Snowbirds Flocking to Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast Values

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South Florida has long been a hot destination for northern snowbirds. But, as populations have swelled, and prices along with them, savvy winter visitors have found solace in the relative peace and beauty of northwest Florida’s glorious Emerald Coast, especially in popular Destin, where world-class, sugar-white beaches and great condominium rental values abound.

"The Snowbirds are coming, the snowbirds are coming!" That happy refrain is now commonplace during late fall and winter months in beach communities along northwest Florida's Emerald Coast.

From Pensacola eastward to Fort Walton Beach, Destin and Panama City, northern snowbirds are migrating in record numbers to enjoy the area's moderate temperatures, beautiful beaches and lots of things to see and do, without the congestion and higher prices of south Florida destinations.

Destin, one of America's most popular summer beach vacation destinations, also now ranks among the hottest spots for visitors seeking longer-term refuge from the north's winter chill.

According to Suzanne Harris, general manager of Edgewater Beach Condominium, one of Destin's leading vacation condo rental providers, snowbirds have come to appreciate the area's ambiance and lower costs.

"Our resort has always been a first choice for snowbirds because of our central location to the area's best shopping, recreation and dining. Of course, they also love our lower seasonal rental rates and the fact that the winter months are filled with fun activities, there is plenty of room at our private beach, our temperatures are ideal and our emerald waters are spectacular," Harris said.

According to Harris, Edgewater Beach Condominium hosts one of Destin's largest snowbird clubs. Her resort guests enjoy a wide array of amenities from two beautiful pools (one heated) and a Jacuzzi, to bridge and poker groups; potluck dinners; a ladies' luncheon club that delights in dining at Destin's best restaurants; men's and ladies' golf groups that enjoy discounted greens fees at area courses; bingo nights; a Valentine's Day dinner at a top Destin restaurant; a Mardi Gras party with live entertainment; and many other planned social and recreational activities.

Although snowbirds typically relocate to their winter homes soon after Christmas or New Year's Day, many are discovering one of the area's great features. "Increasingly, snowbirds are settling in soon after Thanksgiving, and then their families are booking units to join them for a wonderful holiday at the beach. Destin's Christmas Boat Parade at the harbor, and many other events, provide a memorable backdrop for a great family getaway," Harris said.

While Harris always advises visitors to book their Destin condo rentals as early as possible, she says that last-minute reservations often can be accommodated. "We have many longer-term guests, as well as folks who decide spur-of-the-moment to visit for a romantic getaway or a long weekend during school breaks, either driving in or taking advantage of the lower airfare that typically is offered during the early fall months," she said.

Destin, located midway between Pensacola and Panama City in Florida's panhandle, boasts the nation's largest privately-owned charter fishing boat fleet, many of Florida's top-rated golf courses and restaurants, expansive shopping offerings and a broad array of recreational options.

Edgewater Beach Condominium sits majestically on Miramar Beach, between Destin and Sandestin. Featuring a touch of the French Riviera, its unique architecture is among Florida's most recognizable landmarks. The resort offers distinctively appointed one, two, and three bedroom condominiums, each with a private balcony overlooking lushly landscaped gardens and the Gulf of Mexico.

For more information about Destin, Florida vacation accommodations, contact Edgewater Beach Condominium at (800) 822-4929 or visit


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Kim Oberlin
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