March 22, 2018

5 Reasons to Visit Sandestin, Florida

Beautiful beaches, family-friendly, and so much more.

Sandestin, Florida

Travel guide time, my friends! It’s been way too long. Indeed, with a rough, unexpected pregnancy, followed by life with a newborn, my travel was restricted for a while. Boy does it feel good to be back on the road, so to speak. What makes travel even more meaningful now is embarking on these adventures with my daughter. Case in point: I recently had the chance to visit Sandestin, Florida courtesy of Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa.

Regarding the destination itself, I wasn’t sure what to expect. While I’ve been to Florida plenty of times, I had never been to this particular part of the state. As it turns out, the trip could not have been better! I was so impressed with everything about both this area of Florida and the hotel itself. You can ask my in-person friends or my work colleagues – I genuinely keep raving about this trip!

So, rather than just recap my trip for you, allow me to put it this way: my top 5 reasons you should visit Sandestin, Florida.

5 Reasons to Visit Sandestin, Florida

1. The beautiful beach

Unequivocally, the beach has to be number one on this list. I was blown away by the beauty of the beaches. In fact, I truly believe these may be the best beaches in the United States!

Really, the sugar white sand is the softest my toes have ever touched. And the turquoise waters are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. It was really special for these beautiful sandy beaches to be the first Elle’s toes touched. And it was equally special that these crystal clear waves were the first to lay upon her.

In case you aren’t too familiar with this area of Florida, Sandestin, while very near to the town of Destin, is distinct and different from Destin. Sandestin is part of the South Walton area of Florida, where these super soft powdery white beaches stretch on for miles and miles!

2. The family-friendly hotel

The Hilton Sandestin could not be more perfect for a family getaway! Without a doubt, this is the premiere hotel in the area.

Let’s start with the rooms themselves. They are huge! When we walked into our room (which, by the way, was a standard guest room), our mouths just about hit the floor when we saw how spacious the room was. Not only was it spacious, but it was so thoughtfully laid out to be functional for a family. For example, as we entered our room, there was a cove carved out with the cutest set of twin bunkbeds. Then, as we proceeded into the room, there were two queen size beds, plus a sofa that pulled out into a bed. Furthermore, the bathroom had two separate sink areas for getting ready. And the room also had family-friendly amenities like a fridge, microwave, and more.

Now, allow me to share insight with my single friends out there. For singles (or really anyone looking to take an “adult” vacation), fear not – this resort is not overrun with kids in a way that would impede your enjoyment of your getaway. In fact, this resort succeeds at providing both a family-friendly environment and a romantic getaway environment. Not an easy balance to strike, but the Hilton Sandestin does it beautifully!

While there are plenty of activities for family and kiddos, there are plenty of activities for adults only. From the luxuriously relaxing Serenity by the Sea spa to the decadent, AAA four-diamond rated Seagar’s steakhouse, there are ample opportunities for you as well.

3. The delicious food

Now that last comment leads me in to my next reason why you need to visit Sandestin… the food! When I first thought of visiting this region, I anticipated eating lots of fresh seafood. And sure there is that aspect to the culinary scene. But there are oh so many more delectable delights!

As I mentioned, since I was there as a guest of the hotel itself, they of course aimed to expose us to all of the various eateries on the property’s premises. And there are some great ones! A few of the great on-campus options:

-the best breakfast buffet at Sandcastles

-relaxed poolside dining at Barefoot’s Bar & Grill

-authentic Japanese cuisine at Hadashi Sushi

-indulgent steak dinner at Seagar’s

Really, the quality of the food, ambience, and overall experience at Seagar’s cannot be over emphasized. My mouth is watering just thinking about this dinner memory! Did I mention we ended the evening with both Grand Marnier soufflé and bananas foster? Yum.

If you are looking to venture outside of the hotel for food and drink, I have a couple strong breakfast recommendations for you:

1. Black Bear Bread Co: this neighborhood eatery in Grayton Beach is ridiculously charming. Besides that, the food is fabulous. And the coffee is some of the best I’ve ever had.

For brunch, be sure to try the breakfast sandwiches and the avocado tartine. And if you, like me, enjoy your coffee on the sweeter side, try their Black Bear latte. It’s so good!

2. Mama Clemenza’s : Italian Mama Clemenza herself could not possibly be more warm and hospitable! She greets and befriends everyone who walks through the doors of her restaurant. She even asked to hold Elle and paraded her throughout the restaurant. Besides that, the food was incredible. I had a variation on eggs benedict with prosciutto and more.

Here’s a funny story as to how we found Mama Clemenza’s… As Mari and I were researching (read: insta stalking) the area prior to our trip, I stumbled upon photos of coffee with the word “mama” written across them! I couldn’t wait to go to Mama’s and get my own “mama” cappuccino.

So, yep, I guess you can say I did it for the gram! And it was well worth it.

4. The endless options of things to do

As mentioned, the Hilton itself offers so many options for playing, relaxing, and eating. But if you yearn for even more adventure, never fear! You are within a short drive / free shuttle trip to so many opportunities.

Maybe you’re a shopper. Maybe you’re a golfer. Maybe you’re a surfer. Maybe you’re a an artist. Whatever you are or hope to be, there’s something for you in the South Walton area of Florida!

Speaking of being an artist, we had the best, most unique experience! We went to The Shard Shop and took an art class. While the instructors guided us on how to properly work with the glass shards, we were also given so much creative freedom to create as we wished. It was such a great reminder for me of the value of creating something with my own hands. Such a high! And I am so pleased with the end result.

5. The ease of visiting

For my fellow Houstonians, you won’t believe how easy it is to get to Sandestin.

The flight is under two hours, and if you’d rather drive and have your car there, it’s just under nine hours in the car, which you can certainly do in a day! However you choose to get there, the fact that we have such a magnificent destination a hop, skip, and a jump away is something to take advantage of, indeed.

The girls

I was lucky to travel with such a great group of girls on the trip. And I’m thrilled to introduce them each to you.

Amanda Miller – Amanda and I have been good friends for a while now, and she shares my business background. She worked in corporate finance for years! You’ll find tons of fashion inspiration along with travel and other lifestyle topics on The Miller Affect.

Ashlee Nichols – Ashlee is a kindergarten teacher turned stay at home mom to two precious girls. We totally hit it off with our shared Texas Panhandle experiences. Her family is adorable and you’ll find endless style, travel, and family inspiration on Little Lovelies.

Lauren Vandifair – Lauren is a mother-to-be living in Dallas. Vandi Fair is full of colorful content in the fashion, travel, and interiors categories.

Sabrina Nooruddin Molu – Sabrina is a witty, sweet gal from Atlanta, and Simply Sabrina is the place you’ll find everything from fashion and travel to inspiration and encouragement.

Jordan Berecz – Another Atlanta girl, Jordan is a stylish teacher turned blogger, and Jordan Berecz is home to tons of fashion and beauty content.

Erica Key – Erica is a recipe and restaurant blogger, and her website Eating with Erica will make you crave your next meal and want to make many of the recipes featured. Besides that, she will keep you rolling with laughter!

It was a joy to spend time getting to know each of these women. They truly are wonderful!

A few more things

Have you been to Sandestin? If so, what do you love most about it? And if not, I hope this inspires you to go! I’ll certainly be going back.

You can see the different outfits I (and Elle!) wore while there by checking out our daily looks here.

Have a great rest of your day and we’ll see you back here tomorrow!


  1. Raven says:

    Yes, yes – to all of the above! We stay in Miramar or Seaside but the whole area is so amazing. So glad you loved it & hope we can coordinate our stays next time! 🙂

    1. Yes, we must cross paths soon! 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *