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It’s personal in Destin

Fishing festival courtesy

When I was in high school, it seemed like everyone I knew took vacations to Destin. When I finally visited on my senior trip after graduation, I understood why — it’s difficult to imagine a more scenic spot for a beach vacation.

My classmates and I stayed in a trio of large rental homes in Destin, just steps away from the beach. We arrived in late afternoon after a very long drive, and immediately rushed to the ocean as fast as we could. The sugar-white sand and the turquoise waters were more beautiful than anything I had ever seen.

I loved the sand and the sea so much that I rarely left it to do anything else. When our group leaders did manage to pull us away from the beach, they took us to great activities that included jet-ski rentals and parasailing. It was my first taste of on-the water adventure, and I savored every minute of it.

Looking back on it, that experience was the perfect group trip. I got to enjoy the beauty of the Florida panhandle with my best friends, without worrying about any of the details. And though I’ve been back to the destination many times since then, it’s never been quite as fun as the first time.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.