The Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast is a breathtaking setting for your next faith-based gathering. Travelocity rated the area “the Best Family Beach in the U.S.,” and Southern Living called it one of the “Top Three Family Vacation Destinations in the South” for 14 years in a row. Here’s why:
Comprised of Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island, the Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast offers 24 miles of pristine white-sand beaches stretching along the Gulf of Mexico. This sand, made up of pure Appalachian quartz, is sugar-white and gives the waters here its trademark emerald-green color by reflecting sunlight back up through the surf.
USA Today named this area a “Top Beach in the U.S.,” but there’s more to do here than check out the scenery. Parasailing, kite boarding, surfing, waterskiing, sailing, snorkeling…you can do it all here. Don’t leave without spending a few days on Crab Island, a favorite spot among locals.
Love to fish? You’ll find some of the best fishing Florida has to offer on the Emerald Coast. (Destin isn’t known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” for nothing.) Anglers come from near and far to hook sailfish, marlin, wahoo, cobia, bluefish, tarpon and mackerel. A great place to drop your line is the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier, which extends a quarter mile into the Gulf.
Of course, where there is great fishing there are usually great seafood restaurants, and the Emerald Coast is no exception. Come discover what Gulf-to-Table cuisine is all about. Dine on seafood brought in daily by Florida’s largest fishing fleet. Many restaurants will even cook your catch for you.
The Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast is also home to several world-class attractions. Come feed live alligators at Gator Beach. Take in a show at Florida’s Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, the world’s oldest continuously operating live marine show. Adventures offered here include swimming with dolphins. And speaking of dolphins, dolphin-watching cruises are very popular here, as are pirate cruises. Grab your mateys and head out for adventure on the high seas. The Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast is also home to entertainment complexes with mini golf, water parks, bungee jumping, bumper cars and go-kart tracks.
Discover the rich history of the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” at the Destin History and Fishing Museum, which features a large collection of antique fishing rods and reels, plus vintage photographs of early Destin settlers, boat captains and their boats, beach scenes and businesses. The museum gives visitors an idea of life in Destin before the arrival of electricity in the 1930s. Or discover adventure in the sky at the Air Force Armament Museum where you can experience the aviation warfare armament from the early days of World War I right through to today’s high-tech planes and bombs. Inside, you’ll find an extensive collection of weaponry and interactive displays with vintage military aircraft including the fastest plane ever built, the SR-71 Blackbird, on display outside.
Have golfers in your group? Sunny skies, coastal breezes and lush landscapes make the Emerald Coast a paradise for golfers of all skill levels, all year long. Whether skirting the sugar-white sand beaches or wandering through a grove of live oak pine, and tropical vegetation, you’ll have a great time golfing at our eight championship golf courses and country clubs.
If shopping is your passion, you won’t be disappointed either. Take your pick from traditional malls, open-air complexes and distinctive boutiques. Are you a collector? The area’s natural beauty and charm have formed a haven for artists of all kinds, so this is a great place to find a one-of-a-kind souvenir.
Make your faith-based event a day at the beach
Everything you need for your event to succeed is just a shell’s throw away from the beach at the Emerald Coast Convention Center. Here you’ll find an experienced, professional team praised for making faith-based events harmonious.
A jewel on the coast, the center features 35,000 total sq. ft. of multi-use meeting space. Twelve distinct meeting rooms, ranging from 450 to 10,800 sq. ft., combine to create a 21,000-sq.-ft., free expanse Emerald Grand Ballroom. All spaces can be configured to optimize your event experience.
Interested in holding your event outside? The center recently added Bayview Plaza with 30,000 square feet of space equipped with electricity and water.
State-of-the-art equipment. Expert catering. An energetic team committed to going the extra mile to offer extras you won’t find at other venues. Find out for yourself why the Emerald Coast Convention Center was voted one of the Florida’s Favorite Meeting Venues by the readers of ConventionSouth magazine.
Stay where you play and pray
The Emerald Coast offers 13,000 accommodation options, Choose from your favorite hotels, luxury beach condos, and quaint bed and breakfasts – all convenient to the Emerald Coast Convention Center and a number of area churches.