'So many restaurants, so little time' for Destin Snowbirds

The Destin Log
Mary Pierce

The Destin Snowbirds are looking forward to a warm and hospitable stay here on the beautiful Emerald Coast for the first two or three months of 2023.

One of the reasons so many snowbirds flock to Destin each year, is the welcoming generosity of many area businesses. According to Prize chair Gene Holzer, there are at least 40 to 50 restaurants that support the snowbird club. I would like to give a shout-out to all of them, but will begin with at least a few.

Lulu’s Seafood Restaurant is located on Legendary Marina Drive. Lulu is the childhood nickname for the owner Lucy Buffet, a younger sister of famous Margaritaville singer Jimmy Buffet. As a native from this area, Lucy has had a passion for creating not only authentic Gulf Coast Cuisine, but memorable good times as well, so live entertainment is often an integral part of the “Lulu experience.” Lulu’s has long been a Destin snowbird vendor but has recently also become the host spot for our popular T.G.I.T. (Thank Goodness It’s Tuesday) parties. The first party of this new year will be Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 3 – 6 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by the Lloyd Carter Band. Cost is $5 per person and snowbird membership badges will be required for admission.

Lulu’s has been a Destin Snowbird supporter and is now the host of the popular T.G.I.T. parties on Tuesday's.

For those snowbirds who are just coming back after a COVID hibernation, it might be surprising to see 790 on the Gulf gone from its location in the Crystal Beach Inn. They have moved to Emerald Coast Parkway in the old Jim ‘N Nick’s building. However, it’s anything but “old.” The restaurant has been freshly decorated in the colors of the Emerald Coast. And, while the surroundings are new, their popular menu, drinks and even the staff are the same as when they were located on the Gulf, plus, it will be much easier to find a parking spot.

A meeting after the meeting is enjoyed at 790 on the Gulf by Terry and Jackie Roberson from Maine on the left and Flo and Jerry Reckman from Michigan.

One of the longest standing supporters of the Destin Snowbird Club is Saltwater Restaurants Inc., where local seafood is weighed, filleted, and distributed to their many area restaurants that include The Surf Hut, The Crab Trap, Floyd’s Shrimp House, Nick’s Boathouse, and The Boathouse landing. They also own Al’s Beach Club Burger Bar, Rockin’ Tacos Grill and Tequila Bar, and the Blackstone Golf Club.

For those snowbirds who are craving a juicy cut of beef, I suggest patronizing our generous supporter, The Outback Steakhouse located in the Crystal Beach Plaza. They offer a full menu, of course, but are famous for their steaks and their bloomin onion appetizer.

For a lighter fare, especially dessert, our supporter, Culver’s, is second to none. They are located on 98 West near S. Holiday Rd.

Snowbird president Ruth Ann Beckett presents a $250 check to Destin Chamber chair Jason Belcher for the benefit of the Harvest House Food Pantry and Thrift Store which is located on Mountain Drive in Destin.

A new vendor to the snowbirds this season is Old Bay Steamer on Okaloosa Island. They offer a full menu in a casual setting but are especially known for their steamed shellfish.

So many restaurants, so little time! And this is just a start! I hope to be able to share information on all our vendors over the next few weeks. I invite any of them to contact me if they have special information to share. Or contact our webmaster Jack Krasky at our website, “”

Ready to serve is the Destin Snowbird storage crew. From left are Tom Franklin, Dennis Miller, Linda Zukonik, Flo and Jerry Reckman and Jim Studts.

Snowbirds, be sure to highlight Jan. 3 on your new calendars for the “Big Registration” which will take place from 1 to 3 at the Roost. Remember, even if you have already registered, there will be tables set up with information on the various activities available to our members. The storage lockers will be open that Tuesday from 2 to 3 p.m.

The first meeting of the New Year will be Tuesday, Jan. 10, in the Destin Community Center at 10 a.m. I look forward to seeing all of you there.

Mary Pierce is the publicity person for the Destin Snowbird Club.