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40 miles E of Pensacola; 160 miles W of Tallahassee
The major tourist destination in Florida's Panhandle, Destin and Fort Walton Beach, along with Okaloosa Island, draws beach lovers and golfers year-round. White, sandy strips stretch the entire length of what has become known as the Emerald Coast. Destin and Fort Walton Beach are home to the state's largest fishing fleet. Myriad golf courses give visitors reason to head inland as well.
The 1 1/2 miles of sandy beachfront at Henderson Beach State Park sit like an oceanfront oasis in the middle of Destin. Fort Walton Beach bums while away the hours on the white sands of Okaloosa Island, just one bridge away from town.
Things to Do
Head for the greens at Destin-area golf courses. The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort offers 72 holes over three courses landscaped with palms and bougainvillea.
Eating & Drinking
Fresh seafood rules along Florida's Emerald Coast. If you spent your day fishing, bring your catch to Destin's Fisherman's Wharf Seafood House, where they'll prepare and grill, broil, or blacken your fish for dinner. Or stop in at Sexton's Seafood on the way for a fresh-off-the-boat feast.
Nightlife & Entertainment
A thatched-roof deck shelters visitors and live reggae bands at AJ's Club Bimini in Destin, as 20-somethings groove with Caribbean rum drinks within sight of the Gulf of Mexico. The sounds of Jimmy Buffett fill the air at Destin's Nightown, where a single price admits you to live music and amateur boxing matches.
Let American Airlines help you plan a convenient family beach vacation with flights to Destin and flights to Fort Walton Beach. With an enviable location on Florida's beautiful Emerald Coast, you'll find many things to do in Destin, from building sandcastles at the water's edge and watching dolphins to playing challenging golf courses. There are also many things to do in Fort Walton Beach, including learning about history at the Fort Walton Temple Mound.
With miles and miles of sugar-white sand beaches, it's only natural that many of the most popular activities in Destin revolve around the shoreline. Feel free to do very little on your getaway here beyond simply relaxing on the beach, listening to the tide roll ashore and watching the kids build sandcastles. They're the same as the top activities in Fort Walton Beach, and they're all about unwinding. You can even spot dolphins frolicking in the famously emerald-green waters (there is a known dolphin breeding ground in the shallow water near Destin Harbor). And since the famed 100 Fathom Curve draws so close here, deep-sea fishing is another one of the top things to do in Destin. In fact, Destin offers the quickest access to deep water than anywhere else on the Gulf, earning it the nickname Billfish Capital of the World.
If you'd rather wield a driver than a fishing pole, don't worry. You'll find plenty of activities in Destin to keep you busy. The entire Emerald Coast boasts more than 1,000 holes, and many courses in Destin are designed by renowned architects. One of our favorites is the Regatta Bay Golf Course, situated among nature preserves along Choctawhatchee Bay. More things to do in Destin that are out of the ordinary include visiting the Destin History & Fishing Museum. It features the largest collection of native Gulf fish in northwest Florida, along with artifacts such as Ernest Hemingway's big game fishing rod and Destin's oldest seine boat, the 1925 Primrose.
To discover a key part of the region's history, add a visit to the Fort Walton Temple Mound to you list of activities in Fort Walton Beach. This prehistoric temple mound is a sacred burial ground that was built as a ceremonial center by the Mound Builder Culture sometime between 800 and 1400 A.D. It's the largest mound to have been discovered near saltwater and considered to be the largest on the entire Gulf Coast. Standing at 12 feet high and 223 feet wide, the Fort Walton Temple Mound has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The actual temple, built on top of the mound, is thought to have been not only where religious ceremonious occurred but also where the leader lived. The Indian Temple Mound Museum features exhibits cataloging thousands of years of Native American life, with more than 6,000 artifacts that include a fine ceramics collection. In addition, you'll be able to view artifacts from the Civil War, early Florida coastal settlers and European explorations.
Looking for more educational things to do in Fort Walton Beach during your stay? Visit the Civil War Museum, featuring details regarding Florida's secession, the Battle of Santa Rosa Sound and Camp Walton. It's located behind the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum, another stop worthy of a visit. This two-room schoolhouse contains exhibits of artifacts from Camp Walton's beginnings.
For an easy beach vacation for the family, fly to Destin with American Airlines. The city's brilliant white sand beaches, challenging golf courses and relaxing atmosphere are waiting for you. What are you waiting for? Book your trip today. We've made it easy to fly to Fort Walton Beach so you can begin relaxing with the family.
|AJ's Seafood & Oyster Bar||Seafood||Destin||3||2|
|Another Broken Egg Cafe||American||Southern Walton County||2||2|
|Big City American Bistro||American||Fort Walton Beach||2||4|
|Bud & Alley's||Seafood||Seaside||4||3|
|Caffè Italia||Italian||Fort Walton Beach||2||3|
|Café Tango||American||Southern Walton County||3||3|
|Café Thirty-A||Seafood||Southern Walton County||3||4|
|Cowgirl Cafe||American Regional||Southern Walton County||2||2|
|Crush Wine Bar||Spanish/Portuguese||Seaside||2||2|
|Destin Chops 30A||Steaks/Chops||Southern Walton County||4||3|
|Donut Hole Bakery Cafe||American Regional||Destin||1||2|
|Fire||American||Southern Walton County||3||3|
|Fish Out of Water||Seafood||Southern Walton County||3||4|
|Fisherman's Wharf Seafood House||Seafood||Destin||2||3|
|Fudpucker's Beachside Bar & Grill||American||Destin||3||2|
|George's at Alys Beach||American||Southern Walton County||3||2|
|Great Southern Cafe||American Regional||Seaside||3||3|
|Harry T's Boat House||American||Destin||3||2|
|Pandora's Restaurant & Lounge||Steaks/Chops||Fort Walton Beach||3||2|
|Staff's Seafood Restaurant||Seafood||Fort Walton Beach||3||1|
|Stinky's Fish Camp Seafood & Wine Bar||Seafood||Southern Walton County||3||4|
|The Red Bar||Seafood||Southern Walton County||3||4|
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