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7 Dec 2020
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The holiday season may look a little different this year, but you can still have a memorable Christmas on the coast with loved ones. With Florida COVID precautions, enhanced cleaning procedures for vacation rentals, socially distant activities and holiday meals to-go, you and your family will be merry and bright this December. If you plan on taking your family celebration to the beach this year, here is the ultimate guide for having a safe, healthy and happy holiday along the Emerald Coast!

A Safe and Sanitized Home for the Holidays 

When it comes to pandemic travel, the cleanliness of your vacation rental should be the least of your concerns! Here at My Vacation Haven, we want our guests to fully relax during your holiday getaway knowing that your home is clean and your family is safe. Even though property cleanliness and guest safety has always been a top priority for us, we have enhanced our professional standards for cleaning even further to assure the utmost safety, security, health and comfort of each and every guest. You can learn more about our cleaning procedures here, but these are a few examples of what you can expect from our team, from our family to yours: 

  • No-contact check-in and checkout. Our procedures have been streamlined to allow guests to check in right away; no front desk agent, nothing to sign upon arrival, no one to meet with or see at all during your entire stay unless you choose to do so. 

  • We provide all housekeepers and inspectors with protective masks and gloves to wear when cleaning or inspecting our vacation homes. 

  • Every linen and towel, regardless of use, is removed, sanitized and professionally laundered between each guest stay in our own commercial grade laundry, utilizing commercial-grade laundry chemicals, gas dryers, and hotter water temperatures.

  • Our cleaning teams use cleaning products that have been approved as effective for use against COVID-19 and other virus, bacteria, and pathogens, as deemed by CDC/EPA guidelines.

Socially Distant Activities 

Pandemic travel doesn’t have to be boring! Even with Florida COVID precautions, there are numerous activities for your family to enjoy along the Emerald Coast during the holiday season. With beautiful views and plenty of sunshine, you’ll want to spend most of your vacation outside. It’s the perfect time of year to walk through your favorite coastal communities (most of which are decorated for Christmas!), have a beach bonfire and go for a bike ride along 30A. Here are some socially distant activities we know you and your family will enjoy:  

Holiday Events 

To get the entire family in the holiday spirit, there are a variety of festive events during the month of December. From the 34th Annual Holiday on the Harbor Destin Lighted Boat Parade to a theatrical production of A Christmas Carol at Emerald Coast Theatre Company, there is no shortage of holiday cheer along the Gulf Coast! 

For even more holiday fun, visit The Village of Baytowne Wharf, which hosts several seasonal events including:

  • Baytowne on Ice. If you miss the cold and ice, the seasonal ice rink is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some of your favorite holiday traditions. 

  • Wednesday Night Concert Series. Listen to Christmas classics Wednesdays, December 2 – 16 from 6pm to 8pm. This free event also features a festive choreographed light show and visits with Santa. 

  • 12 Nights of Lights. Watch a dazzling light show from the Events Plaza Lawn every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday leading up to Christmas!

  • Winter Wonderland. Enjoy a day of frosty fun for the whole family. Slide down the ice slide, make snow angels and spread some holiday cheer on December 19 from 9am – 1pm. 

Where to Order Christmas Dinner To-Go 

Your Christmas on the coast should be relaxing, so if you aren’t a fan of cooking, skip a homemade feast and opt for dinner to-go from one of your favorite restaurants. Several Destin and 30A restaurants will be offering holiday takeout menus so that you can enjoy a delicious meal and also be as safe as possible during your pandemic travels. 

  • Blue Mountain Bakery will be offering meals that can easily be heated up at your vacation rental! Pick-up will be on December 23. 

  • Cracker Barrel in Destin will offer Heat n’ Serve meals featuring spiral-sliced sugar cured ham, traditional sides and fresh baked pies. 

  • Cuvee 30A can help you deck your dinner plates with Chef Tim Creehan’s delicious cuisine. 

  • The Honey Baked Ham Company is conveniently located in Crystal Beach and is an easy way to feed your family without the fuss. 

Urgent Care Locations if You Get Sick 

Although we like to think a dose of sunshine and salt air can cure everything, you can still get sick during your pandemic travel. Florida COVID precautions, social distancing and personal protection equipment will help minimize the risk, but if you do feel under the weather, there are several Destin and 30A urgent care facilities that you can visit: 

  • Doc Smiley’s Urgent Care is a full-service clinic in Seagrove Beach. They offer COVID tests and have taken numerous precautions to keep both their patients and staff safe. A few of those updates include a contact-free check-in process, the ability to skip the waiting room and stay in your car, and an iWave UV air purifying system that kills viruses and bacteria.

  • Emerald Coast Urgent Care has locations in both Destin and Inlet Beach. COVID Viral rapid tests are available seven days a week, plus they also provide the COVID-19 antibody test. If you have other healthcare needs, you can visit with a provider at the clinic or from the comfort of your vacation rental via telemedicine. 

  • White-Wilson Medical Center Immediate Care Clinic is located in the heart of Destin and provides urgent medial assistance to those of all ages. You can visit between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday for illnesses and injuries. 

Since this year has already been untraditional, why not switch up your holiday plans and spend Christmas by the beach? As you can see, you’ll enjoy numerous socially distant activities, delicious holiday meals and the cleanest rentals on the coast! If you’re ready for a white (sand) Christmas, contact My Vacation Haven today or visit our website to view all of our vacation rentals.

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