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Courtesy of Isabella Goff / EyeEm/Getty Images

Destin Area Map

Neighborhoods

Encompassing an area of about 8 square miles, Destin isn't a difficult city to maneuver. There are 13 public access points for visitors wanting to spend a day on Destin's clean white sand or in the Gulf's emerald green waters. The main road in this city is U.S. Highway 98 – also commonly known as the Emerald Coast Parkway – which runs the length of the Gulf of Mexico coast and is lined with attractions, restaurants and lodging options. Most attractions are on this south side of the peninsula. Destin's city center is on the westernmost tip of the peninsula.

A number of golf courses, such as the Kelly Plantation Golf Club, dot the peninsula. One of the most popular clubs is the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, which also has lodging and attractions along the Gulf and bay sides.

Sitting just south of Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, Destin Bridge is a great place to troll for the catch of the day. There are plenty of bait-and-tackle shops along the harbor to provide all the equipment you need.

Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier

Along the southern coast of Fort Walton Beach Park (just off of the Miracle Strip Parkway), the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier offers direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. From mid-October through mid-March, the pier is open daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., and during the summer it's open 24 hours a day. 

Destin is very safe, but still; it's always best to use common sense. Lock your car doors and make sure valuables are secured. Also, in order to avoid health complications, such as sunburn and heatstroke, drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen throughout the day.

If you're hitting the beach, make sure that you learn about the flag system, which is used on all of Destin's beaches. A green flag means that swimming conditions are safe, a yellow flag represents a medium hazard (like strong undercurrents) and a red flag means that conditions are dangerous. Two red flags show that swimming is prohibited while a purple flag warns swimmers that there are marine pests (such as jellyfish) in the water. Before jumping in, always make sure that a lifeguard is present.

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