Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Why We Love Tops'L Resort in Destin

Today is the day for one last Summer post!  I'm excited to tell you about Tops'L Resort in Destin.  We have stayed at Tops'L resort several times over the years and would definitely recommend it.  We stayed in the Beach Manor area this year.  It was very nice with amazing views from every room.  It was very quiet and not overly crowded at the end of Summer.  Kevin always finds our condo online and they show tons of pictures of the rooms/amenities. 

Tops'L has basketball courts, tennis, mini golf, a pool with each building, an on site restaurant and it's very close to tons of restaurants and activities on the east side of Destin.  The ocean access is great, too.

The kids loved the ocean - it's hard to beat the gorgeous water of the Emerald Coast.  There were very few seashells, but that seems to be the norm for this area.  If you are going to the ocean to find awesome shells, definitely head farther south.  The Gulf Coast water seems to be a bit of a wild card.  It was very clear and gorgeous for us, but the waves were very strong.  We had yellow flags all week and a couple of red flags.  It was difficult for Leo to enjoy the ocean for very long with those rough waves.  The big kids mostly loved it except for when the ocean ate a couple pairs of their goggles.  Whoops!

As with any family trip, there were high and lows.  I'll mostly document the highs for you, but know there were dead van batteries to kick off our trip, throw up, traffic jams, surprise fireworks well past bedtime and chaos in the midst of these fun times.  But it's always worth it to travel with your family!

Nothing beats your first time getting in the ocean at the beginning of a trip!  Except if you're a toddler.

Much happier playing with his cars doing whatever he wants.

Tops'L views when you're walking out the condo door.  It's a really pretty property!

These giant windows were a hot spot all week long.  The kids played and camped out here to enjoy the views.

Inside the condo!  Master bedroom to one side, 2nd master where we stayed and a kid's room.  The family room, dining area, kitchen and laundry were all in the middle.  The family room and the 1st master had balconies.

It was so fun to watch the boats, helicopters, military planes and people coming and going.  We saw birds, dolphins, rainbows and storms roll in from time to time.  Leo loved it!

This was the pool connected to our building.  It was small, but perfect to cool after after walking in from the ocean.  Do you spot Kevin with the big kids?  This was one of the more crowded pool times.

It's such a pretty spot!

I mentioned that the waves were rough this week so Leo mostly played in the sand.  He loved driving all of his construction vehicles, making sand snow cones and digging.  He also did a fair amount of rolling in the sand and snacking in the shade.

Look at those waves!!

We opted to bring our own chairs and umbrellas this time since we were driving down.  Kevin hauled the heavy stuff and set up our camp each day.  Leo stumbled on a snowman!

This was a new experience for us - Blue Button Jellyfish!  They can sting, but we never saw anyone get stung by them.  The kids loved saving them and sending them back to the ocean in the evenings with their nets.

After dinner trips down to the ocean were so much fun!  It was cooler and the waves were calmer.  We could just run down with a few things and have tons of fun!  Versus when you go in the heat of the day and need all the things.


We had the best time playing carefully out on the balcony.  We were on the 10th floor so that made me a little nervous.  We loved the views from up there though!  These 3 love the ocean and I hope they always want to head to the ocean with us in the Summer!

I tried to capture one picture of each of the kids doing something that they LOVED this week.

Leo LOVED playing in the sand with his trucks.

Fletcher LOVED doing belly flops and swimming the ocean.

Olive loved jumping and swimming!

There is a larger pool by the ocean side restaurant that was fun!  We swam here several times and then grabbed lunch.  The food was good.  The views were wonderful!

One fun fact about going to The Gulf Coast - people are really friendly!  You'll hear the best Southen accents, TONS of SEC team apparel and monograms and everyone will be chatty.  It's so nice.  We admired this cool coconut that this woman found.  She said - Come here and take a picture with me! :)

Lifeguard Kev :)  We kept a close eye on everyone with those crazy waves.

These two had a great time boogy boarding.  Our condo provided them.

 If you have older kids, you've got to get flashlights, buckets and nets so that you can head to the ocean at sunset to find crabs and critters!  The local grocery stores like Winn Dixie or Publix will have all of these supplies.  Olive and Fletcher would have stayed out here for HOURS.  We headed down most nights after dinner with just the big kids.  It was too hard and a little scary to bring a busy toddler down to the ocean at sunset (we tried it and would not recommend it - ha!).  Plus, it was a fun thing that I could do solo with the big kids.


Destin, we love you!  Thanks for the happy memories!

 Do you have any Destin questions for me??  I'd love to help you plan a trip here!


  1. Beautiful beautiful photos!! Destin is such a gorgeous place. And can I just say that Olive is your mini me??

  2. This looks amazing!! We didn't do any trips this year with the baby coming in July but I'm totally getting wanderlust looking at these pictures! Your family looks like you all had such a wonderful time and treasured memories (and I totally understand the mix of negative stuff, too, but you are right that it's worth it!). We have not been to the ocean yet with any of our kiddos. We did try Lake Michigan last year which reminded me so much of the East Coast, I was really surprised by the white sand and clear blue water! But hopefully an ocean trip is in our somewhat near future!

  3. What an awesome condo location! Michael commented after we dropped Jack off at college that Alabama was one of the friendliest places he'd ever been. That area of the south is definitely friendly. Texas is friendly too, but we miss some of that living in a big metropolitan area.


I LOVE hearing from you!! Thanks for taking the time to leave sweet comments; I enjoy reading every one of them.