Destin is a Florida city located in Okaloosa County and situated on the Emerald Coast. It covers an area of just over eight miles and has a population of eleven thousand people. This city is best known for its green waters and sparkling white beaches. Destin is situated on the peninsula that seperates Choctawhatchee Bay from the Gulf of Mexico. Originally this peninsula was a island, but over the course of time it gradually became a part of the main land. This is due to the forces of powerful hurricanes and the gradual changes in sea level. The area on which the city is located has been inhabitated by humans for over twelve thousand years. But, major Anglo settlement of the area didn’t occur until the mid-nineteenth century, when a New London fisherman named Captain Leonard Destin settled in the area. For decades after the city’s establishment, it continued its existence as a peaceful fishing village. The city was incorporated in 1984, and has since become a major tourist destination. Almost five million people visit the Emerald Coast each year, and eighty percent of them pass through Destin. During the tourist season, the population of the city triples from twelve thousand residents to almost forty thousand residents.
The main attraction of the city is its beaches. The sand on these beaches has a consistency that is close to that of sugar and has a super white appearence. This sand is washed down from the Appalachian Mountains and is composed of finely ground quartz. The particles flow down the Apalachicola River and is eventually dropped in the Gulf of Mexico. But, the city also has several man-made attractions to offer up to its visitors. These include a water park named Big Kahuna’s, a large open shopping mall called Destin Commons. In Destin Commons are several stores and amemnities which include a fourteen screen movie theater, Abercrombie & Fitch, a Hard Rock Cafe, Banana Republic, Books a Million and a Bass Pro Shop. Other popular attractions in the city include Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Silver Sands Outlet Mall, Just Chute Me Parasail, Swoop Deep Sea Fishing, Olin Marler Fishing and Dolphin Cruises, Village of Baytowne Wharf, Henderson Beach State Park, Gator Beach, Destin Harbor, Kelly Plantation Golf Club, Mobile Scooter, Emerald Bay Golf Club, Jolee Island Nature Park, Destin History & Fishing Museum, Regatta Bay Golf and Country Club, Crystal Sands Beach, Olin Marler Charter Fishing, Clements Antiques of Florida, Emerald Coast Conference Center and Sea Blaster.
Destin is also home to numerous restaurants and hotels. Popular restaurants in the area include Dewey Destin Seafood Restaurant, Lucky Snapper Grill & Bar Inc., Harbor Docks, Crab Trap, The Back Porch, Callahan’s Restaurant & Deli and Mc Guire’s Irish Pub of Destin. Prominent hotels in the city include Jetty East Condominium, Country Inns & Suites, Inn On Destin Harbor, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Holiday Inn Destin On The Beach Hotel and the Destin Miramar Beach Hotel. The city of Destin has several festivals and special events. Events in the city include the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo and the Destin Seafood Festival. After visiting the beaches and the various attractions in this town, many people travel down to the west to visit Pensacola Beach, Navarre Beach and the fortification Fort Pickens (which is situated at the end of Santa Rosa Island).