Where To Shop in Fort Walton Beach
Vacations in Destin are perfect for water sports and beaching but sometimes we need a bit of break from the beating sun, a little time for that tan to set in.
Why not spend a day treating yourself to a shopping spree?
If you’re visiting the city, places to shop may not be obvious. We’ve got a list of unique places for you to choose from so you don’t break the bank for nothing.
Places To Shop in Destin-Fort Walton Beach, FL
Our Favorite Destin FWB Giftshop: Banana Bart
This is one of the more unique shops in Destin. From a distance, it just looks like an ordinary mustard yellow house near the beach, but come inside and immerse yourself into a world of trinkets and what have you.
The house was built in the 1930s and the original clawfoot tub can still be seen in the store today. The interior gives off a funky ’70s vibe as you wander around the groovy five-roomed gift shop.
With the store’s age, there also comes a bit of history.
When the house was first purchased, it was considered an old home and not a “waterfront property.” The house’s original owners purchased the house by trading a used truck from their car lot; looking back it sure seems like it was a bargain!
When the Colemans (who own the house today) purchased their now shop, they wanted to use it for a restaurant but after careful consideration and a bit of research, they opened a kitchen shop instead and called it Nautical Chef; the store mostly catered to cooking on boats.
One day, someone offered to sell jewelry at their store, and it sold like wildfire!
Anne Coleman had an art degree and put this to good use by painting some shirts to sell. The business of new graphic tees and jewelry changed the trajectory of the store’s items.
Over time, the clientele has changed but the gift shop remains funkier than ever.
This shop is known to have generations of passersby and oodles of special finds. If there’s one place to stop in it’s definitely this one!
For The Music Fan: Fort Walton Beach Records
For the next stop, picture Liv Tyler in Empire Records. That’s right, we’re going to a record store!
This Destin vinyl shop is privately and locally owned, so you get your records in Destin while supporting fellow Destiners.
This store has 20,000 vintage and new release types of vinyl, and with many rave reviews, this is a place not to be missed!
Don’t have a record player? Don’t worry, it’s not an issue. Fort Walton Beach Records also sells turntables, receivers, and speakers.
Maybe you want more of a visual gift to leave with, this store also provides posters and is an authorized dealer for Ortofon and Grado phono cartridges.
The store even has limited repair services for turntables, speakers, and receivers.
If this place isn’t magical enough they also allow pets!
So hop on over to music utopia you won’t regret it!
Buy Candy in Destin FWB: Candymaker Candy Store
This shop is hoping you have a sweet tooth.
We all know of candy and many of us love taffy but saltwater taffy hits differently.
Where did this candy come about? Back in the 1880s a man named John Ross Edmiston owned a small boardwalk shop in Destin and hired a man named David Bradley to sell some taffy alongside him.
Unfortunately, the story of Bradly was a short one, but his taffy lingered.
One night, the ocean flooded Edmiston’s shop and left the taffy covered in sea foam. When a girl asked Edminson if he had any taffy, he joked about it being “salt water” taffy and thus the name appeared. You guessed it, this popular treat got its name from a dad joke.
This brings the unfortunate conclusion that there is no actual difference between salt water taffy aside from the fact that if you live by the ocean your taffy is most likely known as “salty”.
What does that have to do with this Destin shop?
They make saltwater taffy of course! From scratch!
Candy Maker Candy Store was created around the ’80s. A man named Tom Ehlke was at his friend’s beach supply store and kept noticing people asking for saltwater taffy. His friend was selling taffy already, but it was, for a lack of a better word, trash.
Tom decided he could do better and went on to open a full-blown candy shop in Destin in 1992, where he was known as “the grouchy candymaker”.
The Destin shop now has an assortment of homemade candies to choose from including taffy!
Come in and see if you can taste the saltwater.
Thrifting in Destin FWB: SOCKS Thrift Store
Last on the list is a Destin thrift shop.
Most cities have their nationwide thrift shops but this local gem is even more affordable than most chains.
Not only that but The SOCKS Thrift Store has very rare finds.
Reviews beam about the collection to choose from for a reasonable price.
This Destin thrift shop also has a few furry friends hanging around, yes I mean cats.
What’s with all the cats you may ask? This store’s mission statement is to raise awareness about population control and the health management of felines.
SOCKS is an acronym for: save our cats and kittens.
The thrift store is a sister store to their SOCKS shelter. Enjoy the cats or find a hat, this one is a good find.
No matter which Destin-Fort Walton Beach shop you choose, you’re certain to leave with more than you came, both in memories and some new rare trinkets.