Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wine & a Good Time for a Good Cause

If the thought of tasting hundreds of wines from around the world makes your mouth water, you’re not alone. The Sandestin Wine Festival at Baytowne Wharf is one of the most anticipated events of the year. In fact, it was named the “Best Annual Event” by Destin Magazine. This year marks the 28th anniversary of this fermented fruit festival. For four days, from April 10th to 13th, events including wine tastings, wine dinners with celebrity chefs, live music, and food pairing tutorials will entertain while raising money for a great organization, The Fisher House.


You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy the festival either. Whether you’re a sommelier or a novice, there will certainly be something new to taste or learn. The Sandestin Wine Festival is an opportunity to sample new wines and possibly speak with some of your favorite winemakers. It’s a chance to ask questions, mingle with like-minded people, and take home a few bottles of hard to find vintages.

The Northwest Florida Regional Airport has teamed with the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort to give away a pair of tickets to Friday’s Grand Wine Tasting at the Village of Baytowne Wharf. Check with our Facebook page the week of the event for details on how to enjoy this great event on us.

The four-day event features events including:

Thursday, April 10
Wine Dinners at Sandestin’s Village of Baytowne Wharf.
Village restaurants will offer specially prepared menus paired with wines.

Friday, April 11
Grand Wine Tasting, 5-8 p.m. (Win a pair of tickets.)
The pouring of hundreds of domestic and international wines makes for a grand event, and offers a rare opportunity to learn about the finest appellations from major producing countries in all varieties, styles, and price ranges.

Location: The Village of Baytowne Wharf

Delicious Food Pairings
Interact with the region’s hottest chefs, while sampling foods to pair with wine.

Retail Tent, 2- 9 p.m.
Purchase your favorite wine or spirits at a special Wine Festival discount.

Location: Baytowne Marina


Saturday, April 12 
Grand Wine Tasting, 1-5 p.m.
The pouring of hundreds of domestic and international wines makes for a grand event, and offers a rare opportunity to learn about the finest appellations from major producing countries in all varieties, styles, and price ranges.
*Individuals must be at least 21 years of age to taste wines.

Location: The Village of Baytowne Wharf

Retail Tent, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Purchase your favorite wine or spirits at a special Wine Festival discount.

Location: Baytowne Marina

Sunday, April 13
Sunday Brunch by the Bay
Enjoy scenic views of the Bay, music, and the charming marina while treating yourself to a delicious Sunday Brunch featuring wonderful champagnes.

Location: Baytowne Marina

Retail Tent, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Purchase your favorite wine or spirits at a special Wine Festival discount.

Location: Baytowne Marina

About The Fisher House of the Emerald Coast

The Fisher House of the Emerald Coast provides a home for military families when a family member is undergoing medical treatment at any local facility. It is available to any families with someone that has served in any branch of the military for any length of time. For more information about The Fisher House, watch this video.


To learn more about the event, visit their website, www.sandestinwinefestival.com.

If you want to get in touch, do it. Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. You can even send us a message on our website.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

St. Patrick’s Day on the Emerald Coast – Of Course!


Spring is just around the corner. Really. The first day of spring is March 20th. Before that happens, however, we will all be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. But, what do we really know about St. Patrick? More importantly, what’s going on in the Destin area to celebrate the life of this Saint of Ireland?

Sometime around 387 AD in Roman Britain, Patrick was born. Little is known about Patrick’s early life except that he came from a wealthy family, his father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest in the Christian church. When he was 16, Patrick was kidnapped by a gang of Irish raiders who were pillaging his family’s estate and taken to Ireland. It was there that he spent the next six years, slaving as a shepherd, mostly alone. During this time, he turned to his religion for comfort and became a devout Christian.

The Lord Speaks to Patrick

According to his own writings, God spoke to Patrick and told him it was time to leave Ireland. So, Patrick walked almost 200 miles to the coast and escaped to Britain. At some point, after returning to Britain, an angel appeared to Patrick in a dream and told him to return to Ireland as a missionary. He spent the next 15 years studying religion and was ordained as a priest. After ordination, he was sent to Ireland to minister to the few Christians who were already living there and to convert the pagans to Christianity.

It is believed that Patrick used, as a teaching aid, the three leaves of a shamrock to represent the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Also, as was common when converting people from one belief system to another, he borrowed from the indigenous religion the symbol of the sun. He superimposed the sun onto the Christian cross, creating the Celtic cross. Some accounts suggest that within 200 years of Patrick’s return to Ireland, the entire island had converted to Christianity.

On March 17, approximately 460 AD, Patrick died. He has never been formally beatified a saint by a pope however, shortly after his death he began being recognized as one.

Some interesting St. Patrick’s Day facts (via history.com):

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish. In 2009, roughly 26.1 billion pounds of beef and 2.3 billion pounds of cabbage were produced in the United States.
Irish soda bread gets its name and distinctive character from the use of baking soda rather than yeast as a leavening agent.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in the United States on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City.
More than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States. New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations.

Places to Spend St. Patrick’s Day

There are seven places in the United States named after the shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland including Mount Gay-Shamrock, WV; Shamrock, TX; Shamrock Lakes, IN; and Shamrock, OK.
Sixteen U.S. places share the name of Ireland’s capital, Dublin. With 44,541 residents, Dublin, CA, is the largest of these, followed by Dublin, OH, with 39,310.
Other towns with the luck of the Irish include Emerald Isle, North Carolina and Irishtown, Illinois.

Facts about Irish Americans

There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry. This number is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.
Irish is the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, ranking behind German.
There are approximately 144,588 current U.S. residents who were born in Ireland.

So, what’s going on in Destin for St. Patrick’s Day? Here are a couple of things.

The 7th Annual 30A St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival will be on Saturday, March 15th. There will be more than 50 floats and parade entries along the four-mile route. Parade begins at 3:00. For more information, see 30AParade.com

St. Patty’s Day Delight at the Village of Baytowne Wharf is an opportunity to celebrate traditional Celtic music and all things Irish. The celebration begins at 6:00 pm on St. Patty’s day, March 17th. For more information, visit sandestin.com/events

And, of course, McGuire’s of Destin will have their annual St. Patrick’s Day Extravaganza. There will be feasting, imbibery and debauchery as well as entertainment provided by Brooks Hubbert. For more info on this event, see their Facebook page.

There you go. And, remember, this is just a small sampling of all of the great things that are just a flight away. If you have questions about getting here, get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

7 Reasons to Fly VPS this February


Well, 2013 is gone and now we’re thinking about spring and Valentine’s Day. It’s true, it may not be warm enough to go for a swim—for us locals, anyway, but you can still work on your tan. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of things you can do in the Destin area this time of year. And the best part, this is when you’ll find the best deals.

Instead of just saying there is a lot to do, let us show you what we mean. Here is a sample of what you can do and see. Check out TripShock.com for more information and even more activities.

Dolphin Watch and Destin History Cruise: The Hannah Marie & the Miss Florida runs Dolphin Cruises daily. Family owned and operated, this is an ideal way to enjoy a relaxing 1.5 hour narrated cruise watching dolphins play in their natural habitat. These boats feature a glass bottom viewing area, snack bar, restrooms and an air conditioned and heated cabin.

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park: Delight in watching dolphins leap and sea lions play during our spectacular shows! Or participate and interact directly with these and other remarkable marine animals including stingrays, otters, and penguins during interactive programming (advanced reservations required). Enjoy educational exhibits and beautiful ocean views. Open daily at 9am.

Deep Sea Fishing Party Boat in Destin: Come fish with one of the oldest and largest fishing fleets on the Emerald Coast! We are pleased to have the opportunity to introduce our fleet and invite you aboard to fish the beautiful, unspoiled waters of the Gulf of Mexico. With knowledge based on a lifetime of experience, we assure you a deep-sea fishing adventure that will make for a dandy "fish tale".

Guided Inshore Fishing Charter: Experience the sound of your reel singing with Bull Reds, Gator Trout and a variety of the Panhandle's inshore species. Your choice of gear; fly rod or light tackle spinning gear. Book an inshore charter today!

Destin Harbor Private Sailing Excursion: Explore the ocean on a sailing yacht. Each trip is private and tailored for your family or group. Choose to take a day sail – soak up the sun, catch fish, and snorkel or climb aboard for the premier trip of the day – the sunset cruise! We leave from the Destin Harbor and voyage to the Gulf of Mexico where the curious and playful dolphins await! Join the crew and learn to sail or relax on the deck with cool drinks, music, and our complimentary munchies. Our captain and crew are the best in the business and our flagship – the Emerald Lady is the finest on the Emerald Coast.

The Thriller Dolphin Tour aboard Aj's SeaQuest: Climb aboard AJ's SeaQuest and experience affordable family fun as you cruise the emerald waters along the sugar-white sand beaches of Destin. Our 53 foot boat carries up to 89 passengers and offers an array of excitement and fun for the entire family. Also receive complimentary drinks on every day time SeaQuest cruise!

Destin Sailing Cruise Aboard The Daniel Webster Clements: Sail Destin on one of the last schooners in the Destin Harbor. The Daniel Webster Clements is great for a day or evening sailing cruise and is equipped with 2 bathrooms and a deck that holds 37 guests. See dolphins and beautiful sights along the East Pass and Destin Harbor. Each cruise is also equipped with complimentary beer, wine and sodas.


There you go. And, remember, this is just a small sampling of all of the great things that are just a flight away. For more information about these and myriad other adventures waiting for you in the Destin area, check out TripShock.com. If you have questions about getting here, get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter.

#WheelsUp #FlyVPS