Destin : Florida


What It Is Like to Retire in Destin

Located on Florida's Emerald Coast, and known for white sandy beaches and emerald green water, Destin, Florida, is a beautiul resort town that also offers an ideal year-round climate for fishing, golfing, boating and water sports. Calling itself the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”, the town was named after Leonard Destin, a fishing captain from Connecticut who settled in the area about 1845, and pioneered the fishing industry which Destin has continued to maintain today. Destin Harbor is home to Florida's largest fishing fleet that offers charters and dolphin cruises.

The city sits on a peninsula that separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Choctawhatchee Bay, and is a popular tourist destination.  The population of close to 14,000 swells to more than 40,000 residents during the winter months and draws over a million tourists each year for boating on the Destin Pass and to enjoy Florida's longest boardwalk.  The Destin area is also popular with several famous people who have homes here.

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Where to Retire in Destin and Home Prices

The first condominiums were built during the 1970's, although the town was not incorporated as a municipality until 1984, when Destin experienced rapid growth.  Today there are many communities and developments made up of condos, villas, townhomes and upscale resorts with prices starting from the $100's into the $millions. Because Destin is located on a peninsula, many highrises on the water offer beautiful views. The National Association of Realtors reports the median sale price of a home in the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin area to be $440,000 in the 2nd quarter of 2022. There are resorts and communities in the Destin area-see link at left.


What Is Special about Destin

Destin is a fishing village that has become a tourist destination as it offers pristine beaches, Harbor Walk Village, many great golf courses and all sorts of water recreation. It boasts a State Park with trails, docks, and camping. The Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts village presents programs, and classes, and the town hosts several festivals and annual events.


What Is Not Special about Destin

Destin is for those who enjoy the water and the outdoors.  Although there are shops, and an arts foundation, there is not a lot to do if you don't enjoy the sun and outdoor recreation. It is a tourist destination and popular family vacation spot with millions of visitors, and home prices are high.


Who Will Like Retirement in Destin

Retirees who love golf, boating, great fishing, wonderful seafood restaurants and miles of beaches would enjoy living in Destin. 


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism drives the economy.  According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, over 80% of the Emerald Coast's 4.5 million visitors each year visit Destin.


Climate and Physical Environment

Destin is located in the panhandle of Florida, where the temperatures are a little cooler.  January's average temperature is 55 degrees, and July's average 83 degrees.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The town boasts several restaurants including fresh seafood eateries.  The arts council provides classses, events, and programs; The History and Fishing Museum tells the history of Destin from a small fishing villiage to a popular tourist destination; Henderson Beach State Park features more than 6,000 feet of scenic shoreline with boardwalks, beaches, fishing, picnicing, and camping; the town hosts several events and festivals including The Fishing Rodeo held each October since 1948, and the annual Seafood Festival features local artists and fresh seafood.



The crime rate in Destin is low, about half of the national average.


Medical Facilities

Sacred Heart Hospital serves the Emerald Coast.



Destin offers shuttle and trolley services throughout the town; there is an executive airport in Destin and a regional airport about 21 miles away in Valparaiso. The nearest airports are in Pensacola or in Panama City, both about 50 miles away from Destin.


Valuable Links

City of Destin

Henderson Beach State Park

Destin Fun


What people are saying about Destin

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