With its stunning white beaches, amazing waters, great fishing and endless fun, Destin, Florida will keep you coming back for more for years to come. This wonderful, and popular, vacation destination features some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. You will find that this family friendly location is always accommodating to you and your family. Commonly known as the Emerald Coast, because of the water's trademark color, it has also been called "The World's Luckiest Fishing Village." You will be in awe of all the beauty that Destin brings to your vacation on top of the numerous exciting things to do.
Leonard Destin of New London, Connecticut was a master fisherman who settled in Destin, Florida in1845. He built a New England colonial home at the location of the Monroe Point military reservation. Captain Destin and his descendants fished the area for decades.
Condominiums were first built in Destin during the 1970s. Destin was incorporated as a municipality in 1984. The city has experienced rapid growth since the 1980s and become one of the Gulf Coasts most popular destination known as the Emerald Coast.
The white beaches and emerald waters of the Destin area draw many tourists. Florida's Department of Environmental Protection estimates that more than 80 percent of the Emerald Coast's 4.5 million yearly visitors travel to the region to visit Destin. Visitors can charter fishing vessels from the harbor and there are 12 beach access points in the city. Among the access points is Henderson Beach State Recreation Area. A portion of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, the Okaloosa Day Use Area, is just across East Pass on Santa Rosa Island.
The sand on Destin's beaches is some of the whitest in the world. The sand comes from the Appalachian Mountains and is made of finely ground quartz crystal giving the appearance of sugar. Residue flows down the Apalachicola River and is deposited into the Gulf of Mexico. Because of the currents the sand drifts west along the Gulf Coast and settles from east of Panama City to the Alabama coast.
Several events also take place throughout the year as well. For the month of October, the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo draws anglers to Destin each year since 1948. Also in the month of October is the Destin Seafood Festival where fresh seafood and local artists gather for one weekend every October.
In addition to an assortment of hotels and motels, many vacation rental homes are located in Destin. Visitors play a large part in Destin's economy – the city's population of around 12,000 expands to 40,000 during the tourist season.
Destin's surroundings include other popular tourist destinations. Sandestin, Florida, located to the east in Walton County, is a popular golf and beach resort. Further east along the coast are the master-planned community of Seaside, Grayton Beach, Florida; and Rosemary Beach, Florida. To the west are Navarre Beach and Pensacola Beach, and the Civil War fortification Fort Pickens is located at the western end of Santa Rosa Island.