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Destin, Florida and Okaloosa Island…

Posted by on April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016. Destin, Florida and Okaloosa Island.  

MY STORY CONTINUES. About an hour from our temporary digs in Pensacola is the little seaside town of Destin, Florida. Only aboutdestin2 12,000 folks call it home, but more than 5 million people visit annually. Lots of the locals we’ve met have suggested we take the drive and give it a look. So hop in, buckle up and join us. Today’s the day. The weather is beautiful in the Florida Panhandle right now, despite some pretty wicked thunderstorms and tornado watches last week. We’re told the summer months coming up shortly are brutally hot and humid, so this is a good day for an outing before it gets too hot to do anything but sit shoulder-deep in the swimming pool. I mean, when the temperature hits 104 degrees and the humidity is 100%, what else can you do?

   The Emerald Coast.

DESTIN. Destin is located on Florida’s Emerald Coast, which gets its name from the beautiful, clear green water here. The beaches have extremely fine, white, sugar-sand, so if you’re a beachwalker you’ve come to the right place. I’m able to get around a bit now, but it’s still way too soon for me to attempt a walk on the sand. But if I keep working hard with my physical therapist it won’t be too long before I’ll be ready.  Destin is known for its Gulf of Mexico beaches as well as the Harbor Boardwalk, with shops, boutiques and restaurants. Nature trails pass through the dunes of Henderson Beach State Park, where the coastline is dotted with pine and oak trees. The town styles itself as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” and claims to have the largest fishing boat fleet in the state of Florida. We saw the fresh catch of the day being cleaned by the crew on some of the boats. It’s a perfect place to people-watch. We’re good at that.


    Henderson Beach State Park on the Emerald Coast of Florida. 


The Boardwalk at Destin. Shops, restaurants, bars, boats and tourists. I guess I’m getting too old for such a hectic atmosphere.  I probably wouldn’t return except to charter a boat to go after a sailfish. Another bucket list item!  


The Boardwalk goes on forever. There are fishing boats, dolphin boats,        scuba boats and party boats. Whatever you want is right here.  


OKALOOSA ISLAND. Just a ten minute drive across the Destin Bridge is Okaloosa Island, also called “Destin West,” where some of the most beautiful beaches in the state are located. People like the Island because it is a little less hectic than Destin. This barrier island between Ft. Walton Beach and Destin has sand so clean is squeaks underfoot! A popular fishing pier juts almost 1.300 feet into the waters of the Gulf and is an excellent place to go for shorebound fishing. For $7 you can rent a rod and reel, get a one-day fishing license and spend the day going after the big one. Or, for a mere buck, you can “walk the pier” to your heart’s content with a wristband allowing you to come and go during the day as you please.

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                  The bridge leading from Destin to Okaloosa Island.


             It’s a lot less frantic on Okalooska Island than in Destin.



The beach just doesn’t get much nicer than this!



                                              THANKS FOR JOINING US. I’LL CONTINUE MY STORY NEXT TIME. 

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