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Destin-Fort Walton Beach: Florida’s Gold Coast Doesn’t Disappoint

Destin-Fort Walton Beach: Florida’s Gold Coast Doesn’t Disappoint

Known for pristine sugar-white sand and vibrant, emerald-green waters, Destin-Fort Walton Beach naturally welcomes families to explore together and set out on memorable, water-based adventures.
The Gulf waters are typically calm and crystal clear making ideal conditions for not only snorkeling and diving, but for kids to take their first steps from the shore and dive right in.
These adventures are not only possible but welcoming for every member of the family with activities ranging from legendary fishing and boating to watersports, and an abundance of wildlife to observe along the way.
Sugar-white Sand + Emerald-green Water
The signature sugar-white sand beaches found in DestinFort Walton Beach are some of the most beautiful in
the world and have a history all their own. Appalachian quartz crystals, washed from rivers and tumbled by tides over thousands of years, form the fine white powder sands that exist today.
The sand remains cool to the touch year-round and gives the water its trademark emerald color by reflecting sunlight through the surf, creating a picturesque backdrop for a perfect photo.
Getting Out on the Water
Play on the water isn’t just fun for kids it’s a transformative experience. With more than 20 miles of coastline, plus protected bays and bayous, the best way to explore is on the water.
For memories that will last a lifetime, guests can rent a pontoon, kayak or paddle board to explore the waterways with Island Watersports Company, experience underwater beauty with Destin Snorkel, or opt instead for a cruise on the Cattywampus Catamaran that boards from The Gulf on Okaloosa Island.
Nature Lovers
An environment that is diverse in nature awaits including vibrant reefs, coastal waterfronts, inland forests, and
cultural centers. It’s a setting that encourages kids to not only interact with their surroundings, but with parents and siblings.
The destination’s many parks provide an opportunity to be immersed in a coastal landscape whether checking out the endangered coastal scrub at Henderson Beach State Park, or spotting herons, pelicans, and other coastal birdlife along the walkways of Liza Jackson Park.
For an up-close encounter with some of the destination’s most well famous residents, seasonal Nighttime Educational Beach Walks (June through October) provide locals and visitors alike information about protecting the sea turtle population. Offshore adventurers can spot an abundance of marine life including dolphins, goliath groupers, angelfish, Spanish mackerels, spadefish, octopus, and more.
The calm, clear waters of The Gulf are as ideal for first-time snorkelers as they are for those that are PADI certified. Divers can explore artificial reefs, wrecks and a limestone shelf at depths of up to 90 feet.
Along the Shores
Beachgoers can lay out on the sand, letting time slip away or break up their stay discovering treasures on land. Strolls down Destin’s Harbor Walk Village or The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island are feasts for the senses.
Savor Gulf-to-Table seafood served at restaurants just steps away from the fishing boats that just recently pulled them from the water or chart a course for shops brimming with sweet treats, gifts, and beach apparel.
A bit further inland, antiquing and unique shops line Downtown Fort Walton Beach, and well known brands can be found at Destin Commons, an open-air mall, that is home to a multitude of shopping and dining destinations. to may book at one of several resorts and hotels.
To bring friends and extended family along for the journey, roomy vacation rentals provide a comfortable option. A more peaceful intimate experience awaits, over at RV campsites, and at campgrounds including Henderson State Park where families can sleep under a canopy of stars.
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