Many beach seekers are looking for a destination that offers unique beauty with a great lifestyle locale filled with abundant amusements and delightful diversions. Perhaps you are fortunate enough to be destined for Destin, Florida! Never heard of it? Lucky for you as we are taking time to answer your questions – even before you ask them!
Where is Destin?
Destin is located on the Gulf of Mexico in the Northwest Florida Panhandle, halfway between Pensacola and Panama City Beach. Destin resembles an offshore island since it is on a peninsula bordered by the open gulf and the expansive Choctawhatchee Bay, which is five miles across from the mainland. If you have never heard of Destin, perhaps it is because this part of the Florida coast has been one of the last to be developed. In fact, it has only been in recent years that picturesque perfectly planned coastal villages have become established here.
The town of Destin dates back to the mid-1800s founded upon a cornucopia of fish, and it is called “The Luckiest Fishing Village in the World.” Today it boasts the largest private charter fishing fleet on the entire Gulf of Mexico. Destin did not really become established as a major vacation destination until about until the 1980s. It has grown by huge proportions since that time for people looking for “the good life.”
Why should we go to Destin?
Where to start? Destin is the crown jewel of what is appropriately named “The Emerald Coast.” The reason being is that the swimming pool clear waters of the gulf glow with luminescent colors and glitters in jewel-like emerald tones. This magical sparkling scenery is caused by a white sandy bottom where the bright sun reflects natural microscopic plankton that cannot be seen most everywhere else.
The beaches are composed of pure white quartz crystal sheared off mountaintops during the last Ice Age and pulverized into a powdery white form by tidal action over thousands of years. The crystalline sugary shoreline is sensational. The beaches along the Emerald Coast are blessed with some of the whitest sand on Earth with multiple accolades over the years named among the most beautiful beaches in the nation. The coastline here has the added distinction as having a mostly forested shoreline with thousands of acres set aside as nature preserves and parks.
Along South Walton’s Scenic 30A that adjoins the eastern part of Destin, there are rare coastal dune lakes dot the coast beside sugary dunes and often open into the Gulf. These natural wonders are located in very few other places in the world and support a huge amount of wildlife. It is an Eco Tourist’s dream.
What is there to do in Destin?
Besides relishing the natural beauty, luxuriating in the glowing gulf waters and sunning on the bright white sugary beach, there are lots of things to do in Destin. You may charter a boat to experience a deep sea fishing adventure, take a sunset or dolphin cruise out from Destin’s marina or rent a pontoon boat to attend a watery playground in the shallow bay near the harbor with other boaters on Crab Island.
There are almost a dozen championship golf courses available designed by famous pros. Delicious dining destinations with friendly bars are everywhere, and many of them are on the Gulf, harbor or beautiful bay that borders the northern part of Destin. Many locales are Disneyesque waterfront villages including Harborwalk Village on Destin’s marina and Baytowne Wharf, which is a charming recreation of the New Orleans French Quarter at the prestigious Sandestin resort.
Each one features restaurants, bars, seasonal festivals, concerts and firework celebrations. Many specialty shops, boutiques, and galleries are located in the Destin area for shopping. One of the largest discount designer centers in the nation attracts millions of bargain shoppers to Destin at the Silver Sands Premium Outlets.
How do I get to Destin?
Many visitors travel to Destin by car since it is only about five hours away from Atlanta. However, Destin has non-stop flights into three airports including the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport in adjacent Valparaiso ( 15 miles away), the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in Panama City Beach (45 miles away) and the Destin Executive Airport in town for private planes.
When should we go to Destin?
The choice is yours. Prime-time occurs from Memorial Day thru Labor Day Weekend when families flock to the coast on vacation. Rates are at their highest then, and early reservations are recommended. Spring is a lovely time to visit, and many spring breakers arrive at that time. Fall is a great time to visit with limited crowds, lower rental rates, and the gulf is warm enough for swimming up until Thanksgiving. Vacation rentals are at their lowest rates November thru early March with fun activities for Christmas, New Years and Mardi Gras.