Honeymoon Packages in Destin Florida

Where To Go: Destin, Florida

Sandestin—Love Among the Dunes

by Kathie Farnell

The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort—2400 acres of Panhandle luxe getaway—lies in northwest Florida, between the sugar-white Gulf beaches and Choctawhatchee Bay. In addition to its seven miles of beaches and bayfront, the resort offers four championship golf courses, a marina, tennis, shopping, a fitness center, and spa. This time of year, the emphasis is on romance, and Sandestin rose to the challenge with its annual “Extreme to Affordable” Valentine packages.

Crazy about technology? Check out the iLOVE MY iPAD package—which, along with two nights in a penthouse suite, dinner and champagne, provided lovebirds with their own iPads and a 60-inch LED HDTV to take home. Cost? 00 (yes, that includes tax).

Our experience was a little more down to earth (and besides, a 60” television won’t fit in our car). Romance headquarters for us was Elation, the newest building in the resort’s Grand Sandestin complex. From the balcony of our corner suite, we overlooked piney woods and, just beyond, the tranquil waters of the Bay, an ideal setup for bird- or sunset-watching.

We gave in to the occasional urge to explore our surroundings with a walk to the nearby Village of Baytowne Wharf, a pedestrian village offering shops, dining and nightlife. Just down the boardwalk from the Village is the resort’s marina, home to the Marina Bar and Grill and its resident parrots. Sandestin boasts more than twenty restaurants; we enjoyed a Valentine dinner at the Village’s romantic Bistro Bijoux, which offers a sophisticated wine list along with ultrafresh local seafood. Be sure to sample the French Onion Soup.

We had a choice of activities—guests get free bicycle rental along with Fitness Center access and even kayaking in season—but opted to hit the beach. The Panhandle’s snowy-white beaches, backed by pale-green Gulf waters, draw strollers and shell-seekers—and, in summer, sun-worshipers. During the mild winters, the beaches are ideal for slow, contemplative walks in the sand.

Looking past Valentines’ Day, Sandestin moves into high gear with spring festivities. The resort has always been popular with Spring Breakers, and this year is offering packages which include a free night with purchase of four, and 25% off weekly rates, along with golf packages and an expanded children’s program. In late April, the Sandestin Wine Festival, known as “the Kentucky Derby of wine festivals” bursts upon the Village scene. No, they don’t have horses. The Derby aspect is provided by the passing parade of ladies in stunning hats, sipping (or in some cases quaffing) the abundant assortment of more than 100 wines, amid an ambiance that includes gourmet Mediterranean food and live music.

Sandestin is a wedding destination year-round. Brides may choose from options ranging from a traditional ballroom ceremony and reception, to a beach wedding, to a ceremony and reception aboard the luxury yacht Solaris.

Who's wedding is this anyway???

by SouthernBlume

My best friend is planning her wedding & I have offered to help her get it together. She's 23 and she's paying for everything on her own. Her budget is $10,000 or less. I suggested a destination wedding in Hawaii, they have resort packages that take care of everything for up to $6,000. She loves the idea and wants to do it. Well, a few of our friends are being really negative towards the idea as well as some membersof his family. Her family loves the idea almost as much as we do. My friend has even offered to pay for his parents ticket.
She's getting married in 2 years so we figured that it would leave them with more than enough time to save up for a ticket and a hotel room & if...

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