For being a beach community where temperatures can reach 75 degrees on Christmas Day, Destin and the towns along 30A do a great job of getting locals and visitors into the holiday spirit. The palm trees are lit up, Santa comes to visit and there are numerous jolly events that everyone in the family will enjoy. Here are a few festive locations to visit this holiday season:
Destin Commons. This shopping, dining and lifestyle center gets decorated with lights, garlands, wreaths and a 50-foot Christmas tree. There is a Santa’s Arrival & Tree Lighting event prior to Thanksgiving that features Santa photos at Bass Pro Shops, face painting, a holiday parade and fireworks show. Throughout November and December, Destin Commons is the perfect spot to do some holiday shopping, sip on a peppermint mocha, take the kids to get Santa photos and enjoy the festive decor.
The Village of Baytowne Wharf. This spectacular setting boasts a seasonal ice skating rink, Christmas tree with a sleigh where you can take photos, and numerous holiday events. Kick off the season with the annual Sparkling Lights & Holiday Wine event, which features more than 30 champagnes, delicious appetizers at featured Village restaurants, carolers, and a choreographed light show. Throughout the month of December, enjoy the 12 Nights of Lights show several times per week, watch a holiday movie on the lawn, listen to live music, and visit with Santa. Check the Village Events Calendar for specific dates and times!
Grand Boulevard. This upscale shopping center offers free horse-drawn carriage rides that allow you to take in the Coastal White Christmas lights and the Festival of Trees on display. You can get Santa pictures, listen to carolers, and shop for everyone on your list. Here are additional details about dates and times.
WaterColor. Cerulean Park is beautifully lit up during the holiday season, typically with classy white lights. The annual Old Florida Holiday & Winter Market is typically held on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend and kicks off the season with snow, a horse-drawn carriage, a bonfire with s’mores, pictures with Santa Claus, tree lighting, live music and a variety of vendors selling holiday gifts. With chocolates, ornaments, art, jewelry, toys, pottery and more, you’re guaranteed to find unique presents for your friends and family.
Seaside. The palm trees around Central Square are lit up, the cutest US Post Office is decked with garland and ornaments, the amphitheater Christmas tree shines bright and there are several events to get you into the holiday spirit. Watch a holiday movie under the stars, get pictures with Santa, shop at the holiday market, and see live performances by the REP Theatre. Visit their events calendar for details!
Alys Beach. The beautiful architecture of Alys Beach makes the perfect canvas for holiday decor. You’ll find a gorgeous tree plus wreaths and garlands strung across 30A and on the homes, shops and restaurants. The 2022 season kicks off with Alys in Winter Wonderland on November 25, which features cookie decorating, face painting, the tree lighting, bounce house, ornament decorating, concert and more family fun activities.
Rosemary Beach. This charming community is even more magical at Christmas! There is a large tree in the middle of the Town Center, pretty wreaths on the lamp posts that line the cobblestone streets, nutcrackers guarding the cutest Town Hall you’ve ever seen and more. The 2022 festivities begin Thanksgiving weekend with a tree lighting, merchant holiday open house and breakfast with Santa. Here is the event calendar with details.
I hope you found this post helpful! I wanted it to be general enough that you could reference it year after year, so please check the community’s website for accurate dates and times!