and snorkel, followed by eating at Dewey Destin’s after they dock. We highly encourage this experience for all guests and their families. We would even love to hear about your experience at Crab Island, to be featured on our blog in years to come!
#5: What should I bring to Crab Island?
A few things that we would suggest to bring for your adventure to Crab Island include: your family, snacks, drinks, food money, floaties, water toys, beach towels and sunscreen. Most often people spend the entire day or half day at Crab Island; so make sure to bring everything you might need in the middle of the water. Also, if you want to let the waves rock you to sleep on your floatie, bring a rope to tie yourself to the back of the boat so that you don’t float out to sea!
#6: Where is Crab Island?
Crab Island is located on the North side of the Destin bridge. It is not accessible by car, only by boat, jetski, kayak, or paddleboard.
We have all experienced such a unique past year that has certainly pulled us into a peculiar experience both in our home life and weather based. Already going into the month of May, we’ve experienced high so high, you have to reevaluate the sweater and boots you put on earlier that morning with the fresh, dewed chill. But then the sun starts to go down, the northern winds blow in making it seem like you should be drinking hot cocoa by the fireplace. Especially with what just hit us and the majority of the country! The good news is that us here on the Emerald Coast has had a full recovery and our little fishing village is ready to serve up some beautiful sun and some typical, spring rainfall.
So we thought we would share with you some of our favourite hiking/outdoor spots! (We absolutely recommend the app “All Trails”: which is really handy for finding new spots with photos & reviews)
In Destin, FL, we have the Henderson Beach Nature Trail.
If you are willing to travel a bit further into Niceville, we have the 2 mile trail called Turkey Creek Nature trail. This is perfect for all skill types and has a beautiful river view. One of the gorgeous pieces of this particular state park are the line of sand dunes; home of the the most unique ecosystems. Typically it isn’t okay to walk on the dunes, but this area allows you to explore the dunes and see creatures and plants in their natural habitat. In all, this area has some of the most natural and interesting scrubs and trees.
A personal favourite is the Blackwater River State Park Trails which offers the best scenic and secluded forests, wetlands and creeks. It is a beautiful drive through tons of trees like the Pinus Echinata that overcast during your leading to the entrance of the Park. The Entry way fee is, as of now, are $4 or an annual pass of . There is an amazing choose of campsites, more than 50, that allow tents, campers and RVs including water, electricity, a grill and picnic table prices from $16 to $42. There is the Chain of Lakes Nature trail which is a 1.75-mile loop trail starts off the trails. You can go bird-sighting, spot an endangered panhandle lily, or just simply sight-seeing.
The Easter Bunny has been holding in his deliveries for his favorite time of the year. His basket is filled with colored eggs, candy, toys and all kinds of goodies. But he can also be a little trickster and hiding them where it may be a little difficult to find. We know the kids love finding them and the parents love to see their kids laughter and joy from their conquest.
We have a few locations this year that are providing kids a space to hunt and a few activities for adults.
April 3rd, Saturday
Easter Egg Drive through at Morgan Sport Center beginning at 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Staff will distribute treats, prizes, and Easter eggs for patrons to collect safely from the comfort of their vehicle.
April 4th, Sunday
Easter at the Harbor Walk village Brunch from 10AM-2:30pm. Then the Easter Bunny will be on the main stage from 2pm-4pm. Enjoy children’s activities, a golden egg treasure hunt, and receive one free 4×6 photo!
Easter Egg hunt and brunch on the Island. Bring your family Easter Sunday, to an Easter egg hunt on the beautiful beach followed by a delicious brunch spread at Fish House. The Easter egg hunts will be tiered by ages, as detailed below.
Easter Egg Hunt age groups and times:
0-3 – Beach Patio | 10:00-10:10 a.m.
4-7 – Beach Patio | 10:20-10:30 a.m.
8-12 – Beach Patio | 10:40-10:50 a.m.
Brunch is from 11:30-4pm!
We hope you have a beautiful Easter from us here at Solely Beachfront Team
It’s Cupid’s favourite time of the year! A chance to help those who are alone to love and lovers to grow in their love even more. What we love about Valentines Day here at Solely Beachfront office is the ability to show your love ones an extra special way to deliver that love; like the cherry on the top! We thought the best way to relay that is to show our guest some of our favorite spots to spend with our loves ones sharing the best quality time on one of our favourite times of the year.
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Ruth’s is a steak favourite with some of the best aged USDA Prime steaks and rich in fine dining and an extensive list of wine to match with the meal. They are also adhering very well to the CDC guidelines in keeping with the 6 feet separations for guest and wearing mask.
Seagar’s has great fine dining experience with delectable steaks/seasfood and a lounge area for a wonderful musical experience on a grand piano.
Bijoux has a diverse wine bar and is a new experience for the locals. The ambiance is to die for. If you want a variety of choices on a menu and a new adventure. This is it!
We know them well for the amazing quality coffee, and amazing selection of donuts. But for Valentine’s Day, they are pulling out all the stops and having a dinner.
We have many more but we’d be here all day haha!
We hope everyone has a beautiful and safe holiday with your loved ones. Happy Valentines Day from the Solely Beachfront Family.