Destin and Sandestin Trip on a Budget

Budget-Friendly Destin Florida Vacations

Destin Florida Vacations on a budget


Discover the beauty of Destin Florida vacations on a budget! Stunning beaches, luxury resorts, and charming villages awaits. Actually, it’s one of the most beautiful beaches in the world if you’re looking for white powdery sand and emerald-green sparkling waters. Destin, Florida is a stunning coastal city located in the heart of the Florida Panhandle. Destin offers visitors a picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I highly recommend exploring the Destin, Florida in October if you’re trying to save money.

We love staying in the Sandestin , nestled along the pristine shores of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, Sandestin Baytowne offers a haven of relaxation, recreation, and luxurious living. It’s a short drive from Destin. This enchanting destination combines the natural beauty of the Gulf coast with upscale amenities and a charming village atmosphere, making it a sought-after getaway for travelers seeking both relaxation and adventure. From its breathtaking beaches to the wealth of recreational activities, and not to forget its top-notch resorts, Sandestin Baytowne is a destination that truly has it all.

Destin Florida Vacations on a Budget:

If you’re on a budget like me, it’s a good idea to book your vacation in mid to late, October.  The weather is still gorgeous sunny with low humidity. You’ll still need the slather on the sunscreen! Average temperature  82 high and lows in the 60’s.  We were able to book a large beach cottage for only $250/night equipped with a golf cart. My daughter loved it! We actually booked through Vrbo , however, here are some other popular hotels listed below in Sandestin Baytowne:

This beach house was only $250 a night in a golf cart community located in Sandestin. Again, this is a trip in October, which which is why it was less per night. The canal is a view from our back patio.


Destin Florida Vacations beach house Destin, Florida Vacations on a Budget


A Glimpse of Sandestin Baytowne:

Sandestin Baytowne is part of the larger Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, a sprawling 2,400-acre property that spans from the Gulf of Mexico to the Choctawhatchee Bay. The focal point of Baytowne is the charming village center, a hub of activity that boasts cobblestone streets, European-inspired architecture, and an array of dining, shopping, and entertainment options.

Destin, Florida VacationsDestin Florida Vacations resort in Sandestin

The Resorts near Destin Florida:

 One of the standout features of Sandestin Baytowne is its collection of upscale resorts, perfect for those seeking a memorable stay during their Destin Florida vacations. These resorts offer comfortable accommodations and a range of amenities for an unforgettable vacation experience. Guests can enjoy a state-of-the-art fitness center and other facilities, ensuring a truly relaxing stay. Here is a list of some of the prominent resorts within the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.

The Grand Sandestin:

  1. This iconic resort offers an elegant atmosphere with spacious rooms and suites. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the bay, golf courses, or the Gulf of Mexico, depending on their preferences. The Grand Sandestin is known for its luxurious spa, championship golf courses, and a lagoon-style swimming pool.

Destin Florida Vacations feeding fish in the canal

  1. The Village of Baytowne Wharf:

  2. While not a traditional resort in the conventional sense, the Village of Baytowne Wharf offers a unique experience with its charming accommodations overlooking the village square. Guests can enjoy live music, vibrant events, and a variety of dining and shopping options just steps away from their rooms.

  3. Bayside at Sandestin:

  4. Nestled along the tranquil Choctawhatchee Bay, this resort is an ideal choice for families or larger groups seeking a memorable stay during their Destin Florida vacations. With accommodations ranging from spacious studios to multi-bedroom suites, Bayside offers private beach access, a marina, and exciting activities like kayaking and paddleboarding, ensuring a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.”
  5. Luau at Sandestin:

  6. Inspired by the allure of the Hawaiian islands, Luau offers a tropical escape with spacious condos that feature balconies overlooking the Gulf. The resort is known for its stunning lagoon-style pool and proximity to the white sandy beaches.

  7. Hilton Sandestin

  8. Situated directly on the Gulf of Mexico, Beach Golf Resort & Spa is the perfect destination for those enjoying Destin Florida vacations. This expansive resort offers luxurious rooms, multiple dining options, and a world-class spa. Guests can indulge in direct beach access, relax by beachside pools, and enjoy championship golf courses, ensuring an unforgettable stay.
  9. Baytowne Marina:

  10. Destin Beach Vacations Bird on Beach Destin Florida Vacations Starfish on Beach Destin Florida Vacations Beach
  11. This resort caters to those who love water activities and boating. It offers accommodations with marina views and provides easy access to the bay. Guests can explore the waters, rent boats, and even enjoy fishing excursions.

Favorite Restaurants and other shops in Destin Flordia:


This area overs an array of charming restaurants, local shops, and unique attractions. From fresh seafood and craft cocktails to handmade souvenirs and artisanal gifts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this delightful beach town.

Here are a few favorite restaurants that locals and visitors often enjoy:

My absolute favorite is Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House

I always get their Grouper with summer berry salad. Please note that their fish is the best, and their veggies are all locally grown. You’ll want to arrive there for dinner by 5:00, since there’s a long wait and there’s a good reason why! While you wait, you can go down to their beach area and play cornhole, and listen to live music.  I am super picky, and I like high quality food, so trust me, this is the best restaurant in Destin!  I have scouted out all the restaurants and try to stay clear of the touristy spots, so the restaurants below are the locals favorites.

You’ll want to visit:

  1. The Back Porch: A beachfront seafood restaurant famous for its fresh Gulf seafood and stunning views. Their “Amberjack Sandwich” and “Seafood Gumbo” are popular choices.
  2. Harbor Docks: A longtime local favorite offering a variety of seafood dishes with a focus on freshness. Don’t miss their sushi bar and the “Grits à Ya Ya.”
  3. Louisiana Lagniappe: Known for its upscale seafood dining experience, this restaurant offers a mix of Cajun and Creole-inspired dishes. The “Crawfish Etouffée” and “Blackened Redfish” are highlights.
  4. Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House: This spot boasts both indoor and outdoor dining with beautiful waterfront views. Enjoy dishes like “Oysters Boshamps” and “Shrimp & Grits.” $$$, but worth it.
  5. Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant: With a laid-back vibe and great seafood, Dewey Destin’s is a local classic. The “Shrimp Basket” and “Blackened Grouper” are favorites.
  6. McGuire’s Irish Pub: While technically in nearby Destin, McGuire’s is worth a mention for its extensive menu, including mouthwatering steaks and traditional Irish fare.
  7. Stewby’s Seafood Shanty: Known for its fresh and affordable seafood, Stewby’s offers a casual atmosphere and a menu featuring items like shrimp, fish, oysters, and more.  (I added Stewby’s because I love their food, but it’s located in Ft. Walton Beach not too far from Destin).  Budget Friendly, but really fresh. I had their grilled Mahi, Mahi, cooked over a open flame not pan-seared.
  8. 790 On The Gulf: A beachfront restaurant with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. Try their “Gulf Grouper Sandwich” and “Seafood Platter.”

These are just a few of the many dining options you’ll find in Destin. The area is known for its seafood, but you’ll also discover a variety of cuisines to satisfy any palate. Remember to check the restaurant’s current status and operating hours before visiting.


Budget Friendly Attractions near Destin Florida:

I remember running into a local and asking about must see parks and Attractions, and he recommended  Eden Garden St. Park. This place is beautiful with the Spanish Moss Trees covering the park. It reminded me of the scene in Gone with the Wind. We packed a lunch and had a picnic near the water.

  1. Grayton Beach State Park: A beautiful and less crowded beach with stunning dunes, hiking trails, and a coastal dune lake.
  2. Henderson Beach State Park: A quieter alternative to some of the busier beaches in the area, featuring white sandy shores and nature trails.
  3. Seaside: This charming coastal town is known for its pastel-colored architecture, boutique shops, and a relaxed atmosphere.
  4. Point Washington State Forest: A hidden gem for nature enthusiasts, offering hiking and biking trails through diverse ecosystems.
  5. Eden Gardens State Park: Known for its historic mansion, lush gardens, and serene walking paths, this park offers a serene escape.
  6. Rocky Bayou State Park: A bit farther inland but worth the trip, this park offers canoeing, kayaking, and tubing along the beautiful Blackwater River.
  7. Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Cultural Arts Village: A lovely outdoor space featuring sculptures, art installations, and occasional events.
  8. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park: Known for its natural beauty and diverse ecosystems, this park offers hiking trails, beach access, and camping.
  9. Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park: This marine park features a variety of marine life shows and exhibits, including dolphins, sea lions, and turtles. It’s an educational and entertaining experience for all ages.
  10. The Village of Baytowne Wharf: Nestled within the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, this village offers shopping, dining, and entertainment.
  11. Gator Beach: A unique spot at Fudpucker’s restaurant where you can see live alligators and even feed them.

These hidden gems offer a diverse range of experiences, from natural beauty to cultural attractions, providing you with opportunities to explore a different side of the Destin area.

Destin Florida Vacations Walking on Beach

Destin Florida Vacations Beach

You may be interested in my article Fit to Fly article. In this article I have a list of workout equipment I always take on any vacation.

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