The Destin Log recently printed an article, "Destin a pricey destination, but tourists say it's worth it." They reported that the average visiting family can expect to spend approximately $5,000-7,000 a week on their trip.
Then they proceeded to interview a family that spent over $6000 in two weeks for her family, which included a teenage daughter and her two friends. Their activities included, the Track, the Gulfarium, a spa day, a sail on a party boat and parasailing. Hello...those kinds of activities are going to cost you big bucks, no matter where you travel to.
The other example, Doug Rogers from Louisiana, has a family of five who come to Destin twice a year and spend a total of $8,000. This is a perfect example of someone who should be considering purchasing an investment rental. He could easily buy a nice place near the beach that the family could enjoy several times a year and still rent out when they're away. Those rentals would probably pay for his holiday.
We do have a great tourist industry, because let's face it, Destin is a wonderful place to visit and even better place to live. Although those exciting recreational activities are good fun and who doesn't like a day at the spa, but if that's all you do while you're here, then you're missing out on some of the real treasures of Destin's Emerald Coast.
Here are 10 Destin activities that are free or reasonably cheap to do, even for a large family. Hopefully, you will return home with a better understanding and appreciation of this treasured Emerald Coast.
1. Spend an afternoon on Okaloosa Island. Walk the beaches, the boardwalk and visit the 1/4 mile Okaloosa Island Pier. You can fish for 24 hours for $7.50/person (includes license), and rent rods for a nominal fee.
2. Hang out at Henderson Beach State Park. Take a lunch, grill some hot dogs and make a day of it.
3. Destin History and Fishing Museum - Learn about Destin's history and why it has earned the title of the the "Luckiest Fishing Village in the World." It's worth the visit.
4. Snorkel Trip - Compare prices and take a snorkel trip. Even if you're not big on swimming, you'll enjoy the boat ride.
5. Walk along the Destin Harbor and boardwalk. Explore the shops and watch the fishing boats come in with their catch.
6. Raw & Juicy Farmers Market in Seaside. One of the most popular farmers markets in the area, browse dozens of local growers and artisans. Continue your walk through the village of Seaside, exploring funky little shops and bistros.
7. Topsail Beach State Preserve. Spend the day at this natural beach park, walk the uncrowded, white sand beaches or drop a line in one of the coastal dune lakes. Overnight camping is available here as well.
8. Visit the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier, a 1,545 foot wooden structure perfect for fishing or dolphin watching.
9. While you're in the neighborhood be sure to check out the Navarre Beach Marine Station and Turtle Center. Rent a clear bottom kayak and explore the artificial reef. At the time of this writing a guided tour was only $15 and included admission to the Conservation Center.
10. Hop on a bike and explore the Timpoochee Trail. Pick your starting point as you follow the Scenic Highway 30A for over 18 miles from Dune Allen to Inlet Beach. Ride past coastal dune lakes and forests and quaint beach villages. Be sure to stop at Blue Mountain Creamery for a cool treat and finish your ride with a fresh seafood dinner at any number of popular beachside restaurants.
Tim Shepard, Broker/Owner
Destin Real Estate, LLC
Cell: (850) 259-4133
Toll Free: (866) 678-SOLD
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