Not all Florida beach towns are equal. Depending on your expectations, there are different beaches and areas in Florida that are better suited to help you get the most out of your vacation. Destin is perfect for a relaxing seaside vacation.
Destin is a family-friendly fishing village with beautiful beaches and good dining. There’s not a lot of “nightlife” with clubs and dancing or after-hours entertainment. Unlike Miami or Clearwater Beach, there is no ocean drive that traverses the beach with hotels, restaurants, and clubs facing the water or places to rollerblade or bike along the beach.
Although Destin has visitors from all over the world, it does not have quite the same international flavor as say, Miami, Key West, or other Florida beaches.
One thing that differentiates the Northwest Florida area from all other Florida beaches is the distinct beauty of the pristine, sugar-white sands and emerald green waters. According to the Destin Chamber, the unique sand of the beaches in the Destin area is among the whitest and most homogenous of the world.
Consisting of small quartz particles, this sand came from a process involving the Appalachian Mountains and the Apalachicola River many years ago. At the end of the last Ice Age when the world temperatures began warming and the ice caps began melting, large volumes of water were carried by the rivers to the world’s oceans. The Apalachicola River, rising in the Appalachians, carried water to the Gulf of Mexico and continues today.
There are several public beach access points in Destin, but most beaches are private and accessible by the visitors of the adjacent vacation rentals or condos. If you are a first-time visitor to Destin, be sure and read our article on “how to choose where to stay” in Destin.
After a day on the water or soaking up the sun, most people enjoy a nice meal and take a walk on the beach and watch the unrivaled sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, possibly catch a movie or shop and call it a night. Speaking of the Gulf. You may find many of the accommodations in Destin offer a Gulf view rather and an ocean view. Destin is a peninsula between Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. If you are looking for an oceanfront view, a gulf view is what you want to choose verses a bay view.
HarborWalk Village is where you can find waterfront shopping, paddleboard, and kayak rentals, pontoon and jet ski rentals, parasailing, glass-bottom boats, world-class fishing, pirate ship excursions, dolphin cruises, concerts and live music, weekly fireworks, weekly Fat Tuesday parades, live entertainment, and an array of restaurants, including Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville and Harry Ts. There are plenty of things to do in Destin Florida, for the whole family!
The best time to visit Destin is in April and May when the water is warm, the sun is shining and the temperatures are comfortable (expect highs in the mid-70s and 80s). If you visit any earlier, you risk cooler weather and chilly water. A summer trip will put you among the crowds and the peak prices.
Destin, Florida is a second (and sometimes first) home to many celebrities. Everything from famous chefs, to movie and television stars, to music icons, and let’s not forget the sports icons. They all love Destin.
Emeril Lagasse is one of Destin’s favorites and is a full-time resident. Bam! he can really kick it up a notch. Emeril has been sited quite often shopping for fresh Destin seafood.
Britney Spears also purchased a second home in Destin back in the late nineties and still visits. She and Sheryl Crow are a couple of pop stars you might remember. You might even run into a couple of country stars like Garth Brooks or Keith Urban.
Even some of your favorite sports celebrities know that Destin has the best beaches. Jerry Jones has spent the off-season in Destin for years. You can see his private jet approaching the airport with a familiar star on it. Other sports stars like TJ Oshie, Danny Wuerffel, and NFL all-stars Kevin Greene, Jason Elam, Keith Brooking, and others have dropped their bags in Destin.
Many other celebrities have been seen and are rumored to frequent Destin often.
Being a top ten beach destination, Destin tends to get a lot of attention. If you need a break from everyday life, a trip to Destin is your ticket to fun and relaxation.