The first time I heard of Destin Beach, I didn’t give it much thought due to the copious press that Miami and the Florida Keys receive. I had heard of the town Pensacola Beach but again, I was less than impressed and never really looked into further. Bias is a tough thing to live with sometime when you figure out how wrong you’ve been.
Just last fall, my wife and I made a quick trip to Destin for a long weekend and I got the surprise of my life. We enjoyed it so much, we took the kids back last week for a week-long stay of fun, sun and white sand beaches.
Destin is a full day’s drive from Dallas but worth every mile. The beaches are the most pristine I have visited in all of Florida. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Florida beaches but I’m mad about Destin Beaches.
We rented a vacation condo in Sandestin for our family visit. The grounds were immaculate and the setting was very tropical. My teenage kids were blown away as we cleared the guard shack and drove down the winding road to our condo sitting on the beach. The view was astonishing. There is nothing like white sand and emerald water sparking in the sun from eleven stories up. Simply Breathtaking.
We had a water activity planned for every day and did some sightseeing as well. The weather was a perfect 85° (F) and sunny all week long. We had the pleasure of taking our first family sail together with a local sailor, Captain Bryan who took us into the Gulf of Mexico where we were surrounded by a school of dolphins including one only a week or so old. It was quite the experience to watch its mom teach it to surf the waves.
We rented kayaks and rowed over to Crab Island which is a ginormous sandbar in the middle of the bay. There are food barges and water activities for the kids and the water is only waste deep. Of course, like everywhere else in Destin, you can look down and see your feet as clear as day. This is a must on your "to-do" list while in Destin.
Most of the beaches in Destin are private and reserved for the occupants of the condos that border them. However, Henderson State Park is a very large public beach with facilities and tons of parking. If you are willing to get an early start, there are other small public beaches with limited access and even less parking. Check our beaches list for more info.
If you are within a day’s driving distance, you simply must make a trip to Destin. You will not be disappointed.