Prevue July-August 2017 - 23
easy access to the deep ocean opens up the menus of local
restaurants to fresh seasonal seafood. Restaurants will also prepare
your group's catch, and with the largest fishing fleet in the nation,
the odds are with landing a barrel full during a half- or full-day fishing
charter led by an experienced captain. Attendees should also visit
Destin Brewery and Props Brewery for local craft beer tastings.
These foodie experiences can easily be paired with activities
for which this destination is well known. Destin is among the top
destinations in the world for shelling, for example. Groups can also
try yoga and s'mores bonfires on the beach, yolo bike adventures,
an array of art classes and snorkeling and diving (many local shops
offer lessons and a variety of excursions) among artificial reefs and
shipwrecks. They can also jump on the geocaching bandwagon
(picnic baskets in hand) in Okaloosa County Parks.
Morgenthien says a new immersive culinary trend on the MICE
front is the desire to include live personalized chef stations instead
of plated or buffet-style meals. Look to hotels such as the Emerald
Grande at HarborWalk Village, the newly opened Henderson
Beach & Spa Resort or The Pearl Hotel to help get this going.
Dinner to Dream On
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When the opening reception dinner is crashed by Minions
and play-by-play broadcasting by Optimus Prime, you
know you've got something special that attendees will
remember. And that's exactly what Universal Orlando
Resort's new "Meeting Enhancements" program aims
to achieve. Planners who book Universal Orlando hotels
will now have a new weapon of choice for "wowing"
attendees: character interruptions, customizable
performances and unique entertainment to drive the
meetings' message home. Imagine a CityWalk dinearound led by the group's favorite characters that ends
with the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory
Feast Kitchen for a sweet treat. The 19th century-themed
steampunk restaurant, bar and confectionary and its
quirky menu (think chocolate-covered bacon) seems made
for such a moment.