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Headed to Destin in July - Looking for Advice and Tips

Jameson Clark

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Well, my summer vacation is booked! Taking the boat and the camper to Destin! Well, we are actually staying at Live Oak Landing in Freeport since all the campgrounds in Destin are so cramped, there was no where to put the boat. Live Oak Landing has a boat ramp and is on the water so it was a good fit!

Camping, Campsites & Campground Florida | Live Oak Landing

Looking for advice on what all to do around the Destin area, especially with the boat! We are, of course, gonna go to crab island a time or two but wanted to hear from some others who have taken boats down there.

Thanks guys!
 

BigAbe75

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Well, my summer vacation is booked! Taking the boat and the camper to Destin! Well, we are actually staying at Live Oak Landing in Freeport since all the campgrounds in Destin are so cramped, there was no where to put the boat. Live Oak Landing has a boat ramp and is on the water so it was a good fit!

Camping, Campsites & Campground Florida | Live Oak Landing

Looking for advice on what all to do around the Destin area, especially with the boat! We are, of course, gonna go to crab island a time or two but wanted to hear from some others who have taken boats down there.

Thanks guys!
You taking 2 tow vehicles? Or, will they launch/retrieve the boat for you? Leaving it on the water for the duration?

I would love to do something like this, but I’m just not willing to launch/retrieve with the motorhome. I’m just sure I’d end up on YouTube lol.
 

Jameson Clark

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You taking 2 tow vehicles? Or, will they launch/retrieve the boat for you? Leaving it on the water for the duration?

I would love to do something like this, but I’m just not willing to launch/retrieve with the motorhome. I’m just sure I’d end up on YouTube lol.
Two tow vehicles. I'm pulling the camper down and the wife is pulling the boat down. They have a boat ramp and we'll be launching/loading it on the days we use it, I won't leave it in the water.
 

AlphaKap

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Pensacola is a bit farther west. I've never boated there but think it would be cool to watch the Blue Angels from the water if they are practicing then.
 

Beachbummer

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The Pensacola air museum is totally worth the trip to Pensacola. I hope to take my boat there one day. We hired one for just a few hours a year ago and it was a blast. You can reach some remote beaches west of ft pickens. It was very cool how pretty and lone the beach was.
 

AlphaKap

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The Pensacola air museum is totally worth the trip to Pensacola. I hope to take my boat there one day. We hired one for just a few hours a year ago and it was a blast. You can reach some remote beaches west of ft pickens. It was very cool how pretty and lone the beach was.
I wish I had spent more time in the museum. Rest of the crew was too burned out after waiting for the show in the summer sun.

The show was best I've seen. I grew up on military bases so every year we saw the thunderbirds or blue angels and always go if they are performing near Atlanta. Just awesome.
 

jb32566

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There's lots of great places that you can boat up to and enjoy. Going from east to west (mostly) I would recommend LuLu's (obviously,) LJ schooners is a tucked in very chill place to hang out, and AJ's on the Bayou is fun and has pretty decent food. My wife likes "The Gulf" restaurant. Juana's is awesome. If you boat all the way to Pensacola, Paradise is my favorite place to stop that far west.

The blue angels show on Pensacola beach is July 13th. Watching the show is from the water is awesome, but pro tip: you can see them practice on Thursday. Friday is the "dress rehearsal" and 3/4 of the other parts of the show also fly.

Another cool place to stop is just south of the Hurlburt runway. Some days there aren't many sortees, but we've been there on days when AC130's, Ospreys, and the U2 are all flying around.

Check this list too:
Stops | Emerald Coast Poker Run
 
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Jameson Clark

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There's lots of great places that you can boat up to and enjoy. Going from east to west (mostly) I would recommend LuLu's (obviously,) LJ schooners is a tucked in very chill place to hang out, and AJ's on the Bayou is fun and has pretty decent food. My wife likes "The Gulf" restaurant. Juana's is awesome. If you boat all the way to Pensacola, Paradise is my favorite place to stop that far west.

The blue angels show on Pensacola beach is July 13th. Watching the show is from the water is awesome, but pro tip: you can see them practice on Thursday. Friday is the "dress rehearsal" and 3/4 of the other parts of the show also fly.

Another cool place to stop is just south of the Hurlburt runway. Some days there aren't many sortees, but we've been there on days when AC130's, Ospreys, and the U2 are all flying around.

Check this list too:
Stops | Emerald Coast Poker Run
Man, that is some really good info! I really appreciate it!!
 

Bennie

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The blue angels show on Pensacola beach is July 13th. Watching the show is from the water is awesome, but pro tip: you can see them practice on Thursday. Friday is the "dress rehearsal" and 3/4 of the other parts of the show also fly.
You guys beat me to it. We've gone every year since we got the boat.
Few more tips: if you take the boat grab a spot as far east as you can to the marker buoy then grab anchor in the 30-40ft water and turn on News Radio 1620AM for a full broadcast and detailed play-by-play description of the air show. Once you can tell they're about to end the show (est one hour after the angles start to fly) pick up anchor and start to idle back home.
If you don't, you'll get caught in a terrible washing machine effect of all the boats leaving at once. Trust me... get a head start.

You're also staying near 30A.. we love that area. Take the family down to "The Hub" for dinner one night. Check their Facebook page and they'll tell you what movie they're playing on their huge outdoor projection screen. The food there is great too. It's a smorgasbord of different food stores and food trucks.... all really good.

Also on 30A is Bruno's pizza... please bring me back a slice. It's sooooo good!
 

Jameson Clark

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Right now, we are planning to pull out and head home on the 13th. Do they always have the "dress rehearsal" on Fridays before the show? I don't wanna miss this for sure and may look into extending another day if necessary!

Also, I'm assuming I would need to find a place close by to launch the boat. Probably a bit far to drive the boat there from where I'm staying. Any input on somewhere to launch?
 

Bennie

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Santa Rosa Island Authority | What’s Happening Blue Angels

This should give you some good dates/times to go by. The ride would be long. I don't know some of the local drops but I will say that we travel by boat from Perdido Bay... about the same distance and just make it a nice long boat day.

By all means --- wear the sun screen!!!
coming from a man that gets burnt every... single.. year
 

jb32566

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Right now, we are planning to pull out and head home on the 13th. Do they always have the "dress rehearsal" on Fridays before the show? I don't wanna miss this for sure and may look into extending another day if necessary!
yes. always.

Also, I'm assuming I would need to find a place close by to launch the boat. Probably a bit far to drive the boat there from where I'm staying. Any input on somewhere to launch?
Navarre is the best. it's 3 lanes wide and there's plenty of parking.

I think Oriole Beach (3165 Linden Ave, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563) is the closest, but parking is extremely limited.

Pretty sure they just refurbished Ross Marler Park, but I have not been there. At least a few of the "cigarette boats" that come for the FPL run launch from there.
 

jb32566

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...
Once you can tell they're about to end the show (est one hour after the angles start to fly) pick up anchor and start to idle back home.
If you don't, you'll get caught in a terrible washing machine effect of all the boats leaving at once. Trust me... get a head start.
...
I don't know what it's called, but watch for the "6 way cross." all 6 of the blue angels will cross in something like a # pattern. That's the end. If you are vigilant, you can pull anchor and be one of the first boats out of the water in Navarre.
 

Stonerok

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The only problem launching from Navarre would be the traffic trying to get over the bridge back to highway 98 after the shows.
 

Bennie

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On "boat show" days we'll leave the show early but stay out till almost dark enjoying the day.
Usually the ramps aren't too busy by then.
Makes a damn long day though. Momma's patience doesn't always make it that long. Lol
 

Jameson Clark

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Santa Rosa Island Authority | What’s Happening Blue Angels

This should give you some good dates/times to go by. The ride would be long. I don't know some of the local drops but I will say that we travel by boat from Perdido Bay... about the same distance and just make it a nice long boat day.

By all means --- wear the sun screen!!!
coming from a man that gets burnt every... single.. year
I certainly don't mind long days on the boat. Any idea how long it would take to get from Oak Island over to where I'd need to be if we just drove the boat the whole way? My only issue is I would want to be back to the dock by dark since I don't know those waters very well.
 

Bennie

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Oak island? I thought you were going to be near Destin?

The only "Oak Island" I know of is Live Oak Island way over in Apalachicola National Forest.
 

Jameson Clark

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Oak island? I thought you were going to be near Destin?

The only "Oak Island" I know of is Live Oak Island way over in Apalachicola National Forest.
I meant Live Oak... my bad. That's the name of the campground.
 

Bennie

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I just plotted it out on Navionics. ... you're looking about an est 65 mile trip from your camp site. That's a long trip bud!!
That being said, over 26 of those miles are just getting from your site to the mouth of the bay. If you found a closer ramp then you'd be set.
Just make damn sure you've got a full tank, and be ready to buy some more liquid gold.

Our trip is over 35mi each way and have had to top it off before on our way back. All depends on the seas. Like I said, it makes for a long day on the boat.... but DAMN is it amazing!!

20180714_143140_1.gif
 

Jameson Clark

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I just plotted it out on Navionics. ... you're looking about an est 65 mile trip from your camp site. That's a long trip bud!!
That being said, over 26 of those miles are just getting from your site to the mouth of the bay. If you found a closer ramp then you'd be set.
Just make damn sure you've got a full tank, and be ready to buy some more liquid gold.

Our trip is over 35mi each way and have had to top it off before on our way back. All depends on the seas. Like I said, it makes for a long day on the boat.... but DAMN is it amazing!!

View attachment 93807
Thanks a ton for the info! We'll definitely find a closer ramp for the day we go to Pensacola!

However, that does give me good info on the distance to crab island area and the Destin Harbor, so thank you for that as well. What are the waters like in the Choctawhatchee bay normally? Big differences depending on wind/weather I assume?
 
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