Destin is the crown jewel of Florida's Emerald Coast.  Located about 50 miles west of Pensacola, it is a city that caters to tourists.  It runs along the coast for several miles, but seems only a few blocks wide.

Destin is literally carpeted with restaurants.  We were there for a week, and never ate at the same place twice.  Take the time to find the local places to eat.  They are well worth the effort.  Especially the seafood places.  Big surprise, right?  Besides, you can eat at Outback when you get home.

Bars and clubs are everywhere you look.  You can find head-banger joints, high dollar wine bars, and everything in between.  Inside.  Outside.  Oceanside.  Take your pick.  I always like my seat with a view.

But the real reason to vacation at Destin is the beach.  Miles and miles of sand the color and texture of powdered sugar.  Really.  As far down as you care to dig.  You can walk on it barefoot in the middle of the afternoon.  The water is the most beautiful translucent green you can imagine.  Hence the name Emerald Coast.  The pictures below just can't do it justice.

Snow white dunes near Destin Florida

Even before you get to Destin, you can tell from the dunes that you are in a special place.

Coming into Destin

Coming into Destin across the west bridge gives you your first breathtaking view of the silver sands and emerald waters that make Destin so special.

Silver sands and blue umbrellas

Chairs & umbrellas rent by the day or half-day.  While they provide and shade and help keep you cool, don't depend on the umbrellas to protect you from sunburn.  Those brilliant white sands reflect the UV everywhere.  Make sure you stock up on sunscreen.

Seagull riding the wind

Like every other beach in the world Destin has its share of seagulls.

Let's go fly a kite

Lots of locals fly kites up and down the beach.  This guy made this one himself.

The Ticketmeisters and the First Lady hide from the sun

The Ticketmeisters and the First Lady kick back and relax with some cold beverages.  Sunglasses and koozies are required equipment.

Mrs Ticketmeister the First Lady and Mayor relaxing in the shade

The Lord Mayor joins the First Lady and Mrs. Ticketmeister.  We were playing Jimmy Buffett tunes on an mp3 boom box strapped up inside the umbrella frame.  It was really entertaining to watch people walk by and try to figure out where it was coming from.  Especially after a few Coronas.

The view from our balcony

This was the view from our bedroom balcony.  Beautiful, but kind of depressing.

This is why they call it the Emerald Coast

Pictures just cannot convey the beauty of those emerald green waves crashing on those snow white beaches.  You Had To Be There.

The First Lady & Mayor relax out of the sun

The First Lady and the Mayor stop for the pause that refreshes.

A public display of affection from the Tickemeisters

The Ticketmeisters just can't keep their hands off of each other!

It's a bird!  It's a plane!  It's a . . . .kite?

Kites are big business in Destin.  I especially liked this one.

Sunset on the beach

At sunset, when the action moves to the clubs, you can get the beach all to yourself.

The mayor toasts the sunset

And as the sun sinks slowly into west, we bid the Mayor a damp but reluctant farewell.

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Palm Tree and Birds