The first destination for the 5 for $500 Challenge is Destin, Florida. Destin is a gulf town known for its white sand beaches and emerald waters. Parents will love it for the safe feeling and safe waters and kids will love it for the amazing beaches.
Plan this trip for June 7-June 9 to match our prices
You’ll spend 2 nights at the Hampton Inn and Suites Destin. Your room comes with 2 queen beds, free internet, a microwave and a mini-fridge. Your hotel also offers complimentary hot breakfasts so even though we planned breakfasts for your trip, you can save even more by taking advantage of the ones your hotel offers.
Breakfast Day 1: Sit down to a homestyle breakfast at the Donut Hole Bakery Cafe. Portions here are large so you might even get away with splitting a plate to save even more. The french toast is a favorite here. Service is a bit slow but it fits the diner feel. Expect to budget around $50 for your family to eat here and expect to walk away stuffed.
Lunch Day 1: You’ll still be full from lunch so don’t waste your time anywhere expensive. Go swimming and take a late lunch at Chick-Fil-A. It’s nothing fancy or local but it will tide you over till a filling dinner. Budget $24 for this lunch.
Dinner Day 1: Enjoy a more upscale Italian dinner at La Famiglia. They offer a kids menu and a menu full of Italian treats. For the parents, entrees include a salad, a vegetable and a side pasta. You’ll want to budget around $53 for this meal.
Breakfast Day 2: After your big meal at the Donut Hole Bakery Cafe, pick out a dozen donuts to save for breakfast on day 2. The donuts are huge and can be used for a snack or dessert on your trip or just saved as a treat for your journey home. The key lime donut is a sure thing here and perfect for a Florida vacation. Budget $10 for this breakfast.
Lunch Day 2: Take it easy with another light lunch from Zoe’s Kitchen. This would be a perfect lunch to grab and take with you to eat outside in the park. If you’re a little exhausted from the sun, there are shops nearby where you can stay cool. The menu features sandwiches and salads and is extensive enough to have something for everybody. Budget $28 for this lunch.
Dinner Day 2: Pick up a pie at Jordano’s Pizza. You’ll be exhausted from your trip and want some nice and warm food to bite into. It’s a bit of a drive from your hotel but the wood-fired pizzas are worth it. Budget around $25 for this dinner.
Day 1: Swim at Crystal Beach. It’s a hop and skip away from your hotel, has beautiful sugar-like sand and gorgeous water. On top of all that, it’s free!
Day 2: With a free beach nearby, you may be wondering why I’d suggest paying to swim. Henderson Beach State Park will set you back just $6 a vehicle and you’ll have access to a secluded beach with more privacy and fewer crowds. The natural beauty will shine through and it’s a perfect place to watch the sunset.
View 5 for $500 Destin in a larger map
We came in under $500 with pocket change to spare. If you’re looking for ways to save even more, consider taking advantage of the continental breakfast at your hotel, splitting a dish at the Donut Hole, or storing cold cuts in your mini-fridge for lunchtime sandwiches.
Check back tomorrow for the next 5 for $500 challenge!