Can it really be December already? 2020 may not have been the year we all expected, but it still had great moments. And despite it all, one thing remained constant—your love of the beach! To leave this year behind with a note of positivity, we're sharing our most loved blog posts of 2020. These blog posts are the ones that you, our readers, read and loved. The ones that gave you positive beach vibes all year round.
# 10 - Destin vs Navarre Beach
This fun article explores the differences between the two popular Northwest Florida beach towns—Destin and Navarre Beach. Though both feature the crystal shores and jeweled waters that are so iconic to the Emerald Coast, the two are vastly different in many other ways. These include different history, size, makeup, and the types of coastal activities available. In a Facebook post about this blog, we asked if you would rather vacation in Navarre or Destin. You chimed in, and the answers were mixed! While the majority said they would rather vacation in Destin, Navarre came in at a close second, and there were plenty who said both. If you're not quite sure which beach you'd rather visit, check out this blog post to find out which is right for you!
Read article: Destin vs Navarre Beach
# 9 - Florida Panhandle Beaches
If you're looking for a comprehensive overview of the beach towns in the Florida Panhandle, take a look at this blog post. It provides summaries of the major beaches in Northwest Florida, including Navarre, Pensacola, Destin, Miramar Beach, South Walton (30A), and Panama City Beach. Each town along this stretch of shoreline known as the Emerald Coast has its own distinctive personality, as well as unique dining, shopping, and recreational activities. When planning your vacation, you may want to include one or multiple of these destinations on your itinerary!
Read article: Florida Panhandle Beaches
# 8 - Destin Beach to Bay
What is there to love about Destin? A lot, actually! Destin is like a fantasy island with coastal activities galore, sitting between the Gulf of Mexico to the south and Choctawhatchee Bay to the north. This fun blog post dives into the best of Destin, from the Gulf-side to the Bay-side. On the Gulf, there is the beach, HarborWalk Village, beachside restaurants and bars, and Gulf sunsets. You've got Crab Island, popular shopping destinations, and the Village of Baytowne Wharf on the Bay. And this is just the beginning of all you can enjoy in Destin. On Facebook, this blog was shared nearly 200 times. We think it's awesome that guys couldn't help sharing your love for Destin with your friends and family!
Read article: Destin Beach to Bay
# 7 - Staff Picks: Best Destin Seafood Restaurants
The Ocean Reef staff are experts on all things Destin, from the best restaurants and bars to the best times to watch a beach sunset. This post highlights some of the staff's favorite Destin seafood restaurants. Included in the list are Kenny D's Beach Bar & Grill, Harbor Docks, The Other End Restaurant & Beer Garden, Bayou Bill's Crab House, and Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House. Many of our readers voice their opinions as well, both agreeing with the list and adding their favorites. Because of its great location on the coast, Destin is lucky to have a huge variety of amazing, fresh seafood options!
Read article: Best Destin Seafood Restaurants
# 6 - Whale Sharks in Destin
You're not the only one who prefers the warm waters of the Gulf Coast… so do whale sharks! These majestic creatures are most likely to be spotted in Emerald Coast waters between June and September. This informative article features an awesome video of a whale shark in Destin, captured by vacationer Joe Murphy. The blog also provides interesting tidbits about whale sharks, including their characteristics and endangered species status, if you're interested in learning more about these unique animals.
Read article: Whale Sharks in Destin
# 5 - Destin vs Florida Keys
Where would you rather vacation—Destin or the Florida Keys? These paradise destinations might both be in Florida, but Destin and the Florida Keys couldn't be more different! Sure, they both have beaches and awesome coastal views, but even those aspects are distinct from one another. This blog post briefly explains some of these differences. The Destin beaches are made of quartz crystal sands from the Appalachians, while the Florida Keys beaches are comprised of coral and limestone with very little sand. Destin overlooks the Gulf of Mexico, and the Florida Keys is an island chain sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf. Even the ambiance between the two locations varies. Destin is more relaxed, and the Keys features a more "party" atmosphere. Depending on what you're looking for in a vacation, either of these places could be the place for you!
Read article: Destin vs Florida Keys
# 4 - Destin vs Orange Beach
No two beaches are alike, even when they're both on the same body of water and only 75 miles apart! Both located on the Gulf of Mexico's shores, Destin in Florida and Orange Beach in Alabama, are popular vacation spots. This article compares the two beaches, exploring the difference in geologic makeup, vacation vibe, and top attractions. We asked you which you prefer, and the overwhelming response was Destin. But, of course, there were plenty of votes for Orange Beach, as well. That's because, while the beach towns are vastly different, they each have their perks!
Read article: Destin vs Orange Beach
# 3 - 10 Beachfront Vacation Rentals Near Destin
One of the most important parts about planning a Destin vacation is picking a vacation rental. Ocean Reef Resorts has a huge selection of beach rentals to choose from. These range from intimate, two-person getaways to homes that can host 30+ vacationers. Some are beachfront, and others are nestled serenely among tropical gardens. This blog post highlights ten amazing beachfront rentals near Destin. The largest on the list features 13 bedrooms and can host up to 30 vacationers. Quite a few others include private pools, in addition to enjoying the beachfront property. If a Destin vacation is in your future, be sure to check out these incredible properties first!
Read article: 10 Beachfront Vacation Rentals Near Destin
# 2 - Which Part of Destin Should We Stay
This informative blog post is exactly what you need if you've decided to plan a Destin vacation. Each location in the Destin area differs slightly, so you'll need to pick the place that best meets your vacation needs. The article calls out the following different areas: Downtown and the Destin Harbor, Holiday Isle, Crystal Beach, Miramar Beach, and South Walton (30A). Wherever you choose to stay, there's no limit on the fun you and your fellow vacationers can have— whether you spend a day at Crab Island near the harbor, play a round of golf at one of the many Miramar Beach championship courses, or explore the artsy town of Grayton Beach on 30A.
Read article: Where to Stay in Destin
#1 - Which Beach Has the Clearest Water in Florida
If you've been to the Emerald Coast, you already know (and love) the crystal-clear water of the Destin coast. But did you know that the Emerald Coast beach has the clearest water in Florida? Yep! Quite the claim to fame. This blog post goes into the details about what makes Destin's water so clear and picture-perfect. Due to its sparkling water and crystalline sands, the beach has been designated a "Blue Wave Beach," which is our nation's highest rating for pristine shoreline cleanliness.
Read article: Find the Clearest Water in Florida
So, there you have it—our top ten blog posts of 2020! If you haven't already, be sure to check them out. They'll fill you with warm, beachy vibes, which are perfect for the approaching winter weather. And be sure to come experience these articles in real life. Book a stay at one of our Destin vacation homes and start to get ready for your next getaway!