Sandestin isn’t your typical city. Instead, it’s a resort destination where everything — rentals, hotels, restaurants, golf courses, tennis courts, beach, shopping, nightlife — is all contained within a gated area technically located in Miramar Beach, Florida. The fact that Sandestin is purely a vacation spot, makes this city, located on Florida’s gulf coast, unique and extremely relaxing.
Sandestin has just about every resort-like activity available all within its confines. On the more active side, there’s 15 tennis courts, free bicycle rentals, free kayak and boogie board rentals, parasail rides, a putt-putt course, four golf courses, a trail ropes course, a lazer tag maze, sailing, paddleboards, and more. For those just looking to relax there’s sailing, a dinner cruise, a spa, fishing, and, of course, lots of opportunities to lie out in the sun. When it’s time to refuel, there’s more than 20 restaurants and eateries including private dining outside or in your accommodation, as well as picnic baskets, an oyster house, breakfast spots, and upscale restaurants. Most of these are centered in the Village of Baytowne Wharf area of the town.
Though it would be easy never to leave Sandestin during your stay, for those looking to stretch their legs a bit outside the gated city, there are plenty of options along Florida’s “Emerald Coast.” The Florida Caverns State Park, one of the few areas with dry caves, offers tours of the natural wonders filled with limestone stalactites and stalagmites. The Blackwater River, which flows through Blackwater State Park, is one of the only pristine sand rivers left in the United States, and visitors can rent kayaks for a day to sail up and down it. There is also the nearby Seacrest Wolf Preserve, a natural habitat filled with Grey, Arctic and British Columbian wolves. For those who really want to get out — out of the state that is — Mobile, Alabama, is just over two hours away.
There are four unique neighborhoods within the Sandestin resort. Beachside is —you guessed it — closes to the beach and attractions include lakes, miniature golf, and a basketball court. Bayside is on the other side of the resort, which faces the Choctawhatchee Bay. It’s the quietest area of the resort, with meandering bike lanes and many rentals available. Lakeside is the largest area, in the middle of the resort with an abundance of lakes and also next to the bay. The last area, the Village of Baytowne Wharf is the hub of the entire resort, where the shopping dining, and entertainment is all centered.
Sandestin provides free bike rentals to guests, and though the area is large, it is easy to get place to place by bicycle. The resort also operates a tram service with three routes that loop around the neighborhoods and take visitors to the beach. Trams depart each stop every 30 minutes. Guests who came by car are also welcome to drive around the majority of the resort.
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