The beach is my happy place. Whenever I am craving some fun or need a couple of days to unwind and relax, the beach is where I want to be. The beach also happens to be my family’s favorite family vacation destination. Finding the perfect beach getaway that caters to both kids and parents can be a little tricky. I recently discovered Hilton Sandestin Resort and think it’s the perfect place to plan your family’s next dream beach vacation. Thanks to Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa for hosting my recent beach vacation.
Summer is fast approaching and it’s time to start thinking about planning a family vacation. Hilton Sandestin Resort on Florida’s Emerald Coast is a great option. Read on to see why.
Hilton Sandestin is a full-service resort & beachfront hotel, situated on a mile-long stretch of beach along N.W. Florida’s Gulf Coast. Sandestin is among the famed beaches of South Walton, Florida The beautiful beach is a perfect example of why this area is know as the Emerald Coast. The beaches on the Emerald Coast are known to be some of the most beautiful in the world. The emerald green water of the Gulf of Mexico in this area is warm and clear thanks to shallow beaches, and the sugary white sand is incredibly soft. The long stretch of private beach at Hiltson Sandestin Beach on Miramar Beach is uncrowded and pristine. Perfect for a summer getaway.
Living between Augusta and Atlanta, Georgia, I am lucky to be just a few hours away from some wonderful beaches. The seven hour drive to Hilton Sandestin is completely worth it. You can also easily fly in to the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport and take a shuttle to the resort. What’s perfect is that you can park the car and never leave the resort for the duration of your stay. Hilton Sandestin has plenty of restaurants and activities. You’ll never want to leave.
The highlight of any beach vacation is the beach. Hilton Sandestin Resort has that in spades. I grew up in Central Florida and am no stranger to the beach, but have to say that Sandestin beach is far superior to what I grew up around. The white sand is incredibly soft. You don’t have to worry about cutting your feet on shells. The water is beautiful and rather calm, perfect for children. Hilton Sandestin has a private beach, so you don’t have to worry about crowds.
One of the things I love is that you don’t have to worry about beach towels. Just grab your complimentary towels by the pool and head down to the beach. For an additional fee you can rent an umbrella and 2 chairs on the beach. I recommend reserving in advance. It’s easy to do, and you can even reserve when you make your reservation.
Anytime you go on vacation with the family, being able to spread out and relax is important. I stayed in a Junior Deluxe Suite in the Emerald Tower and it provided plenty of space. My suite had two queen beds, a large sitting area with a sleeper sofa and ottoman, a table with chairs, and an alcove with two bunk beds and its own television.
Each Junior Deluxe Suite has an ocean view or partial ocean view. We had a spectacular ocean view. It was so nice to spend each morning and night sitting out on the balcony.
The bathroom had a separate dressing area with its own vanity. Having that extra sink is great for larger families. The Junior Deluxe Suite also came equipped with a mini fridge, microwave and wet bar. A large flat screen LCD television was perfect for watching movies at night. You’ll also get wifi and the room has a lot of electrical outlets which is important for families with teens. It also included all of the basic amenities you would expect from a high end resort.
The little alcove with bunk beds is so great for kids. It’s such a fun little hideaway. Kids also get their own state-of-the-art media center, perfect for playing games and watching movies. Although I didn’t have any kids with me on this trip, I couldn’t resist crawling into the bottom bunk myself with a book.
Hilton Sandestin Resort has so many on-site options when it comes to meal time. This is one of my favorite features of the resort. The food is very good and I love that you don’t have to leave to get meals. There are 7 different restaurants and cafes to choose from. The Sandcastles Restaurant, the resorts main restaurant inside, has an incredible breakfast buffet complete with an omelet station with tons of fixings.
They also have a fantastic dinner menu. Entrees include the likes of Mahi Mahi, crab cakes and filet mignon. My group enjoyed a special tasting menu one night, allowing me to sample a variety of dishes offered at the restaurant, and every single thing I ate was delicious.
Also indoors you will find the Hadashi Sushi Bar with a lounge area, located near the lobby. Adjacent to the Hadashi Sushi Bar is the Sandcastles Lounge where you can grab a drink with friends. Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, the areas only AAA Four-Diamond Restaurant, offers fresh seafood and USDA Prime Black Diamond steaks. Is your mouth watering yet?
The Coffee Shop offers Starbucks coffee, bakery treats and breakfast sandwiches. A grab-and-go sandwich, salad and ice cream are a few of the things you’ll find at Picnix Market – conveniently located by the main pool.
Outside you will also find my favorite place to eat at Hilton Sandestin. Barefoot’s Beachside Bar & Grill has a lovely view of the Gulf of Mexico and offers things like hamburgers, fish tacos and nachos. I personally recommend the blackened fish tacos and nachos. My sister who joined me on this trip has a gluten allergy. We were thrilled to learn that many gluten-free options are available at no additional cost. This is also available through room-service.
The resort has 3 pools, one is indoors, and the 2 outside are heated during the winter months. If you want a day by the pool, you have the option to rent a cabana for shade. You’ll have the cabana with comfy chairs to sit in all day as well as a private server. There are also 2 hot tubs. If you don’t want to splurge for a cabana, all of the pools have plenty of first come first serve lounge chairs.
There is a very large deck area overlooking the beach with plenty of lounge chairs for sunbathing. I could spend the whole day out there.
Serenity Spa and Fitness Center
One of my favorite things to do on vacation is indulge in a spa treatment. The Serenity Spa is just the place to do that. The full service spa offers pretty much any spa service you can think of. There are are relaxing places to lounge before and after your spa treatments, even a large whirlpool for the ultimate relaxation. Hilton Sandestin treated me to an oh-so wonderful aromastone massage. It was amazing. I felt great for days afterwards. Men’s services are available in their own private section of the spa.
A large and well equipped fitness center is available 24/7 to guests ages 16 and up. It features separate lounges for men and women, and offers lockers, whirlpools, saunas and steam rooms. I only peaked into the fitness area. I’m not one to spend my vacation in the gym. I’m more of a beach and umbrella drink kind of gal.
Kids Krew and Kids Night Out
The Kids Krew and Kids Night Out programs help make Hilton Sandestin Resort one of the very best family vacation destinations. As a single mom, it was programs like this that saved my sanity on family vacations. Both the Kids Krew and Kids Night Out programs are available for kids ages 5-12 and both programs are perfect for giving parents some quiet time on the beach or a chance to go biking or kayaking.
Kids Krew is offered from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Children must be registered by 8:30 a.m. and cancellations must be made by 7:30 a.m. The cost is $50 for the first child, and $40 for each additional child. Kids Night Out activities run from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The $50 charge includes dinner and a t-shirt.
The Kids Krew room is filled with loads of fun. Art supplies, toys, games, TVs and video games will keep children happy for hours. There are plenty of outdoor activities too like kit flying, sand castle building, water balloon and squirt gun fun, and more. Kid Night Out activities include pirate parades, pajama parties with pillow fights, searching for star constellations, secret agent training, roasting marshmallows for s’mores and so much more.
Plenty of Activities
There is so much to do at Hilton Sandestin. If relaxing poolside or on the beach isn’t your thing, there re plenty of other activities like hiking, biking and kayaking. Pontoon boat rentals, wave runners and parasailing are easily accessible from the resort. You can even head to the nearby marina for a dolphin watch cruise.
Guests at Hilton Sandestin Beach have full access to four award-winning, championship golf courses, a putting course, 15 tennis courts and bike rentals at Sandestin. Nearby Baytowne Marina offers bay, beach and gulf fishing charters, as well as boat rentals. There are plenty of restaurants and shopping nearby too.
I highly recommend Hilton Sandestin Resort for your next beach family vacation. One of the many things I love about this resort is how accommodating it is for both families and those seeking an adult-only getaways. You are sure to have a wonderful time with or without the kids. I’m already working on planning my next visit!