The Golf Garden of Destin fosters putt-putt delight and club-flailing fun in a family-friendly atmosphere replete with a nine-hole executive golf course, expansive driving range, and 18-hole miniature golf course. Golfers can groom their putting stroke with a round at the putting course, where slick, faux-grass surfaces and subtle slopes coalesce to create breaks more difficult to read than a kindergartener's dissertation. The outdoor driving range keeps metal clubs and dimpled orbs on a collision course well into the evening with over 30 hitting stalls outfitted with towering lights. Duffers looking for a more immersive golf challenge can take to the executive course, where seven par 3s beckon to players still seeking their first hole-in-one and two par 4s assure that drivers and 3-woods do not abscond in search of work at the nearest sword-forging convention.
Winner of Parents Connect's 2009 Parent's Pick award for best local art class, Abrakadoodle transforms any party or class into a chance to expand minds with artistic-minded games and lessons. A one-hour arty birthday party package includes an engaging teacher, an art lesson, supplies, and a canvas artwork gift created by the guests for the party host or party recipient (parties start at $175 for six children, $250 for a minimum of 12 children, $10 for each additional guest). Creative classes such as the All You Need Is Love! class ($20) gives students the chance to create art inspired and accompanied by the music of The Beatles, and the Mini Masters for Mommy and Me class ($80-$90) allow moms and children to wield a brush while finding inspiration from botanical gardens and famous museum collections. Check the schedule for a full list of class times, dates and locations.
Fresh fish is held in the highest esteem at Asiana Sushi Grill, where chefs expertly craft rolls composed of fresh tuna, salmon, and shrimp. They lovingly pat rice around the outside of rolls filled with spicy tuna, yellowtail and scallions, or yam tempura. They also create Asiana specialty rolls such as the Dancing Girl, which marries shrimp tempura and soft-shell crab with fried sweet potato, and the Red Dragon, which, like all mythical creatures, is actually spicy tuna and wasabi.
The fermentation specialists at Panama City Beach Winery craft their lush tinctures from a cornucopia of Florida produce, winning over the taste buds of various competition judges across the country. During the 30- to 45-minute tasting, guests can cleanse their palates with 10 to 12 of owner Larry Honeycutt's delicious concoctions, a bacchanalian cascade that includes everything from banana and guava to carrot and blueberry sparking. Honeycutt will talk guests through the individual characteristics of each libation, detailing cocktails and ideal pairings such as banana wine and peanut butter or tomato wine and bad comedians. Beverage testers will leave with a pair of souvenir wine glasses emblazoned with the palm-tree logo and a bottle of Category 5 sangria.
A 5,000-square-foot splash park, 50-meter Olympic pool with diving well, covered picnic shelter, and full concession stand await visitors to PCB Aquatic Center, which invites bathing-suit clad citizens to revel in its refreshing, state-of-the-art facilities. After emerging from locker rooms with heated showers, patrons can plunge into classes on lifeguarding, water-aerobics instructing, or basic and advanced pool figure-drawing or just relax and lap alongside other swimmers in the temperature-controlled waters. As scuba-geared divers explore underwater views in certification courses, children can splash their way into swim lessons led by certified water-safety instructors, before winding down from their amphibious education by winding down one of several water slides.
As breezes drift in from Sandestin Marina on the Choctawhatchee Bay, live blues tunes also permeate the air at Graffiti & The Funky Blues Shack. An eclectic Italian American menu offers dishes such as escargot Milano, which comes sautéed in garlic, olive oil, and fennel seeds. Entrees include gourmet pastas such as chicken parmesan and fettuccine bolognese, as well as familiar fare including wild buffalo meatloaf and cedar planked salmon.