Part of the area known as The Emerald Coast the southern sea town of Destin, also known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” attracts visitors with its spirited seaside celebrations, links of great championship golf and fresh seafood.
From peg-legged, patch-eyed pirates and kaleidoscope-colored sailing regattas to scrumptious seaside seafood fests, Native American celebrations and awesome angling adventures in the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” more than 400 annual special events guarantee a continuous calendar of fun. Beach town bashes range from the Billy Bowlegs Festival and Mardi Gras celebration to the month-long October Destin Fishing Rodeo and Emerald Coast Boat Week including the famous Poker Run.
Although the preferred activity in this laid back slice of Florida’s upper Gulf coast is “relaxing and doing as little as possible,” visitors also enjoy teeing off on 1,080 challenging holes of famous golf, fishing from Florida’s largest charter boat fleet for the elusive big blue, sailing in the emerald-flecked surf and sun bronzing on white powdered shores.
100 Fathom Curve
The underwater 100 Fathom Curve draws closer to Destin than to any other spot in Florida – creating the speediest deep-water access on the Gulf. This phenomenon makes the area the “Billfish Capital of the World” with a world record catch of 1,061 lbs. and an area of sensational seafood offering over four times more types of fresh fish per season. Freshwater fishing throughout the area is plentiful, reeling in catfish, bass and bream.
Undoubtedly the most mesmerizing distraction on the Emerald Coast is the combination of sun-bleached, shocking white shores, stretching 24 miles like ribboning white satin, with rich, emerald-jeweled waters. Sprawling shores provide seating for performances by dancing dolphins and sandpipers, as well as postcard-perfect sunrises and sunsets over the Gulf – all compliments of Mother Nature. More than 60 percent of the area’s beaches will be preserved forever in sweeping, virgin purity. (Beware – the reflection of the white sands makes sunglasses and substantial sunscreen a must.)
Active adventures begin at the beach. Although the sugary shores are swept bare, about a mile out, an aquarium of treasures from sea horses to cockles, clams and striped cowries are discovered. Exceptional snorkeling and diving are possible close inshore – a rarity – due to the underwater 100 Fathom Curve. Pontooning, parasailing, waterskiing, sailing and windsurfing are additional Gulf and Choctawhatchee Bay water escapades.