Newly Opened Cottages by the Bay Revive Old Florida Charm

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Now available to rent short term and long term from Southern Rentals and Real Estate

Cottages by the Bay in Destin by Southern

Cottages by the Bay

No newcomer to development and the real estate industry, Mr. Shoults quickly envisioned the possibilities not just for his businesses, but also the community of Destin.

Southern Rentals & Real Estate is proud to announce the newly opened Cottages by the Bay, nostalgia-infused vacation cottages located right in the heart of Destin. Ideal for group getaways, wedding parties, and family vacations, these historic fishermen’s cottages have been restored to highlight their original beauty and outfitted with modern luxury.

The project came about as an opportunity for the Destin Bay House owner Mike Shoults to create lodging for guests at this popular wedding and event venue. No newcomer to development and the real estate industry, Mr. Shoults quickly envisioned the possibilities not just for his businesses, but also the community of Destin. A local since childhood, he and his family have been part of Destin’s history and culture for years. He jumped at the opportunity to renovate the structures, keeping with an old Florida and true old Destin feel. He researched their history and even found mementos during renovations. He shares the story of their past with hopes that locals and visitors will understand the sense of place the Cottages hold.

The first known structure on the land still resides there with now six others. In all, there are seven cottages ranging from one to four bedrooms. The original home was built in 1952 by Mr. M. L. Smith as his family home. Through the years, it has undergone a couple of transformations. The property itself has developed over time, too. Mr. Smith built more cottages on the land as rental properties. So, Mr. Shoults is not the first landlord of the property. The residents over the last 65 years have been a wonderful mix of people including local fishermen and families that prefer the charm of this part of Destin.

What makes this section of Destin so enduring to many is the walk-ability to the Bay (it’s across the street), to all things “downtown” Destin and to the Harbor - a hub for live music, dancing, and dining on the water. In contrast to the myriad of new construction along the Emerald Coast, the Cottages are a community of single-story Destin vacation homes built on charm and history. Century-old oak trees border the Cottages, where Beginnings Way leads to the legendary kissing tree—a magnolia meant for special occasion photos. Next door, a tree-lined path leads to the Choctawhatchee Bay

In addition to their amenities, the Cottages offer the irresistible appeal of old Florida. Each of the seven cottages—affectionately termed Better Together, Humble and Kind, Family Tradition, Love Letter, Something Blue, Peace, and Tranquility—maintain the integrity of the original design. Enjoy some original wood floors, hand-laid tile, shiplap walls and inviting front porches. The smallest of the cottages, Peace and its counterpart Tranquility, provide accommodations for up to four persons, whereas the largest, Family Tradition, accommodates ten. Some groups need the entire ensemble, while others may just need one for a few nights during a fabulous wedding weekend at the Destin Bay House. The Cottages are, after all, just across the street from this award-winning wedding venue.

For everything Destin has to offer, Cottages by the Bay provides an experience unlike anywhere else.
For information on renting the Cottages by the Bay, visit

Established in 1995, Southern Rentals and Real Estate is one of the most sought-after providers of vacation rentals in Northwest Florida and Coastal Alabama. Locally owned and operated by two sets of brothers, Brad and Mike Shoults and Kevin and Kerry Veach, and Susan Carleton, Southern represents nearly 1,400 vacation rentals, 1,000 long term rentals, countless real estate opportunities and more than 40 associations along the Gulf Coast. The Southern family of companies includes Southern Vacation Rentals, Southern Residential Leasing, Southern Real Estate Sales, and RE/MAX Southern. For more information, visit

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Patricia Hardiman
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