If you’re looking for a break that includes sun, sand, water, and warmth, make sure Florida is on your radar. Once you’ve zeroed in on the Sunshine State, you’ll have to figure out just where you want to spend your time. Whether it’s a coastal town or somewhere inland, there is plenty to see and do on your fun-filled Florida vacation. If the history of the Gulf Coast is what attracts you, make sure to visit the Gulf Coast. Destin and the towns along Scenic Highway 30A have a history unlike any other, and you’ll want to make sure to take some of it in while you’re here.

Destin & 30A’s Beginnings

Archaeological evidence shows inhabitants as early as 500 B.C.E. Native Americans are said to have been on the shores as early as the seventh century A.D, and Spanish explorers arrived in the sixteenth century A.D. The City of Destin became a chartered municipality under the laws of the State of Florida in 1984. Each of the 16 communities that call Scenic Highway 30A their own each have their own unique Gulf Coast history, starting with Grayton Beach in the early 1900s all the way up to WaterColor in the late 1990s. Scenic Highway 30A was given its national historic designation in April 2008.


From the establishment of Grayton Beach in 1911, the areas of Destin and Scenic Highway 30A have seen plenty of change. The small seaside resort community of Grayton Beach has turned into a bustling tourist destination, and the communities that popped up along the highway have added their own flair. The City of Destin has grown from its roots a small fishing village to one that also offers recreation like golf, tennis, water sports, and more. Camp Helen State Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes buildings from the area’s beginning in the 1920s.

New Urbanism

One of 30A’s communities, Seaside, is the birthplace of New Urbanism architectural design. The New York Times called it “the most important phenomenon to emerge in American architecture in 50 years” when the community was established. Seaside’s “small town” design includes a town center with shopping – there’s a town grocery store along with other fun shops – and dining, homes, cottages, offices, and more all within walking distance of one another.

Ghost Stories

Every historic location has its stories. The grounds of Camp Helen State Park along the highway includes tales of slaves, former land owners, and other apparitions visitors and locals alike have claimed to see in the park as well as along the beaches.

History of the Gulf Coast

You came to the Gulf Coast to explore and experience a new place on a fun, relaxing getaway with loved ones. You may also enjoy learning a little more about the history of the place you’ve decided to call ‘home’ on that respite. Enjoy a stress-free, worry-free stay full of all the fun and historic trivia you want when you book a vacation rental provided by Five Star Gulf Rentals. Your small group or family will enjoy a three-bedroom unit, or you can plan a Gulfside reunion and book an 18-bedroom mansion close to the beach for everyone to enjoy a sunny getaway. Enjoy private outdoor spaces like a pool, balcony, or deck. Relax indoors in stylish bedrooms. and decadent master suites. Make a meal in the fully equipped kitchen, then spread out in an open living area. For a luxury stay like no other, choose a premium unit to include perks like a game room, theater room, elevator, flat screen TVs, stainless steel appliances, and more to make your stay one you’ll never forget. Call us today to start planning a fun-filled Gulf Coast visit!