Getting Around Destin
The best way to get around Destin is by car. Driving enables you to visit any of the 13 beach access points and, despite the traffic, is the preferred mode of transportation. Recent travelers agree, moving slowly in your own vehicle is better than being stranded at a bus stop. In fact, most vacationers drive to Destin instead of flying into Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS). The Pensacola International Airport (PNS) and the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) also serve the area, but are located more than an hour away. You can rent a car from any of these airports.
Driving throughout the small city isn't difficult. The only chance of confusion comes when dealing with U.S. Highway 98, since it has so many names depending on where you are on the peninsula. The locals are very accustomed to tourists, so don't hesitate to ask them for directions. Summer traffic going in and out of town can be atrocious, particularly on Saturdays. If you'd rather let someone else do the driving, there are several taxi companies, including Uber and Lyft, that serve the Destin area.
One way to avoid the gridlock? By using two wheels instead of four. U.S. Highway 98 has a dedicated bike and pedestrian path on the north side of the roadway that stretches for 5 miles, but if you really want to exercise your legs, venture north to Walton County where there are more than 200 miles of hiking and biking trails. If you didn't bring your own bike, you'll find there are several rental shops in Destin, including Coastal Cruisers and La Dolce Vita. Many bike shops also rent scooters and mopeds.
EC Rider bus routes Nos. 30, 32 and 33 serve the Destin area along U.S. 98, more commonly referred to as the Emerald Coast Parkway. Popular stops include Henderson Beach State Park and Crystal Beach. Adults pay $1.50 to ride, and children with heights equal to or shorter than the top of the fare box ride free with an accompanying adult. The bus runs every 30 minutes in the summer and every hour in the winter. Travelers have deemed the bus system "unreliable," so a car is still your best option.
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