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Everything You Want To Know About Pelican Beach Resort in Destin, Florida

We fell in love with the beautiful waters and white sand beaches on the Emerald Coast while on a vacation, and wanted to keep returning, so we looked at nearly every condo resort in Destin before settling on Pelican Beach Resort.  In terms of a destination resort, it just had more than any other condo.  You can go there and not leave your entire vacation!

Entering Pelican Beach Resort:

At 20 stories tall, it’s a big one!  You won’t miss it.  Just look for the Pelican Beach Resort sign on the main road, which also has a security guard house out front.  Just let them know you are checking in.  You’ll find yourself driving through a beautiful boulevard of palm trees on your way to the main entrance to this luxury resort, which is a wonderful view day or night.  The building itself is an L-shape with the lobby in the center.  Pelican Beach also just completed a $3 million renovation with new updated paint color schemes that brightens everything up.



There are several 20-minute parking spots just past the entrance so you can head to the lobby to get checked in.  You’ll just your license plate number to get your parking pass (take a picture of your plates before you go in), and an ID to check in and get a wristband for each of your guests to use the pool and beach.  If you booked your stay with a rental company like Vacasa, AirBnB, or VRBo, they email or text you the door codes directly, so the front desk will not have your entry codes.  Make sure you have those the day of your trip.  Check-in times may vary by company.  Ours is 4pm using Vacasa.


There are 5 elevators total.  4 in the main lobby, 1 on the North side of the building near the parking garage.  You can use the 20-minute parking zone to load or unload your luggage onto carts provided in the lobby.  Just return the carts down to the lobby after bringing luggage to your room for other guests to use.


The majority of the large parking garage is covered, but there are even more parking spots further out or on the 2nd story of the parking garage for those busy or holiday weekends.  There’s no sky bridge from the second story parking garage, so if you park there, you’ll need to come down the stairs and then over to the north entrance.  But there is also a drive thru drop off on the north end for dropping off your family before finding a parking spot in the garage.


When you enter the north entrance by the parking garage, there is a spiral staircase that you can take up to the 3rd floor where our unit is, or there is an elevator next to the stairs that takes you to the same spot.  The other elevator around the corner goes to all floors.

One thing we always do once we know our estimated arrival time is schedule a walmart grocery delivery.  If you’ve had a long travel day, the last thing you want to do is go grocery shopping, so getting them delivered to your condo is fantastic.  Just note that if you are trying to do a late night delivery, they may have cut off times and it could get delayed until the next morning.


Pools & Hot tubs:

This is where Pelican Beach really shines.  There are a total of THREE pools at this resort, each one unique.  The Dolphin Pool is overlooked by our unit, and is on the side that you’ll walk past on your way to the beach.  Its surrounded by brand new lounge chairs, featuring 2 dolphin fountain statues and a waterfall that empties into the pool.  There is also a baby pool on the north end of the Dolphin Pool.  And thru a gate on the south side of the dolphin pool is a small hot tub also, with benches around it, and pergolas above. 

Then there is an indoor/outdoor pool right next to the cafe, which is great for kids to still swim while waiting on some food.  This is a great pool for rainy days or if you just need to get out of the sun for a while.  The gym also overlooks this pool.

The biggest pool is the Gulf Side Pool, located on your right just before the beach.  It’s a zero-entry pool, with fountain jets on the entry side, and is an extremely long pool at 130ft long with lounge chairs down both sides.  This one gets full sun all day, so it tends to be the warmest of all the pools.  Pools are heated during different points in the season though too.  The gulf side pool also features an impressively large hot tub!

All of these pools have been 100% clean and pristine every visit, as they have an on site pool service constantly maintaining them throughout the day.  And if these aren’t enough pools for you, all Pelican Beach Resort guests can also use the amenities at the Terrace, which is a separate condo across the parking lot, but still apart of Pelican Beach.


More Amenities:

Serving breakfast, lunch, & dinner, the Pelican Beach Cafe is an onsite bonus with some of the most amazing pizza without ever having to leave!  There are tables and chairs indoors and outdoors at the cafe, plenty of seating out on the boardwalk on the way to the beach, or just take it up to your room too.  Speaking of food & drinks, Pelican Beach has a tiki bar on the beach that you can order food from as well.  So if you are down at the beach, you can order food without having to go all the way to the cafe.  Or if you want to be even lazier, depending on the season, you can order from the beach service without ever leaving your beach chair and they’ll bring it down to you at the beach.  


Or if you are wanting to grill out, no problem!  There are 6 gas grills next to the cafe for anyone to use.  There are so many options right here at Pelican Beach, but don’t forget all of the amazing restaurants within just a couple of miles, some of which offer DoorDash.

Other bonus amenities for Pelican Beach include an on-site ATM machine, full gym, sauna, steam room, and Pickleball / Tennis Courts.  These courts are on the roof of the parking garage, so if it’s a hot day we’d recommend go early morning or later evening.  You can get to the courts by taking the stairs at the front of the parking garage, OR just hop in your car and drive up top and park next to them.


The Beach:

Here’s the reason everyone goes to Destin.  Beautiful emerald color waters because of the powdery white sand beaches, like nowhere else.  The question we get asked all of the time is “How far is the beach?”  We’ve stayed at resorts where it’s a quarter of a mile walk from the back of the resort to the beach, or where you have to get across roads to get there.  Not at Pelican Beach!  Another reason we love this resort is because its literally less than 400ft from our balcony to water’s edge, and only 200 ft until your feet hit the sand.  Yes that means there is 200feet of privately owned beach there.  You’ll have to share it with other guests, but unless you are there during peak season, we’ve never found it to be crowded by any means.  You can buy and bring your own beach chairs, which can be a bit of hassle.  So its much easier to rent a setup from the onsite beach chair rental company, La Dolce Vita.  No worrying about setup or carrying chairs, they do it all for you.  Just reserve these ahead of time as early as possible to get front row seating.  You’ll also notice a few signs along the beach.  Any private setups can be anywhere behind that.  In front of the signs is the rentals, which are closer to the water, and then the last 10 feet of shore is public, so you cant setup anything in front of the rentals.


Aside from just chillin and ordering drinks from the beach chairs, there’s always lots to do and see while at the beach.  Every single trip we’ve got to see something fun like stingrays, dolphins, crabs, fish, and sand fleas if you have a net to dig right at the water break.  Then we always look for shells and find lots of small ones, but there are actually better areas to look for shells than at Destin. (Navarre beach is known for great shell hunting and just a 40 minute trip down the road.)  And we’ve found a few snow cone shacks on the beach a couple of doors down to the East of Pelican Beach.


Literally across the street is an giant waterpark called Big Kahunas.  There’s a cross walk out front to get across from the resort too!  The waterpark was designed to maximize use of space, so they used every square inch of space they could with fun slides and rides.  There is a LOT more in this waterpark than what you can see from the road.  And if you are out walking in front of the resort, there are also two giftshops right out front too, Alvin’s Island and Sunsations. Just a couple doors down from Sunsations is a huge candy stor called,Sugar Kingdom, our kids look forward to visiting at least once per trip.   Wanna grab some morning donuts? Dunkin Donuts is just a block away! And then just a couple miles down the road is some amazing shopping opportunities.


General Room Info:

At Pelican Beach Resort, for the most part there are just 2 different room setups.  The gulf facing rooms are all single bedroom.  The two bedroom units are all on the side, and thanks to the angle design of structure, still all have wonderful water views!  These two bedroom units typically all sleep 6 with the help of sleeper sofas.  And if you are staying for a week, there is one detail to look for that is often overlooked, a washer/dryer!  Early on in our search, we had found some great resorts, but then started realizing that a lot of these had ONE shared washer & dryer per floor.  If you are staying for a week, want to wash clothes, or just throw beach towels in the dryer like we do, you need your own washer/dryer in the unit.  The Pelican side 2 bedroom floor plans allow for this, so we assume most units have these the same as ours does.  6 people staying for 7 days is 42 sets of dirty clothes.  You need a washer/dryer.  If you are staying in a single bedroom, there are some coin operated washer/dryers on each floor.

Pelican Beach 314:

Now onto our condo in particular, unit 314, the Florida Girl Condo.  We probably aren’t the typical owners that just buy it and forget it.  We bought a condo to make it our own style and a familiar place to go on vacations.  We just rent it out in between our stays so that other families can share the great experiences we’ve had as a family there.  We are there for a week about every 9 weeks and are continually updating everything.  Our property management company Vacasa handles everything including room cleaning, new towels, bedding, and general maintenance for us when we aren’t there and do an amazing job!  

In true Florida Girl style, everything is painted in bright colors, bright lighting, new living room furniture with sleeper sofa, and a dresser in the living room for those guests too that often get forgot about.  We have three TV’s; one in each bedroom and one in the living room.  They are all Roku TV’s so you can login to your streaming subscriptions for rainy days.  But if it’s nice, get outside!  We have several USB outlets throughout the kitchen and living room, so you can plug and charge devices and phones in case you forget your USB base.


Our master bedroom has been 100% updated to an elegant classy feel with crushed diamond furniture, lights, and mirrors, with a touch of ocean theme.  And nothing beats waking up to the view of the sunrise over the beach right out the balcony doors that are accessible from the master bedroom in addition to the living room.  The entire condo is decorated with Artwork by Florida Girl, giving it a vibrant beach color theme, some of which are available in mugs and beach towels also.  We have a fully stocked kitchen for cooking meals “at home” and even feature some unique Florida Girl Coffee Mugs for you to enjoy morning coffee on the balcony.

 Spending time on the balcony is one of our favorite things to do at the condo, and there are a couple of details that we noticed while staying in other units at other resorts.  The view from regular height chairs is often right behind the top rail of the balcony.  So we changed to bar height polywood chairs and table so that you get up over the top of the rail for a full view of the water. A minor detail that makes a huge difference!  


Another bonus that comes with our specific location of our unit is that it overlooks the dolphin pool.  So that means if your kids are old enough, they can go to the pool while we chill on the balcony of an evening.  Our condo has a great view of the pools, water, sunrises that come thru the whole room.  You can pretty much forget about the rest of the world when staying here.  Pelican Beach is our home away from home.  We hope that you enjoy your stay as much or more than we do! You can book Florida Girl's Condo right here at













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