With miles and miles of beautiful coastline to explore, the quickest thing to do is walk out the front door of Coco Cabana and within minutes you will be enjoying the emerald green waters and silky soft, sugar white sand of Miramar Beach in South Walton County.
Why is the sand so white? This is a question we hear numerous times from curious adults and children. The sand comes from the Appalachian Mountains and is made of finely ground quartz crystal giving the appearance of sugar.
Henderson Beach State Recreation Area.- A Florida State Park on the Gulf of Mexico, located in Destin Fl. across from Walmart on Highway 98.
When the Gulf of Mexico is rough or the jellyfish are in, it can be stressful to watch over your small child. When our children were small we would blow up the floats, grab some buckets and a net and take them to Choctawhatchee Bay. One of our favorite access points for the Bay is Okaloosa Day Use Area, just across the Destin Bridge on Santa Rosa Island.
Want the beautiful emerald waters without the waves? At the West end of Destin Bridge you will find a parking lot and a local hangout that is perfect for small children. Its also a great area to view the fireworks at the Emerald Grande, and if you like to walk ~ take the journey down to the jetties. My children and I like to take a garbage bag on our walk to help clean the beach. Great birdwatching area also. Note that certain areas are protected for wildlife and visitors are not permitted to walk into the interior part of this island.
Drive towards Pensacola Beach and you will find the beautiful Gulf Islands National Seashore and Fort Pickens along with a shell filled beach on Navarre Beach near the pier.
Grayton Beach State Park This park also offers facilities for swimming, fishing, snorkeling, and camping.
When enjoying the beach with children we suggest situating yourself and your family within sight of a lifeguard tower. For guests staying at Coco Cabana in Miramar Beach, Fl you will find a lifeguard station near Pompano Joes.
Lifeguards are on duty from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., seven days a week from the second Saturday in March until the last Sunday in September.
Rip Currents : Rip currents are the leading surf hazard for all beachgoers. They are particularly dangerous for weak or non-swimmers. Rip current speeds are typically 1-2 feet per second. However, speeds as high as 8 feet per second have been measured–this is faster than an Olympic swimmer can sprint! Thus, rip currents can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea.
EXPLORE OUTDOORS ON YOUR DESTIN VACA
Coco Cabana in Miramar Beach, Fl. is located in South Walton County and less than 5 minutes from the Okaloosa County line in an area called the panhandle of Florida. You will find a great variety of outdoor areas to explore.
FAMILY FAVORITE: If you have the time. Visit Seacrest Wolf Preserve, this preserve is a one of a kind reserve where guests are allowed to interact with the wolves. It is an amazing place to learn about this very special keystone species.
The focal point of this 161-acre park is the beautifully renovated, two-story Wesley house with its elegant white columns and wrap-around porch. The mossdraped live oaks and ornamental gardens inspire visions of hoop skirts and landed gentry. Named after a wealthy Florida timber family, the park is part of the family’s estate. In 1963, Lois Maxon bought and renovated the home, creating a showplace for her family heirlooms and antiques. The house holds the second largest known collection of Louis XVI furniture in the United States. Visitors can also take a stroll along the grounds and enjoy the picnic area.
The center is nestled in the Longleaf Pine ecosystem, which is considered the 6th most bio-diverse area in the continental U.S. and less than 2% of it remains intact today. As such, it is the perfect place to educate visitors on the importance of biodiversity and to encourage conservation, preservation and restoration. This ecological “hot-spot” is open to the public, click the link above to view hours.
WalCo Eco Tours – Walton County yolo or Kayak tour ~ Explore the coastal dune lakes by yolo board or kayak.
AMUSEMENT PARKS AND FAMILY FUN ON YOUR DESTIN VACA
Within a short distance from Coco Cabana you will find a good variety of family fun options such as Big Kahunas Water Park, Gulfarium, The Track. Nearby you will also find a free armament museum in Fort Walton Beach (approx. 30 minutes) , Skating Rink (FWB) , Bowling (Destin and Fort Walton Beach), Laser Tag (Destin and Okaloosa Island), Fat Daddys Game Room (Destin) Spa’s, Beauty Salons , Multiple theaters to choose from Ripleys Believe it or Not, WonderWorks (Both in Panama City approx.. 55 minutes away) Click on the link to see a google map of local area amusement areas Map for amusement parks near miramar beach fl
Big Kahunas Water Park Big Kahuna’s Water Park
- A Paradise Watersports, on Okaloosa island, 850-837-0123, 850-302-0021. Rents all kinds of boats and water gear.
- Boogies Water Sports at the foot of the bridge, 850-654-4497. Offers watercraft rentals and parasailing.
- Dolphin Cruise at Harborwalk Marina, 850-837-7741. Offers various cruises including a dolphin cruise.
- Moody’s, 194 Hwy. 98, 850-837-1293. Sails the Emerald Magic and America II, available for charter.
- Pleasure Island Waterpark 850-243-9738. Has go-karts, personal watercraft, pontoon boats, jet boats, parasailing, and refreshments.
- The Track, Highway 98 on the east side of town, 850-654-4668 Has go-karts, a kids recreation area, miniature golf, and bungee jumping.
FISHING ON YOUR DESTIN VACA
Destin Florida is named the worlds luckiest fishing village, and I have to agree. Multiple charter boats are available for day trips and half day deep sea fishing trips or for those land lubbers we have two nearby piers that also offer rentals of rigs/ tackel etc. Navarre Pier and Okaloosa Island Pier.
OFF SHORE FISHING:
HARBOR WALK MARINA ~ Marina and Boat Charters
Capt. Jim Miles
Kelly Girl is a 50’ Custom Fiberglass Sportfishermen. It is U.S.C.G. approved and can carry up to 6 passengers. Kelly Girl is located at the Harbor Walk Marina in Destin Fl.
SWEET JODY Fishing Charter is also another great boat to charter on your next Destin vaca. Sweet Jody Fishing
FLY FISHING: Check out Jason Stacy at Old Florida Outfitters. Heʼs a fly fishing pro, and nothing seems to make him happier than watching a student catch his or her first fish. His Orvis-endorsed school is held at WaterColor and offers both 2-day and 1-day options.
GOLFING ON YOUR DESTIN VACA
Our area is renowned for its golfing opportunities. The climate is nearly ideal year-round. So if its golf you want on your Destin vaca, check out this link for a map of the nearby golf courses in our area.
Baytown Golf Club @ Sandestin, Extensively renovated in the summer of 2005 by original course architect Tom Jackson, this course was hailed three times by Golf Digestʼs Places to Play with 4 1/2 start. Takes guests from the beach to the bay and boasts some of the only elevation changes in the area. Includes a 5th set of junior tees.
Burnt Pine Golf Club @ Sandestin In this stunning 7,000-yard Destin golf course, architect Rees Jones proves why he is one of the most respected architects in the world. Breathtaking views along the Choctawhatchee Bay highlight the back nine on this Florida golf course, while the front side brings golfers through the pine forests and wetlands of the Emerald Coast of Florida. Side by side with Sandestinʼs Raven Golf Club, it is the only place in the world where Rees and Robert Trent Jones Jr. courses meet.
Ft. Walton Beach Golf Club Public championship course. Pro shop, lighted driving range, club rentals and snack bar, 1909 Lewis Turner Blvd., Ft. Walton Beach, 850-833-9529
Golf Garden of Destin Public lighted course and practice area. 112958 Highway 98 East, 850-837-7422.
Regatta Bay Golf & Country Club, 465 Regatta Bay Blvd Destin, 850-650-7800. Public, championship course designed by Robert C. Walker.
Seascape Resort & Conference Center, 100 Seascape Dr., 850-654-7888. Public course with greens and driving range.
Emerald Bay Golf Club, 4781 Clubhouse Drive, (850) 837-5197
SHOPPING ON YOUR DESTIN VACA
Miramar Beach, Fl is a shoppers paradise! Our home is situated close to Silver Sands Premium Outlets, Grand Boulevard Town Center, Destin Commons, Pier Park in Panama City Beach and of course hundreds of other stores and boutiques. Here are a few links to get you started.
Silver Sands Premium Outlets
10562 Emerald Coast Parkway
Destin, FL 32550
(850) 654-977 Grand Boulevard Town Center ~ J.Crew, Zoo Gallery, Tommy Bahamaʼs to name a few 600 Grand Boulevard
Miramar Beach, Florida 32550
PLACES TO EAT ON YOUR DESTIN VACA
Nicks Seafood in Freeport Florida ~ has the BEST fried oysters I have evereaten.
Acme Oyster House in Baytowne has some good oysters.
32 degrees A Yogurt Bar, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Cheeseburger in Paradise, ~ Silver Sands Premium Outlets
Busters Oyster Bar and Grill, Applebees, Millers Ale House, Fat Clemenzas Italian Food and so much more.
Mitchells Fish Market: Great pricing, good lunch portions and local seafood make this a great place to stop for lunch.
P.F. Changs ~ National chain, try the duck with cherry compote!
Close proximity, local seafood. Ricks Crab Trap The area surround Coco Cabana has a great variety of dining establishments.With so much variety and so many new places opening every season, we suggest checking an app or website such as Urban Spoon, Yelp, or Trip Advisor for current reviews.
GETTING TO COCO CABANA
Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP)
Phone: (850) 763-6751
Air Service: Delta Airlines and Southwest
Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport (PNS)
Phone: (850) 436-5000
Air Service: AirTran, American Eagle, Continental, Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines, US Airways Express, United and US Airways Express.
Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS)
Phone: (850) 651-7160
Air Service: American Eagle, Delta, US Airways and United
General Aviation Airports
Crestview: (850) 682-6811
DeFuniak Springs: (850) 892-2000
Destin: (850) 837-6135
Panama City: (850) 785-4325 or (850) 763-4642
Coco Cabana is located on the northwest gulf coast of Florida between Destin and Panama City, and 25 miles south of I-10 along Emerald Coast Parkway. Major corridors in close proximity to Miramar Beach, Fl. include: I-65, I-55, I-10 and US Hwy 331.