I’ve never met a beach I don’t like. I don’t even have to be ON the beach. I am happy just being NEAR the beach. I love the sound of the waves and the smell and feel of the salt air. I don’t even complain when my hair frizzes out, haha!
When a group of my blogging colleagues started talking about a working retreat in a beach house on the Gulf Coast of Florida, I was the first to sign up. A chance to collaborate and network with a group of smart and generous women that I love AND do it all at the beach??? Yes, please!!!
Maria // Danielle // Amy // Amy // Jessica // Jo-Lynne // Sara // Tammilee // Jodi // Corinne
The folks at Newman-Daley Resort Properties hosted us in one of their many vacation rentals in the Destin and Fort Walton Beach Area. Newman-Daley has properties of all sizes in the area including luxury homes, condominiums, and a gulf-side hotel located in Crystal Beach.
We stayed at Blue Heaven, a spectacular vacation rental with 10-foot ceilings, gracious archways, an open floor plan, and a gourmet kitchen. It is located in South Walton, just a short walk from the white sand beach. With 7 bedrooms and 61⁄2 bathrooms, there was plenty of room for our party of 10. It would also make a great gathering spot for several families vacationing together or a multi-generational family vacation.
The spacious living area provided the perfect spot for brainstorming and collaborating. (No, an Apple computer was not required for this trip! Ha!)
I was unfamiliar with this area of Florida before this trip, so I’ve been amazed at how many people have commented on my blog posts and Instagram and Facebook updates, sharing their love for the area and advice for places to eat and sites to see. It is definitely an area much loved by many, and I can see why.
The beaches here are stunning. They call it the Emerald Coast because of the bright green waters, but the silvery-white sand is equally gorgeous. I couldn’t resist taking a short run on the beach one morning, but I soon ended up on the bike path because running on the sand was taking a toll on my legs and feet. Later that day, we took our afternoon session down by the water so we could chat social media while enjoying the view.
We were working for much of our trip, but if you’re vacationing, there’s lots to do here. There is phenomenal fishing and championship golf courses. Big Kahuna’s Water Park and Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park are fabulous for kids. If you like shopping, the Silver Sands Premium Outlets boasts 110 designer and name-brand outlet stores. They provided us each with a sweet welcome bag chock full of coupons and product samples. I made quick work of the truffles from Harry & D, just sayin’. And then Destin Commons is a mix of one-of-a-kind shops, nationally-recognized stores, kids activities, a movie theatre and various dining options.
Plus there are festive celebrations and special events planned all year round. For example, the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival and the Destin Charity Wine Auction benefit local children’s charities and provide the perfect excuse for a girl’s getaway.
One night we drove down to the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, where we walked around taking pictures and enjoying the view.
Even in the off-season, there’s a lot going on.
We were treated to a fabulous dinner at Brotula’s Seafood House, located right on the water. We sampled an assortment of appetizers, and every single one was divine.
For dinner, I ordered the Shrimp & Grits — my favorite Southern meal. I order it every time it’s on the menu. Look how pretty. It was equally delicious. They describe their restaurant as “gulf to shore” dining. Everything is freshly caught, and even the vegetables come from a local farm.
Another day we enjoyed lunch at Vin’tij, a charming wine bistro with what they describe as eclectic cuisine. You can have a sit-down lunch or dinner, and they also offer wine tastings and have a huge selection of fine wines. Their customer service is exceptional, and we were all impressed with the food as well. Plus, the decor is trendy and fun, and it has an intimate feel despite its location in a generic strip mall. You could easily drive right by it and not even notice it, but if you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend making time to stop.
We were all sad to leave our charming beach house, but we brought home a wealth of information, new ideas, goals to reach, strategies to implement, and to-do lists to tackle. Best of all, we have fond memories and deepened friendships and business relationships that we will enjoy for a very long time.
Don’t underestimate the value of a weekend getaway with your tribe. We women lead such busy lives, whether we are entrepreneurs or not. I highly recommend gathering your people and planning a time away from the rat race to get refreshed and recharged.
Many thanks to Newman-Daley Resort Properties for hosting our stay, and to Brotula’s Seafood House for comping part of our meal and providing such outstanding and gracious service.
22 thoughts on “Girlfriend Getaway in Destin – Fort Walton Beach”
Absolutely beautiful! I wish I lived there! I too have a love for the ocean, or just being nearby.
I had such a great time spending time with you last weekend! What an inspiring retreat!
It was so much fun getting to know you after all these years in the same space! xoxo
I am going to research this area would make a great vacation spot for my family. I am hoping that you and Cyndi start the spring series March 1st. Glad you made it back safely. We all need a little get away every now and then Lol
It’s very affordable too!
Curious what blogs all the ladies have that you shared your weekend with…….any we would be interested in reading/following
There are links to their blogs under that top picture of us all on the beach. 🙂
Looks amazing! Missing being there so much – so glad you guys had such a great time. Destin looks just beautiful.
We missed you too!! xo
Glad you are back home and enjoyed your stay in FL.
I loved all the photos, and each outfit you wore in them was very pretty. My family had a second home in St. Petersburg, Florida and we traveled down there a lot during the year. My daughter went down to Destin last summer with her cousin. Florida is awesome! God Bless, and am eager to see a Spring fashion show from you soon!
That looks like a house I’d never want to leave. Love all the beachy decor. I am sooo going to consider this for my next girlfriend’s getaway.
So great spending the weekend with everyone. Wish we could stay at Blue Heaven every year!
Thanks for letting me room with you 🙂
So fun! Glad you got experience my hometown. You picked a great spot for a retreat. The best time to visit is April – June and September – November when it’s not too hot or too cold. Spring Break is always tricky but people do go there during March. The water is a little too cold but you can still go to the beach for sure. We usually go for at least a month during the summer and a few weeks at Christmas. I love that house and will definitely be checking it out for our visit this summer!
I would love to go back when it’s warmer, but it is probably best for this that it wasn’t, or I’d have wanted to sit on the beach the whole time, and we wouldn’t have gotten any work done. Ha!
Been going to Destin for 25 years ! It is beautiful.
Looks so fun!! Glad you all had a great time!!
I love the Gulf beaches. My gal pals and I take a trip every year to Gulf Shores in Alabama, specifically Fort Morgan. We used to go in April, but the weather is iffy–you never know if it will be cool and windy, or just right! We now go in Mid-September. The weather is just about perfect and not crowdy at all. Fort Morgan is out on a peninsula with mostly houses to rent. It’s quiet and peaceful and no elevators to wait on! We just step out the back door and there’s the beach. The soft sand is hard to walk or run on, so we usually walk through the neighborhood. In Rome, Ga, we are just a 6-7hour drive from the beaches. I’ve been with family to Panama City, Destin, San Destin, Fort Walton, Santa Rosa–they are all beautiful. I prefer the Atlantic beaches for walking or running, but the beauty of the Gulf beaches can’t be beat!! Looks like your group had a great time!
Thanks Jo-Lynne! It looks like y’all stayed at a wonderful place, had fun, along with being very productive. Another great beach for an adult getaway is Cape San Blas, which is near Port St. Joe, FL.
My family LOVES Destin. We just started camping there at Camp Gulf-which I think is close to the house where you stayed. Next time you go you MUST eat at AJ’s! Our family’s favorite.
Thanks for the tip!
Now I just want to go back. So loved spending time with you 🙂 I’m still smiling about the whole weekend.
I am so envious of people who live in Destin year round. Being that close to the beach all the time sounds like a dream come true. Thanks for sharing!