About Katie C
Lives in Edwards, Colorado
Since Aug 2011
Though I'm currently living in Colorado, my true home is the South. I lived in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, which instilled a love of southern beach towns like Myrtle Beach, Orlando and Charleston. I live near Panama City Beach for part of the year and have spent many memorable nights in locations like Key West and New Orleans. Diver, hiker, climber, craft beer aficionado, snowboarder, fisherman...I'm up for anything at least once.
Beaches, State Parks
Bodies of Water
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Beaches, State Parks
Bars & Clubs
Locally-owned Capriccio Cafe is a little-known gem in Destin. Serving phenomenal coffee, savory and sweet crepes, and several excellent lunch items along with a genuine, welcoming vibe from the staff and owner, you'll find yourself returning again and again.
A gorgeous respite from the more crowded beaches of Destin, Henderson Beach State Park has 6000 feet of coastline and 208 acres of wooded area to explore on its nature trails. Features include areas where you can 'grill out' and pavilions for picnics, with nice restrooms and even a shower to rinse off after a dip in the Gulf.
Destin Harbor sees a ton of activity every day, from fishing boats returning with their catch, to dolphin sightseeing tours, to a wide variety of water sports like parasailing, kayaking, standup paddleboarding, and more. The harbor is also home to a variety of vessels available for deep-sea, inshore, and bottom fishing.
Make no mistake — the Destin Boardwalk and the HarborWalk Village are designed for tourists. However, if you can handle a bit of neon, and like to feed off the energy of crowds, then the boardwalk is a great place to visit. With plenty of shops to explore, restaurants to try, and bars at which to sip a cold beverage and watch the sunset; it's a great place to entertain the entire group.
To celebrate your first day of vacation, make reservations for Beach Walk at Henderson Park Inn. Beach Walk is consistently lauded for its cuisine and its incredible views of the beautiful Emerald Coast. Featuring American cuisine with European and Asian influences, the menu features freshly-caught seafood as well as 'land' dishes such as venison and steak.
A barrier island between Destin and Fort Walton, Okaloosa Island is surrounded by Santa Rosa Sound, Choctawhatchee Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. Okaloosa Island is known for its pristine beaches, but also for its wide variety of water sports and entertainment. Walk out on the 1261 foot pier and chat with the fishermen or take a rod and reel and try your luck. You never know what you might catch!
While it's not as large as SeaWorld, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is a local institution in Fort Walton. Featuring a sea lion show and a dolphin show, plus lots of other animals like penguins, otters, stingrays, and alligators, Gulfarium wants to educate its guests as well as entertain them. It's a great way to learn and play.
Put aside the large quantities of neon and plethora of overt Irish decor when you first see McGuire's Irish Pub — just head on in. No trip to Destin is complete without visiting McGuire's, with its ceiling festooned with dollar bills and turn-of-the-century New York atmosphere. Go hungry and order classic Irish fare like fish and chips or shepherd's pie, and wash it all down with a house-brewed beer.
Destin is known as 'the world's luckiest fishing village' and there's no better way to see that for yourself than at one of the marinas. During the season, there are several fishing competitions that bring their entries to the HarborWalk Marina. Hang out to watch the competitors bring in their catch and hear the 'fish tales' for yourself!
This large pedestrian shopping center surrounds an attractive European-style courtyard and fountain. There are more than 80 shops in the Commons with many of your favorite name brands, including Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, and White House/Black Market. Plus, the open air layout means that you can satisfy your retail urges while still enjoying the Florida sunshine.
Grayton Beach State Park is located between Destin and Panama City and is worth the short drive to visit. The nearly 2,000-acre park features unique natural environments like Western Lake (which has brackish water, a mix of freshwater and saltwater), a salt marsh ecosystem, and large sand dunes. Hiking, biking, canoeing and kayaking are all excellent ways to explore the park or simply enjoy the pristine beaches for the day.
It's a bit hard to describe the Red Bar — you just have to see it for yourself. Famous for its funky decor, a laid-back attitude, and possibly the best crab cakes ever made, which are only served on Fridays and Saturdays (and tend to sell out quickly), the Red Bar is boisterous and over the top, but that's exactly its appeal. Just sit back, peruse the many, many decorations, and enjoy the experience.