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Destin, Florida

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Destin, Florida, Visitors Guide

Destin, Florida, otherwise known as The World's Luckiest Fishing Village, is a resort town located on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. With Panama City Beach directly to the east and historic Pensacola Beach directly to the west, visitors to Destin are treated to a melting pot of coastal Florida culture with a dash of creole charm.

Settled in 1845 by Captain Leonard Destin for its fruitful fishing yields, Destin, Florida, has grown into a world-class vacation spot for families and celebrities alike. With locally-owned restaurants and shops around every corner and an ever-growing atmosphere of family-friendly fun, one could not choose a better Destin-ation for a memorable vacation. With millions traveling to Destin, FL annually, this once-sleepy beach town has become one of the most desirable destinations in the world for all sorts of occasions!

Geography

Destin is located near the center of Northwest Florida’s coast in Okaloosa County. It’s a 25-minute drive from Fort Walton Beach and an hour-and-a-half drive from Pensacola. Destin’s major roadways include U.S. 98 and Scenic Highway 30A.

Neighborhoods

Miramar Beach is a popular family-friendly neighborhood to the west of Destin. This community is filled with plenty of delicious restaurants, incredible shopping, and fun activities.
Downtown Destin is a bustling area located in the heart of the city. This popular destination is home to a number of parks and lush green spaces. A favorite among tourists and locals alike, you can find a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops lining the harborwalk.
Gulf Shore Drive is a popular area for outstanding vacation rentals. This area is a long stretch of road that runs parallel to white sand beaches, offering easy access to exciting water activities.

Top Places to Visit

Henderson Beach State Park

Home to some of the most gorgeous beaches on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Henderson Beach State Park is the perfect place to be whether you want to soak up the sun or simply enjoy some relaxation. This spot features a nature trail, campsites, and fishing.

Destin Harbor Boardwalk

Offering the perfect opportunity to take a stroll, the Destin Harbor Boardwalk is an impressive walkway that runs along the harbor in Downtown Destin. The boardwalk offers breathtaking views of the harbor and the surrounding area, as well as an abundance of shopping opportunities, restaurants, and watersports activities.

Destin Commons

Destin Commons is an outdoor shopping center that offers a variety of delicious eateries, unique shops, and entertainment options.

Crab Island

Crab Island is a popular sandbar located just off the Destin Harbor and Pass. Millions of fun-seekers head to the sandbar by boat, kayak, paddleboard, or a Crab Island shuttle boat to take advantage of the shallow, emerald waters. Visitors will find fun attractions on Crab Island including floating restaurants, bounce parks, live music and more.

Climate

Destin has summers that are hot and long while the winters are windy and cool. Throughout the year, the temperatures range from 46 degrees to 88 degrees. The best time to visit Destin is during the spring from March to May and the fall from September to November. The weather is mild but you will find that it’s not as hot and humid as in the summer months, which makes it more comfortable to enjoy outdoor activities like swimming, boating, and fishing.

What is Destin known for

White Sand Beaches, Charter Fishing, Award Winning Seafood Restaurants, Destin Harbor Boardwalk, Shopping Outlets
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is traffic like?

Highway 98 is the only major road in and out of Destin and Fort Walton Beach. Destin isn’t considered a major metropolitan area so there are no byways, exit ramps, etc. The highway is continuously undergoing construction from Panama City Beach to Pensacola so visitors that have reservations for activities, tours or dinners should be prepared for a bit of a wait during peak times like lunch and dinner which can cause visitors to be late. It’s suggested to leave for your desired destination very early and confirm arrival times with your provider.

2. Is Crab Island open?

Crab Island is open year round because it’s a sand bar beneath the water. Many area visitors have heard of Crab Island and assume it’s a real island. It once was years ago, but now it’s just a fun shallow spot for boats to anchor and visitors to swim and wade. There are floating businesses out there throughout the Spring and Summer but they do not have set operating hours. You can visit Crab Island by boat rental, on an excursion, or even on a Destin dolphin cruise

3. How do we know if the beaches are open or closed?

It’s best to check the city’s website for information regarding the beaches because they will have up to date information about rip currents, beaches with lifeguards, beach flags, marine pests like jellyfish, etc.

4. Does Destin have any special events or festivals that we could coincide with our vacation?

The harbor area does sponsor different events throughout the year including the Destin Fishing Rodeo and the Destin Seafood Festival. There are also big celebrations during holiday weekends like Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. These events usually include art and craft vendors, food vendors, booths with local businesses, walking parades, live music, and more! The harbor restaurants and bars all participate so you can expect drink and food specials as well! Since these events are all extremely popular you can expect there to be large crowds and people and traffic delays.

5. What is the best time to visit Destin?

Destin is open year round, however many activities or tours may only be open during peak season. Peak season is March through October. This is also when the weather is at its warmest as is the water so any water related activities will be best to experience during these times. During off peak season, the rates for lodging and activities are typically lower. However, the weather is typically rainer and windier which affects the availability of activities.

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