Posted on 2/2/2024
Love is in the air! And we're not just talking about a love for our white sand beach. Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching, and what better way to celebrate with your other half than a romantic getaway (or staycation) in Destin or 30A? With its gorgeous beaches and magnificent sunsets, the Emerald Coast provides an enchanting background to rekindle the fire in your relationship. Who wouldn't love a cozy snuggle on the beach at dusk with an excellent tropical drink and an even better sunset? So, do yourself a favor and celebrate the season of love on the coast. Whether your romance is just starting or you're celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary, it's sure to be your best Valentine's Day yet!
Valentine's Day in Destin and on 30A is uniquely special especially since it's during the off-season, offering lower beach rental rates and nearly private beach experiences. Ocean Reef Resorts enhances this with a range of romantic accommodations, from cozy cottages to luxurious beachfront condos, perfect for any couple's getaway. Emphasizing the value of shared time, a stay here promises a mix of relaxation and adventure, with amenities to make every moment count. Celebrate love with the ultimate gift of a memorable escape, tailored to fit your dreams of a perfect Valentine's day.
In addition to a great place to stay, you will also find a range of romantic activities for you and your love. From fancy restaurants and dinner cruises to a moonlit walk on the beach, one day of Valentine's fun just won't be enough! Check out some of our favorite Valentine's Day experiences right here in Destin and on South Walton's 30A.
If you didn't treat your hunk of burnin' love to a romantic dinner, did you really celebrate Valentine's Day? After all, romantic dinners are a big part of what Valentine's Day is all about! For a chance to dress up and feel fancy for an evening, there are many restaurants to choose from on the Emerald Coast. The Marina Café in Downtown Destin offers incredible harbor views, sensational entrees, seafood specialties, and a selection of delectable wines that will have your taste buds traveling the world, all while you enjoy the company of your honey in a romantic setting. Recognized as one of the best restaurants for both food and customer service on the Emerald Coast, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Destin creates a magical atmosphere where your heart falls more in love with your date, and your tummy falls in love with your plate! Down the road on Scenic Highway 30A, you may want to make a reservation at Cafe 30A, which features chef specials, award-winning cuisine, and tasty drinks.
There's nothing more romantic than a lovely coastal dinner with your person and then a walk on the beach! Fortunately, Destin's Emerald Coast has a lot of great restaurants to choose from when it comes to a romantic night out.
Drinks at a Rooftop Bar
Looking to add a little twinkle to your date there's no better place to start than a rooftop bar. Sipping libations, staring at Orion's Belt, and simply taking in some of our great Gulf sea breezes, there's solace in the open air. Our favorite Rooftop Bars start with McGuires and The Edge on the Destin Harbor. McGuires has been around the longest and features the warm green glow of its Irish roots, there are plenty of dark romantic places inside, but the bar up top is a local classic, as is the $.18 soup! The Edge, on the other hand, is the new kid on the block. It features an abundance of seating for you and your date. The vibes are very modern. You can find live music at both of these groovy establishments. Hidden in plain sight in the town of Seaside, Florida, is the internationally acclaimed restaurant of Bud And Alley's. The sunsets here are magical, enhanced in no small part by the architecture viewable from every side of this rooftop bar. To the east, in Rosemary, you'll find Pescado. The ambiance is upscale, and the drink menu is very imaginative. Looking out over the tiled rooftops, you may feel like you're in a Dutch Colonial paradise, and you'd be right about the paradise part. Whether you choose to dine at one of these amazing restaurants or rooftop bars, it is sure to be a night of memories and romance.
Sweet Treats & Flowers
Sweets for the Sweet? Want to say I love you with roses? We've got you covered! Starting with the confections, you'll want to visit one of the town's most authentic mom-and-pop candy shops. Pecan Jacks three locations are in Destin, Gulf Place, and the Green Way by Eastern Lake. This place makes their ice cream, pecans, and chocolates by hand on 30A. Kilwins is another delicious option and a favorite for fudge; they have three locations: Destin Commons, Grand Boulevard, and in Rosemary Beach. Flipping to flowers, and as any Casanova knows, flowers are the quickest way to boost the mood; we have three go-to options for you. We love the floral selections at Fresh Market, which is located just west of Destin Commons. Also located here, you'll find Whole Foods; they have unusual bouquets and orchids, a feast for the senses. Finally, if you're in a last-minute pinch for some mums, check out any one of the four Publix grocery stores in our area. They are sure to have chocolates and flowers; remember, it's the thought that counts.
If a fancy dinner isn't enough pizzazz for your Valentine's Day tastes, try a dinner cruise instead! Nothing says love and devotion quite like a night on the open water, accompanied by the stars, good food, and your special someone. A few Destin companies provide a variety of cruises, all of which are very popular, so be sure to do your research and reserve your excursion ahead of time. Set out for a memorable, three-hour evening aboard the SOLARIS yacht. Dubbed the "Sandestin Fine Dining Dinner and Dancing Cruise" on the Choctawhatchee Bay in Miramar Beach, it comes complete with fine dining, live entertainment, and a full bar! For a cozier and more intimate experience, surprise your honey with a private charter on a schooner. Although you will need to bring your own dinner and drinks, this is a surefire way to have the best Valentine's Day ever! Finally, if you're looking for a more laid-back option, take a chance on the Destin Harbor Sunset Tiki Cruise, where you and your partner-in-crime can bring your own snacks and beverages, relax, watch the sunset, and soak up each other's company.
When tension and stress have become a part of everyday life, it's nice to step back from the chaos and remember that it's okay to treat yourself sometimes. Luckily, Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse for this! There is no better way to feel closer to your love than with a relaxing couple's massage. A couple's massage allows you to take advantage of a little quality time together, reconnect, encourage intimacy, and embrace increased feelings of affection. Seriously, what's not to love? Destin and 30A provide a variety of amazing spas and massage packages tailored just for you. Book your couple's massage at the Spa at Emerald Grande, Vivo Spa in Rosemary Beach, Serenity by the Sea Spa, or any of the other wonderful spas in the area. Follow your massage with a romantic dinner or dinner cruise, and you've got yourself a dream Valentine's Day!
A Day of Adventure
For some couples, Valentine's Day is more about reconnecting through fun experiences than enjoying a simple evening of romance. Well, the Emerald Coast has got your back in that endeavor. Destin and 30A provide unique opportunities for you and your lifetime adventure buddy to try something new and create memories together. Head to The Track Family Fun Park in Destin to race go-karts, challenge your partner to a mini-golf tournament, or blast each other with water cannons from blaster boats. Other adventure activities you may not have tried include kayaking on the Gulf, paddleboard yoga, deep-sea fishing, and parasailing. A real South Walton favorite is cruising the 30A trails on a beach bike. Shameless plug warning: when you stay with us at Ocean Reef, you'll receive massive discounts on all sorts of bikes through our Reef Reward program. Since it's your Valentine we are talking about, and you need to save your energy for more romantic endeavors, we would suggest taking advantage of the electric bikes at YOLO and Pedego! Of course, after all that adventuring and reconnecting, you may feel a little tired. Be sure to book your Valentine's Day dinner reservation early so you can refuel after your day of fun!
Picnic on the Beach
We can't talk about Valentine's Day on the coast without mentioning the beach. Smooth, crystalline sands, jewel-toned water, and the perfect February weather in Florida create the most magical, enchanting, and romantic atmosphere in the world. Okay, we might be partial, but it's true! Pack a picnic for two and take it down to the beach, where you and your love can bask in each other's company on a nearly deserted beach, listening to the waves and taking in the view. We suggest hedging your bets for romance and visiting one of our award-winning state parks. Starting with Henderson Beach State Park to the west, where you'll find a terribly romantic dune forest walk to Grayton Beach State Park's miles of trails and coastal dune lake; you can't beat these for private picnicking. Deer Lake State Park rounds out this collection on the far east side of 30A. It has an amazingly deep dune system and is very remote, so you'll have room to stretch out and relax together. Pro-Tip: Grab a bottle of rosé and charcuterie board from Chan's Wine World in Grand Boulevard, Destin Commons, or WaterColor. If you decide to have a picnic around dinner time, don't forget to take a sunset or moonlit stroll on the beach afterward. We promise it's even more romantic than in the movies!
Hopefully, this list has inspired you to start planning an epic Valentine's Day on the coast. No matter how you decide to spend the day of love with your special someone, remember to enjoy every moment. Memories with your loved ones are precious. In the years to come, your Valentine's Day in Destin and along 30A may be a special memory that you both cherish and hold near and dear to your hearts. Wishing a happy Valentine's Day to all our beach-loving locals and visitors!