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Sounds and Waves at The Hilton

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Article by Valerie Shepherd

Photography by Valerie Shepherd, Sunny Bailey and The Hilton Sandestin

Every year the white powder sands, turquoise waters and promises of an easy drive getaway lure my friends and me to find a little fun and relaxation in Florida, especially to destinations like The Hilton Sandestin Golf and Resort that offer it ALL. What do we typically want? Luxurious spa (check). Magical sunsets (check). Expansive beaches dotted with full-service loungers (check). Top-rated restaurants on property or close by (check). Gorgeous rooms with balconies (check). Fruity drinks with umbrellas (check check check). 

Last year we decided to not only check all the boxes at The Hilton Sandestin Golf and Resort with our wishlist, but also take advantage of their amazing shuttle service and close proximity to the 30A Song Writer’s Festival. We’d be catching waves both in the water and sound kind!

The five-day event is typically filled with songwriter headliners both up-and-coming as well as legendary such Tanya Tucker, The Indigo Girls, Brian Wilson, Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits, and the infamous John Pryne. The best part? Several of the headliners also perform in smaller, more intimate settings giving you the ability to have a musical experience and encounter like no other spread out over 25+ smaller venues at all times throughout the day and evening. After the weekend we kind of wondered how we had never been to the festival before, as 2021 was its 11th year.

At night we were perfectly happy to head back to The Hilton Sandestin and have sushi and a few cocktails by the bonfire on the beach or sit on our balcony to catch the vibrant and unparalleled sunsets only that part of Florida showcases. Looking back now, we’re so glad we decided to have a little beach and relaxation time at The Hilton as well as a festival experience in January 2020, because little did we know, it would be the last vacation all of us would have for quite some time. Just a month later, life changed as we knew it with the pandemic. We also witnessed one of John Pryne’s last US shows shortly before he passed, a performance that still stirs my soul with his musical mastery.

The weekend was so incredible we decided to delay our return a day (shhhh) to spend a full day at the property and most importantly take advantage of their incredible spa. It was like a hidden oasis full of soaking pools and cascading water features. Personally I had one of the most hydrating facials I’ve ever had and one of the longest naps I’d had in a while in their relaxation rooms. They definitely knew how to put the "aaaah" in spa!

So as things continue to open back up, and summer and fall just begs for a beach trip or two, don’t be surprised if I’m taking up a lounge chair on the sandy white beaches of The Hilton Sandestin, singing tunes and recalling memories of a weekend I’ll remember for a lifetime but will be sure to repeat in the near future!

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