BeachNuts Beach Guide for:
Together with Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island, Destin is part of a 24-mile stretch of silky white sand beach in Northwest Florida known as the Emerald Coast.
"Destin has rightly earned a reputation for having some of the best beaches in the United States but beware -- the reflection of the sugar white sands makes sunglasses and sunscreen a must. "
A little Background: Destin was founded by Capt. Leonard Destin, a New Englander who moved to the area more than a century ago to work in the red snapper fishing industry still retains the title of "World's Luckiest Fishing Village." Boats leaving its harbor bring back more types of fish per season than any other Florida port, with the exception of Key West.
What you will Find: At Destin you will find, crystal clear, emerald-shimmering waters, soft white sand, mile long beaches, Southern charm, restaurants sitting next to casual open air oyster bars, incredible golf courses and seaside festivals year round all wrapped in "beach attitude.
While all this is wonderful for some, unfortunately for those BeachNuts looking for "just the beach" kind of solitude, every square inch of Destin that can be developed is being developed. The result is that there are 1000's of condos and its getting difficult to see the beach from the condos, though not as difficult to see the condos from the beach. To make things more problematic, while Destin's magical enticements are numerous, media exposure and commercialization have resulted in prices that are quite high.
Dont' let this keep you away. If you are looking for clean beaches, sugar white sands, crystal clear, emerald green waters, plenty of restaurants and family activities then Destin is the place for you.
For families, the area has an abundance of activities and attractions that appeal to kids. These include the Gulfarium, a marine life park, the Focus Center, a children's museum; and the Indian Temple Mound Museum and Park, site of the largest American Indian burial mound on Florida's coast. For water lovers, there are plenty of water sports to keep you busy. These include relaxing on the soft, white sand beaches and taking a dip in the gorgeous water every 20 minutes - a true water sport, to fishing tournaments, snorkeling, sailing races, and even an underwater easter egg hunts.
The diving and snorkeling along the natural reefs, wrecks and barges is some of the best in the state. The 100 Fathom curve draws closer to Destin than to any other spot in Florida creating the fastest deep-water access on the Gulf. This phenomenon makes the area one of the top five underwater shelling destinations in the world. Dive or snorkel on the natural reefs, wrecks, and barges in Destin's clear green waters.
For land lubbers, and particularly shoppers, travel east from Destin along scenic Highway 30A, through the towns of Grayton Beach, Seaside, and Seagrove Beach. Highway 30A passes through a collection of unique beach towns each with enchanting boutiques, galleries and espresso bars.
Despite all the development in recent years, Destin has managed to maintain some of its original, quaint charm.
For less a commercialized feel and more charm you may want to visit or stay in the neighbouring towns of Seaside, an upmarket resort characterised by white-washed houses, exclusive shops and restaurants, or Seagrove or Grayton Beach.
For Destin Vacation Rentals...Go>
Diving and snorkellling
100's of Restaurants
James Lee County Park
- Located along Old U.S. 98 near the Walton County Line. Parking is free, and six dune walkovers, picnic pavillions, restrooms and showers are provided. A popular spot for families as the water is shallow and clear.
Henderson Beach State Park - is a 250-acre park, located 2 miles west of the Walton County line and just east of Destin has a boardwalk, bathhouses, outdoor showers, picnic pavillions and grills. Also has a 30-site campground.
Night Time Entertainment There isn't much nightlife going on here. Stop by the Amelia Inn for a drink or the Beach Club Sports Bar, where you will find pool tables and TV screens. For a more active scene, drive to Fernandina Beach.