19
Apr
2018
Posted by: In: Adventure

A Pirate’s Life For YOU

Growing up on the Emerald Coast means spending a lot of time at the beach and on the water. If you are anything like us, it also meant dreams of being a pirate, just like the pirates that first explored the Gulf, and sailing the open seas and looking for lost treasure. That dream might not be too far fetched. Well, at least not anymore.

A pirate cruise allows those on board to experience being a pirate for a while, usually about two hours. These cruises provide a unique and family-friendly experience of a lifetime. Once aboard, you can enjoy singing, dancing, and storying telling from the pirate captain. Just like with real pirates, a treasure hunt is likely to happen. Careful though, sword fights and water gun battles have been known to breakout! The entertainment is for the kiddos, but parents and grandparents are encouraged to let loose and have fun as well. All that deck swabbing not really your style? That’s okay, too! You can sit back and just take in all the views the cruise has to offer. The Gulf has a unique and diverse ecosystem, so you just might see a dolphin or hammerhead shark from the deck. While you can forget about the stresses of the modern world, you don’t give up all the modern luxuries while on the cruise. Boats are decked out with restrooms and gift shops.

The Buccaneer is the boat used by the Destin Pirate Cruise company to turn the pirate dreams of kids – and adults! – into a reality. They received Certificates of Excellence from the popular vacation planning website Tripadvisor in 2014 and 2015. If the pirate adventure doesn’t get you, the charity will. The pirate crew of the Buccaneer gives back to the community in a number of ways. They have partnered with a local food bank called Food for Thought as well as more international organizations like OneHope and A.I.M.S. to spread good around the world. Keep that in mind when they snap your picture, as the picture sales support a number of charities.

You can book a seat aboard the Buccaneer by giving them a call 850-269-0896 or by visiting them on their website, destinpirateship.com, and unlock the treasure of your heart. With cruises leaving most days of the week, you’ll easily be able to plan a truly unforgettable trip for you and your family.

19
Apr
2018
Posted by: In: Adventure

How To Find A Good Property Management Company

It’s no surprise that real estate can be a lucrative market. With everyone looking for rentals to make some more money off it, it would be profitable to have a vacation rental in a vacation spot to really reel in the profits, especially during vacation season. But how do you upkeep and manage a vacation rental that may be cities, or states away? Thats where hiring a professional property management agency can come into play to make managing your rental easier. But how do you find the right property manager for your property? Here are some tips in getting the right Destin property management.

 

Finding Referrals

One of the best ways to find a great property manager is by referral from trusted sources. If you know anyone that has a vacation rental in the same town, it may be worth it to contact them to see who their property manager is, and their opinions about them. Another good source for a referral is from the real estate agent that sold you your property to see if they have any good referrals. Be sure to take your referrals to your state’s Real Estate Commission and the Better Business Bureau, and make sure that they are accredited, licensed, and have no outstanding complaints.

 

Meet With Your Prospective Managers

After you consolidate all of your choices down to just prospective managers, it is important to arrange a meeting with each and every manager to gather a first impression. First impressions are everything in today’s world, because with so many options to choose from, why choose the one with the worse first impression? And if the first impression doesn’t go well, you can also continue to expect the same results. It is important to also see the manager from a prospective tenant’s point of view, as the manager will serve as the point of contact to the tenant.

 

Get An Idea of How the Manager Will Advertise Your Property

To make profit on the property, you need to have someone who will effectively and efficiently advertise your property. Knowing all their tactics and how they do it will be key in your decision, from how they advertise, where they advertise, and what they advertise. You should know if they are going to place your property’s information online, in the newspaper, or any other media, online with whether or not they will put a sign in the front yard and what the sign will look like, and any other advertising related questions you may have.

 

Take A Look At All the Paperwork

Make sure you take a look at, fully understand, and evaluate all of the paperwork for both the contract between you and the property manager, and also the property manager to prospective tenants. Make sure that the lease details all what is expected by both the property manager and the tenants that will be staying in the lease.

 

After you have reviewed everything you need to, you can pick a great property manager, and start raking in some real estate money.

18
Apr
2018
Posted by: In: Adventure

Why You Should Go Inshore Fishing On Your Next Vacation

Florida’s Gulf Coast offers some of the best fishing spots in the country, with Destin inshore fishing being extremely popular among locals and tourist who flock to the emerald waters specifically for fishing. Today, we are going to take a look at what inshore fishing is and what makes Destin inshore fishing so special.

Inshore fishing is fishing in sight of land – or on land in some cases – in water up to 30 meters deep. Another good rule of thumb is if you are more than 9 miles out, you are now offshore fishing. Because fishermen are closer to the shore, the waters are significantly more calm. This means the boat required doesn’t need to be as powerful. Popular inshore fishing vessels include small cabin cruisers, dinghys, and even kayaks. These smaller boats use less power and less fuel – if they use fuel at all.

The benefits of inshore fishing extend beyond the boat, though. Even with significant seasonal changes, inshore fishing remains consistent year round. In terms of gear, the rods and reels needed for inshore fishing are less expensive, because they don’t need to pull in larger fish, like tuna or billfish. The tackle is also lighter. Offshore fishing often requires pricey equipment like chirp sonar and open radar; inshore fishing usually needs a standard GPS and occasionally a fish tracker, but they aren’t considered a necessity. Being closer to the shore also means less time getting to a location and more time fishing. It can take hours or overnight to reach an offshore fishing location, burning time and fuel.

Destin has been called the luckiest fishing village and the billfish capital of the gulf, and those are nicknames it lives up to. Geographical features like artificial reefs, diverse limestone structures, and proximity to the Desoto Canyon encourages a wide variety of fish – such as snapper, amberjack, and triggerfish – to breed in the area. The perfect example of this is Another reason Destin is perfect for inshore fishing is the history. While that might sound strange, the history of Destin as a fishing village meant the natural resources were respected and cared for, preserving the ocean ecosystem for many generations to come. Fishing is frequently enjoyed by locals, meaning boat and charter companies are operated by experienced fishermen who know the waters perfectly.

If this article has got you ready to head out to the beach, but you don’t have gear or a boat, don’t worry! Backcountry Outfitters is the oldest and largest inshore fishing charter company in Destin. If you are interested in booking a charter, give them a call at 850-654-5566. You can also visit them online at backcountryoutfittersdestin.com.

18
Apr
2018
Posted by: In: Adventure

How Intelligent Are Dolphins?

Dolphins are very intelligent creatures. Many tests have been performed on dolphins to find out just how intelligent they can really be. There’s more to these amazing animals than just jumping out of the water and maybe through a hoop. Check out some examples and reasons why dolphins are so intelligent in this article.

 

A dolphin being researched on in Mississippi, at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, has been found to have been training humans, and not the other way around. But how is this possible? As away to help train the dolphins, and as a way to help keep the pools clean, dolphins are taught to pick up any debris, litter, or garbage inside the pool and bring it to the trainers, where they would then be awarded a fish for every piece they bring in. curiously, however, one dolphin in particular found a loophole. When the dolphin found a piece of paper in the pool, it would rush down to the bottom and find a rock, place the paper under the rock, rip off a chunk of paper, and give it back to the humans. The interesting concept here is that the dolphin no matter the size of the litter that was returned, the reward was always the same, and the dolphin started to capitalize on this method to gain more fish. The ingenious behavior didn’t stop there. One day, a gull had flown into the pool where this particular dolphin was residing in, and the dolphin caught the gull and waited for trainers to turn it in. Upon delivery of the gull to trainers, the trainers rewarded this dolphin with many fish, which the dolphin enjoyed- all but one. The last fish, the dolphin had hidden down in the rocks and waited for the perfect moment, where the dolphin would retrieve the fish and use it to lure gulls in to catch them for the big reward. This dolphin caught her calf how to use this method, who in turn taught other calves to really capitalize on fish. This method, along with the communication, shows that dolphins are indeed intelligent and craft species, able to use reason to some extent to capitalize and profit in certain scenarios.

 

In some circles, an animal’s ability to be self aware is a sign of intelligence. Although self awareness is not scientifically defined, it is thought to be the beginning to advanced brain processes, such as thinking about thinking, that humans possess. To test for self awareness, a mirror test is used. The mirror test has researchers mark and animal with temporary dye and a mirror is put in front of them to see if they exhibit any signs of self recognition. With dolphins, it is difficult to tell if their behavior with the mirror indicates social behavior or self recognition, but a study in the mid-90’s concluded that dolphins are in fact self aware and have passed the mirror test.

 

Dolphins are truly amazing creatures, impressing researchers with their intellect every day. Take a dolphin cruise Destin has to offer, to see dolphins in the wild and how they use their social behavior to live together and show off to humans!

17
Apr
2018
Posted by: In: Adventure

A Walk Through the History of DeFuniak Springs

DeFuniak Springs is a town with a long and eventful history, and the town still retains some of its historic values today, making it a popular vacation spot of history aficionados. Not much is documentented before the year of 1881, when the Florida State Legislature the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad, but DeFuniak Springs is known to be the home of Native Americans before this time. After setting out from Pensacola, a survey crew stopped by an open area with a large, round lake. The survey crewed camped on the shores of this lake, and the leader of the group, W.D. Chipley, decided that the spot would make for a lovely town and that the trees should not but cut, but that the train would actually make a stop at this soon to be town. It was at this point that the town had officially been named Lake DeFuniak after the president of the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad, but the name would soon change to what we know it as today, DeFuniak Springs.

 

Chipley and a few of his associates worked to turn the undeveloped area into a small railroad stop, and then worked to turn the stop into a small but cozy town. To begin growing the railroad stop into the town we know today, Chipley and his associates began selling real estate in hopes to grow the town in both businesses and in population. One of the associates was able to meet with the leaders of Chautauqua, and he returned to DeFuniak Springs to assemble the Florida Chautauqua Association, where it would operate and keep its doors open for more than fifty years, and do its part in helping grown the town. During the time that the Florida Chautauqua Association stayed open, a free college to educate teachers operated in DeFuniak Springs, drawing in teachers and educators to get their degrees and start teaching at schools. McCormick University was also built in DeFuniak Springs, until a hurricane tragically destroyed the building and it was rebuilt elsewhere. Palmer College also had opened in DeFuniak springs for 29 years. With many other schools coming to fruition at this time, including the Florida Teachers Association, DeFuniak Springs was known as the center for education in the south.

 

Florida’s very first Arbor Day celebration happened in DeFuniak Springs, were members of the community planted trees upon the shore of Lake DeFuniak, back in 1885. It is even believed that some of the trees that were planted on that Arbor day many years ago still stand tall today.

 

The town of DeFuniak Springs has had a colorful and rich history, and many of the buildings retain their classic, vintage look today. To experience the history of DeFuniak, stay in a beautiful DeFuniak Hotel to not only learn about history, but to fully experience it, too.

17
Apr
2018
Posted by: In: Adventure

Destin Summer Events

Summer is right around the corner, and it’s already shaping up to be a fun season! Destin is the home to many annual events that both locals and travelers mark their calendars for. From music events, to wine festivals, to food celebrations, there is plenty to experience in Destin and make a tradition to come back for. Here are just a few of the events you can look forward to in Destin during the summer season.

 

The South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival

Great wine or great food is always, but nothing beat pairing them together. Hosted towards the end of April, this delicious festival combines an enormous assortment of over eight hundred wines on on its Grand Tasting event on Saturday. There is, however, still wine tasting and pairing delicious culinary masterpieces all throughout the weekend, and live music from national artists will attend to provide entertainment. Also taking place during the event is tasting seminars, Champagne Lane tastings, Spirits Row, chef demos, and so much more.

All of this will be held at the Grand Boulevard in Destin.

 

Digital Graffiti Festival

This festival is a festival like no other. Graffiti artists are known for their style and their artwork,, but because it is defacing property, and typically done in public where people pass by often, it is banned and illegal to do. So for one unique festival, artists are allowed to digitally project and display their artwork onto the pristine white and iconic walls of Alys Beach, creating a wonderful display of art without the need to permanently paint the building. The three day festival has gone on for more than a decade, and is a must attend, as the art is gone when the projectors turn off! This festival is great for those that are keen fans of art, technology, and architecture.

 

Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic

Returning to the Emerald Coast for more than a decade and a half is this amazing festival for the most amazing fishermen, the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic. The Blue Marlin is a beast of a fish, found more than twenty miles off shore and weighing in the thousands of pounds. The festival takes place nearing the end of June, which is when Blue Marlin season reaches its peak. There are many awards given during this event, but it’s ever anglers to reel in the big one.

 

Annual Paddle At the Porch

Join Destin at The Back Porch and Oyster Bar for an exciting paddleboard race on the beautiful emerald waters! There are four races taking place, a one mile for beginners, a three mile for recreational, a six mile for elites, and a kid’s race for fun!

 

Even if you are just coming to Destin for some beach time, you won’t be disappointed. Find your Destin vacation rental and start planning your next vacation today!

17
Apr
2018
Posted by: In: Adventure

Fishing with the 100 Proof Charters Crew

To locals and visitors alike, few things beat fishing in the beautiful emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Destin has some of the luckiest waters of all. You can catch everything from mackerel and snapper to trophy fish, like swordfish and wahoo. Fishing can be a little daunting though. You need all that specialized gear, a boat and someone that knows how to drive it, plus knowledge of weather patterns. That’s were 100 Proof Charters comes in. 100 Proof Charters has been locally owned and operated since 1996 and has become a favorite. From rods to tackle and of course a boat, they provide all the gear you will need so you can focus on having a good time. All you need to bring is yourself, friends and family, and a smile. Don’t let the name fool you, we offer a family friendly environment that you can bring the whole family along to catch some incredible catches and forge some great, long lasting memories.

Inshore fishing is the most popular when it comes to fishing charter trips. On these trips – usually ranging from 4 to 16 hours – fishers will have the best luck with fish like snapper, trigger, and mackerel, but though you might get lucky and see some wahoo. Want a challenge? You can also enjoy catch and release fishing of sharks ranging from an average of 75 to 150 pounds! If you want to bring the whole family along for this unforgettable, that is not a problem! 100 Proof Charters are U.S. Coast Guard approved for up to 22 passengers.

Are you a more experienced fisherman looking for something further offshore? 100 Proof offers some of the best deep sea fishing Destin has to offer. You can book all day fishing marathons, ranging from 24 to 48 hours. These trips take you between 70 to 100 miles offshore and are ideal for trophy fishing. Marlin, amberjack, and tuna, oh my! The 100 Proof Charter Boat sleeps ten passengers, so don’t worry when booking your overnight trips.

The northern red snapper is world famous and a highly sought after game fish. With tips on what kind of bait to use, and where schools like to hang out, the experts at 100 Proof can help you snag this challenging, aggressive fish when it is in season with special Red Snapper charters.

Whether it’s a short inshore trip with the grandkids, a two day fishing marathon or seasonal red snapper fishing, you will make lasting memories aboard a 100 Proof fishing charter. Ready to reel in the next big one? Just have questions about 100 Proof Charters? You can visit them online at destincharterfishing.org or give them a call at 850-259-7343.