destin has a beautiful white sand gulf beach. there are several public beach accesses as well as several gulf beach state parks nearby. the destin-fort walton area is famous for it's "sugar" sand beaches.
Diving in Destin - if you never tried dive at night time- Destin is a great place to do so.
You can also find group snorkeling trips if you are not SCUBA certified. If you want to be SCUBA certified there are local dive shops can certify you while you are there on vacation.
here are some:
(1) Chuck's Dive World - 92 John Sims Pkwy, Valparaiso, Tel: 850-678-500
(2) Emerald Coast Scuba 110 Melvin Street - Tel; 850-837-0955
(3) The Scuba Shop 348 SW Miracle Strip Pky Ft. Walton Beach Tel;850-243-1600
(4) Scuba Tech 301 E Hwy 98 Tel: 850-837-2822
This is such a beautiful beach. White sands, blue waters. However, there are absolutely NO SHELLS! Nonetheless, this is the best beach in the area. It is handicap friendly, there are wheelchairs made for the beach that can be rented that are perfect.
One word of advice, however, is that there are sharks that frequent this area.
The Harborwalk is a popular spot to stroll among the boats and bars in Destin. Here you can find fishing trips, pleasure boat trips, and boat rentals alongside some of Destin's best bars such as AJ's and the Boathouse. Its a great spot to people watch as this area is very busy in the summer.
Destin Harborwalk Cam: (http://www.destinpasslive.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=43&Itemid=60)
Destin is a great spot for fun in the sun. From the beautiful white sandy beaches to the boats and dolphins, there is always something to do. There is a very popular sandbar next to the bridge from Okaloosa Island to Destin where hundreds of boats stop in the summer and people swim. It's a huge floating party.
One of my favorite things to do on the beach is to have a picnic! I like going to the beach on Holiday Isle -- it's more secluded and less crowded than other Destin beaches. Although there isn't a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Destin (which is my favorite picnic food), it's still relaxing to eat some yummy sandwiches and watch the waves on the beach.
I especially enjoy to picnic during the fall when it's not as hot outside.
Emerald Coast Scuba offers scuba certification classes ($195-450 -- open-water, night, nitrox, etc), equipment sales, rentals, and scuba trips. They also have bubblemaker classes for 8-10 yr olds ($95) , discover scuba ($95 -open water scuba diving w/o certification), and snorkeling trips ($20-25). They offer shallow-water trips near the jetties, deep water diving, and underwater wreck diving.
There are a lot of great places to snorkel in Destin! The easiest and most enjoyable way to snorkel in Destin is to go on a snorkeling boat trip. There are many places that offer these, such as A.J.'s. It's a great activity not only for adults, but for kids as well.
If you want to go snorkeling on your own, a good place for it is near the Destin jetties on Holiday Isle. At the end of Gulf Shore Dr there is a parking lot, and you can easily walk to the beach from there. In fact, most snorkeling boats make regular stops near the jetties!
Make sure that you take a couple long walks on the beach. It's especially beautiful around sunset (and I'm sure its equally beautiful around sunrise, although I'm never up early to see it!). I also like to take a book and read on the beach until the sun goes down. Its very peaceful and relaxing.
Although Destin offers vacationers a variety of activities, some of the most fun are found on the beach! Making sand castles, collecting shells, burying people in sand, all of these are great fun. You can pick up shovels and other sand toys at any souvenir shop in Destin (The Palace, Alvin's Island, etc), not to mention Target and Walmart. You can also buy inflatable rafts, floats, noodles, and body boards to play with in the water.
Remember to put on sunscreen (especially on cloudy days!) and have fun!
There are several places to rent kayaks in Destin. The Kayak Experience is located right on the Destin Harbor (on Hwy 98) and offers kayak rental and sales. Kayaking is a fun activity and a great workout!
The best places to surf in Destin are: on Okaloosa Island, right before the Destin bridge (ocean side, of course), and in front of the Boardwalk. If you don't have your own board, or need lessons, there are plenty of surf shops both in Destin and in downtown fort walton. In addition, most also offer kitesailing lessons and equipment.
Many of the condos in Florida will have their own private boardwalk to the beach. I just found out this year they do this to prevent people from walking on the dunes. The dunes protect the businesses & buildings from the weather, and they are working to try to protect the dunes as much as possible. This boardwalk belongs to the Beach Street Cottages.
The Coastal dunes are under a preservation project. Some of these dunes range from insignificant sand hills to formations more than 50 feet high. The un-vegetated dunes are the ones vulnerable to destruction by waves and wind. Vegetating these dunes are important because they act like dikes against flooding and reduces the energy of storm waves. Signs which say ‘restoration dune project’ are the areas to stay off and keep to the public beach access ways.
You can't go to Destin without going to the beach. In fact, the beach is probably your reason for visiting Destin. The sand is white & very fine. Destin is my favorite place in the world to go to the beach because it is so beautiful. For more pictures of the beaches in Destin, check out my travelogue.