Pausing the fall fun to bring you details on our amazing beach trip…
Living in a landlocked state (for the first time in my life) has made visiting the beach a bit more difficult. While I was a beach baby to the max, my daughter hadn’t had an opportunity to see the beach….until…we headed down to the gulf coast to Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort a couple of weeks ago! From enjoying the white sand beaches to the amazing food, it was heavenly! Plus, Sandestin’s Executive Chef Javier Rosa treated us to a display of delicious appetizers. He was kind enough to share the recipe for my favorite – the jumbo lump mini crab cakes so you get to make them too!
My husband and I are still getting used to vacations with a baby so when we found Sandestin, it was all a breeze from there! We were in a condo in the Westwinds Tower right on the beach, meaning no lugging a billion beach toys and a tired toddler a million miles. So if you’re going with family, I highly recommend being sure you’re right on the beach. We had cute little chairs set up daily and we could actually relax. When we were tired of the beach, the pools were steps away. This was ideal for times when Blakely wanted to splash in the kiddie pool instead of going down to the beach. It was so nice to have both!
I definitely recommend heading over to the Village at Baytowne Wharf to get the “lay of the land” when you arrive because you’ll be making lots of mental notes to “come back here…and here…and here!” It’s the cutest little village of restaurants, toy stores, gift shops, games, etc. There was even a concert our last night and Blakely danced the night away with a little 2 year old German boy she randomly met on the lawn. Everyone was in stitches and she was so worn out that she slept the whole way home! Score!
So if you find yourself in need of some sun and sand (we went in offseason which I also recommend)…here are my favorite things!
Favorite Things to Do in Sandestin
- Head to Sunset Bay Café for brunch and order the cinnamon roll for the table to share and the Banana Brulee!
- Spend lots of time on the white sand beaches building sandcastles.
- Visit the Village at Baytown Wharf for shopping and ice cream at Moo La La!
- Enjoy a nice dinner out at Marlin Grill.
- Shop for cute clothes, gifts, and souvenirs at Barefoot Princess (in the Village).
- Head by Publix nearby if you need to stock on any groceries for your stay.
- If you love golf, Raven and Burnt Pine are A+ courses!
- Eat your weight in fried shrimp.
- Walk down the boardwalk at the Village at sunset!
- Play put-put and rent bicycles for afternoon fun!
The food was amazing! Blakely is quite obsessed with popcorn shrimp now! We loved all the fruity beach drinks and have made Chef Javier’s crab cakes TWICE since we’ve been home! They’re THAT good! All of his appetizers were delectable. If you ever have the chance to enjoy some of his dishes, you’ll know exactly what I mean!
He made us Louisiana Crawfish & Jumbo Lump Mini Crab Cake (Smoked Gouda/ Lemon Aioli/ Spicy “Guajillo” Pepper Sauce), Housemade-Smoked Gulf Fish Quenelle on top of a Garlic Plantain Chip (Cilantro Crema/ Jalapeno), and Southern Louie Gulf Shrimp Salad (Celery/ Onions/ Brussels Sprout Slaw/ Toasted Buttermilk Biscuit). Amazing. That was our dinner one evening, and it might have been my favorite!
Louisiana Crawfish & Jumbo Lump Mini Crab Cake
- 1 pound Jumbo Lump Crab Meat
- ½ pound Crawfish
- 4 Celery Stalks - minced
- 4 ounces Shredded Smoked Gouda Cheese
- 4 ounces Minced Spanish Onion
- 3 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
- 1 cup Japanese Bread Crumbs
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
Sautee the onions and celery in butter until translucent. Cool to room temperature.
Combine lump crab and crawfish meat, and pick through for tiny shells that may be present.
Combine crab and crawfish with the remaining ingredients and mix by hand. Assure not to over mix.
Portion into 4 cakes
Coat the crab cakes in additional bread crumbs and sauté until lightly golden
Serve with lemon aioli and spicy “guajillo” pepper sauce
Be sure to enjoy the Sandestin sunsets! They’re stunning! Blakely loved walking down the boardwalks every night to “look for boats and fishies”!
My Mom, Blakely, and I made the trip by car which was easy because it was a straight shot south from Nashville. My husband, however, had work obligations so he hopped on a plane to join us for part of the trip. There’s another favorite tip, DON’T worry if you’re not within driving distance. There are several airports right nearby the resort and the flights were super affordable (as in the cheapest flights we’ve ever seen). SO if you don’t live within driving distance, do not worry! It’s also so nice to know that the 30A area has so many amazing things to do and see but you can also stay right on the resort and never get bored! This is so helpful for families with wild, active toddlers! ;)
Thanks to Sandestin for partnering with us for such a wonderful trip!