Incorporated as a city in1984, Destin, one of the youngest municipalities on the Gulf Coast, is rich in ancient Native American history. Numerous Indian encampments have been excavated in the Destin area, with artifacts dating as far back as the 7th century. Destin was also a stopping off point for Spanish explorers, being first surveyed in 1538. Spanish surveyor Don Francisco Tapia, commissioned in 1693 to chart the Florida coast, drew the first known map of the East Pass and its shores.
Destin’s heritage can be traced to Connecticut fisherman Leonard Destin, who settled in Northwest Florida about 1845. For decades he and his descendants fished and navigated the only channel passage to the Gulf of Mexico between Panama City and Pensacola, known as Destin’s East Pass.
Fishing remains one of the leading recreation and income activities in the area. Named the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village," Destin is also recognized as one of the top five offshore shelling destinations in the world.
The closest point along the Florida coast to the 100 Fathom Curve, just 30 miles inland, Destin fishing fleets offer some of the best deep-sea fishing in the Gulf. The 100 Fathom Curve is the point where the continental shelf drops into the abyssal descent. It is at this point where the larger, deep-water fish run. Trolling the swift waters off the Emerald Coast has produced record marlin, sailfish, tuna, Wahoo, swordfish and dolphin.
Home to 24 miles of pristine beach, Destin is enjoying a growing reputation as a tourist destination. Together with its many fishing fleets and beautiful location, Destin is also becoming a Mecca for shopping enthusiasts: In the past few years several shopping areas have grown up along Highway 98, including:
- The Destin Commons: A unique open-air mall featuring 70+ retail shops, restaurants, and a 14-screen, stadium- seating theater.
- Silver Sands Factory Stores: The nation’s largest designer outlet mall offering 100+ retail stores and restaurants.
- Villages of Baytowne Wharf: An inclusive vacation resort with 40+ shops and restaurants, and 6 luxury hotels.
- The Market Shops at Sandestin: An enclave of 30+ boutiques, restaurants and entertainment.
Food Vendors at the Seafood Festival
Special events open to the public are planned at the Villages and Market Shops throughout the year including theater productions, festivals, children's events, art shows and concerts.
Destin offers an eclectic array of fine dining choices, world class resorts, award winning golf courses, summer-fun attractions, fishing, boating and other water sports, all along its sugar-white beaches and clear, emerald green waters.
- Average yearly temperature: 78
- Hottest month: July and August – average high 91
- Coldest month: Jan. – average low 31
- Annual rainfall: 69.2 inches
- Monthly average rainfall: 5.8 inches
- Wettest month: July – 9.4 inches
- Driest month: Apr. 4.26 inches
- Record high temperature: July 1980 – 107
- Record low temperature: Jan. 1985 – 4
- Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 each year
- Major hurricanes (Category 3 and higher) that have struck the Northwest Gulf Coast of Florida in the past 154 years: 14
[As of 08/06/05 – source NOAA]
- Population (2000 census): 11,119 full time residents
- Total Area: 8.2 square miles - 7.5 sq. miles land, 0.6 sq. miles water
- Per capita income: $32,408
- Median family income: $60,498
- Median age: 42
- Population ratio (males: females): 101:100
- Major industry: Air Force, tourism, fishing
- Destin Elementary - 630 Kelly St. – (850) 654-4360
- Destin Middle - Danny Wuerffel Way – (850) 833-7655
- Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office annex – 197 Stahlman Ave. – (850) 609-2093
- 175 Main St. – (850) 837-6312
- 150 Sibert Ave. – (850) 837-8572
- 848 Airport Rd. – (850) 837-8413
- 117 Crystal Beach Rd.
- 4200 Two Trees Rd. – (850) 837-4242
- 101 Stahlman Ave. – (850) 654-5184
Chamber of Commerce
- 4484 Legendary Dr. – (850) 837-6241
- 1540 Miracle Strip Parkway – (800) 322-3319 or (850) 651-7131
Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.
- Miracle Strip Aviation - 1001 Airport Rd. – (850) 837-6135 – public service airport does not provide service to commercial airlines