We’ve made the 14+ hour road trip from our home in Texas to the beautiful white powder sand beaches of Florida three times.

We chose to stay just west of Destin in the Fort Walton Beach area.  This area is really nice for families because it is far less crowded that the Destin beaches.  We’d go to the beach every day and encounter less than 20 people in our area.  Everyone had their family with them and everything was very kid/family friendly.  Even during spring break week the beaches were not crowded and clean. There was enough space between for the kids to play and have fun without bothering other beach-goers.

The accommodations in this area are easy to come by.  We always use VRBO.com when we go to this beach town.  You can find a number of 1-2 bedroom condos that are directly on the beach for under $1000 for a full 7 days.  These condos come with a full kitchen so making your own meals to make this trip more affordable is easy.  TIP – Look for a condo that includes beach service.  This is a really nice perk that is available with some rentals.  This service allows you tell someone on the beach your room/condo number and they set up a couple of chairs and an umbrella for you. This makes it easy, because you’ll have enough to carry down to the beach already. This is included with your rental if beach service is listed as a amenity.

Head over to the Publix grocery store and get what you need for a few days at the beach, and a few easy pizza/spaghetti nights.  They also carry a good supply of beach toys for an affordable price as well.  TIP –  you can’t really buy enough bottled water.

When the sun goes down there are several options to entertain you and the family.  Check out your condos closet for the flashlights. Get the flashlights and the sand bucket and head down to the beach for some hermit crab hunting.  This little creatures are white little crabs that run along the beach at night.  The kids have a blast catching, counting them, and releasing them back onto the beach.  Bring a few board games for family game night as well.  Leave Monopoly at home so that everyone remains safe and you receive your damage deposit back when you check out.  TIP – Bring your ROKU/Amazon Fire Stick for movie nights.  Most, if not every, condo comes with free WIFI. Hook up your player for the same Netflix/Amazon Video you have at home.

Packing List:

GoPro Hero 5 – Awesome action camera great for any trip, especially beach/water trips

GoPro Floating Handle – it’s a must in the water obviously because it floats, but also because it wraps around your wrist.

Roku Streaming Stick – we bring one with us on every trip we take.

Amazon Fire Stick – ROKU alternative

Wireless/Water Resistant Speaker – music on the beach, gotta have it.

Sunscreen – Reapply, reapply, reapply

Sun Hat – more sun protection especially for the kids.

Five Queens  – one of our favorite games for game night