There is no doubt that the Gulf Coast beaches are the most beautiful in the world. Its pristine white sand and azure waters are second to none. Unfortunately, the spectacular setting that we have long enjoyed has attracted countless high rise apartments crammed onto every inch of the coastline. This means four-digit room numbers with aerial views and endless elevator rides just to get to the seashore. If you yearn for a real beach experience, let me tell you about Silver Dunes.
It was the first condominium development in Destin constructed by a visionary builder from Memphis, Tennessee in 1970 on 8.39 acres. His dream included matching rows of two story apartments stretching to the sea like open arms around a grass filled courtyard. In spite of a temptation to sell the valuable space, the owners have never considered sacrificing the luxury of walking barefoot to the beach or the joy of watching their children play a game of baseball on the cool surface of Silver Dunes’ “front yard.”
The unique concept has survived forty-two years. In spite of multiple storm damage and sometimes total destruction, Silver Dunes always “rose from the ashes,” restored and better than ever before. Three generations of owners and guests return year after year from Tennessee, Alabama Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Virginia and even California. In 1972, a minimal five-story building with thirty-nine apartments was added to the original complex, increasing the total to ninety-eight units.
The length of service for the employees is truly remarkable. The present manager, Pam Miller, has remained at the helm for eleven years with only two other administrators serving before her. Both Betty McHenry, the director of housekeeping and George Noble, the beach manager have remained in their positions for over thirty years offering consistently well maintained units and outstanding beach service. George contracts his chairs and umbrellas by reservation like a concierge in a fine hotel. He has an amazing knowledge of each returning family and their preferences. He is beloved by all. Children from every generation have flocked to him as their respected authority on weather and sea creatures.
Silver Dunes located in the heart of Destin, remains an oasis in the midst of the commercial world that has grown up around it. Pizza Hut, Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s and Big Kahuna are across the street but when the security gate closes, something magical happens. Silver Dunes welcomes you into a quiet world all of its own with tennis courts, exercise and game rooms, shuffle board, both kiddie and adult swimming pools, surrounded by lush foliage and flowers. At sunset, the enticing smell of supper on the grill drifts across the lawn where families gather and children play. It is then that you will realize you have found the perfect beach at last and Silver Dunes is the place you want to be.