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25 Nov 2022
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Local RecommendationsTravel Tips
It's never too early to start planning your Winter Break vacation, and it just so happens that Christmas time is the most wonderful time of the year on the gorgeous Emerald Coast! If you are looking to break the tradition and give the gift of memories then you should consider spending your holiday by the beach! Accommodations at this time of year are incredibly affordable, there is less traffic, tons of events to get you in the holiday spirit, and the weather is a comfortable 60-70 degrees! 
Compass Resorts offers a huge variety of vacation rental homes and luxury, gulf-front condos, making it easy for you to choose a rental that works best for you and your loved ones this holiday season. Book your stay and experience the gulf coast version of a white Christmas! 
The Destin Boat Parade
The Destin Harbor will be glowing with holiday cheer during the 36th annual Boat Parade this December! This gulf-coast tradition also includes live music and a firework show, so you will not want to miss out on this merry and magical event!
Baytowne Wharf Holiday Events
The Twelve Nights of Lights Festival is a holiday light show that takes place at the Village of Baytowne Wharf. Each show is choreographed to holiday music. This sparkling event will also be featured during their special holiday edition of the Wednesday Night Concert Series. Watch three dazzling shows on the Village tree at 6 pm, 7 pm, and 8 pm every Wednesday!
Holiday on the Harbor
The Destin Harbor will be hosting various events weekly to spread holiday cheer! 
The Olde Holiday Market will typically take place during the first or second week of December and features a festive marketplace, holiday activities, live music, and Visits with Santa! The following weekend, you can join the Destin Harbor and Old Saint Nick for Sounds of the Season! This event offers live performances by the Village Baptist Choir and Emerald Coast Community Band! On Sunday, December 4th, bring your fur babies fpr their turn to get a photo with Santa Paws!
 Ice Skating
What better way to get in the holiday spirit than ice skating?! The Village of Baytowne Wharf annually hosts Baytowne on Ice for the public to enjoy so get your skates ready! The ice rink is open through the month of January with varying hours of operation. Be sure to check this out for a unique and fun holiday memory!  
Beach Photoshoot
The winter months in Destin are one of the best times to enjoy sunrises and sunsets at the beach. With beautiful sand as white as snow and golden skies, this makes for a great photo op! Throw on your favorite Christmas sweater for a festive family photoshoot on the beach to wow all of your friends and family this holiday season. Book your next holiday photo shoot with Ron's Images by The Sea!
Christmas Dinner
Gathering with friends and family for a delicious meal is one of the best parts of the holiday season! Whether you prefer to make your own family recipes from your vacation rental or have them prepared for you, a traditional Christmas meal can be arranged while on vacation here for the holidays! If you choose to prepare your own spread and want to avoid the lines at our local grocery stores, let Destin Grocery Girls do the shopping for you! There also are several restaurants that typically participate in a traditional Christmas meal including:
-Harbor Docks
-The Henderson
-Marina Cafe
-The Crab Trap
-Ruths Chris
-Sealand in Fort Walton Beach 
For reservations and inquiries, we recommend calling the restaurant well in advance.
Christmas Lights
Driving around and looking at Christmas lights is guaranteed to put just about anyone in a holly, jolly mood! There are several neighborhoods along the Emerald Coast that nearly turn into the North Pole for all to enjoy! If you want to get out and enjoy a holiday light display, don’t miss a stroll down “Candy Cane Lane” located on Sea Oats Drive in Destin! This street transforms into a festive, winter wonderland every year for all to enjoy. If you are staying in the Miramar Beach area, then be sure to check out the residential neighborhoods in Baytowne Wharf for some beautiful Christmas lights! For those staying on Okaloosa Island then you won’t want to miss the Northgate Estates Luminaries in Fort Walton Beach, which is only about a 10-minute drive away.
We hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday!