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Destination Destin: Family beach time close to Atlanta

Destin, Florida is a little spot of heaven just five hours south of Atlanta in the heart of Florida's Emerald Coast. It is a relaxed beach town with something for everyone. From open-air shopping plazas to dolphin cruises (or just watch them swim by from the beach!) to the freshest, tastiest, locally-caught seafood, Destin is a fantastic beach destination.

The Hilton Sandestin has a chair ready and waiting!
The Hilton Sandestin has a chair ready and waiting!Maria Smith

WHERE TO STAY

Situated on the white sand beach of the Gulf of Mexico, the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa offers everything families could need: beach and pool activities, kid's meals at all restaurants, and even babysitting and supervised Kids Krew offerings. The Hilton Sandestin even offers rooms with a built-in bunkbed alcove so kids can have their own little nook and parents can get a little privacy after their kids crash. Guests are allowed to bring their own pool toys and beach accessories, or you can buy or rent them there. Be sure to check out their special events throughout the summer (the Fourth of July happenings look amazing) as well as special family offers.

Couples without kids can have just as much (or more!) fun. Couples can take advantage of the serene Serenity By The Sea Spa, beachside and poolside drinks, and fantastic local restaurants and nightlife at Baytowne Wharf, which is a free shuttle ride away. There is also a ton for families to do at Baytowne Wharf including a zip line, rock climbing wall, and carousel, among other things. Check out this review of the Hilton Sandestin for more detailed information!

HOW TO GET THERE

The easiest way to get to Destin is to fly the new route from Southern Airways Experess. Guests leave out of Peachtree-Dekalb Airport so there is no TSA screening, no parking charges, no baggage fees, and no liquid limits. And they request travelers arrive only 15 minutes before the flight takes off! Flying on the 10 passenger Cessna Caravan is almost like flying a private plane. And arrival in Destin is just as convenient. Best of all, prices can go as low as $99 each way. Check out this review of Southern Airways Express.

Don't want to fly? Pack up the minivan and head due south for about five or so hours. It is one of the easiest Florida beach destinations from Atlanta.

Enjoy!