Do you ever get nostalgic when social media so kindly reminds you of the good old days spent vacationing with your friends? Fast forward to today, and you may be like many others and find it hard to round up your squad for a weekend getaway like you use to do. This is especially true if there’s distance involved, jobs, families, and other responsibilities that now consume your day to day life. But, with summer upon us, don’t you think it’s time to take a break from mediocre weekends, rally your squad, and sink your toes in the sugar-white sand of the Emerald Coast?
It’s no question that South Walton is the quintessential family vacation, but it’s also the perfect destination for a weekend girls’ getaway. Not only does it offer the laidback, relaxing beach town vibe, but also fun and unique experiences that are even Instagram worthy.
To kick your day off, start with brunch at Great Southern Cafe located in Seaside, a cute coastal town made famous by The Truman Show in the late ’90s. Great Southern Cafe is located in the epicenter of the Seaside Town Square and boasts front porch style dining and southern cooking infused with flavors from around the world. Using local produce from nearby farms and fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, it’s the only spot where you can get Chef Jim Shirley’s famous Grits A’ Ya Ya. From beignets and coffee to a Bloody Mary and a fried green tomato benedict, you and the girls are sure to have a great time at Great Southern Cafe.
Local favorite for over 20 years, Vin’tij Food & Wine is known for their fresh approach to seafood, creative menus, and an impressive wine list that pairs perfectly with the eclectic, unpretentious and comfortable dining environment. Vin’tij Food & Wine is your squad’s one-stop-shop for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including house-made cold-pressed juices and superfoods. Their menu will undoubtedly satisfy even the toughest foodie in your squad.
Emeril’s Coastal Italian is the first of Chef Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants in Northwest Florida and combines the rich and diverse traditions of Italian cuisine with fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico and other local ingredients. The majority of the menu features small plates that are perfect for sharing before a night on the town, but it’s the desserts that keep us coming back for more. The Olive Oil Cake is to die for, but we suggest trying them all. Besides, there are no calories on vacation, right?!
Beer isn’t just for the boys, and Grayton Beer Company has something on tap that will quench anyone’s palate. Grayton Beer Company is a local brewery that makes a variety of beers to complement the local area, such as the 30A Beach Blonde Ale. The brewery itself is located right here in South Walton, and they’ll even take your squad on a tour. It’s also common to find local bands playing in their taproom and friends hanging out with a pint or even a flight of beers. Once you’re hooked on a favorite brew, head over to their restaurant in Grayton Beach and pair it with one of their delicious dishes.
If beer isn’t quite your thing, The Wine Bar at Grand Boulevard is sure to be a pleaser. The Wine Bar is located in the very back of Chan’s Wine World and is one of South Walton’s more cosmopolitan hangouts. In addition to its excellent and extensive wine selection, it also features a beautiful full bar and a gourmet late night menu.
Everyone knows that girls just want to have fun, and hitting up the South Walton nightlife is a must for any visiting squad. From eclectic local bands sprinkled across the quaint beach towns to a New Orleans-esque dance club, a night out in South Walton is an experience within itself.
Aj’s Grayton Beach should certainly be at the top of your list as a must visit nightlife spot. With its eclectic beach vibes, a local hometown flavor, and live music nightly, AJ’s Grayton Beach is a favorite spot for locals and visitors. It’s also one of the only late-night venues along 30A. If you’d prefer to dance the night away, John Wehner’s Village Door located in the Village of Baytowne Wharf in the Sandestin Resort is your place to go. Featuring free drinks and live music every weekend, it’s no surprise that The Village Door was voted “Best in Destin” and “Best Place to Dance on the Emerald Coast.” While at the Village of Baytowne Wharf, make sure to also stop in Rum Runners to sing, dance, and laugh along with their dueling piano show.
South Walton is also the ultimate place for retail therapy. Silver Sands Premium Outlets is the premier shopping destinations along Northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast. With over 100 designer and name-brand outlet stores including Coach, Kate Spade New York, and Michael Kors, there’s something for even the biggest fashionista in the squad. This beautiful outdoor mall also offers a variety of dining options from sit down venues to grab-and-go options so that you can make a day out of your shopping adventure.
Want to experience South Walton with your girls in an entirely new way? Then try Eventure Tour Co. located in Watercolor. Eventure Tour Co. is the first of its kind in South Walton. Their electric bike tours flow through South Walton and the 30A area with the most fun you’ll have on two wheels. They offer a variety of tours such as the South Walton Foodie and Artist Tours, and since each bike features pedal assist and throttle, your ride is never too hot, never too far, and always full of fun.,
Finding the perfect place to stay for your girls’ weekend getaway can be one of the most challenging tasks. With so many options, one of the most important aspects to consider is location, location, location. Courtyard by Marriott Sandestin at Grand Boulevard is perfectly situated to provide convenient access to premier shopping and dining destinations such as Silver Sands Premium Outlets and Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, lively nightlife at the Village of Baytowne Wharf, the beautiful beach towns along 30A, and the sugar-white sand beaches of the Emerald Coast. In addition to its ideal location, Courtyard Sandestin features an on-site restaurant, The Bistro, to help you fuel up your day with breakfast and relax with a handcrafted cocktail in the evening. You and your squad can also stay on top of your fitness game with Courtyard Sandestin’s 24-hour fitness center.
Want to win a 2-night Stay, Shop, & Save Package for two that’s perfect for a girls’ weekend getaway? Visit our Facebook page for more information and to enter to win. Contest ends on May 30th at 11:59PM CST. The lucky shopaholic will be announced on May 31st at 10AM CST.