When we were fortunate enough to discover the beautiful beaches of Destin on The Emerald Coast years ago, the founders of Ocean Reef made a proud pledge to dedicate our company to provide the kind of friendly, professional hospitality that these gracious shores deserve. It has been our great honor and pleasure to represent fine vacation rental accommodations here for almost thirty years. Literally generations of our guests have returned every year to enjoy their “home away from home” at one of our luxury condo towers, charming Florida cottages or Mediterranean styled beachfront homes which are situated from Destin all the way down Scenic Highway 30A in South Walton to Panama City Beach. Over the years these beaches have received numerous top awards for beauty, deep sea fishing adventures, boating and championship golf.
Destin's most recent award was released last week on Good Morning America. This popular, established news program gathered thousands of nominations from its viewers across the nation for The Most Beautiful Place in America. These were gleaned down to ten which included: Asheville, North Carolina for the mountains; Aspen, Colorado for skiing; the New England peninsula of Cape Cod; dazzling Destin itself; the Grand Tetons at Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Lanikai Beach in Hawaii; the Nineteenth Century summer spot for the very rich in Newport, RI; the coast of Pointe Reyes in California; the New Age city of Sedona, Arizona and Sleeping Bear Dunes on the shores of the Great Lakes in Michigan.
Famed New Orleans celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse was on hand in New York City for the announcements of the winners. Destin ranked in fourth place among the runner ups of the Most Beautiful Place in America. We were surpassed only by Asheville, Aspen and Cape Cod. Arguably Destin could be rated Number One since two of the top three don't have beaches at all. In addition, as charming as Cape Cod may be, its season is a short one due to the brutally cold winters there which usually come early. Even during the month of August, its cold Cape Cod waters actually numb the body for the first ten minutes until you can't feel it anymore. (We're Number One! We're Number One!)
Lagasse who now resides in nearby Miramar Beach at the Sandestin Golf, Tennis and Beach Resort conducted a local video tour for GMA. He said “walking through Destin feels like strolling down an exotic beach” with its “sugar white sand and emerald green waters.” The tours included the Destin marina at Harborwalk Village, (the home of the largest private charter fishing fleet in the entire state of Florida!), Crab Island and aerial views of the gorgeous jewel toned waters from above. Lagasse described Crab Island near the Destin Bridge as a “floating playground.” Long time Destin residents and visitors would be quick agree since every weekend, Spring thru Fall, pontoon boats and big yachts congregate there in the waist deep crystal clear waters to party hardy.
In addition to this latest recognition for local beauty, Destin and the Emerald Coast have consistently been rated in Southern Living Magazine as The Number One Beach Destination for many years by its readers throughout the southeast. It has also touted the beaches as a perfect place to have a beach wedding which has become ever more increasingly popular. After all what's not to like? A beautiful white gowned wedding bride on a pristine white quartz crystal beach with emerald green waters in the background is hard to beat and exceedingly romantic.
World renowned Frommer's, an established source of on line and print travel guide periodicals often names the Destin area beaches as among the Most Beautiful Beaches in the World and names it in the Top Ten beach travel recommendations worldwide.
This year Boating Magazine named Destin the Number One Best Place to Live on a Boat.
A few days ago National Geographic Magazine named Destin and The Emerald Coast as Number One on a list of Best Places to Go in Fall, 2011. This is a very high honor as well since this venerable publication had places around the entire globe to choose from. Others in their Top Ten List included such varied and exotic locales as Zanzibar in Africa, Manitoba Canada, Dublin Ireland, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Marin County Coast in California.
Interestingly enough, Forbes Magazine just listed Destin in their Top Ten cities nationwide in an article entitled Cities Where Housing is Recession-Proof. Activity here among home buyers and visiting tourists has improved radically since the beginning of the recession and last year's near miss from the BP Oil Disaster debacle. Occupancy rates since springtime at some locations have been at near record highs, especially during the “high holy days of Summer” which include Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
Here at Ocean Reef we are very pleased and grateful to be living here in paradise. However it gives us great personal fulfillment to continue our pledge of friendly, professional hospitality over these many years. We have hundreds of fine Destin vacation rental properties for you to choose from in all architectural styles, locations and price ranges. Come on down to become another member of our appreciative Ocean Reef family. For our other friends, welcome back!