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Need a break, Birmingham? With summer upon us, the answer is yes! If you want to party with pirates or splash and play in the coolest ocean sandbar around, then check out this guide to the best events, spots to chill and luxury resorts in Fort Walton Beach and Destin, Florida. Book your stay with ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals.
Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival in Fort Walton Beach
Make way, mateys of Birmingham! It’s almost time for landlubbers and swabbys to set sail for Landing Park in Fort Walton Beach, Florida for the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival.
Taking place May 31-June 3, Captain Billy Bowlegs and his pirate Crew will take control of the city for the nation’s longest-running and most popular pirate festivals. Aye, it’s true!
This spirited event will feature:
- Live music
- Space Walk
- Rock Wall
- Kids’ Pirate Play Zone
- Interactive Attractions and Carnival Games
Plus, more pirates than you’ve ever seen!
On Monday, June 3, The Billy Bowlegs Torch Parade will take place. You know Birmingham locals love a good parade! Now you can show others just how much during this incredible parade that boasts almost 100 floats, boats, vessels and marching units, colorful costumes and festive music—plus those infamous Billy Bowlegs Pirates.
Stay at Waterscape Resort
When it’s time to remove all that pirate gear, peel down to your skivvies and settle in for a relaxing stay at Waterscape Resort. Family-friendly and luxurious, this resort offers everything a traveler from the Magic City could want, including:
- Breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico
- A boardwalk that leads to a sugar-white sandy beach
- Barbecue grills
- 2 Hot tubs
- 3 Swimming pools
- Splash pad
- Lazy river
Distance from Pirate Festival: 4 minutes; 1.2miles
Distance from Birmingham: 4 hours, 8 minutes; 253.4 miles
Stay at Bella Riva
Bella Riva… don’t you just love the name? It just drips sweet luxury! It is also one of Okaloosa Island’s newest resorts.
Located in a gated community with lush landscaping, private balconies and breathtaking views of the Emerald Coast, it’s the perfect tranquil getaway spot for Birmingham residents who need some R&R.
Along with being just a few minutes drive from the Pirate Festival, booking your stay at Bella Riva also puts you within easy distance to some of the beach’s best shopping and dining. What Birminghammer can say no to shopping and dining out? Not many!
Distance from Pirate Festival: 8 minutes; 3 miles
Distance from Birmingham: 4 hours, 7 minutes; 255.2 miles
Crab Island in Destin
Have you ever been to Crab Island? Located in Destin, Florida at the entrance to the Choctawahatchee Bay, Crab Island is one of Destin’s most popular and picturesque ocean gathering spots. Here are some must-know facts about Crab Island and why every Birmingham party-goer should put it on their bucket list.
- Crab Island is not an island. Though it once was an island, it eroded over time, leaving a sandbar that is completely submerged by water.
- The water around Crab Island ranges from one to four feet deep in most areas, which makes it an ideal place to pull up a boat and drop anchor for a day of fun and sun.
- You can only get there via boat. Pontoon, kayak, paddle board—whatever you choose will work as long as it’s made for water travel.
- It features a floating stage with performances from local bands.
- You’ll have access to floating vendors like floating restaurants and mobile food boats. Now that’s the ultimate take out food service one could imagine!
- There are inflatable obstacle courses that even adults will obsess over. All that bouncing practice you got during your children’s birthday parties at places in Birmingham like Pump It Up will really pay off!
Stay at Magnolia House
Located just minutes from Crab Island is Magnolia House at Destin Pointe Resort. Featuring cozy cottages and mid-rise condos, each property shows off a white picket fence and sweet Southern charm—the perfect place to say for that home-away-from-home atmosphere.
Booking your stay at Magnolia House also means you have access to complimentary bike rentals and a free tram service that runs everywhere in the Destin Pointe Community, including the beach!
To get to Crab Island, just charter a boat at any of the rental companies nearby. They’ll help you find your way to that underwater sandbar you are dying to explore.
Distance from Crab Island: 7 minutes; 2 miles
Distance from Birmingham: 4 hours, 19 minutes; 262.6 miles
Stay at Emerald Towers
Used to the amazing views available in Birmingham? Then you’ll love Emerald Towers. Standing mighty in the heart of downtown Destin, this prime spot offers magnificent balcony views and is just steps away from sugar-white sand.
It’s also super close to Crab Island, which means making your way to this cool spot is easy breezy.
Distance from Crab Island: 5 minutes; 1.5 miles
Distance from Birmingham: 4 hours, 13 minutes; 260.4 miles
Set Sail to Beach-Filled Fun
Don’t miss your chance to take part in the fun at the Billy Bowlegs Festival in Fort Walton Beach and Crab Island in Destin. Book a fabulous beach vacation through ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals.