Top 5 Reasons to Visit Florida’s Emerald Coast this Thanksgiving

Posted by on

It’s almost Thanksgiving – we know, we know, where did the year go? But, for some of us, Thanksgiving means four or even five days off from work. What could be better than spending those days stretched out on the sugar white sand beaches of Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island?

Nothing, in our opinion, could beat that, especially before the crazy holiday season kicks off. But, if you need a little extra convincing, here’s our top 5 reasons to vacation to the Emerald Coast this Thanksgiving holiday.

5.) A New Spin on Old Traditions

Kick off the holiday season with a great meal, but also the arrival of the Christmas season. Enjoy a new spin on old traditions as you partake in the arrival of Santa and the lighting of the giant Christmas tree at Destin Commons, all done with a little beachy flare! You will find so much to do during a Thanksgiving weekend vacation, from shopping on Black Friday to visiting with Santa at his beachfront cottage. Be sure to ask him to bring you a return trip to the Emerald Coast!

4.) Delicious Dinner Options

Being on vacation in Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island doesn’t have to mean missing out on turkey and all the fixings. There are several fantastic dining options available to enjoy on turkey day.

We recommend checking out the menu at Emerald Grande’s Grande Vista restaurant or Brotula’s buffet to enjoy a chef prepared meal with a wonderful view. To dine deliciously for a good cause, consider visiting Harbor Docks restaurant where volunteers prepare a traditional meal, available for lunch or dinner, and it’s completely free to enjoy. Yes, free. Tips are encouraged, as all proceeds benefit wonderful local charities such as Destin’s Harvest House.

In Fort Walton Beach, make your reservations at Sealand for a scrumptious evening meal. The best part of Thanksgiving at an Emerald Coast restaurant? You’ll get to enjoy your bird with a side of Gulf-to-Table seafood! Oh, and someone else does the dishes.

Do you prefer to go on vacation but also enjoy your homecooked favorites? No problem. Choose a vacation rental in Destin or Okaloosa Island, as most are outfitted with full kitchens and come stocked with basic cookware, ideal for preparing your Thanksgiving feast just the way you like it.

3.) Deals, Deals, Deals

With Thanksgiving comes the kick off to holiday shopping season. Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island offer a little something to suit every taste and budget on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

On Black Friday, line up outside the incredible stores in Destin, such as the Destin Commons. Whether searching for clothes, toys or just looking to digest during an afternoon matinee, this open-air shopping center will please the entire family. Destin also offers shopping at popular deal spots such as Best Buy and Target.

Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift this holiday season? The boutique stores of downtown Fort Walton Beach and the booths of the antique district are where you need to be this Small Business Saturday. Great finds and wonderful people await you at these locally owned and operated shops.

2.) Low Rates on Incredible Views

Speaking of deals, you will certainly score one on your accommodations when you visit for Thanksgiving. There seems to be some idea floating around that November is not a good time to visit the beach because it’s…cold? We think the word is ‘cold’, but we aren’t very familiar with the concept, especially at Thanksgiving.

See, temperatures in Northwest Florida stay balmy nearly year-round. Because of this whole idea that November is chilly and “not good beach weather”, however, rates on local hotels, condos and beach homes are typically at their lowest. This means you can score an incredible view and great amenities for Thanksgiving at a price half that of what you would pay in the summer.

So, book your accommodations deal now and pack your shorts.

1.) Balmy Breezes & Beach Days

No, really, we mean pack your shorts. And, your flip flops and bathing suits. Temperatures during the Thanksgiving weekend typically fall in the low to mid-70’s, ideal for lazing on the sand after a full morning shopping, taking a spin on a dolphin cruise or wandering the docks of the Destin Harbor. While we can’t guarantee sunshine, we can assure you a great time is waiting for you during a Thanksgiving weekend vacation on the Emerald Coast.