DESTIN SNOWBIRD CLUB: So much for snowbirds to do while here

Mary Pierce
Executive Director Kathy Marler Blue and volunteer Tona Newland welcome snowbirds to the Destin History & Fishing Museum on Stahlman Avenue. Both ladies are great-great-granddaughters of Destin pioneer William Elisha Marler. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

A shout of gratitude goes out to Kathy Marler Blue, executive director of the Destin History and Fishing Museum, for catching a mistake in the calendar of events in last week's article. The Destin Street Parade will take place on Dec. 14, not Dec. 7 as reported. Also, the Holiday Lighted Boat Parade will be on Dec. 15, not Dec. 8. The snowbirds will still gather for dinner at Brotula's and the $20 tickets will be available for purchase at the first meeting on Nov. 19.

It's interesting that my mistake was caught by Destin's History and Fishing Museum. I had planned to highlight some places of interest for our early birds as they wait for the usual snowbird activities to begin, and the museum was at the top of my list. For more than a few snowbirds, it has been one of Destin's best kept secrets.

Reopening in 2005, the museum illustrates the growth of Destin from a small fishing village to the beautiful vacation destination that attracts not only snowbirds, but also spring breakers and vacationers from all over the world. There is a 5,500-square foot main building that exhibits everything from the Native American origins of the area to the variety of fish and fishing equipment that has made Destin “The World's Luckiest Fishing Village.” An outside exhibit showcases historical boats, buildings and walkways. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. At $4 per senior, a better bargain is hard to find. More details can be found on their website,

Many early birds had an opportunity last weekend to attend the spectacular 2019 Blue Angel's Homecoming Air Show at the Naval Air Station Pensacola. What some may not know is that the public is welcome to come and watch them practice at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from March to November at no charge. It may be too late to watch the practices this year, but the Naval Aviation Museum, the world's largest Naval aviation museum, is at the same location and it makes the hour and 40-minute drive well worth the time. There are over 150 restored aircraft including some that are one-of-a-kind. There are also vintage uniforms, historic documents, and educational movies shown every hour on a giant screen. The Cubi Bar Café is both a restaurant and museum exhibit that duplicates the famous Cubi Point Officers' Club in the Philippines. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Admission is free but you may want to check for important details.

If you enjoy military history, but want to stay closer to home, the Air Force Armament Museum is located on Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach. The museum is home to nearly 30 aircraft, including the SR-71 Blackbird, which holds the record as the fastest plane ever built. There is also a collection of guns, bombs, bomblets and missiles. Admission is free and they are open every day except Sundays and holidays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Other than museums, there is so much to enjoy in and around Destin that boredom is nonexistent. Destin Harbor Boardwalk, the Village of Baytowne Warf, the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Henderson Beach State Park, hiking trails, scenic and fishing boat cruises, restaurants and shops too numerous to list here are just a few.

Into reading? Destin has a wonderful public library. Into golf? That information will fill an entire future article. Can't decide? A good place to start is with the list of vendors who support the Destin snowbirds that can be found on our website at

I started with a correction and I will end with a couple more. The first of two snowbird craft shows will be on Dec. 10, not Dec. 9. And, The Ladies Fashion Show Luncheon date, Feb. 17, is not set in stone. We are still looking for someone to step forward to chair the event. Interested? You can contact me or any of the board members for more information.

I hope to see many of you Nov. 18 for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 1 p.m. You can register immediately after the ceremony but remember, there will be no registration on Tuesday before the 10 a.m. meeting. Only those who are registered will be eligible for door prizes.

If you left items in storage last spring, they can be retrieved most Saturday mornings from 8-9 a.m.

Exact dates are listed on the website and in the activity sheets that will be handed out at every registration.

Mary Pierce, publicity director, is from Toledo, Ohio, and can be reached at 419-250-9377 or She will be writing the weekly column for the papers, so if you have something to share, contact her.