Location: 30.4 N 85.6 W
Population: 11,068 full-time residents (1998 Official Estimate of Population, State of Florida).
The Destin area was home to Native Americans as early as the 7th century A.D. Spanish explorers surveyed Florida in 1538. Don Francisco Tapia was commissioned to survey the Florida coast and in 1693, drew the first known map of East Pass and its shores. Destin traces its immediate history to a fisherman, Captain Leonard Destin, who moved here from New London, Connecticut, and settled in Northwest Florida in about 1845. Captain Destin pioneered the fishing industry and Destin has maintained this heritage to the present.
In the early 1950's, only a few buildings lined
Hwy 98. By the late 1970s, Destin had outgrown itself. The City of Destin was originally chartered as a municipality under the laws of the State of Florida in 1984. However, the community of Destin, in existence for more than one hundred and fifty years, has a long history as a fishing village and premier resort destination. Known as the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village", the largest and most elaborately equipped fishing fleet in the State of Florida docks at the Destin Harbor. In addition to fishing, recreational opportunities include golf, tennis and watersports, including diving and snorkeling. The 100 Fathom curve draws closer to Destin than any other spot in Florida providing the speediest deep-water access on the Gulf.
Recommended sites for fun in general:
Olin Marler Harbor, home to seagulls, pelicans, boats named "Vitamin Sea", sea-bound hillbillies, and smelly fresh fish. Various boats offer eveything from overnight fishing in the Gulf to dolphin sightings to speed boaters to pirate ship day cruises, etc.
The Marina Cafe is located above the tail end of Olin Marler's and has some of the best fish around, as well as good service and a nice break from the sensational pandering of the tourist's Destin to the Southern middle class. The early bird special starts at 5:30 PM. Don't be late.
The mini-golf/bungee jumping/go carts/kiddie amusement park/water park is guaranteed entertainment, and usually at someone else's expense. You can watch people throw themself off a high tower for free (hey, that's another way to entertain your children for little or no money. Destin is quite possibly the only place where, while eating dinner, I saw women in bikinis and three plaster hippos speed by the window on a semi advertising an amusement park.
with help from http://www.cityofdestin.com