Commonly referred to at “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” Destin is located on a small peninsula along the Florida panhandle about halfway between Panama City and Pensacola. This area of Florida is known as the Emerald Coast because of the crystal clear green water of the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition to its beautiful waters, Destin is also known for its stunning white sand beaches. And as a popular tourist destination, there are a nearly unlimited number of things to do when it comes to attractions, golfing, shopping, and dining. The luckiest fishing village in the world is also known for…you guessed it…outstanding fishing.
Destin was named after Leonard Destin, who was a fisherman that settled here sometime between 1845 and 1850. The area was originally a barrier island, but became more of a peninsula as hurricanes have built up a connection the the mainland over the years.
The Destin area began to see rapid population growth in the early 1980s after condominiums began popping up in the 1970s.
With its location on a small peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay, Destin is not a very big place. But that’s ok, because it is also not a very crowded place. This is the definition of a small Gulf Coast town.
The 2000 census showed a population of 11,119 people in Destin. That number grew to 12,305 in 2010 and was estimated to be about 13,355 in 2014.
The median age in Destin is 42. The population is pretty much split evenly between males and females, and the median household income is just over $53,000. 27.4% of the households in Destin include someone over the age of 65.
Because of its reputation as a tourist destination, there is pretty much always something to do here in Destin. The community features 21 really outstanding golf courses, and there are more than 40 different companies that offer fishing charters. Between all of those activities, you could spend years fishing and golfing right here in Destin without ever getting bored.
Keeping with the tourist-focused theme, another one of the most popular activities in Destin is kicking back and relaxing on one of the beautiful, powdery white sand beaches.
The best shopping in Destin can be found at Destin Commons or Silver Sands Premium Outlets. Destin Commons is the place to find all kinds of unique little boutique shoppes to explore, while the Silver Sands Premium Outlets focus more on the name brand stores you would expect to find at any major outlet mall.
Destin also has a really great lineup of antique stores like Antiques on Holiday, Smith’s Antique Mall, and Clements Antiques of Florida.
Since Destin is located along the panhandle, there is definitely plenty of New Orleans influence on the local cuisine. Restaurants like Boshamps Oyster House and Louisiana Lagniappe specialize in delicious Cajun/Creole food that will have your mouth watering.
One of the most popular restaurants in town is Dewey Destin Seafood, which is a super casual seafood joint located on a pier out over the harbor. Two of the most popular items here are the soft shell crab sandwich and the spicy crab legs. They are also known for their Steamed Royal Reds Shrimp.
For a non-seafood option that will still have your taste buds dancing, The Other End on Harbor Boulevard is a really great choice. Here you will find gourmet burgers and sandwiches served out of an Airstream trailer kitchen!
Destin Area Communities
The major community being developed in the area is Watersound, 50-year vision that is expected to transform the northwest corner of Bay County (in the Florida Panhandle) into a major population center is now in place for 110,000 acres of land spanning two counties.
The St. Joe Co. has received final approval from state and local agencies for a long-term development plan located predominately in the West Bay area of Bay County but extending into southeast Walton County. The Watersound-based company intends to craft a large-scale “active adult” retirement community in the area, similar to The Villages in Central Florida, with 170,000 residential units and more than 22 million square feet of retail, commercial and industrial uses.
If you think this is someplace you might be interested in learning more about, click here to request more information about this new community.
The Destin area offers the ideal small town beachfront community setting that is absolutely perfect for anyone who is passionate about fishing, golfing, or just relaxing on the beach. If you are looking for a retirement destination where every day feels like a vacation, Destin is a great place to start.