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The stunning Emerald Coast in northern Florida is a place that sends a siren's calls out to lovers. The deep emerald waters and sugar fine white sand create a beach paradise good enough to rival the Caribbean or South Pacific - but with half the travel time. Whether visitors are looking to build new love or nourish an old flame, the Emerald Coast provides the ambiance for it with some of the most romantic spots on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

Beach Walk Cafe in Destin

For those looking to start a romantic evening or wrap up a romantic day with a charming meal, the Beach Walk Cafe in Destin is the go-to eatery on the Emerald Coast. The Beach Walk Cafe is one of the few restaurants that offer private tables set up on the sand by the water's edge. Their 'Toes in the Sand' package will be a delight to every sense, whether it is the warm waves lapping at diner's feet, the sight of the sun setting over the ocean or the scent of the rich ingredients of the artfully-prepared dishes mingling with the ocean breeze. The Beach Walk Cafe's dinner on the sand will help set the tone for an incredible intimate escape on the Emerald Coast.

Champagne Hot Air Balloon Rides in Fort Walton

Florida Hot Air Balloon Rides in Fort Walton offers the ultimate romantic outing for couples just outside of the city. Their hot air balloons rides take visitors over Fort Walton Beach and into the far reaches of Okaloosa County, providing panoramic scenery of the Florida coastline for lovers. Their packages are private and fully customizable to interested parties. Those who want to take the romance up to the next level can arrange for Champagne to be served on board, as well as for the balloon to sweep over the sand and emerald green water at sunset. The Emerald Coast is stunning at sunset on the ground, but in the air, it is an absolutely breathtaking affair that is sure to become a romantic tradition that brings couples back to Fort Walton Beach again and again.

Shell Island off Panama City Beach

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There are a lot of beaches on the Emerald Coast and all of them host their own beautiful slice of emerald water and powdery white sand. It is a task to pluck out the best, most romantic beach.

Panama City lies near the edge of the Emerald Coast and enjoys a barrier beach with calm ocean waters. The barrier is the sandy Shell Island that is only accessible by water shuttle. This keeps the crowds down and couples are privileged to endless stretches of lonesome white sand. While the ocean is rough on the south side of the island, it has long reaching shallows that are excellent for walks in the waves. The north side provides excellent calmer waters that are perfect for swimming.

Those seeking a little more activity out of their outing to Shell Island should check out the dolphin tours that take place around it. Visitors are taken out by boat around Shell Island, given snorkels and urged to dive in and play with these curious and clever creatures.

Emerald Grande at Harbourwalk Village in Destin

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Let's face it, at the end of the day most romantic getaways end up being spent mostly in a hotel room behind closed doors. So any place where couples will be spending the majority of their time needs to not only be luxurious but have a certain atmosphere.

The Emerald Grande is not just a quality hotel for lovers - it is a beautiful sight in and of itself. After the sunset, the hotel building and the lively businesses surrounding it look like a carnival from the distance, all lit up with light and colour. It sits right on Destin's marina, towering over it like a beacon and centrally located for the town's attractions. Visitors can catch a quick ride out to the ocean by just crossing the street while inside the hotel it hosts its own five star restaurant, luxury spa and a private bar. All rooms in the Emerald Grande feature balconies and the higher end rooms host a condo-style layout. Guests can enjoy the marina, get pampered at the luxury spa, or just enjoy the privacy of their room and the sweeping marina view.