Destin, Florida has it all!

Destin is an all-encompassing destination spot located on the Emerald Coast of Florida. Destin is also referred to as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” as it has the largest fishing vessel in Florida.

Attractions and activities in Destin include high-end shopping and dining, golfing, fishing, boating, water-sports, renowned beaches, forests, scenic state parks that are perfect for hiking, Broadway shows and well-known art galleries. This beautiful city truly has something for everyone!

Destin has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world with crystal clear water and white sand. The emerald green surf of the Gulf of Mexico is breathtakingly gorgeous and it is bordered by Destin’s beautiful beaches. There are fourteen gorgeous beach communities on this wonderful vacation spot and an abundance of water-related activities offered, including fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and boating.

There is a magnificent festival called Autumn Tides in South Walton, which is just ten miles away from Destin. This festival takes place on the beaches of South Walton and it offers a music concerts, art galleries, wine tasting, nature and cultural events, theatre, and film presentations. It is the perfect way to experience the uniqueness and beauty of the beaches around Destin!

In addition to the beaches, Destin offers a host of activities and attractions. The Gulfarium is a renowned marine park just across the bridge from Destin that has live marine shows and an enjoyable dolphin interaction program. Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park has over 40 exciting water activities including body fumes, speed slides and the world’s biggest man-made waterfall. This park is enjoyable both for the family and for couples.

Golf is very prevalent in Destin; the city has some of the best golf courses in the country including the Emerald Bay Golf Course with its three large, tropical mini-golf courses.

You ought to visit the Indian Temple Mound Museum which displays the lives of Native Americans that lived in that area 10,000 years ago. The preserved temple mound was used for political and religious ceremonies; it is an amazing site that is a must-see for everyone.

Destin also has amazing shopping malls including Alvin’s Island Tropical Department Stores and Silver Sands Factory Stores. These malls have pretty much any store that you can think of!

Finally, Destin is also known for its world-class dining; some of the restaurants in this city are nationally rated. There is a wide range of restaurants and cuisines to choose from.

Destin is truly an extremely exciting and versatile city that has something for everyone!

At the Beach: West Beach ’09 Music & Arts Festival

WHO: All of your favorite artists preforming over one weekend – including Steel Pulse, Ozomatli, Donavon Frankenreiter, Ben Harper, G. Love & Special Sauce, Slightly Stoopid & Pepper!

WHAT: A 100% on-the-beach music festival with 4 stages and over 50 sets to be played!  Tickets range from $30 – $50 depending on the day, or $115 for a 3 day pass.

WHERE: It’s all taking place right smack dab on West Beach, in between Stearn’s wharf and the beautiful harbor!

WHEN: This weekend – September 18, 19 & 20.  The first bands kick off Friday @ 3pm.

WHY: Great music, cold beer and a hot beach…why not?!

Now in its 3rd year, the West Beach Music Festival has established itself as the annual event for Santa Barbara.  Rallying after its dissapointing debut event in 2007  (the then one day event got sacked with rainy weather) 2008′s event saw increased crowds, thanks in part to gorgeous weather and the likes of Jason Mraz, Natasha Bedingfield, Ziggy Marley and George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelicthis.  This year is sure to top even last year’s successful turnout.

Brothers (and twins) Jeremy and Joshua Pemberton, the events orginizers, worked with hundreds of event staff to cure the few complaints that event-goers had from last year:  large event grounds, sound bleed, and poor vendor setup.  “They spoke and we listened,” said Josh Pemberton. “We took a survey last year after the fest, and we were able to make a few stellar changes. The biggest change is we are now allowing ins and outs. We didn’t allow it last year because we didn’t want to impact the neighboring businesses, but nearly unanimously, they are all in support of it. So, you can come and go as you please until 7 p.m. We’ve also brought the footprint down by 33 percent. Walking in the sand can be pretty tiring, [so] this was a no-brainer. We’ve got a great team and careful programming to ensure our stages aren’t competing with each other.”

Another factor that contributes to West Beach’s success is that the whole event focuses on the “community first” mentality – something that goes a long way in a close-knit community like Santa Barbara.  Jeremy says, “If we ever ignore the amazingly talented local acts, we’ve lost track of where this whole thing started—with the locals.”  Orginizers have conciously extended the offer for local bands to dominate some of the most sought-after positions on the lineup.  Isla Vista artists Rebelution and Iration are opening for Pepper and Slightly Stoopid, and Santa Barbaras own Sunshine Brothers are playing before G. Love & Special Sauce and Ben Harper and Relentless7.

2009′s event will also be more integrated with the Downtown Santa Barbara businesses – there will be afterparties following the final preformances each night:

Friday: @ Velvet Jones – S.B. stalwarts Shades of Day and The Naybrhood
@ Sandbar – The Aggrolites and Marc B.
@ EOS – after-party

Saturday:  @ Velvet – SOJA, Passafire, and The Movement
@ Wildcat – Shwayze
Sandbar - Sashamon

Sunday: @ Wildcat – the official post-fest shindig

*For $20, festival attendees can score a VIP After-Party Pass, which gets you into all the festivities without paying a cover fee.