Mom and I had bypassed Destin on our drive over from New Orleans to our week-long camping spot in Carabelle, but then made a day-trip to come back to Destin for lunch. We ate at this terrific seaside restaurant called the Crab Pot--
After lunch, we strolled the beach a bit to take in the sun, sights, and sounds. Only downside to this gorgeous beach is that no dogs are allowed (Millie was not too happy about having to stay in the car!).
On our drive over from New Orleans, we drove along the beachfront of Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi. They've got some excellent white sandy beaches there too, but sadly, this was an area that was hardest hit by Katrina in terms of physical damage. In the 15 or so miles we drove along the beach, the only buildings standing are brand new. The remaining 80% or so of the land are completely vacant lots with only their concrete foundations and large oak trees remaining. Mom said there used to be gorgeous, stately old mansions along this road in between all the typical hotels and tourist beach businesses. Now, it's completely gone.
On the bright side, once building continues a few more years, it will be a great sparkling new beach destination with new casinos, hotels, businesses, and homes. But as of right now, you'd better like waffles, because the only food you seem to be able to get along this stretch of road are from the 3 or 4 brand new Waffle House restaurants!