Destin has become a top tourist destination thanks to a gorgeous semi-tropical environment and the unspoiled natural beauty of its pristine white sand beaches.
Located on the Emerald Coast Panhandle, Destin is one of Florida's best kept tourist destinations thanks to its pristine white sand beaches and emerald green coastal waters. The island-turned city was named after Captain Leonard Destin, a New London, Connecticut fisherman who first settled in the area in around 1850. Although Destin is the main city in the Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin metropolitan area, it has not received as much attention as a vacation destination as some of Florida's better-known tourist hot spots like Orlando or Fort Lauderdale. However, that does not mean the city cannot compete at the same levels when comparing its gorgeous surrounding environment and relatively unspoiled natural beauty.
What was once a small village on the Florida Panhandle has slowly become a more well known urban tourist destination that has the unusual distinction of being "The World's Luckiest Fishing Village" as Destin claims to have the largest fishing vessel fleet in a state that is known all over the world as one of the boating capitals in the U.S. Destin remained a relatively sleepy small town until the building boom of the mid 1970s. Destin was first incorporated as a municipality in 1984, and grew very rapidly throughout that decade until it was discovered as the perfect recreation and relaxation destination. Today the city is a must-visit attraction for over 80 percent of the Panhandle's 4.5 million residents who visit Destin annually according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Destin slowly became a top tourism draw for the rest of the U.S. and much of Western Europe too, as evidenced by the fact that the city's year-round population of around 12,000 people swells to nearly 50,000 each year during the peak of the tourist season.
Many modern tourists are now drawn to Destin to take advantage of the easy and affordable ability to charter boats in the city harbor to get instant access the 12 different beach access points in the city. The city'Âs beaches are now well-known for their pristine white sand that is composed of finely ground quartz crystals from the nearby Appalachian Mountains. In addition to the assortment of hotels, motels, boats and beaches, Destin also draws many visitors to its wide variety of seasonal cultural and entertainment events like its annual Fishing Rodeo and the very popular Destin Seafood Festival.
Destin's surroundings also include other popular eco-tourism and outdoor exploration destinations including some of the best places to hike, bike, kayak or canoe in the Northwest Florida Panhandle of South Walton County.
Other Recommended Attractions in Destin:
Henderson Beach State Park Destin Harbor Village of Baytowne Wharf HarborWalk Marina Sandestin Golf Resort Jetty East Beach Destin Harbor Boardwalk Regatta Bay Golf and Country Club Indian Bayou Golf Club Gator Beach Big Kahuna's Water and Adventure Park Jolee Island Nature Park