Ground Breaking at Destin’s Newest Beach Resort

If you have driven through Destin’s exclusive Crystal Beach community in recent months, you have likely seen a flurry of activity underway at the site that will soon become the much anticipated Parkside at Henderson Beach Resort. Now that initial civil site work is completed, Dunavant Enterprises, The Premier Development Group (PDG)  and The Premier Property Group (PPG) are excited to announce that a formal groundbreaking ceremony will be held Friday, February 7, 2020 beginning at 4 p.m.

The community is invited to commemorate the groundbreaking, and guests will receive complimentary valet parking upon arrival. Representatives from Dunavant Enterprises and The Premier Property Group will be in attendance to speak about the new project and upcoming plans for future expansion of Dunavant’s Henderson Beach Resort. Immediately following the groundbreaking ceremony, guests are invited to a reception on the Henderson Hotel Terrace to enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

The ceremony will initiate Phase 1 of the development, which includes three of the four planned buildings—the main Parkview Building overlooking the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico and two pool-view buildings—along with the resort pool. Notably, nearly two-thirds of the 32 residences that will encompass the first phase are already reserved within this distinctive retreat that will provide an elegant addition to the Henderson Beach Resort portfolio of accommodations.

 Parkside at Henderson Beach Resort features one-, two- and three-bedroom residences. Floor plans are thoughtfully designed for easy, everyday living, and PPG’s commitment to quality construction means residences come with high-end stainless steel appliances, polished chrome plumbing fixtures, quartz countertops, all-wood cabinetry, frameless glass shower enclosures and a craftsman-style interior package. Residences are equipped with extras that include a wet bar and undercounter wine fridge as well as a generous balcony for entertaining or simply enjoying a quiet evening watching the sun set.

Owners and guests will also enjoy full access to the expansive Henderson Beach Resort amenities package that includes a full-service spa, fully-equipped fitness center with classes, multiple resort pools including a lazy river, poolside cabanas, free shuttle service and a private beach. An onsite kid’s club ensures parents get to unwind as their children enjoy daily camp and kid’s night out activities as well as live entertainment provided on the resort property. Bicycle, kayak, snorkel and paddleboard rentals are also available.

In addition to its upscale interior residence package, Parkside at Henderson Beach Resort is raising the bar on coastal condominium living through high-end concierge and valet services, in-room and poolside dining, daily cleaning, courtesy shuttles and beach chair and umbrella service. Two upscale restaurant options are offered on the property including Primrose and the area’s celebrated Beachwalk Café, Destin’s only fine dining located directly on the Gulf of Mexico. To engage in a more social atmosphere, Horizons octagon-shaped beachfront bar has quickly become a Destin hot spot for guests and locals alike. The resort also offers casual dining at Sea Level Poolside Bar and Grill, Sprinkles Ice Cream Shoppe, Beach Cantina grab and go offerings and the soon-to-be-built North Pool Bar and Grill.

On-site resort rental management and maintenance is available, and unit pricing begins in the low $500,000s.

Click here for all units available for sale in Parkside at the Henderson

Former Coach Les Miles’ Beach Home for Sale

Destin is full of SEC football fans and someone is going to get this fantastic 6 bedroom, 3 story home in Crystal Beach owned by former LSU coach Les Miles. Great income investment to boot.

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A Legacy of Entertainment

Sinfonia Gulf Coast

A legacy of entertainment, education and giving back

In 2020, Sinfonia Gulf Coast will celebrate its 15th year of bringing world-class music and entertainment to the Emerald Coast. Demetrius Fuller founded the organization 14 years ago with a vision of introducing the area’s first stand-alone, fully-professional symphony, and since that time, he has helped redefine the cultural landscape of Northwest Florida through more than 575 “inspiring and artistically evocative” performances that have reached over 350,000 patrons.

“We started with a mission and vision to educate, inspire and entertain,” Fuller said. “But, the level of artistry that we’ve been able to produce from Sinfonia’s concerts and events has been pretty mind-blowing.”

From names like Vanessa Williams—headlining Sinfonia’s recent November gala—and Roberta Flack to Bernadette Peters and Patti Lupone, Sinfonia’s reach has exceeded Fuller’s expectations. He credits the success to a supportive community.

“This community allows us to be able to produce this caliber of artistry. We have a very supportive corporate community and patron following,” Fuller said.

Concerts and events are just one component of Sinfonia’s mission, Fuller emphasized, pointing to his passion for music education. Sinfonia Guest Artists in the Schools program currently includes a collaborative partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute of Music called Link Up. The program is provided free of charge and features a year-long curriculum that culminates with a live recorder performance with the Sinfonia orchestra. In 2019, approximately 3,600 third-fifth graders in Okaloosa and Walton counties participated in the program.

“It’s always one of my favorite memories from Sinfonia—just to see and hear all the kids. If you ever wonder what 2,000 recorders sound like at one time…it’s a sound only a mother could love,” Fuller laughed.

Music outreach is not limited to the classroom. Sinfonia musicians are frequently seen out in the community, whether that be at nursing homes or the library, interacting and performing. Notably, Fuller himself is very active in the community serving as a Trustee of the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, a board member with both the Okaloosa Arts Alliance and Alaqua Animal Refuge and as the past chair of the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball.

Fuller is a versatile conductor who has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious conductors and orchestras. An advocate of contemporary music, he has premiered, commissioned or collaborated with such names as Augusta Read-Thomas, Dorothy Hindman, Thomas Schneller and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. Fuller is also an accomplished clarinetist and award recipient from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts, the Werner Foundation and the International Music Foundation.

Looking ahead, Fuller noted that Sinfonia’s 15th year will mark new campaigns to create the kind of sustainability that ensures the organization remains viable for the long-term. High on his list is a home venue for Sinfonia that will help advance not only the caliber of events but also the organization’s education efforts.

Upcoming Sinfonia opportunities:

Holiday Pops feat. Matthew Morrison

Village Baptist Church, Destin FL
Friday, December 13, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

Classical Connections feat. Van Cliburn Bronze Medal Winner Daniel Hsu

Village Baptist Church, Destin, FL
Saturday, February 1, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

Jurassic Park in Concert

Emerald Coast Convention Center, Fort Walton Beach, FL
Saturday, May 16, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

Sinfonia Events

Parkside at the Henderson to Break Ground this Fall

Destin’s exclusive Crystal Beach community will soon welcome the addition of a new standard in luxury condominium development. Following a successful pre-sales launch, the Premier Property Group (PPG) is gearing up to break ground on Phase 1 of Parkside at the Henderson, a distinctive retreat that will provide an elegant addition to the Henderson Beach Resort portfolio of accommodations.

As of early September, approximately two-thirds of the 32 residences that will encompass the first phase were already reserved. Bryan Whitehead, lead agent for the development, noted that the first units will likely go to contract at the end of September in anticipation of an October groundbreaking.

“The response to this offering has been tremendous,” Whitehead said. “We only have about 10 condominiums left in the Phase 1 inventory. Our owners are excited about the prospects of stepping into their new condominiums as soon as late 2020 to enjoy the best of upscale coastal lifestyle.”

Phase 1 of the development includes three of the five planned buildings—the main Parkview Building overlooking the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico and two pool-view buildings—along with the resort pool. Notably, owners and guests will also enjoy full access to the expansive Henderson Beach Resort amenities package that includes a full-service spa, fully-equipped fitness center with classes, multiple resort pools including a lazy river, poolside cabanas, free shuttle service and a private beach. An onsite kid’s club ensures parents get to unwind as their children enjoy daily camp and kid’s night out activities as well as live entertainment provided on the resort property. Bicycle, kayak, snorkel and paddleboard rentals are also available.

Parkside at the Henderson features one-, two- and three-bedroom residences, although Whitehead acknowledged that most of the one-bedroom condominiums available in Phase 1 are already reserved.  Floor plans are thoughtfully designed for easy, everyday living, and PPG’s commitment to quality construction means residences come with high-end stainless steel appliances, polished chrome plumbing fixtures, quartz countertops, all-wood cabinetry, frameless glass shower enclosures and a craftsman-style interior package. Residences are equipped with extras that include a wet bar and undercounter wine fridge as well as a generous balcony for entertaining or simply enjoying a quiet evening watching the sun set.

In addition to its upscale interior residence package, Parkside at the Henderson is raising the bar on coastal condominium living through high-end concierge and valet services, in-room and poolside dining, daily cleaning, courtesy shuttles and beach chair and umbrella service. Two upscale restaurant options are offered on the property including Primrose and the area’s celebrated Beachwalk Café, Destin’s only fine dining located directly on the Gulf of Mexico. To engage in a more social atmosphere, Horizons octagon-shaped beachfront bar has quickly become a Destin hot spot for guests and locals alike. The resort also offers casual dining at Sea Level Poolside Bar and Grill, Sprinkles Ice Cream Shoppe, Beach Cantina grab and go offerings and the soon-to-be-built North Pool Bar and Grill.

Whitehead noted that strong rental showings within the existing Henderson resort condominiums have contributed to the pre-sale success. “Real estate investors recognize the opportunity available through Parkside,” he said. “Destin’s Crystal Beach community is a coveted vacation haven, and new condominium investment opportunities do not surface very often, especially within the scale of luxury offered through the Henderson portfolio.”

On-site resort rental management and maintenance is available, and unit pricing begins in the low $500,000. Whitehead noted that reservations for the 16 units that will encompass Phase 2 of the development will likely begin in the early part of 2020.

Click here for all available units for sale in Parkside at The Henderson

Fly and Light Tackle Fishing the Emerald Coast

Fall Inshore Preview with Slow and Low Coastal Outfitters

Captain Patrick Tarpey, owner of Slow and Low Coastal Outfitters, may be enjoying a small break as summer begins to give way to a quieter, cooler season along the Emerald Coast. But it won’t last long.

Very soon, bookings for inshore fishing charters will begin pouring in as eager anglers gear up to target giant bull redfish or monster jack crevalle—two of the company’s primary fall season targets.

A native Texan self-described as having “an absolute obsession with the water,” Tarpey draws from a wide breadth of experience fishing diverse ecosystems and learning new techniques across the globe. Today, his business is grounded in fly and light tackle sight fishing from St. Joe Bay to east of Destin.

“We offer a niche service that appeals to a wide market,” he says. “There may be easier ways to catch fish for sure, but that’s not really the point. On our charters, anglers are always hunting, actively engaged and eager to try and trick a giant fish.”

Finding the Giants

Our region is surrounded by multiple world-class fisheries that offer an abundance of species. And while the inshore opportunities for a sea-to-table catch are many, Tarpey’s focus is more singular in nature: catch and release trophy hunting.

In the summer, tarpon are central to that focus, and the popularity of catching these giants—reaching upwards of 150 pounds or more—equates to a fully-booked schedule for Tarpey up to two months out. The fall months may not boast the same size options, but Tarpey said that the excitement of targeting a 20-30 pound class bull redfish or 30-40 pound class jack crevalle makes for an exceptional experience in its own right.

“Redfish are some of our favorite and most challenging species to target, and the fight is rarely disappointing,” Tarpey notes. “The true giant redfish are out in the Gulf of Mexico right now making babies, but pretty soon, they are going to come back inland.”

Tarpey further explained that the Emerald Coast has some of the most visual red fishing encounters available anywhere on the coast. This distinction is important for sight fishing as it lays the groundwork for effectively sneaking up on the fish and getting into position for the optimal shot.

All about Adrenaline

Slow and Low Coastal Outfitter’s technical approach to fishing is less about chunking bait in the water with the hopes of a getting a bite and more about the hunt, proper technique and pure adrenaline. While Tarpey’s “catch and release” program means clients won’t take anything home for dinner, Tarpey emphasizes that the excitement and gratification of this style of fishing will keep you coming back for more.

“We’re actively finding targets in the region’s clear water and putting our eyes on them before making an approach. That giant redfish we are pursuing might be hundreds of feet in the distance,” he adds. “It’s goal-oriented fishing that hinges on making the right presentation to the fish.”

Simply put, anglers get out of it what they put into it, Tarpey says, emphasizing that there is an element of effort and practice. “You become proficient and then start having a lot more fun with it,” he says. “Our guests get the satisfaction of targeting bucket list fish on a fly–a challenging experience but completely worth it.”

Slow & Low Coastal Outfitters is based out of Santa Rosa Beach and the 30A area. For more information or to book a charter, send an email to Patrick@SlowandLowCoastal.com or call 850.502.3222.

Celebrating 4th of July at the Beach!

Celebrating Independence Day Emerald Coast-Style

No matter where you live in the United States, the 4th of July represents a day of national pride and an opportunity to set aside differences and reflect on all the things that make our nation strong. From backyard barbeques and neighborhood parades to festivals and spectacular fireworks displays, families and friends will gather in every community to enjoy traditions that are as American as baseball and apple pie.

In the neighborhoods served by the Premier Property Group, visitors and residents get to experience all this excitement against a backdrop of some of the nation’s most exquisite coastal environment. In fact, many take in the region’s amazing fireworks displays from a boat in one of our region’s bays, intercoastal waterways or the Gulf of Mexico. For those who prefer the stability of terra firma, the beach provides a front row seat to many of the Emerald Coast’s best pyrotechnic displays.

Whatever your preference, be sure to take advantage of one of these Emerald Coast 4th of July specials!

Destin/Ft. Walton Beach Happenings

Destin Commons Smoke on the Coast

Get ahead of Independence Day mania and take in the annual Destin Commons Smoke on the Coast event, featuring plenty of barbeque, live music, street performers and kid fun. The July 3rd gathering is entering its 9th year as a charitable event driven by culinary teams that partner with local non-profit groups and compete for the People’s Choice grand prize. The Forrest Williams Band will kick off an evening of live music at 5 p.m., followed by the Heritage Band at 7 p.m. A fireworks extravaganza will cap off the evening that typically raises more than $85,000.

Red, White and Baytowne

Locals and visitors alike can always count on The Village of Baytowne Wharf for family fun and excitement on most holidays. Beginning at 6 p.m. on July 4th, the streets will come alive with plenty of live music and a variety of kids entertainment and crafts, including face painting and balloon sculpting. Then, the skies will light up at 9:15 p.m. with the district’s annual fireworks display over the Choctawhatchee Bay.

Harborwalk Village will feature live music with Eli Hannon and Crushed Velvet starting at 7:00 p.m. on July 4th, along with its annual fireworks display over the Destin Harbor at 9:15 p.m.

For those who can’t make an Independence Day fireworks gathering, the weekly fireworks display from the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier and over the beach at The Boardwalk will be held Wednesday, July 3rd at 9 p.m.

While the details have not officially been announced yet, a celebration is also scheduled for July 4th at Ft. Walton Beach Landing.

30A Celebrations

Nearly every community along the Highway 30A corridor—from Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach to Seaside and Watercolor—will feature a stunning fireworks display as part of their Independence Day festivities. The annual 30A 4th of July Parade will also kick off in front of Seagrove Plaza at 8 a.m., featuring an array of costumed participants, bikes, cars and floats decked out in full patriotic regalia. Contestants parade 1.5 miles to Seaside, where a panel of judges selects the winning entries. Family fun and music are then provided at the Seaside amphitheater.

Panama City Beach Fun

The 6the Annual Laguna Beach Golf Cart Parade is slated for July 3rd at 6 p.m., offering a great opportunity for family fun decorating golf carts, bikes, scooter—or whatever is available. Independence Day will feature the impressive Star Spangled Spectacular fireworks display launched from the M.B. Miller County Pier near Pier Park.

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Gearing up for Summer Fishing

Gulf Coast Anglers Gear Up for Summer!

Upcoming fishing seasons and tournaments

The Florida Gulf Coast is widely-recognized for its amazing sport fishing opportunities and tasty catches—many sought out by even the most discriminating foodies. It’s why the city of Destin has long been coined the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” and why ardent anglers travel from all over the world to get in on the action.

The good news is that our region offer endless options for wetting a hook year-round, whether trolling or bottom-fishing on the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico or fishing in the Emerald Coast’s plentiful bays and lakes. But, not all months offer the same opportunities, and fishing aficionados will want to be aware of the seasons for various species of fish. Notably, the summer months offer some of the region’s most sought-after fishing opportunities that visitors and residents alike will not want to miss.

17th Annual Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic

One of Destin’s premier offshore fishing events, the Blue Marlin Classic is recognized as the “Richest Fishing Tournament” for its sizeable prize purse. In fact, the tournament set a Gulf Coast record in 2016 when the purse reached a whopping $1.95 million. Scheduled for June 29-23, 2019 at the Baytowne Marina, the event features cash categories for billfish, dolphin, tuna and wahoo as well as individual angler prizes. Nightly entertainment is offered and open to the public, including a live cooking demonstration, fireworks and live music.

Redfish Tournament Series

For those who prefer the quieter, more laid back atmosphere of inshore fishing, the Emerald Coast Redfish Circuit tournament schedule runs year-round. Next dates up include May 18 in Gulf Breeze and August 17 in Navarre. The organization promotes itself as a family-oriented club for all levels of anglers.

Seasonal Salt-Water Fishing

Anglers will find that summer is popular for many saltwater species including wahoo, dolphin, tuna, mahi-mahi, marlin, king mackerel, chicken dolphins, snapper and grouper.

Red Snapper

For many Gulf Coast anglers, catching the coveted red snapper is the holy grail of summer fishing. This sought-after, flavorful fish has not only put Emerald Coast dining on the map, but it’s great fun to catch for people of all sizes and experience levels. Caught in deep water (60-440 feet), red snapper typically top out in size around 25 pounds, although Destin holds the record for Florida’s largest weighing in at 46 pounds. The Emerald Coast is home to many species of snapper including blackfin, cubera, dog snapper, gray snapper, queen snapper, lane snappers and the schoolmaster, but the popularity of the red snapper has resulted in restrictions that many of the other categories don’t share. Overfished due to its value, red snapper season is typically limited and varies by year. The 2019 red snapper recreational season will be open from June 11-July 12. For federally-permitted for-hire vessels, the season runs from June 1-August 1, 2019.  

Grouper

Grouper is another popular catch along Florida’s Gulf Coast that is celebrated for its mild, sweet flavor. Also caught in deep waters, many categories of grouper exist including black, gag, red, scamp, snowy and warsaw. Grouper size varies widely depending on the type. For example, a black grouper can reach nearly 100 pounds while a gag grouper typically ranges in size between 15 and 30 pounds. While restrictions also exist for catching and keeping gag grouper, June 1st marks the beginning of the 2019 season, which runs through December.

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Your Dream Beach Wedding

Emerald Coast Weddings: What’s Trending

It’s not surprising that hundreds of couples choose the Emerald Coast each year for their destination weddings. Not only does our region’s natural splendor provide a one-of-a-kind backdrop, but the offerings here are as unique as the brides and grooms themselves.

For example, couples can get married on a boat, at a resort, in a state park, in a lodge, in a chapel, and of course, at the beach. They can opt for simple or extravagant, indoor or outdoor, any time of the year.

Certified wedding planner Kristi Purvis of Kiss the Bride Wedding & Event Planning said that 95 percent of the weddings she handles are destination weddings, with the lion’s share coming from Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. She has spent the last eight years planning weddings and events in South Walton.

Perhaps surprisingly, she has seen a trend away from beach weddings, with couples choosing to be near the beach without actually being on the beach.

“I tend to do luxury weddings, and the brides often want to be able to have their pictures on the beach without necessarily having their toes in the sand during the ceremony,” Purvis said. “They don’t want their guests getting sandy, and the brides often want to be able to wear heels for the ceremony.”

That trend toward weddings near the water drives her to partner frequently with WaterColor Inn and Resort, Alys Beach, Vue on 30A, The Pearl, and the Hilton Sandestin. These venues have become her go-to because they are sought after, and they have so much to offer in terms of accommodations, event venues and amenities.

Alys Beach and WaterColor, for example, have gorgeous lawns steps away from the beach, while The Vue has a terrace overlooking the Gulf. The Hilton Sandestin has Gulf-front decks, and The Pearl has a rooftop space with European architecture that is perfect for weddings.

Unique to Alys Beach, couples can personalize the event food by building an on-site kitchen for caterers to use, while the other properties include their in-house catering staff as part of the venue package.

Purvis pointed out that there’s a misconception about what beach weddings “look like,” and that many people are surprised to find that weddings here can be elaborate and luxurious.

“People assume a beach wedding means a couple of chairs on the beach with people standing in the sand, but that’s not even close,” she said. “People might not think they can find luxury here but places like Alys Beach and WaterColor are known for their beautiful architecture and gorgeous lawns.”

Some brides host weddings that exceed $100,000, with chandeliers, drapings, and clear-top tents, as well as beautiful head tables and seating lounges for their guests.

The other trend Purvis has observed over the last couple of years is the move toward weekend-long gatherings as a way to capitalize on their visit to such a great area. Rather than hosting a one-day event, couples are scheduling bonfires, parties, lunches, and a variety of activities for their guests while they are in town.

Purvis admits that the weather often presents a unique challenge for couples getting married on the Emerald Coast, with anomalies like 80-degree weather for February weddings and 55-degree weather for April weddings. Because these venues are accustomed to hosting weddings in the uncertain Florida weather, the professionals involved work together to implement a plan B when necessary.

Purvis points to the close-knit community of the Emerald Coast as a selling point for brides considering a destination wedding here. She says it’s important to have “boots on the ground” who know how to match your needs and your budget without having to rely solely on information from the Internet.

“Everything operates like a well-oiled machine here because so many of us have established working relationships,” she said. “The venue managers know the people involved in the logistics of the wedding and everything runs like second-nature because of the trust and relationship among those people.”

For those considering an Emerald Coast destination wedding, Purvis clarified that though many brides begin their planning a year in advance, she has worked with brides who planned their entire event over the course of about three months. Though she doesn’t recommend it, she said it is possible.

She considers the 30A area the best-kept secret anywhere because of the broad range of things there are to do during a stay, whether it’s for a wedding or a vacation.

“These are the most insanely beautiful beaches in the world, and they are surrounded by golf courses, breweries, shopping, and anything else visiting couples could hope to do.”

WaterColor Inn courtesy of Kristi Purvis

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Rental Restricted Beachfront Condo with Gorgeous Kitchen

Hands down the nicest condo for sale in St. Thomas at Silver Shells and the best view as well! Check out the Palamino Quartzite in the kitchen and “hidden” back door service entrance.

This Condo is temporarily off the market. To view all condo’s currently for sale in St. Thomas at Silver Shells

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Magnificent Rental Restricted Beachfront Condo in Miramar Beach

Grand Dunes is by far the most luxurious rental restricted beachfront condominium community in Destin and Miramar Beach.  This is a gorgeous 4 bedroom 4 full bath, 3,150 sq ft unit. There are also really good aerial photos of the property and amenities included in the listing.

This Condo has SOLD. Click Here for All Units Available in Grand Dunes South Tower