Silver Sands Factory Stores, on U.S. 98 between Destin and Sandestin (tel. 800/510-6255 or 850/864-9771; www.silversandsoutlet.com), has more than 120 upscale stores, such as Liz Claiborne, DKNY, J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, Coach, Bose, and so on. Shops are open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 9pm (to 7pm Jan-Feb), Sunday from 10am to 6pm (noon-6pm Jan-Feb). There are also electronic games for kids and a sports bar for adults. Destin Commons, 4300 Legendary Dr. (tel. 850/337-8700; www.destincommons.com), at the corner of Highway 98 and Mid-Bay Bridge Road, offers shops and restaurants including Banana Republic, Crocs, Forever 21, Williams-Sonoma, Lucky Brand Jeans, Chico's, Talbots, Bass Pro Shops, Johnny Rockets, Sushi Siam, Cold Stone Creamery, and a 14-screen movie theater. Destin Commons is open Monday to Thursday from 10am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 10pm, and on Sunday from 11am to 7pm. Along similar lines is Sandestin's Grand Boulevard, 215 Grand Blvd. (tel. 850/654-5929; www.grandboulevard.com), featuring shops and restaurants.
Over at the Sandestin Beach Resort on U.S. 98, you can window-shop in the Market at Sandestin, where boutiques sell expensive clothing, gifts, and Godiva chocolates. Nearby is the half-charming, half Disney-esque Village of Baytowne Wharf, 9300 U.S. Hwy. 98 W. (tel. 850/267-8117; www.baytownewharf.com), on the water in the Sandestin resort development, featuring restaurants, shops, and bars.
For a funkier, artier shopping experience, consider the beachside artist colony Artists at Gulf Place (tel. 850/662-0400), on the corner of Highway 393 and 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, a collection of nine local artists who sell their works from colorful, open-air kiosks. For more art, check out Seaside's Ruskin Place Artist Colony, 123 Quincy Circle (tel. 850/231-1091), the largest and most impressive collection of art galleries along the Gulf Coast housed in some of Seaside's most architecturally appealing buildings. For handcrafted jewelry, furniture, sculptures, pottery, art, and vintage items, do not miss the Big Mama Hula Girl Gallery, 1300 B Hwy. 283 S., in Santa Rosa Beach (tel. 850/231-6201), and for fans of folk art, Woodie's Folk Art, 1066 Bay Dr. (tel. 850/231-1783), in Santa Rosa Beach, features fantastic paintings by a man with a fantastic story.
Do not miss the individual shopping villages of Rosemary Beach (tel. 850/278-2100) and Seaside (tel. 850/231-5424), where mom-and-pop shops selling fashion, fragrances, art, and kitsch thrive and are proof that not every successful store these days has to be chained down to a mall.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.