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Florida’s Emerald Coast is great RV destination

| Updated Nov 6, 2021

destin2Florida’s panhandle is a special place. And the area from Panama on the East on to the Alabama border on the west may be the most special. It’s called the Emerald Coast, named after the stunning color of the Gulf of Mexico.

Our base for this trip was the new Destin West RV Resort, located on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach.

We lucked out with an awesome spot, yards away from the 27-mile long Choctawhatchee Bay.destin1

The Bay is great for boasting and fishing. We met Bill Lovejoy from Memphis, who fishes just about every day right out in front of his campsite. Bill  shared a way to get live bait by using a two liter soft drink bottle.

Bill, who has spent the winter at Destin West, cuts the top third of the bottle off, inverts it and puts in back inside, neck down. You can see on the video how it works. Bottom line for Bill is he never had to buy live bait.

The spots at Destin West are well spaced, with picnic tables and patios and the resort has its own heated pool and more amenities than you can count. It's been open just over a year and already has quite a following.

Stay there and you have access to everything at the Ramada Inn across US 28, including its waterfall pool, health club and beach.

destin3But since Jennifer and I love to explore, we don’t sit still in one spot very long. Further west from Fort Walton Beach is the Gulf Islands National Seashore. It stretches across Florida and Alabama and even into Mississippi. But the emerald coast section of barrier islands has the most spectacular beaches we have ever seen.

The sparkling white quartz sand beaches run along miles of undeveloped land. There are nature trails and convenience parking spots. With our Roadtrek, we staked out a spot with a million dollar view.

We met another Roadtreking couple doing the same thing, Kathy and Les Shanteau, who own a condo in the area but use the Roadtrek for day trips, just as we do.

The weather in mid March was chilly, with highs in the upper 60's. Still, the sun was shining every day and we were surprisingly comfortable.

Check out the video  and out photos to see why we were so taken with the Emerald Coast.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2013-03-18

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

6 Responses to “Florida’s Emerald Coast is great RV destination”

March 03, 2014at10:31 am, Sandy Moran said:

And this is why we’ve made Cape San Blas our home! 85

March 22, 2013at8:22 am, Mike Wendland said:

It’s always best to check directly with the resort. Most of those requirements are imposed by local governments that fear ratty old RV campers, pop-ups and the like. So parks have to put that on their public listings. However, that said, I have found many campgrounds can and do make exceptions, which obviously happened in our case.

March 22, 2013at1:32 am, Angie O'Malley said:

Hi Mike,
I went to the website for Destin West RV Resort. The information on the website said “Restricted to Class A, Class C, and Fifth Wheels only.” How did you get to stay there?

March 19, 2013at3:11 pm, campskunk said:

this whole stretch was part of the territory i used to cover, so whenever i went out on important government business in pensacola, navarre beach, panama city, etc. i would bring the wife along, check into a beachfront hotel, and leave her there for two days while i did my thing. she always had fond regard for the governor, who was paying for the room 😉

March 19, 2013at10:44 am, Kate said:

We were on the Emerald Coast this January and stayed at Topsail State Park RV Resort, another gem on the Coast. I agree that the Seashore was absolutely beautiful and a highlight of our trip. The only down side? Dogs can not be on beaches in Florida so our two boys had to stay in the car while my husband and I hiked.

March 18, 2013at10:18 pm, Jim Temple said:

What a wonderful looking place. That RV resort looks like a place to spend a winter. But I guess all good things come to and end. Good luck on your trip back north. We had some nasty weather today and will be with us, in Pittsburgh at least, for the rest of the week.

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