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How did Destin and the beaches of 30A get their white sand?

Destin’s sand begins its story in the Appalachian Mountains. More than 20,000 years ago, rising temperatures caused the ice caps to melt and large volumes of water were sent to the oceans via rivers. The Apalachiacola River carried water from the mountains into the Gulf of Mexico. This water contained Quartz particles, and as the sea levels began to rise, this quartz began to form a new coastline. The sand in Destin and South Walton is made almost entirely of this fine quartz, which gives it its sugar-white color and texture.

What are the average temperatures in Destin?

During the winter months (December-February), the air temperatures average around 62 degrees for a high and the low forties for a low. The winter water temperature hovers around 64 degrees. During the spring, high temperatures reach the low eighties and the water temperature is a balmy 72 degrees. The weather heats up for summer with highs easily reaching the mid-nineties in June, July, and August. In the fall, you can expect comfortable warm temperatures in the mid-eighties. The water temperature stays well above eighty from April through October.

What else is there to do in Destin?

Destin is home to world-class shopping centers and outlet malls, innovative restaurants, and championship golf courses. Known as “the world’s luckiest fishing village,” Destin is home to the largest charter fishing fleet in the country, so be sure to book a full, half, or multi-day fishing trip. Paddle-boarding, surfboarding, and kayaking are also popular, especially in the rare coastal dune lakes of South Walton County. For more information, see our Things To Do page.

Is it easy to get to Destin?

Destin is the number two drive-to destination in the state of Florida, and it is within a six hour drive of many Southeastern cities. Destin is serviced by three airports: Destin-Fort Walton Beach (VPS), Northwest Florida Beaches International (ECB), and Pensacola Regional Airport (PNS).

When is it safe to swim?

The Gulf of Mexico and Choctawatchee Bay tend to be much calmer than the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. Both Okaloosa and Walton County operate a flag safety system. Green Flags mean the water conditions are ideal. Yellow Flags suggest caution should be used, as there may be currents, strong surf, or riptides. Red flags are used to warn swimmers that high hazards are present. Double red flags mean the beaches and water is closed to swimmers. Purple flags indicate that pesky marine life, like jelly, are present. You can get the most updated information about beach safety and water conditions on the South Walton and Okaloosa Counties' websites.