Posted on 8/9/2022
Labor Day is the last hurrah of summer, and this particularly warm year, you may want to enjoy the beautiful beach, the wonderful gulf breezes, and the gorgeous gulf. Labor Day was the first federal holiday established in our nation back in 1894 and celebrates a break from "labor" to have some time to play!
Generations of happy guests have been creating wonderful memories with their families at our fine distinctive Ocean Reef vacation rentals for many decades. The shimmering crystalline shoreline and gleaming jewel-toned waters of the gulf are hard to beat! Destin and the acclaimed Emerald Coast offer special things to do this time of year, and if you make plans now, you can be part of the action. Here is a look at some of the fun festivities and activities that are planned for this special holiday.
Labor Day Concert Celebration
HarborWalk Village celebrates its Labor Day Concert Celebration with live music all weekend long. The festivities begin on Saturday, September 3rd, with the band "Flash Flood" starting at 7:00 pm. On September 4th, "Second Ride" will play at 7:00 pm, and a vibrant fireworks extravaganza will follow right over Destin's harbor at 9:00 pm.
HarborWalk Village is Destin's crown jewel situated above the marina, which serves as a harbor for the largest private charter fishing fleet in all of North America. This golden Americana-styled village is home to some great waterfront restaurants, bars with live music, specialty shops, and unique family amusements that include a long Zip Line. It features wonderful festivals throughout the year, outdoor concerts, and vibrant seasonal firework celebrations. The dock also offers fishing charters, dolphin sightseeing excursions, a sunset dinner cruise, pontoon boat rentals for party trips to Crab Island, and even a treasure hunt adventure aboard a pirate ship with a rollicking costumed crew. Ocean Reef Resorts guests receive discounts for many of these activities through our special Reef Rewards program.
Famous Destin Pirate Now Offering Fishing Charters
For nine years, Captain Cliff Atwell played the part of Captain Cannonball aboard the Buccaneer pirate ship in Destin. This family-friendly pirate cruise is full of pirate training, hoisting the colors, firing cannons, searching for treasure, and more. Read more...
Perfect Hues Art & Food Festival
The Village of Baytowne Wharf is featuring a Perfect Hues Art & Food Festival every evening from 5 pm-10 pm on Friday, September 2nd, Saturday, September 3rd, and Sunday, September 4th. The charming village streets will fill with a variety of artwork from local and regional artists as well as savory fare offered by some of the best local restaurants. Live music will be played throughout the festival on the Events Stage. The musical lineup is as follows: Friday, September 2nd, will feature "Jessie Ritter" from 5:00 till 7:15 pm, and the "Shakedown Duo" will play from 7:30-10 pm. On Saturday, September 3rd, "Jared Herzog" will be on stage from 5:00 till 7:15 pm followed by "Casey Kearney" from 7:30 till 10 pm. On Sunday, September 4th, "Mike Whitty" will play from 5:00 till 7:15 pm, while "Ken & Andi Johnson" will perform from 7:30 till 9:30 pm. This event will have a spectacular Grand Finale fireworks display with festive choreographed music right over the lagoon on Sunday at 9:30 pm.
Village of Baytowne Wharf
The enchanting Village of Baytowne Wharf is located at the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, which was inspired by architecture found in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It straddles a natural lagoon and has a long wharf that shoots out into the beautiful bay. This time of the year, magnificent sunsets occur right over the water to provide visitors with a spectacular celestial experience. Baytowne also features a wide array of wonderful restaurants, bars with live musical entertainment, specialty shops, outdoor concerts, children's amusements, fun festivals all year long, and exciting seasonal firework displays. The swank lush tropical town center of Sandestin, known as Grand Boulevard, includes great restaurants with casual bars, fashion boutiques, fine clothiers, galleries, and a Multiplex Theater that features a special VIP restaurant with a bar to view new film releases.
Our beautiful beaches naturally provide the top place to go, and our Destin vacation rentals are all either on our very close to the sugary shoreline. The reflective pure white quartz crystal sands do not absorb heat. They are cool to the touch and don't burn your feet, but sunglasses are a necessity here due to the brilliance of light. The bright white sands create the water's luminescent jeweled quality. The dazzling colors range from lime peridot to emerald green and even turquoise. The sun reflects the natural microscopic jewel-hued plankton up from the gulf's white sandy bottom creating a luminous glow. This glittering treasure is not found in most other parts of the world, which is why our beaches have been proclaimed to be the most beautiful in the nation.
Related article: Which Beach Has the Clearest Water in Florida?
Coastal Dune Lakes
Another precious treasure is the many Coastal Dune Lakes that grace our shoreline. You may have seen many of them along Scenic 30A near the picturesque coastal villages established here in recent years. Coastal Dune Lakes provide an abundant habitat for wildlife, including a wide variety of fish, waterfowl, and indigenous plants. Creek-like tributaries connect to the open gulf across the dunes, which creates an exotic mixture of salted and artisan spring-fed waters through ongoing tidal action. Besides here along the Emerald Coast, they are only found in Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar, and the state of Oregon. Visitors enjoy fishing and kayak or paddle boarding to experience the supreme natural beauty.
Thousands of forested acres in southern Walton County have been set aside to preserve the beauty and parks along Scenic 30A and include nature trails to explore the sensational scenery. Here you may spot Great White Heron, Snowy White Egrets, Pelicans, Ducks, Deer, and even some native American Bald Eagles soaring overhead. These parks include the Topsail Hill Preserve, Grayton Beach State Park, Deer Lake, and Camp Helen State Park. Topsail Hill Preserve spans across from the Emerald Coast Parkway in Miramar Beach all the way to the gulf beside part of Scenic 30A at Dune Allen. This park includes ancient forests which surround Stallworth, Campbell, and Morris Lakes, along with miles of soaring sand dunes overlooking the gulf. Grayton Beach State Park includes forested shores near the windswept dunes at Western Lake beside the gulf. This nationally acclaimed state park is a heavenly setting bordering the interesting historic center of Grayton Beach and the attractive coastal village of Watercolor. The aptly named Deer Lake State Park is located between Seagrove and Seacrest Beach. It is home to deer, other wildlife, and colorful flowers with a raised nature walkway that leads over the connecting creek to the beach. Camp Helen is located just beyond Rosemary and Inlet Beach as you drive into Panama City Beach. Its claim to fame is Lake Powell which is reported to be the largest coastal dune lake in the entire world and spans almost 800 acres. This lake wraps around Camp Helen State Beach Park and has received an "Outstanding Florida Waters" designation. Nature trails meander past the lake through a number of ecosystems for adventurous exploration.
If some fun shopping adventures are on your vacation list, check out Destin Commons and the Silver Sands Premium Outlet.
Destin Commons provides an idyllic shopping experience in a captivating retail village. Streets lined with Royal Palms include turret towers, a classic fountain, a geyser plaza for kids, restaurants with bars, and an AMC Multiplex Theater. A big Bass Pro Shop anchors it along with a Belk's Department store that interconnects to a myriad of fashion boutiques, fine clothiers, specialty stores, shoe shops, and jewelers. While you are there, be sure to check out the Destin Commons Murals too!
Silver Sands Premium Outlets
The Silver Sands Premium Outlets in Miramar Beach happens to be one of the largest Discount Designer Centers in the nation. This highly popular fashion mecca includes amazing bargains for a wide variety of world-class goods at over 100 stores.
Other delightful destinations for an abundance of fun are found at HarborWalk Village in Destin, Baytowne Wharf, and Grand Boulevard at the Sandestin Resort in Miramar Beach, along with Pier Park in Panama City Beach.
Pier Park in Panama City Beach sits right on the gulf with a tropically landscaped drive lined with loads of stores, specialty shops, boutiques, restaurants, and bars. The pier, which is one of the longest on the gulf, is available for sightseeing strolls or fishing at reasonable rates. Top dining destinations at Pier Park include Jimmy Buffet's famous Margaritaville restaurant, which overlooks the beach, and a popular laid-back seafood restaurant from Destin called The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House. They each feature breezy outdoor decks with live music, tropical drinks, savory seafood, and tasty treats. A Grand IMAX theater provides state-of-the-art entertainment on sixteen screens. An Emerald Coast Mirror Maze and Laser Tag features a seemingly endless House of Mirrors with vibrant, colorful lights and an awesome sound system. The Laser Tag Race challenges you to maneuver through a lighted maze without being zapped too many times. A Pirate's Quest includes twelve people who suit up in vests with eight LED-colored flashing target sections and enter an expansive space. A mist fills the room so you can see each and every laser shot. Your lighted vest vibrates when you are hit.
If you enjoy golfing, a number of award-winning championship golf courses are found throughout the area and are available for public play. They include Indian Bayou, Kelly Plantation, Emerald Lakes, and Regatta Bay in Destin. The Seascape course in Miramar Beach and four other courses are located at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort. They include The Links, Baytowne, Burnt Pine, and Raven courses which roll across the resort's lushly landscaped forested grounds dotted with natural lagoons.
Read more: Golf Courses Near 30A
Plan Your Vacation
Now that you know where to go and what to do over your Labor Day vacation in Destin and along the Emerald Coast, make immediate plans and start getting excited about your fun trip down! Our excellent Ocean Reef Resorts website will show you exactly where all our vacation rentals are located, provide detailed descriptions, and show vivid property images. Rental rates and availability calendar dates are shown, so you may reserve your favorite now. Enjoy having a magical, memorable time with family and friends!