Posted on June 13th, 2013
Once again, local Tropical Smoothie Cafés are celebrating National Flip Flop Day. On Friday, June 21st from 2:00-7:00 PM, visitors wearing flip flops receive a free, 24 ounce Jetty Punch. With locations in both Destin Commons and in HarborWalk Village, there is no better place to celebrate the Emerald Coasts’ favorite footwear than at Tropical Smoothie.
Originally started as a way to thank customers for the support and to kick off summer, National Flip Flop Day has evolved into a community fundraiser in support of Camp Sunshine. Since 1984, Camp Sunshine has been providing complimentary vacations at lake Sebago ME for children with terminal illnesses and their families. This completely free vacation allows kids and their families to get away from the stress and pressure of a life filled with hospitals, doctors, and medication. Kids and their families can swim, hike, horseback ride, play games and spend time with their families just enjoying life for a few days. The program provides 24 hour medical care and support and is close to a first rate Emergency Room and Pediatric Hospital if the need arises. Since its inception, Camp Sunshine has hosted more than 40,000 individuals. Camp Sunshine is staffed almost entirely of volunteers, many of whom return year after year to visit with families and friends. Every family is sponsored by an individual, , charity, or civic group, and attend the program at no expense of their own. The cost per family is about $2,000. Tropical Smoothie has raised more than $1.5 million dollars for the charity since it began celebrating National Flip Flop Day, and looks to add another half a million dollars to the total this year.
The Southern Star is no stranger to hosting charities and fundraisers. This year, the Southern Star has held a fundraiser for the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, hosted Leadership Okaloosa, ONE HOPE, and the 2013 Miss Destin candidates. If you’re heading to HarborWalk Village, be sure to head into Tropical Smoothie and support this worthwhile cause. Emerald Coast residents can donate at either store. If you donate $5.00 or more, you receive a key fob which entitles you to 10% off your purchases throughout the year. You can also donate online, or by texting ‘CAMP” to 20222. A $10.00 charge will appear on your next phone bill.
The dress code along the Emerald Coast is usually pretty causal, but be sure to break out your “fancy” flip flops on June 21st for a free Jetty Punch Smoothie and a chance to help kids and their families enjoy a little more sunshine.
Posted on June 11th, 2013
When planning your vacation to the Emerald Coast, we hope that you will make the most of your time here and take advantage of all the family fun activities that Destin has to offer. One must-do while visiting our area is a Dolphin Cruise aboard the Southern Star. We are Destin’s Original Dolphin Cruise and have been serving Destin for 19 years. Our cruise has been featured on CNN and National Geographic, so you are sure to experience something extraordinary and learn about the dolphins native to our area. We are often asked for information regarding our cruises and we hope that the answers to the questions below will help you in planning your time here on the Emerald Coast.
What is the best cruise time? We cruise at 9:00, 12:00, 3:00, and 6:00 Monday-Friday, and 12:00, 3:00 and 6:00 on Saturday. The best time to go is whatever is best for your party. Our cruises last approximately 2 hours, so please make sure to allow plenty of time in your schedule. We offer 4 cruise per day during June, July and early August. The 9:00 cruise is during high tide and the water is very clear and a beautiful emerald green color that is shown in most pictures of our area…This is the reason we are called “The Emerald Coast”. Because the water is so clear during high tide, we can see the dolphin as they swim up to the boat rather than waiting for them to breach the surface. Our 12:00 cruise is also highly desirable because high tide occurs before 3:00pm on most days during the Summer months. Many families with small children tend to prefer the 12:00 cruise because it won’t interfere with the little ones’ nap times. We serve 1/4 lb hot dogs on board, as well as chips, sodas, smoothies and other various snack items, which makes a perfect afternoon light lunch. The 3:00 cruise is often preferred by families who like to eat an earlier dinner because it doesn’t make for such a late evening for the kids. Later in the afternoon, the sun isn’t as strong, and in the early evening and there is a gentle breeze out on the water, which creates a nice and relaxing atmosphere for everyone to kick back and enjoy. Beach-goers tend to enjoy this cruise as it allows ample time at the beach during the morning and early afternoon. The 6:00 cruise is our most popular cruise and books up quickly. The glorious sunset on the water is a perfect way to wind down and end a day on vacation. If you intend to cruise at 6:00pm, we highly recommend calling for reservations at least 48 hours in advance.
When are the dolphins most active? The dolphins are native to our area and are active all throughout the day and they can be observed during every cruise. The number of dolphins and activity we see varies on each cruise, but we have a 98% success rate with dolphin sightings. We typically see them on every cruise.
What will we see through the glass-bottom? Please be advised that the glass-bottom is not the main feature of our cruises. The the viewing area on our boat consists of eight glass panels, unlike that which you will find in the Caribbean, as we sail into the Gulf of Mexico and there are no reef in the area. If we cruise into the Choctawhatchee Bay, various marine life can be observed through the glass panels in our viewing area. Because of the water clarity on our earlier cruises at 9:00am and 12:00pm, we occasionally see schools of bait fish as well as grass beds, and sometimes even sea turtles or stingrays. The dolphins are the main feature of our cruises and can be observed top-side on each of our cruises.
What do you do in the event of bad weather? If the Gulf is rough, we will cruise into protected waters in the Choctawhatchee Bay. In the event of rain, we can still cruise. If there is thunder, lightning, heavy rain and high winds, then we will cancel the cruise and notify everyone with reservations to reschedule.
Do we need reservations? We highly recommend reservations as we are Destin’s Original Dolphin Cruise and we do book up, especially at 9:00am and 6:00pm.
How far in advance do we need to reserve? We take reservations online up to 2 weeks in advance. We normally suggest making reservations upon your arrival into the area, that way you can pick the date and time that works best for your family’s schedule. 48 hours notice is recommended in order to book the cruise time of your choice.
Do we need to arrive early? We ask guests to arrive 45 minutes ahead of departure time. Allow plenty of time for traffic and parking because during the evening time frame, traffic is heavy. Our suggestion is to come early and enjoy the events, activities, shops, and even dine at a restaurant here at HarborWalk Village.
We hope you will find these planning tips useful and use them to make the most of your planning. We look forward to seeing you aboard the Southern Star!
Posted on June 6th, 2013
Summer is in full swing in HarborWalk Village. While The Southern Star sets sail Monday-Saturday, at 9:00 AM, 12:00PM, 3:00PM, and 6:00Pm, there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy before or after your dolphin cruise.
· Just because you are on vacation, your fitness plan doesn’t need to take one. Stay in shape and work off last night’s dinner at Boot Camp, Tuesdays and Thursday mornings or Restore The Core classes on Mondays. These group fitness classes overlook the beautiful Gulf Of Mexico on the Grande Vista Deck at the Emerald Grande.
· Don’t forget about the Pardi Gras parade every Tuesday Night! Join Emerald Coast businesses and organizations for a New Orleans style street party and parade.
· Thursday nights you can celebrate local heroes during the Red White and Blue Celebration at HarborWalk Village. There will be live entertainment, face painting, kid’s crafts, and a flyover by WWII planes. The evening ends with a fireworks display over the harbor.
· Rock the Docks with The Emerald Coast’s favorite party band, Déjà Vu on Saturday nights.
· Join Pirate Pete and the Case of The Missing Fisherman every Sunday evening. This interactive children’s show is presented by the Emerald Coast Theater Company.
· Celebrate Destin’s history and heritage with a Fish Fry in support of the Destin Fishing Museum, Saturday, June 15th from 10:00am-3:00pm.
· Don’t forget about the many restaurants in HarborWalk Village, perfect for a snacks, lunch, dinner, and cocktails.
· Red Snapper season opened June 1st. Book a full or half day charter fishing boat trip with one of the boats at HarborWalk Village Marina, or just head down to the docks in the late afternoon and watch the boats unload their catch
It looks as though the Emerald Coast beaches might be in for some heavy waves and rough conditions over the weekend, so be sure to stay safe and out of the water. There are plenty of things for you and your family to do in HarborWalk Village and aboard both the Buccaneer and the Southern Star. The crew of both the Southern Star and the Buccaneer value you the safety of all our guests, and the experienced captains work hard to minimize the impact of rough weather. While people tend not to enjoy rough seas, much of the marine life seem to enjoy it- so if you can stomach a few rough patches, you’re apt to see lots of dolphin out playing.
Posted on June 6th, 2013
Posted on May 28th, 2013
Five years ago, Chuck Wicks burst on the country scene with his hit single, ‘Stealing Cinderella”. Now under new management, Chuck is releasing his first EP in almost three years, ‘Rough”, and the video for the lead single, “Salt Life” is being shot in and around Destin, the Harbor, and HarborWalk Village this week. Chuck has already made an appearance on Country 98, and is looking forward to shooting in Destin.
The Salt Life, which could be the song of the summer, has a laid back, beach vibe, and was written by Wicks and members of Kenny Chesney’s writing team. In an interview with Billboard.com, Wicks said he just penned the tune as a tribute to summer. The song was then pitched to The Salt Life Company, a lifestyle and apparel company that manufactures and sells beach gear, like sunglasses, beach bags, and T-shirts. Wicks and the company are teaming up to give 20,000 fans a complimentary copy of Rough with the purchase of Salt Life merchandise. Of course, both the single and the EP are available at I tunes now.
After spending a week in Destin and Harbor Walk Village, Chuck is saying than you to the Emerald Coast for it’s hospitality with a free concert at The Emerald Grande on Thursday night. Chuck will also be participating in the first Pardi Gras Parade on Tuesday, May28th in Harbor Walk Village. Be sure to follow both Harbor Walk Village (@HWVDestin) and Chuck Wicks (@ChuckWicksMusic) for updated information and details about the shoot.
Posted on May 28th, 2013
You don’t need to travel to New Orleans in order to experience some “Big Easy” inspired fun. Every Tuesday night, HarborWalk Village on the Historic Destin Harbor transforms itself into New Orleans for a family friendly “Pardi-Gras” parade. Every Tuesday night, beginning at 6:00, you can enjoy jugglers, stilt walkers, live music, hurricanes, and red beans and rice while strolling through the Village. The evening ends with a parade full of colorful floats and the sights and sounds of the Village Brass Band. If you’re looking for beads, be sure to get there early and find a good spot to watch the parade.
During the parade, local businesses will be throwing beads, coupons, cups, T-shirts, and other surprises. Floats are created from golf carts, cars, and boats, and individual businesses are always looking to outshine to competition. Be sure to keep an eye out for pirate treasure, as the crew of our sister ship, The Buccaneer will be part of the parade. According to Maggie Woods, Director of Marketing for Harbor Walk Village, the Pardi Gras floats are very creative and the completion among participants is fierce.
The evening ends with HarborWalk’s “house” band, the Village Brass Band, rocking the main stage and bringing New Orleans style rhythm and blues to Harbor Walk Village. It’s always Fat Tuesday during Pardi Gras, so “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler”
Posted on May 24th, 2013
Posted on May 21st, 2013
Memorial Day Festivities
Celebrate the unofficial start to summer Memorial Day Weekend at HarborWalk Village. After spending some time aboard the Southern Star, join in the fun with full weekend of music, arts and crafts, street performers, as well as a fireworks show on Sunday.
The fun kicks off on Friday, when Departure, the area’s favorite Journey Tribute Band will be rocking the docks with their electric show. They will perform fan favorites, like “Don’t Stop Believing”, ‘Separate Ways” and “Open Arms”. The show begins at 7:00pm. Departure also takes the stage again Saturday night, for an encore performance. This is a family friendly event and there are plenty of activities in and around Harbor Walk Village designed to keep your littlest rockers busy and entertained..
On Sunday night, Louis Prima Jr. and his band, The Witnesses, carry on his father’s legacy as the ‘Original King of Swing”. This high- energy mix of old fashioned swing music and contemporary pop hits will have you Jump, Jive and Wailing for more. A crowd favorite, Louis Prima Jr. And The Witnesses have been entertaining people and caring on his father’s rich legacy all over the country. The Emerald Coast is pleased to welcome him and his show back to Harbor Walk Village for the Memorial Day celebration. Sunday’s festivities will conclude with a fireworks display.
Kick off the summer season style with a dolphin cruise aboard the Southern Star and then an afternoon and evening exploring Harbor Walk Village. From shops and restaurants to live musical performances and watching the evenings catch come in from the charter fishing fleet, there’s always something exciting at HarborWalk Village.
The schedule for Memorial day is :
The Southern Star sails at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 Saturday
The Buccaneer sails at 3:30 and 6:30 on Friday and 12:30, 3:30, 6:30 on Saturday
Departure plays at 7:00 on both Friday and Saturday
Louis Prima Jr. and The Witnesses take the stage at 7:00 Sunday with fireworks taking place later that night
Posted on May 8th, 2013
The crew of the Southern Star is pleased to announce that it is that time once again to celebrate the annual Blessing of the Fleet. The Blessing of the Fleet is held once a year as a way to give thanks and ask God for a bountiful and safe season for those who brave the waters off the coast of the beautiful white beaches of Destin and the surrounding areas. This year, a short tent service will be held on the docks at Destin’s Fishing Fleet Marina, followed by a processional by the Pastors responsible for the blessing service. Following the blessing, there will be a fish fry on the dock. If you are interested in attending the blessing, the service will start on Thursday, May 9th at 4:00pm, followed by the processional, then the fish fry. In addition to the Blessing of the fleet, there will be several other related events beginning with the Blessing of the Families on May 5th and ending with a celebration on May 11th to celebrate the Blessing of the Destin HarborWalk Village.
Posted on April 24th, 2013
Spring is Cobia Season along the Emerald Coast, and anglers and boat captains have been patrolling the shoreline in search of this long, and incredibly powerful fish. Cobia, which can grow to be up to 135 pounds migrate east to west along the sugar white sand beaches of the Florida Panhandle every year. Cobia can be caught by spinning, plug casting, bottom fishing, and trolling. During March and April, you’ll see plenty of Cobia fishing boats trolling along the beach in search of fish, bragging rights, and cash. (more…)