So you're headed to "the beach!" Well, we know, you're talking about Destin and 30A. A great place for families and couples to beach it – the water is emerald green, the sand is bright white, and the shopping is, well, just right. Taking the perfect beach vacation means you'll need to bring all the right things with you and leave the non-essentials behind—pack light. The same goes for shopping. So then you're only left with one question, where can you safely drop off your significant(relative) other while you shop? Fear not ladies, Destin has a wealth of distractions for people with a "Y" chromosome, as in honey "Why" did you take me to Kiki Risa for two hours, or "Why" are we at Grand Boulevard, for the third time today. You need an interesting place, close to where you would rather be, i.e., shopping, and easy to pick your mate out of the crowd. Especially if you are in a rush to catch the blue light special at Saks Off Fifth. Here then, dear reader, for your amusement (always) and (potentially) the very sanctity of your marriage, is a list of places to park your beloved husband while you browse the most beachy isles in town, to your little heart's content, let's begin.
Downtown Destin / The Destin Harbor
Despite man's best efforts, with 51 other states, we can't all be married to Florida-man, but wait, could we? Destin Harbor says, yes, we can. This collection of restaurants, fishing boats, and yes shops sit on the far West side of town and opens on to the vast Emerald hued waters of the Gulf. This place just exudes action, from deep-sea boats unloading their latest haul to music concerts and - brace yourself, the world's longest free-standing zip line. When you cross-pollinate all this with the wide variety of bars and drink options around every corner, you should be able to squeeze at least 1.5 hours of mull-about time here on the Harbor. Estimated distraction time: two to three hours.
Destin Commons / BassPro Shops
Located in the epicenter of town, and offering everything possible for the great outdoors American is Bass Pro Shop. This place is like an armory of cool. Walking in, your man will be greeted by a local sportsman. Everyone there seems to have a hobby or specialty, often involving culling herding animals with a Rambo-esque panache. The first floor features some of the most authentic, well-made sportswear for all disciplines. There's also a bevy of fishing gear, baits, reels, and rods, more on that shortly. Upstairs, there are cases of guns and a whole host of other fun stuff. Archery supplies, boats, toys, treats, and treasures. A massive fish tank, replete with enormous fish, and it is the focal point of the whole joint. If this blog were a retail store, it would look a lot like this place. Plan on about an hour, at least, for him to peruse the menagerie of hunting, fishing, and water-born fun. Estimated distraction time: one to three hours.
Grand Boulevard / Orvis
Grand Boulevard rides the Eastern side of town, a gateway to upscale shopping and the natural beach wonderland that is 30A. It is here that you can drop your international sportsman into the immersive world of Orvis. The fly fishing bits alone could eat 30 minutes. There is hunting and fishing gear - and apparel all over this store. From the unique to the innovative, your hubs will lose himself in visions of a mountain stream in western Montana, wait is that even a state? Selfishly? Let's go with helpfully, for you as there is no higher concentration of upscale stores than here on this palm-lined boulevard. Estimated distraction time: one to two hours and longer if you do the optional free Fly Fishing Class, so yeah, have him do this class.
Everywhere / Fishing
Now let's be honest, we are all looking for a way to keep our guy distracted for 24hrs, plus, am I right, ladies? When you come to town, you'll want to get a fresh 3-day fishing pass for your boy. Easily the most freedom-enhancing $17 dollars you'll spend, depending on what it is you're shopping for. That said, here in Destin, he'll be catching Alligator Gar in the creeks and Cobia off the sandy beaches by the dunes. He doesn't even need to get lucky to hook a Red Fish or Mullet in the bay – nothing keeps them occupied longer than the thought of grilling something they caught. As far as trimmings go, he can plainly bring his own gear and hold on to his boat money; or he might just be pleasantly surprised by the competitive prices and vast selection of fisherman delights, both for sale and to rent here in Destin. He can nab every fishing thing, from $2.99 bucket of mild-flavored live bait to a more spicy $2,990,000 52 foot dual-engine number. These fine local gear purveyors have it all. Between BassPro, West Marine, Half Hitch Tackle, and The Ships Chandler, if he isn't fishing yet, they should get his Google going. To seal the deal and hedge your bets, you may want to seek professional help. Guests of Ocean Reef enjoy deep discounts with Destin Inshore Guides; they'll put your man on the fish in the bay, on the rivers, and all the way out to the jetties. Similarly, they are given preferred pricing on deep-sea fishing aboard the charter ship Relentless. This large, professional-grade fishing vessel can bring your honey buns 25, 50, even 100 miles off-shore to the deep water. If it's Marlin he's after, they deliver. Estimated distraction time: 3 days to Life.
Related article: 350LB Monster Goliath Grouper Caught in Destin
We trust these jewels will give you the bandwidth to shop till you drop. Your loving husband should remain so and may even want to come back for more beach time; that's where Ocean Reef comes in. We offer an unparalleled collection of vacation rental properties in Destin to suit any shopping style, always looking for ways to make your vacation a real vacation!