Hints of fall are scattered throughout the Florida Panhandle, and we couldn’t be happier. As everyone gears up for the holidays, we lay our eyes on Thanksgiving – a holiday full of family and friends, good food (sometimes way too much!), and fall festivities. Spending the holidays along Florida’s Emerald Coast is a family tradition for many. Learn about where to eat Thanksgiving dinner, what to wear, and everything there is to do during the week so you can plan out your perfect beach escape.

Thanksgiving Day –  an annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year.

Thanksgiving 2020

Where to eat Thanksgiving dinner in Destin/30A

790 on the Gulf | Destin, Florida

790 on the Gulf is a waterfront restaurant located along Old 98 in Destin. They are still cooking up the menu, but if you join their Facebook event page, you will be notified as soon as the fine details are released. Reservations are highly recommended so don’t wait! Check out 790’s Thanksgiving event

Blue Mountain Bakery | 30A, Florida

We are excited about what Blue Mountain Bakery has to offer this Thanksgiving holiday! Pre-order a homemade meal that’s packed perfectly for you to reheat on the big day. Follow the instructions provided, and you’ll eat like Kings and Queens without all the stress. If you are in South Walton, they also will deliver for free with orders over $300. This menu is amazing, and they also have vegan options available. Check out Blue Mountain Bakery’s Thanksgiving menu

Brotula’s | Destin, Florida

Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer, located waterfront on the Destin harbor, is a local favorite. They’ll be serving up a Thanksgiving feast, all day long, from 11 am until 7 pm. Reservations are highly recommended. Check out their Brotula’s Thanksgiving Menu

Cuvee 30A | 30A, Florida

This Thanksgiving, consider treating yourself to a delicious dinner at Tim Creehan’s Cuvee 30A. They’ll be offering their famously scrumptious Louisiana fried turkey and an appetizing array of traditional trimmings, side dishes, and desserts. Reservations are highly encouraged, and you can also order a turkey to-go if you prefer to eat in your own home. Check out Cuvee 30A’s Thanksgiving menu

Harbor Docks | Destin, Florida

Give back to the local community at Harbordocks Thanksgiving drive up feast. From 11 – 3, they’ll be serving free traditional Thanksgiving meals to-go. Donations are accepted which benefit both Okaloosa Habitat and Destin Harvest. Harbordocks is proud to offer this amazing community event for the 26th year. Check out Harbor Docks Give Thanks event 

Jackacuda’s | Miramar Beach, Florida

Look no further than Jackacuda’s Seafood and Sushi restaurant in Miramar Beach for a delightful Thanksgiving meal. The butternut squash bisque and southern meatballs are calling your name. They’ll have turkey, ham, and filet mignon, as well as shrimp and grits, salmon, and cajun mac and cheese. Open from 11 till 7, you’ll need to make a reservation. Check out Thanksgiving at Jackacuda’s

Marina Cafe | Destin, Florida

Don’t let the holidays stress you out. Head on up to Marina Café for a Thanksgiving buffet like you’ve never seen! In addition to traditional roasted turkey, they’ll also be serving spiced maple glazed ham, blue crab ravioli, and roasted beef brisket. Reservations are required. Children under 5 eat free. Check out Marina Cafe’s Thanksgiving Buffet Menu

Old Florida Fish House | 30A, Florida

Experience a tasty meal with dine in service, or pre-order your Thanksgiving take home meal from Old Florida Fish House. The Southern deep-fried turkey is absolutely scrumptious, and the pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream is perfect way to treat your taste buds. Take home meals are made for 6 people, and they offer a deluxe feast upgrade with honey ham and prime rib. Check out Old Florida Fish House’s Thanksgiving menu

Solaris Dinner Cruise | Sandestin, Florida

Spend Thanksgiving on the water, cruising through the beautiful Choctawhatchee Bay with SunQuest Cruises. You’ll enjoy a fabulous Thanksgiving buffet aboard the 125 foot Solaris Yacht. As the drinks begin flowing, feel free to explore the three decks, and savor carved meats, fresh veggies, and delectable desserts. The cruise is family-friendly, however children must be supervised. Call ahead for reservations. Check out the Solaris Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise

The Henderson | Destin, Florida

Savor a wonderful, hassle-free feast with The Henderson this Thanksgiving. Offering freshly prepared menus, you will be able to pick up your meal and enjoy it in the comforts of your own home. Dine-in options are also available, however reservations are required as seating will be limited. Check out The Henderson’s Takeaway Turkey option or their Grand Thanksgiving Feast

Vin’tij | Miramar Beach, Florida

Vin’tij is located in Grand Boulevard and offers an amazing Thanksgiving menu. They’ll be open 11 am CST – 5 pm CST on Thanksgiving Day with a four course feast. Recommendations are strongly suggested as the restaurant is still operating with social distancing precautions. We couldn’t find their Thanksgiving menu online, but it is posted on their Facebook page from October 14, 2020. Check out Vin’tij’s Thanksgiving feast menu

What to do Thanksgiving week in Destin/30A

Explore a state park or forest

After stuffing yourself with good food, go exploring the trails of a state park or forest in Destin or 30A. Our top favorites are the Topsail hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, the Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, and the Washington State Forest in 30A. Depending on the park, you can enjoy walking/hiking trails, go cycling, or even rent a kayak for water exploration. These experiences are an inexpensive way to spend quality time with the family and allow you all to connect with Mother Nature. We would suggest checking with each park first on activities available, and if you need to rent a bicycle or kayak directly, check out our friends at Rent Gear Here. For those looking for the ultimate adventure, inquire with Jeep 30A to learn about their off-roading forest tours! 

Schedule family beach portraits

Family portraits are great to schedule in the fall when tourism slows. The beaches aren’t as busy, so you tend to have more opportunities to capture those stunning family memories. Remember, family photos should be fun and candid. Don’t stress, and just be yourselves! We love fun, vibrant colors so think about mixing it up from the normal all white ensembles. Ashley Nichole Photography and Savannah Rio Photography both do amazing jobs at making you feel comfortable and capturing your authentic smiles. Ashley shot our wedding, and Savannah has done both family portraits for our family as well as professional headshots.

Build a sand castle

Sand castles are such a fun and exciting way to spend time with your family or friends on the beach. Make unique memories and build a design you’ll be proud of. Beach Sand Sculptures and Sandcastle Rockstars offer lessons and service to all areas between Destin and 30A. The possibilities are endless, whether you make a sand turkey sculpture or create your dream castle.

Host a bonfire

Beach bonfires are a unique and fun way to spend an evening under the stars. There are many local service providers to choose from, but our favorites are The Bonfire Guy and Light Me Up beach bonfires. Services range depending on your party size and can include various offerings like permit-pulling, setup and clean up, smores, beach chairs and tables, speakers, tiki torches, and much more. Grab a blanket, and curl up along the beaches of South Walton in this cool experience!

What the weather is like Thanksgiving week in Destin/30A

The weather is absolutely beautiful in November here in the Florida Panhandle. The days can be warm as the beaches heat up with the bright Florida sun. Evenings tend to cool off as the sun sets. We would suggest packing a few long sleeve shirts and a hoodie or jacket, along with your swimsuits and sunscreen.

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