When most Americans envision a Florida beach vacation, the bright lights of Miami immediately come into sharp focus. While South Beach is certainly capable of providing an entertaining, glamorous break from the 9-5 grind, the well-advised traveler also considers the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Each of the Gulf Coast states boasts beautiful white sand beaches, but the best are found on what is commonly referred to as the “Emerald Coast” of Florida. With significantly lower prices for food, activities, and accommodation than Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the city of Destin offers a great vacation spot for your family.
Of the Emerald Coast’s 4.5 million annual visitors, approximately 80% flock to Destin. The city has undergone an enormous tourism growth spurt since the first condominiums were built in the 1970’s. Visitors can stay in a wide array of hotels and motels, with options ranging from inexpensive motels to high-profile resorts. Finally, during the peak season, fulltime residents rent out homes to visitors, the perfect option for a large family.
Most travelers come during the spring, when warming ocean waters and perfect temperatures create an optimal beach experience. The coast is widely known for its incredibly white sand, the result of finely ground quartz transported via the Apalachicola River all the way from the Appalachian Mountains. The ocean maintains its emerald hue from harmless microalgae suspended in the water. These two components combine to ensure that a beach vacation in Destin will be scenic as well as fun.
Another of Destin’s main attractions is its large fishing fleet, claimed by residents to be the largest in the state. The city’s nickname is actually “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”, a moniker that many tourists can personally attest to. This part of the Gulf Coast supplies some of the finest sport fishing in the country, with marlin and tuna boats going out daily. Experienced captains have honed their fish-finding skills into an art form, ensuring that the perfect catch is always only a cast away.
Once you’ve had your fill of the beach, there are numerous other opportunities for fun around Destin. Wash that salty ocean water off at Big Kahuna Water Park, located close to the city center, is a wonderful way to spend the day with your family. For those inclined towards shopping, the Destin Commons is a world-class mall, with almost a hundred fashion, furniture, and specialty stores. For those scorching hot days, the air conditioning at the mall’s movie theater beckons. With twelve screens, each member of the family is sure to find the perfect flick.
After sunset, Destin transforms into a playground for adults. The city boasts a large number of drinking establishments, along with a comedy club. Singles are sure to find ample opportunity to meet a counterpart at happy hour or one of the dance clubs around town.
The beautiful beaches of Destin, Florida are a great choice for your next vacation. With all of the options the city has to provide, a great time is sure to be had by your entire family.