Destin - Ft. Walton Beach News

Destin Commons' Smoke on the Coast BBQ & Fireworks Festival

The Destin Log

Date: 6/27/2015 6:05:00 AM

Partake in a fun-filled evening on Friday, July 3rd to kick off the July 4th weekend at the 5th Annual Smoke on the Coast BBQ & Fireworks Festival at Destin Commons. The event will feature its traditional BBQ competition with competitors vying for the

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Okaloosa Health Department tests emergency readiness

Weather Alert

Date: 6/26/2015 8:17:00 PM

The Okaloosa County Health Department tested their readiness for a large-scale emergency on Friday. The health department and the state medical response team, set up a tent outside the Ft. Walton Beach medical center. It's what they would do if the

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Buzzworthy events for June 26-July 2

NW Florida Daily News

Date: 6/26/2015 6:29:00 AM

General admission tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at or at Smith’s Antiques in Destin, Fusion Art and Glass at Grand Boulevard, Sundog Books in Seaside and the Bayou Art Center in

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Stranded leatherback turtle taken to Gulfarium (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

NW Florida Daily News

Date: 6/25/2015 3:16:00 PM

An evaluation at the scene didn’t reveal any clear reasons for the stranding, so they opted to move her to Gulfarium on Okaloosa Island, according to Allen McDowell, who is the director of the sea turtle care program there. Leatherbacks do not do as well

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New Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin Record Set with 899.6 Pound Blue Marlin


Date: 6/25/2015 1:29:00 PM

Geoff Collins on the wheel, took second-place release honors for two blues released ($105,030), followed by Pair-A-Dice, a 66 Viking from Destin, Flor-ida, also for two blues based on time. Capt. Gary Smith and his team won $107,527. Born2Run owner Dana

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Destin | Okaloosa Island | Ft. Walton Beach | Shalimar | Niceville | is a community located along the Emerald Coast - Gulf of Mexico.

This area is known for its white beaches and emerald green waters. Originating as a small fishing village, it is now a popular tourist destination – according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, over 80 percent of the Emerald Coast's 4.5 million visitors each year visit Destin-Ft.Walton Beach. Destin styles itself "The World's Luckiest Fishing Village", and claims to have the largest fishing vessel fleet in the state of Florida.

Destin is named after Captain Leonard Destin, a New London, Connecticut fishing master who settled in the area c. 1845 or 1850. The first condominiums were built in the 1970s, although Destin was not incorporated as a municipality until 1984. The city has experienced rapid growth since the 1980s.

The city is located on a peninsula separating the Gulf of Mexico from Choctawhatchee Bay. The peninsula was originally an island; hurricanes and sea level changes gradually connected the island to the mainland. As of the 1940s it technically became an island again with the completion of the Choctawhatchee-west bay canal. Destin has a total area of 8.2 mi². 17.5 mi² of it is land and 0.6 mi² of it (7.95%) is water.

Destin is near several other cities in the region. The city of Fort Walton Beach is located to the west at the inlet of Santa Rosa Sound into Choctawhatchee Bay. North of Destin, across the bay is Niceville, with the Mid-Bay Bridge linking the two by road. Panama City (to the east) and Pensacola (to the west) are each about 50 miles away.

At the western tip of the peninsula is East Pass (also known as Destin Pass), separating it from Santa Rosa Island to the west. East Pass is the only outlet of Choctawhatchee Bay into the Gulf of Mexico, Many sources claim that the pass was dug by hand with an inrush of water widening it within hours. The pass appears in early maps and surveys from Spanish, French, and English surveyors, such as Thomas Jefferys's 1775 map The Coast of West Florida and Louisiana. Frequent dredging is required to keep East Pass navigable.

"Crab Island," a significant sandbar located in East Pass, is a popular anchorage in the area. The entrance to Destin Harbor, a lagoon between the beaches and the main body of the western portion of the peninsula, is located just north of the East Pass jetty. The lagoon is formed by a sand spit named Holiday Isle; many condominiums have been built along the harbor since the 1970s.
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