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Places Welcoming You

gs logo Whisper Creek RV Resort
La Belle, Florida
gs logo Port St Lucie RV Resort
Port St Lucie, Florida
gs logo Camp Gulf
Destin, Florida
gs logo Craig's RV Park
Arcadia, Florida
gs logo Tampa South RV Resort
Ruskin, Florida

Destin

Comb the beach or cast a line in a Gulf Coast paradise

Destin, a scenic town at the heart of the Florida Panhandle, has evolved over the years into one of the most enjoyable and diverse beach scenes in the nation.

With its sugary white sand beaches lapped by a luminous fusion of turquoise, emerald and azure waters, it’s no surprise that the erstwhile fishing village of Destin has become one of the fastest-growing holiday destinations in the Sunshine State. Destin’s busy strip malls, condo developments and theme-park vibe appeal not only to active snowbirds, but to families, couples and spring-breakers. You could choose to stay at a number of Destin’s resorts, or you can drive your RV to Camp Gulf and bring the comforts of home on the road.

An area that’s rich in Native American history and ecological diversity, some 60 percent of Destin’s 24 miles of coastline have been protected against development. The 1½ miles of beachfront at Henderson Beach State Park form a pristine sanctuary at the heart of Destin. Deep, wide sands offer recreational opportunities on land and sea. Destin is home to Florida’s largest fishing fleet and, inland, there are myriad golf courses and attractions to round out the beach experience.

Destin’s shore features the charming Harborwalk Village, where visitors can stroll past eclectic restaurants and unique shops. You can’t miss Harry T’s, a seafood restaurant that sits under a diamond-check patterned lighthouse.

High-rise resorts overlook calm ocean shore at dusk.

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Fishing — a Longstanding Tradition

Reveling in its moniker as the “world’s luckiest fishing village,” Destin boasts Florida’s largest charter-boat fleet. A virtual armada of recreation vessels is moored at the marinas that flank Destin Harbor’s north shore, east of the Destin Bridge. Deep-sea fishing here is more than a hobby; it’s a tradition. This is a way of life that has shaped this waterfront community, which lies just 10 miles from the 100-foot depths of the Gulf. In this city, which has loomed large on every angler’s radar for more than half a century, you don’t even have to charter a boat for excellent fishing.

There’s the 1,200-foot Okaloosa Island Pier in town and the catwalk of the 3,000-foot Destin Bridge, over East Pass. The marinas and bait shops at Destin Harbor purvey all manner of gear, bait and fishing licenses. For boat charters along Destin Harbor’s waterfront, there’s a surfeit of booking opportunities, including HarborWalk Charters and FishDestin.

Gulfarium

The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park presents marine creatures in an interactive fashion. It’s hailed as a world-class marine science center.

The Dolphin Splash Encounter is the Gulfarium’s signature experience. From a submerged platform, children age 8 and over (and adults) can touch, learn about and play with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins alongside a Gulfarium trainer.

Boats crowd a dock.

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Deer Lake State Park

Tucked away along county Road 30A, just west of WaterSound, this under-the-radar state park, which spans approximately 2,000 acres, offers budding naturalists the chance to learn about intact ancient sand dunes. These are rare ecosystems; in the United States, they only occur along the Gulf Coast. These ancient landscapes brim with flora, affording exceptional views of rare vegetation.

A mile-long elevated walkway guides visitors through a small wooded area (in the park’s northern section) to the rolling dunes, then down to the Gulf of Mexico beach, where you can picnic, swim and fish.

Air Force Armament Museum

The Air Force Armament Museum is the world’s only cultural institution that collects and preserves artifacts and memorabilia associated with Air Force munitions. Inside the museum, a series of exhibits span the World War II era to the present. Along with an impressive collection of more than 25 reconnaissance, fighter and bomber planes from the 20th century’s major conflicts, the Armament Museum’s undisputed showstopper is the futuristic, streamlined SR-71 Blackbird, one of the fastest planes ever built. The Blackbird’s first test flight was on December 22, 1964, and, during 25 years in operation, it was never hit by a missile.

For More Information

Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau

800-322-3319

www.emeraldcoastfl.com

Florida Department of Tourism

888-735-2872

www.visitflorida.com