Miramar Beach is on the western end of SoWal Beaches, just west of Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort. People often mistake it for Destin, and in reality it is more like Destin than the beaches of Scenic 30A.
Due to its proximity and being located next to Destin, it takes on much of that city's look and feel, with an abundance of high-rise condominiums and shopping along US 98. Miramar Beach is not as laid back as the other parts of SoWal, but there are a variety of shops, restaurants and nightlife that provide a little bit of something for everyone.
Miramar Beach is home to Silver Sands Premium Outlets, one of the largest outlet malls in the country with many top brand names. On rainy days, the place is packed with visitors looking to get a break from the weather and a little retail therapy. Even on a sunny day you may find yourself spending hours browsing the hundreds of stores.
But Miramar Beach has much more to offer than shopping. Along the coastline in Miramar runs Old 98, also known as Scenic 98, a scenic road that follows a picture perfect beach for five miles. Driving down Scenic 98 is a great way to get a view of some beautifully kept beach neighborhoods, the emerald-colored water, the sugar-white sand, happy beach goers and maybe even a few dolphins. The road has several beach parks and public accesses, so pulling off to enjoy the beach is never a problem.
Scenic 98 also has several restaurants that have great gulf views. Pompano Joe’s is not only a great place for dinner, but it’s also a hot spot for local surfers, so you can enjoy a delectable fish sandwich while watching surfers hang ten. Whale’s Tale is one of the area’s only beach bars and is popular with beachcombers looking for a break from the sun, but an abundance of paddle board and beach toy rentals keeps it a family-friendly place.
One of Miramar Beach’s best food spots is often overlooked but well worth the visit. On Highway 98, just east of the Silver Sands Outlet, is Lillie's On Pig's Alley, possibly the area’s finest barbeque. Housed in a small shack with an open porch, Lillie’s selections of barbecued pork, beef and chicken topped with home-made sauce is a must-try for barbecue connoisseurs, and the laid back atmosphere on the porch is just as inviting as the cooking.