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Destin is an upscale resort town in the Florida Panhandle.

Get in

Via car

Primary access to Destin is by private vehicle. It is located on US 98 between Pensacola and Panama City. From IH-10 west, take IH-110 south through Gulf Breeze, merge with US 98, and follow US 98 along the coast through Fort Walton Beach. From IH-10 east, take FL 285 south through Eglin Air Force Base, make a left on FL 20 to go east, then a right to go south on on Mid Bay Bridge.

By plane

The closest public airport is [1] Okaloosa Regional Airport (VPS). Car rental agencies are available at the airport, or offer a courtesy pickup service from the airport [2].

  • Alamo 850-651-1839, [3].
  • Avis 850-651-0822, [4].
  • Enterprise 850-729-5700, [5].

Get around

Destin does not offer public transit suited to tourism. The best option is to bring or rent a private car. Navigation is simple; US 98 runs through the center of town, and all roads branch directly or indirectly off that. Most destinations are visible from this highway.


Although the water is not quite the luxurious blue of the Caribbean, it has it's own distinctive emerald green color earning it the nickname of the Emerald Coast. Destin's enormous stretch of beach is spectacular, with some of the finest, whitest sand in the world. The sand is so soft it literally squeaks under foot. You will be spoiled forever after experiencing this.



Destin is famous for its sugar white sand beach and emerald green water.


The area is renowned for its golfing opportunities. The climate is nearly ideal year-round.

  • Ft. Walton Beach Golf Club Public championship course. Pro shop, lighted driving range, club rentals and snack bar, 1909 Lewis Turner Blvd., Ft. Walton Beach, 850-833-9529
  • Golf Garden of Destin Public lighted course and practice area. 112958 Highway 98 East, 850-837-7422.
  • Regatta Bay Golf & Country Club Public, championship course designed by Robert C. Walker. 465 Regatta Bay Blvd Destin, 850-650-7800.
  • Seascape Resort & Conference Center Public course with greens and driving range. 100 Seascape Dr., 850-654-7888
  • Emerald Bay Golf Club 4781 Clubhouse Drive (850) 837-5197 [6]

Deep Sea Fishing

  • Adventure Charters offers many charter options, 850-654-4070.
  • Pelican Adventures 210-F Hwy 98 East, 850-650-3825 [7]

Water Sports

  • A Paradise Watersports on Okaloosa island rents all kinds of boats and water gear. 850-837-0123, 850-302-0021 for reservations.
  • Boogies Water Sports at the foot of the bridge offers watercraft rentals and parasailing. 850-654-4497.
  • Destin Florida Charters, [8], charters power and sail yachts. 850-393-7009.

Dolphin Cruises

  • Dolphin Cruise at Harborwalk Marina offers various cruises including a dolphin cruise. 850-837-7741.
  • Moody's sails the Emerald Magic and America II, available for charter. 194 Hwy. 98. 850-837-1293.

Recreation Centers

  • Pleasure Island Waterpark has go-karts, personal watercraft, pontoon boats, jet boats, parasailing, and refreshments. Highway 98 in Fort Walton Beach, 850-243-9738.
  • The Track, [9], has indoor go-karts, a kids recreation area, miniature golf, and bungee jumping. Highway 98 on the east side of town, 850-654-4668.



There are any number of places to eat both on and off the beach.

  • Boathouse Oyster Bar, 850-837-3645.
  • Captain Dave's on the Gulf, 850-837-6357.
  • Destin Chops premium steakhouse. 320 Hwy. 98 E., Destin, on the second floor of the Destin Yacht Club, 850-654-4944.
  • Fisherman's Wharf, 850-654-4766, 210-D Hwy 98 East
  • Hog's Breath Saloon, 850-837-5100, 541 E. Hwy 98.
  • Fudpucker's Beachside Bar & Grill, 850-54-4200, 20001 Emerald Coast Pkwy, [10].
  • Harbor Docks, 850-837-2506, 538 Highway 98.
  • Marina Café, 850-650-4208, 404 Hwy 98 East
  • McGuires Irish Pub and Brewery steaks and ale, 33 E Highway 98, 850-650-0000.
  • Nightown, 850-837-6448.
  • Yesterday's, 850-654-5251.




  • Motel 6 405 Highway 98 E, 850-837-0007
  • Sleep Inn 10775 Highway 98 E, 850-654-7022


  • Country Inn & Suites 4415 Commons Dr E, 850-650-9191
  • Holiday Inn 1020 Highway 98 East, 850-837-6181


  • Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, 4000 Sandestin Blvd., [11]. A getaway for a Florida golf trip or a relaxing vacation. Top-notch accommodations, access to top-rated golf courses, upscale dining at Seagars, and relax at the Serenity by the Sea Spa.
  • Abec Resorts 15000 Emerald Coast Parkway 877-447-3767 [12] Pictures, rates, information, and online bookng for three spectacular Destin resorts.
  • Club Destin 1085 Highway 98 E, 850-654-4700 [13]
  • Inn on Destin Harbor 402 Highway 98 E, 850-837-7326 [14]
  • Pelican Beach Resorts 1002 Highway 98 E, 850-654-1592 [15]
  • Silver Shells Beach Resort and Spa 15000 Emerald Coast Parkway, 877-447-3767 [16] - beachfront condominium resort with Ruth Chris Steak House on site.
  • WaterSound Beach Rentals 37 Compass Point Way S., Santa Rosa Beach, 1-888-541-0801 [17]


Destin has experienced a two decade-long housing boom. Upscale high rise condos and lovely, quaint vacation rentals have proliferated. Check any of the leading vacation rentals sites for listings.

  • Destin Days Vacation Rentals 4421 Commons Drive E. #234 866-334-4853. [18]
  • Destin Vacation Rentals [19] Over 200 privately owned vacation rentals in Destin Florida.
  • Southern Resorts 4608 Opa-Locka Lane, 1-800-737-2322 [20] Stay in beautiful beach homes, cottages and condos in Destin. Visit website for great maps, vacation guide, on-line reservations and more.

Get out

  • Ft. Pickens [21], part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, is a nature preserve and a civil war-era fort and museum. Activities include fishing, camping, historical research, and tours. A 7-day pass is $8, and covers a private vehicle and all passengers. It's located on the far west end of Santa Rosa Island, about 45 minutes west on Highway 98, then take the CR-399 bridge south at Gulf Breeze, then follow CR-399 right.
  • Navarre Beach is a relatively unoccupied resort area on Santa Rosa Island. Head west on Highway 98 about 30 minutes, then take a left on Navarre Bridge. An excellent beach with shower facilities is available at the bridge intersection.
  • Panama City Beach is an area more targeted to the younger crowed. It is a popular spring break destination. Head east on Highway 98 about an hour.
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