romance on the emerald coast

Aug 26, 2022Dining + Shopping, Emerald Coast, Local Experiences, Travel

Romantic Restaurants and Dining Experiences Along 30A & Destin

What do you consider romantic? Red roses, white tablecloths, and a candle-lit table? Or does a leisurely walk along the beach at sunset—with the sky bursting in burnt orange, ruby red, and dusty pinks sound more your style?  

Romance is subjective, so we did our best to round up a few swoon-worthy places (both on and off the water) for you and your honey to reconnect.

Dine along the Choctawhatchee Bay

At the south end of the 331 bridge are three restaurants owned by renowned Chef Jim Shirley with spectacular water views and white sand beaches. 

 If you can, get a table on the white sand beach or the deck overlooking the Bay. The Bay Restaurant specializes in sushi and delicious Southern coastal cuisine. Enjoy a cocktail on the small pier, and split a peanut butter cream pie for dessert after feasting on fresh Gulf fish. 

 Across the street are two restaurants that share the same building. North Beach Social is downstairs, and has outdoor seating and a large sandy beach with firepits, tables along the shoreline, and a play area for kids. Upstairs is Farm & Fire, which offers brick-oven pizzas and a varied menu. Cozy up to a firepit on the beach and enjoy a cocktail while you watch the flames dance, or grab a table by the water and look for jumping fish. 

Romantic Restaurants Along 30A

Vue on 30A combines a fine dining experience with incredible beach views. Lots of couples propose at this Dune Allen Beach restaurant! If the weather’s nice, request a table outside and enjoy warm breezes and the sounds of crashing waves. 

 Bud & Alley’s Restaurant is a Seaside classic beloved for its award-winning food and ambiance. Enjoy Gulf views outside and then enjoy a quiet stroll along the sandy paths that wind and twist their way throughout the iconic town. 

 There’s a reason Cafe Thirty-A has enjoyed success since 1995. A classic for a reason, Cafe Thirty-A prepares consistently great food, offers terrific service, and has some of the best desserts along 30A. Cafe Thirty-A also has an extensive wine, bourbon, and spirits list with some hard-to-find bottles. 

Romantic Rosemary Beach

Chocolate…what else do we need to say? La Crema Tapas & Chocolate is perfect for an after-dinner sweet or a mouth-watering tapas experience finished with rich sipping chocolate. 

And speaking of sipping, sample the cocktail menu at Restaurant Paradis’ elegant bar before indulging in an intimate meal in the dining room or enjoying the breeze on the patio as you share an Oreo parfait or flourless chocolate torte beneath gas lanterns.

Find Romance on the Water in Destin

Cruisin Tikis in Destin are sure to make your date smile! These floating, motorized tiki huts come complete with a captain and a cooler for you to stock yourself. Watch a fiery sunset streak the sky from Crab Island or cruise along Destin Harbor at night. You can even watch firework displays burst across the Harbor on cruises from Memorial through Labor Day. Talk about a memorable evening! 

Sunquest Cruises combines fine dining and waterfront views with dancing beneath the stars to create the ultimate romantic dinner experience. Upgrade your reservation to a window seat, so you never miss a moment of those beautiful views!

Best Romantic Picnic Spots

You only need a few things to create the ultimate DIY romantic meal for your honey: blankets, several battery-operated candles, your favorite finger foods, a Bluetooth speaker, and a great playlist. Here are our top three picnic spots:

  1. The beach. We know it’s a little predictable, but it’s tough to beat gently crashing waves, a long walk along the shore, and incredible sunsets.

  2. Eden State Gardens Park is an award-winning park located along the shore of Tucker Bayou in Point Washington. Dine beneath towering oaks and take in the beauty of historic Wesley House, the reflecting pond, and the rose garden.

  3. The roof deck, balcony, or living room of your vacation rental cottage. It doesn’t take much effort to transform your vacation rental into a cozy escape for two. Our concierge can even help arrange a floral delivery, customize a charcuterie board, or help you plan something unique!

 

Knowing someone cares enough to plan something a “little extra special” goes a long way. We hope these suggestions help you reconnect and find a bit of extra romance along the Emerald Coast during your stay. 

Near I-10

 Main Street Farmers Market in the historic district
From March 19-Nov. 19
Every Saturday
From 8 am-noon
DeFuniak Springs

Near Cape San Blas

 Salt Air Farmers Market
In the park downtown!
February-Dec. 3
The 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month
From 9 am-1 pm (eastern time)
Port St Joe 

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