February 2014 | 5 Star VR

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02/28/2014
30A

Seaside Half Marathon

Allyssa Smith Share

The Seaside School Half Marathon and 5K Run is a community wide fundraiser for the Seaside Neighborhood School and the Sea Coast Collegiate High School. These public charter schools offer local Walton County students traditional education in a smaller environment supplemented with creative electives like gardening, dance, and an award winning robotics club. The Annual Half Marathon benefits the school’s foundation and is one of the hottest race registries in the panhandle, drawing more than 2400 runners for the half marathon and even more for the 5K. This certified half

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02/28/2014
30A

Spring Break Safety

Allyssa Smith Share

Spring break and warmer temperatures are just around the corner, and many co-eds are planning their annual trip to the Emerald Coast and the Beaches of South Walton. Both the Walton and Okaloosa County Sherif’s Departments are reminding visitors to stay safe and be smart during their trips, and here are three quick reminders for a safe spring break. -Be Smart. Both the Walton and Okaloosa County Sheriff’s departments will be detaining underage drinkers. Please remember that the drinking age is 21 in Florida. Additionally, drivers caught while driving under

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02/28/2014
30A

Fishing for Cobia on the Gulf Coast

Allyssa Smith Share

Once the cobia start running in The Gulf of Mexico, you know spring is right around the corner. The migration pattern of these big game fish take them through the warmer waters of the Emerald Coast, and they are a great sport fish. Tipping the scales at anywhere between 20-40 pounds, these large fish will most certainly put up a fight. Your captain and mate will start your cobia fishing trip perched atop the charter boat. This bird’s eye view will give the captain and crew a better idea of

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02/19/2014
Activities

National Margarita Day

Allyssa Smith Share

National Margarita Day While another round of winter weather is headed towards the East Coast, The Emerald Coast and The Beaches of South Walton are looking forward to another fantastic and springlike weekend. With the possibilities of blue skies and rising temperatures on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to grab a margarita and celebrate National Margarita Day on Saturday, February 22nd. Created in order to celebrate the classic cocktail of tequila, triple sec, and lime, this holiday also recognizes the artisans who put their own spin on the drink,

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02/19/2014
30A

Paddle On

Allyssa Smith Share

Dedicated to promoting and celebrating paddle boarding, Paddle Destin organizes and manages training paddles, races, and social gatherings for the area’s growing number of paddlers. In addition to weekly training paddles, the group heads out during warm weather full moon evenings to explore the Harbor and the bay by moonlight. The paddles are free, but every paddler must have a PFD (Personal Flotation Device), a whistle, and a white light (glow sticks are acceptable and encouraged). You can pack a cooler and join the party all spring and summer. The

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02/19/2014
30A

Mardi Gras Along The Emerald Coast

Allyssa Smith Share

You don’t have to travel to “The Big Easy” to get your fill of beads, king cakes, and moon pies; there are some great Mardi Gras celebrations right here at home. So when you’re ready to Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler, you and your family can head to these family friendly activities. -The Eighth Annual Seaside Mardi Gras parade kicks off at 2:00 PM on Saturday, February 22nd in front of Seaside Kids. The festivities begin at 12:00, when kids and families can stop by the store for mask making

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02/11/2014
Activities

Valentine’s Weekend Tour of Homes

Allyssa Smith Share

One of the area’s best early spring traditions is the Annual Valentine Tour of Homes, presented by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County. This year, six luxurious and diverse homes will be available for touring on Saturday and Sunday, February 15th and 16th. This annual event gives visitors and residents an opportunity to explore the architecture and style of some of the area’s most interesting and innovative homes. This year, the homes on tour include: -Washaway, 10 Hoytz Street, Grayton Beach -The Taylor Home, 184 Barnhill Street Grayton Beach

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02/11/2014
30A

Bloody, Bloody Sunday

Allyssa Smith Share

Bloody Mary’s are an essential part of a good brunch. While experts agree that the basics remain the same, vodka and Bloody Mary Mix (either store bought of homemade), the amount of spice, the garnishes, and other add-ons can be completely customized. While Bloody Mary’s are traditionally garnished with a stalk of celery, olives, pickles, pickled okra, even wasabi peas or shrimp have been seen adorning glasses. Here are some of the area’s favorite bloody Mary spots: -As voted by the readers of Emerald Coast magazine, The Red Bar offers

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02/11/2014
Destin

Fins Up: Margaritaville Opening in Destin Feb. 17

Allyssa Smith Share

Have you been looking for that lost shaker of salt? Are you dreaming of a cheeseburger in paradise? Lucky for Emerald Coast residents and visitors in need of tropically inspired cocktails and cold beers, Jimmy Buffet’s signature restaurant, Margaritaville is opening on the Historic Destin Harbor on February 17th. Understanding that it’s always 5 o’clock  somewhere, Margaritaville promises food, fun, and music daily. Taking over the Lucky Snapper’s old spot, Margaritaville has undergone an extensive renovation, creating a laid back beach vibe. While most details have been kept under

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02/6/2014
30A

Valentine’s Day on The Emerald Coast

Allyssa Smith Share

If you’re lucky enough to be spending Valentine’s weekend on the sugar white sand beaches of Destin or 30-A, there are plenty of romantic restaurants offering sweetheart specials designed to kick start your romantic getaway. If you’re looking for something a little different, here are three musical options for your Valentine’s weekend. -Irish singer-songwriter Ben Glover brings his Irish-country rock to Grayt Grounds at Monet-Monet on Friday, February 14th. This special, intimate event is open to 50 customers, and the $50.00 ticket includes dinner, dessert, and entertainment. The event is

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02/6/2014
30A

Exploring Eden Gardens State Park During The Camellia Festival

Allyssa Smith Share

While our friends and family up North are bracing for yet another round of snow and cold weather, we are starting to see signs of spring here in Northwest Florida. One sure sign of warmer weather is the Annual Camellia Festival held at Eden Gardens State Park. Hosted by the Friends of Eden Gardens, the Camellia Festival gives locals and visitors an opportunity to explore the park’s 124 acres and enjoy beautiful Camellia’s in full bloom. The Annual Camellia Festival is free, although donations will be graciously accepted, refreshments will

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