Over the Memorial Day weekend, I did something I haven’t done much of lately: I unplugged and got the heck out of dodge. I even let my Crackberry rest for a few hours while I was away. (Only a few though. It doesn’t have cords, so that still counts as unplugging!) The time I spent drinking in the gulf coast’s sugar sand and bi-polar weather was time I would have normally spent working on a cigar review. So surprise, surprise, no review from me this week.
Even so, while I was away, I did enjoy a number of cigars, many of them from a little shop a stone’s throw from the water. Harbor Cigars came recommended from a number of people who have spent time in the area, and a visit was high on my list of things to do while I was there. (Actually, it was probably the only thing on my list after “get a hotel room”. ) And here’s what I found.
Name of Shop: Harbor Cigars
Date Visited: 05/30/10
Street Address: 4424 Commons Drive East #2c
Phone Number: (850) 650-3111
Hours of Operation:
Mon through Sat: 9:00am – 7:00 pm; Sun
Sun: 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Harbor Cigars is easy to find, located in a strip mall on the main drag (Emerald Parkway or 98) in Destin. There is ample parking, and it’s right next to a place to eat and beverage shop. And possibly more important, it’s surround by shopping distractions for any friends or family members who don’t have the sense to enjoy cigars.
Even though I only visited once, the staff of Harbor Cigars made it clear that they knew their stuff, and were very friendly to boot. Marvin, the shop’s owner, was only too happy to sit down and shoot the bull over a cigar or two and was very helpful with tourist advice.
Stock: Above Average
Harbor Cigars has a reasonably sized humidor with a lot of great smoking options and few space-filler cigars. You’ll find a generous amount of some of my favorites, including Murcielagos, Tatuajes and Illusiones with nice amount of rarities, like the rare Fuentes, La Flor Dominicana Culebras and Liga Privada Flying Pigs. In short, you’re not likely to get bored picking from their stock, no matter how often you visit. And of course, they have the other cigar gear and swag you expect from a well appointed cigar shop.
If Harbor Cigars has a weak point, it’s the lounge. The interior of the shop looks great, but the lounge consists of four chairs in one corner. With ample ashtrays, of course. There really isn’t the space inside for an actual lounge, so it’s not going to be the place you’ll be going to catch the game. (I don’t believe I saw a TV either, come to think of it.) However, this small seating area is balanced out by a much larger covered patio with tables and chairs in front of the shop. It looks like a great place for an event, and a great place to enjoy a cigar and a beverage in general. So, the inside seating may be a little below average by the standards here in Atlanta, but the al fresco cigar experience is definitely above.
Overall Opinion: Above Average
I didn’t get around to checking out the local competition, mainly because I didn’t feel the need to waste my valuable vacation time doing so after I spent a few hours at Harbor Cigars. It’s clearly the place to be if you find yourself in Destin, Florida and in need of a smoke. The next time my travels take me to Destin, you can be sure I’ll be back in Harbor Cigars for a cigar and a break from the hot Florida sun. I definitely recommend checking it out!