Prepare to be surprised by the Caribbean-like white sands of Florida's Emerald Coast, writes Tim Lamb.
When Kiwis visit, they love: The surprising beauty. I didn't know this place existed because there are more famous Florida locations, but this is definitely one you won't forget.
Best walk: Take your pick of white sands to walk on. There is 160km of coastline.
Best adventure: You can rent equipment for most watersport activities, including fly-boarding, snorkelling and jet skis.
Best-kept secret: Drive the Highway 30A scenic route and stop for coffee at Alys Beach, which features a neighbourhood of Mediterranean-style white buildings.
Must do: Rent a boat and anchor at Crab Island, where you can float in waist-high translucent water.
Best coffee spot: Amavida in Seaside has locally roasted fair-trade coffee.
Best spot to get a sweet treat: Donut Hole Bakery Cafe for breakfast (it's popular, so get in line).
The best local flavours: When you order seafood, ask about the "Gulf-to-Table" programme. As part of this you will receive a tag with a QR code, which allows you to check where, when and by whom your fish was caught.
Where should families eat? The Village of Baytowne Wharf has a large variety of dining options including, seafood, barbecue, burgers and Mexican.
Where should couples dine? Cuvee Bistro has an eclectic menu that includes Kiwi venison if you're homesick.
Where to hang out when the sun goes down: Book a dolphin cruise and you'll see playful mammals as the sun sinks into the gulf.
Best shop: Duckies in Seaside for gifts for kids or Blue Giraffe art gallery in Santa Rosa. Both are along the Highway 30A scenic route.
Be one of the first to: Write your name in the sand in the morning - a fresh canvas every day.
Best sporting event to catch: The Destin Fishing Rodeo is on throughout October.
Best selfie spot: Head to Panama City Beach for family-friendly fun at the quirky Ripley's Believe It Or Not!
Best place to swim: If you need a break from the beach, Big Kahuna's Water and Adventure Park has several waterslides and multiple pools.
Best couple's retreat: Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village. You won't be bored. There are scheduled events that include concerts, fireworks, festivals and much more throughout the year.
Best family retreat: Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort has four resort areas to choose from including Beachside, Bayside, Lakeside and the Village stretching from the beach to Choctawhatchee Bay.
Other highly recommended accommodation: There are plenty of "vacation" home rentals with beach access.
From Houston, fly into Panama City, FL, or Pensacola, FL.
Drive time from Destin: Houston (9hrs), Orlando (6.5hrs), New Orleans (4.5hrs), Panama City (1.5hrs) Pensacola, FL (1.5hrs).
Read more at DiscoverAmerica.com