Carillon Beach with Karin

I know, I know – we just went on vacation. BUT, Karin and I like to skip out of town on occasion (like, every couple of years) since we don’t live in the same city, and visiting each other’s houses means we can’t take a break from motherhood. Obviously going to the beach is our only option. I’m sure you understand.

We took a chance on Hotwire and fully prepared to stay at a local dump somewhere on the Emerald Coast. As long as the doors locked and there were no obvious bug infestations, we were going to be fine.

We were PLEASANTLY surprised to discover the Carillon Beach Resort Inn. Good job, Hotwire!

Tucked away in a gated community, the resort is a slew of condos in a desirable neighborhood of million-dollar homes. There are seven private beach access points, four swimming pools, and a lake in the middle of it all. This was the view from our patio:

On site is a little breakfast/lunch cafe and a separate restaurant for dinner, along with a spa, general store, and a couple of other businesses. We could not figure out why the place wasn’t swarming with tourists. The beaches weren’t even close to being crowded.

We finally asked around and discovered that people simply don’t know the place exists. Perhaps people think the gate means it’s private and inaccessible.

There were plenty of covered beach chairs for rent and wide open spaces for a clear view of the gulf. We took a walk towards the neighboring public beach and noticed a significant difference between how populated it was versus our area. I definitely preferred Carillon Beach!

The houses were outstanding. This one is a dream:

Swimming at night is my favorite.

We bought groceries for snacking and eating at the condo, but we did manage one meal out of our swimsuits. We enjoyed a delicious guilt-free, indulgent dinner at Amici 30a Italian.

Two and a half days is not nearly long enough, but I’ll take what I can get.