Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Destin, FL - Shoreline Towers

Destin, Fl is our favorite beach destination. We've been in 2003 (Inlet Reef), 2005 (Inlet Reef), 2006 (Jetty East), 2007 (Shoreline Towers), and just returned from 2009 (Shoreline Towers).

After our one year hiatus, we returned to Shoreline Towers not because we fell in love with the condominium, but because we could book our exact same room as our previous trip (1021). It's the only room I'd ever book at Shoreline Towers. It has the best angle of the beach (almost as if you are on the beach), has three bedrooms (two bedrooms with two queen beds each, and the master with a king), is on the first floor right next to the stairs (no need for the elevator), and has a 40' open balcony.


The view from our balcony


What you see if you look to the right

The problem, when you go up from our unit, is that the owners of the other units have chosen to enclose their balconies and extended their living rooms or turned them into sunrooms. The only other unit with an open balcony with our angle is on the eighth floor (I'm guessing the unit number is 1091).

The last time we were at Shoreline, we booked through Shoreline (though we found the unit on VRBO). This year, we booked through the owner directly. It turns out that by doing so, we didn't get the STAR ammenities (but we did save $200). However, they allowed us to purchase the STAR ammenities for $100. We opted to do this because we realized that in the end, it would save us money.

The STAR ammenities gave us:
- two mini golf tickets at The Track/night
- four attraction tickets at The Track/night (could not be used on bungee jumping)
- one free admission to Big Kahunas/night
- one free breakfast at Fudpucker's ($10 value - we did not redeem this)
- one free round of golf at a STARs preferred course/night

Last time, we also got a movie rental/night, but this perk was no longer included (likely replaced bythe Fudpucker's breakfast).

The key is to stop by The Track every day to redeem tickets, because they do not have to be used that day. In fact, there is no expiration date on the tickets, so you could probably bring them back on another trip to redeem.

Now, I did not go around and take detailed photos of Shoreline Towers. I suppose I should have, but I wasn't really thinking about writing a review, at the time.

There's a plain-looking pool, gym and sauna(that I didn't go in), two tennis courts, shuffleboard, and a basketball goal located around the main office. From our room in Tower 1, it is quite a trek. Since it's not very convenient, we didn't bother to venture over there very often. We visited the pool one night for about half an hour.

The beach is much closer to us. We were sad to observe that the beach is washing away. It was over twice as big back in 2003. Hurricanes.... we walked down to the Jetty East, and you couldn't go any further because the water was all the way under the pavillion (I remember just three years before playing baseball in front of the pavillion while our parents made dinner). I'm not sure how much longer the beaches are going to be here.

Parking at Shoreline Towers is decent. The Penthouse owners get numbered parking spots in the parking garage underneath each tower (very small), but the other owners and guests have to fend for themselves. It's a huge lot. A lot of the spaces closer to the main office are taken up by boats and RVs. Still, there's no problem finding a space - it's just finding one closest to the unit.

Now... on to the trip report!