15 August 2012

Sandestin 2012, part 1 - Baytowne Wharf

For those of you who don't already know, for the past 14 years, we have vacationed in the Destin area at least once a year. The only year we missed was 2004, when Hurricane Ivan hit the Florida panhandle - that year we went to Siesta Key. But for the past few years, Gus and I have vacationed by ourselves due to the kids' work/school schedules.

However, this past May, we were finally able to make it a family vacation again. Gus and I took Buddy and Lulu (and Bart, Lulu's boyfriend) to Destin for a week.We love Sandestin - especially Baytowne Wharf - so we decided to rent a townhouse there.

One of the great things about Baytowne Wharf is that it's like a little town. You can walk from your condo/townhouse to restaurants, stores, bars, etc. We figured this was an especially good thing since Lulu just turned 21, and had every intention of putting that new ID to use. At least by staying here, we wouldn't have to worry about them drinking and driving - and we wouldn't have to get up at 2 a.m. to go get them. Well, unless they forgot how to get back to the townhouse...

This is the central area of Baytowne Wharf - there is a public green where they hold free concerts, several boutiques, some restaurants, a carousel, and a zip-line that goes across the pond.


Near one of the entrances, there is a fountain with a plaque that says "Fountain of Youth" - I wanted to jump in, wallow around, and maybe bottle some up to take home, but Gus wouldn't let me. So I'm blaming him if I start to look old.

 

There are a lot of other fountains, too - but none of them claim to be the Fountain of Youth - they're just pretty to look at...


There are lots of little walkways between all of the buildings, and the architecture and landscaping is breathtakingly beautiful. They very thoughtfully placed benches every few feet so that you can stop and enjoy the scenery (or rest your old, decrepit body, if that's the case).


This is one of the restaurants/bars. The restaurant part is called "Graffiti" and the bar/night club side is called "The Funky Blues Shack". It's a neat place and the food is wonderful. It's one of the more reasonably-priced places to eat in Baytowne Wharf. There is a covered deck on the back with outdoor seating - and there is an excellent view of the bay and marina.


At night, everything in Baytowne Wharf is covered in lights. Around 6 p.m., you see the crowds start coming in for dinner - then around 8 p.m., they start coming in for the bars/night clubs. There is live music in all of the bars but one - and that one has a DJ.

You can walk around with an open adult beverage before 10 p.m. (as long as it's in a plastic container) - and they do enforce that rule. But it's fun until 10 p.m.


It's a really nice place to stay (and there is even a huge playground for little ones), but it is a little more on the expensive side. There are definitely more budget-friendly places to stay in Destin. But if you are looking for a little luxury and a lot of convenience, you can't go wrong with Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin.

I hope you enjoyed my vacation pictures! More to come, so stay tuned!