Florida’s panhandle offers much diversity when choosing the perfect vacation spot for family travel. The area is full of tempting beachside accommodations where the waters are a gorgeous shade of emerald green, the beaches are sugary white, seafood culinary creations are plentiful and activities are on every corner. My family has found so many fun things to do at Mediterranea Resort in Destin, FL and I hope this short guide will lead your family to some beach fun as well.
Newman-Dailey Resort Properties offers many excellent accommodation choices throughout Destin and the South Walton area, depending on your needs, but a crowd pleaser for all is the lovely Mediterranea Resort. Nestled in the less-crowded Miramar Beach area (between Destin and Sandestin), horseshoe-shaped Mediterranea offers spacious two- and three-bedroom condominiums in a low-rise property consisting of only five stories!
Give your family plenty of room to spread out and enjoy all the comforts of home in these expansive units including modern technology with updated televisions and wireless internet, fully-appointed modern kitchens, a full bathroom for each bedroom, washer/dryers, and more. Plus added amenities that you will appreciate such as super large balconies overlooking both the pool and the Gulf of Mexico, a state-of-the-art hot tub located in the pool area, and of course, a great pool! Every property at the beach typically has a pool, so what’s so special about this one? Its unique shape and spacious deck creates an awesome place for sun worshippers to gather and catch some rays. There are plenty of lounge chairs, so no need to worry that you might not have a seat poolside.
This gated resort offers privacy and safety with gate codes, pool access codes and room codes for your added security. Just a few short steps from the pool area, you will cross the street to a gazebo and ultimately, the beach…no long walkways, no bridges with a hundred steps to climb…simply a minute or two walk.
Two of the things I love about booking with Newman-Dailey are their gift cards for area activities (discounts and/or freebies to places your family will love such as Big Kahuna’s Water Park, The Track and the Sea Blaster) and movie rentals, and their seasonal complimentary beach service which includes two beach chairs and an umbrella! Many places charge extra for these services, so this is a terrific value-added amenity in my opinion.
Many families are like mine and enjoy participating in a friendly game of mini golf or riding go karts while on vacation and Destin offers a nice venue for this – The Track Family Recreation Center! The Track is an action-packed, exciting place for families to let loose and enjoy bumper rides, the ultimate go kart track – the Wild Woody – a three-tiered go-kart/coaster ride and more. The Surfin’ Safari mini-golf course features jungle animals and waterfalls, and try the 75-foot plunge from the bungee tower for an adventure with pure adrenaline!
Need a break from the beach? Check out Big Kahuna’s Water Park and use your amenity card from Newman-Dailey. They have lots and lots of water rides, water slides and a lazy river. There are more than 40 rides and attractions to keep your family busy! Purchase tickets online to save some time and be sure and check out discounts for groups and military as well.
The Sea Blaster is a 73’ speedboat known for its sunset dolphin cruises. Use your Newman-Dailey gift card to get one person free with purchase of one (offer subject to change at any time, so verify when booking) and set sail on this custom-built boat running up and down the Destin coast searching for dolphins while enjoying a breath-taking sunset. The Sea Blaster serves complimentary beer, wine and soda on board and offers restroom facilities.
Just about 15 minutes from Mediterranea in Fort Walton, a wonderful treat is waiting at the Gulfarium! A recent renovation has propelled this Marine Adventure Park into a delightful day trip consisting of upgraded exhibits, animal habitats and interactive programming. Don’t miss the dolphin shows and fun turtle encounters. The Gulfarium has concessions on property as well, so no food worries! If you want to check it out, they offer Sunset Camp for kids! They’ll have a great time eating and exploring with marine life while parents enjoy a date night!
Championship golf is available on the Emerald Coast at great courses such as Regatta Bay Golf and Yacht Club. This 18-hole course is rated by Golf Digest in the “Top 200 courses in North Ameirca” and “Top 15 Florida Places to Play.” Regatta Bay sits beautifully on more than 100 acres of protected nature preserve with is Certified by Audubon International as a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System. Again, check your Newman-Dailey gift card for golf discounts on incredible area courses.
Destin is full of dynamic culinary treasures like LuLu’s, Dewey Destin’s and Pompano Joe’s!
Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s Destin offers a fun night out for the whole family with a restaurant, LIVE entertainment, a wonderful gift shop and tons of kids activities like rope climbing, The Fountain of Youth (water toys) and volleyball. Choose from mouth-watering appetizers (the big ole mountain of okra with ranch dipping sauce is my FAVORITE), fresh seafood favorites, a cheeseburger in paradise and delicious desserts! Allergy menus are available and frosty drinks are their specialty. There’s always great food at LuLu’s!
Dewey Destin’s Harborside Restaurant is a local favorite as well as highly-visited by vacationers. This waterfront restaurant is the property of some of the community’s original founders, and is appreciated by all who dine here. The ambiance is as amazing as the food which is SO delicious! Come as you are and feast on appetizers such as crab claws and Jack’s famous scallops. The best fish on the menu is the scamp and you can order it grilled, blackened or fried. Don’t forget the hushpuppies which have a sweet, tasty center…yum! Dewey Destin’s original location on Crab Island is still open for business in addition to this one harborside.
When staying at Mediterranea, you are just steps away from one of Destin’s finest seafood restaurants – Pompano Joe’s Seafood House! You don’t even have to crank the car…it’s that close! Pompano Joe’s is a cool family restaurant located right on the beach. They offer an outdoor bar and the kids can play in the sand while waiting. With a full menu of seafood delights (grilled grouper is amazing), the steak and chicken lover will also find a choice of entrees as well. Don’t skip the key lime pie – it is awesome!
Choosing Mediterranea Resort in Destin, FL
If the slightly slower pace of Destin sounds appealing to you, then take a serious look at Mediterranea. It is a fantastic place to start creating family memories, a beautiful place to call home for a week and is set right in the heart of some of Florida’s most remarkable beaches. The resort’s location at 50 Surf Song Lane, Miramar Beach is close to fun, but away from the crowds. Emerald Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau has tons of information and can help you plan your Destin vacation.
My visit was partially hosted by Newman-Dailey but no compensation was received. Opinions are my own as well as photos.