Destin in the Summer

Posted on Monday, June 13th, 2016 at 7:42 pm
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The Summer season is in full swing in Destin. Let me give you a day by day rundown of a typical week in Destin in the Summer.

Saturday is change-over day for everyone who spends a week in Destin. (What happens in Destin leaves on Saturday!!!) Saturday morning you have thousands of people all trying to leave town at the same time. The Mid-Bay bridge usually backs up all the way across the bay from the toll booths to Destin. Fort Walton Beach is a little better but it can take a couple light changes to get off Okaloosa Island. Then about noon the influx starts to build. By 2 or 3 o’clock the traffic is backed up from the toll booths on Mid-Bay past Hwy. 20 and even back to Range Road. It can take an hour or more just to go these last few miles. Fort Walton Beach is even worse at Brooks Bridge. The traffic is backed up on all the roads leading to the bridge. This is another hour plus there. Last week I checked the traffic app at 5:30 pm and the traffic was still a mess.

Because of so many folks trying to get into town, you can usually get into our restaurants as they won’t start to fill up till 6 or 7:00. The evening will start to hop with the younger crowd but it’s not as bad as some other nights.

Sunday and Monday are probably the two slowest days of the week as most folks are getting settle into their condos, going to Wal Mart to pick up who’s knows what and Publix to get food and drinks, plus they are hitting the pools and beach for their initial sun burn and just figuring out what they want to do. Restaurants will be crowded in the evenings but unless there is an accident you can get around our roads as long as you don’t go down 98 from one end to the other.

Tuesday is the parade night at Harborwalk Village. People are now getting out and exploring more so traffic is building. The area around the Grande will be busy as folks head to the harbor. Tuesday you see more people walking and crossing the street anywhere they feel like it. You really have to be alert.

Wednesday is the fireworks show on the island. The area at The Boardwalk on the island is now a destination in its own right. Traffic trying to get over Brooks Bridge in the late afternoon is bad as it backs up half way across the island westbound. When you add people trying to get down there for the fireworks you might as well pack a lunch as you won’t be going anywhere quickly.

Thursday is the worse day in Destin. They do a big fireworks show over the harbor at 9 pm but the crowds head to the harbor much earlier. It usually takes me 30-40 minutes to get across the island on Thursdays.  The back roads are packed as each Thursday they do a concert at Mattie Kelly on Commons Drive. Don’t go out if you can avoid it! LOL 

Friday’s is a wind down day but still very busy as many folks try for that one last blast of their vacation. Plus you have an influx of the weekend warriors coming into town. You need to hit the restaurants early if you don’t want to wait as they get busy after 6 or so. There is usually a fun vibe on Friday nights around town.

And then we get to start it all over again on Saturday!

I was mainly highlighting Destin and Fort Walton Beach but the same dynamics play out in SanDestin and along 30A. Also all bets are off if it rains. If it’s raining you have thousands of tourist all getting into their cars and going…well I don’t know where but most likely the movie theater or bowling alley. All I can say is if it’s raining, don’t head towards the Outlet Mall or the Commons. You will be sorry!

One more thing I want to stress is you need to heed the flag warning system we have on the beaches. A red flag means stay out of the Gulf of Mexico. We have very dangerous rip currents that you can’t see. Last week we had 4 people lose their lives in the Gulf because they ignored the flags. Play in the sand or find a pool but stay out of the water when you see a red flag.

Last week Sunshine Cindy and I got out a few times. Friday night we went to Landshark Pizza for a Parrot Head meeting. A good crowd listened to Coconut Radio perform. Our friends from Southern Illinois made it and it was nice seeing them again. I got to talk to some of the Landshark regulars who were sitting at the bar. Steve, B, Pops, Jenny, Tony are all good people and good friends. After the meeting Sunshine Cindy and I went to the Boathouse with Steve and Dottie. We hung out there for a while listening to Jason Clark. We finally made one last stop at Waffle House on the way home for some late night food.

On Saturday Sunshine Cindy and Tiffany went out to do a little shopping. I met them at The Back Porch for lunch. We had a short wait for a table but it was worth it as we scored a table upstairs. I didn’t even know they had an upstairs dining area. We had great views of the Gulf and everyone on the beach. Plus the food was really good too…A little pricy but good.

Sunday was hot. I went for a bike ride in the morning and did about 6 ½ miles. In the afternoon I headed to Crab Island Cantina to listen to BT perform. Sunshine Cindy decided she wanted to stay home and get some things done around the house. Jasmine was working the bar. BT was doing his thing. A decent crowd was there for brunch. After a short while Julie and Brodie joined me. Then Alan and Jackie also came down. We had a fun time but it’s always fun when BT is performing.

The water in the pass and bay was a beautiful aqua color. The Cantina is a great venue with BT playing with the view of the water right behind him. There were boats and jet skis everywhere. I stayed till he ended at 5:00 then headed home to get ready for the work week. I did watch the Stanley Cup game as Pittsburgh won it all. Congrats to them as they were the best team in the playoffs. My Tampa Bay Lightning almost had them but just came up short.

Next to Landshark Pizza Asiago Skillet has opened. It’s a breakfast place open from midnight to noon. We will try it and let you know what we think.

We have a Crab Island Mambo / ECPHC beach cleanup this Saturday. It should be fun. Come join us on the Island at Beachwalk access #2. Everyone welcome. We start at 9:30 am with a big beach party afterwards. We hope to see you there. For all our activities on the Emerald Coast check out my Crab Island Mambo Weekly Update Page:

I will have a full report next Monday. See ya then!!!

Destin Steve

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