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The neighbouring resort towns of Destin and Fort Walton hug Choctawhatchee Bay as if embracing the coast. They are rich in Native American history and blessed with wonderful beaches. They offer the perfect base for those looking to avoid the crowds but still enjoy plenty of amenities - they are larger than nearby Pensacola Beach but less developed than Panama City Beach. Destin and Fort Walton Beach both are blessed with inviting turquoise waters, brilliant white sand and plenty of food, drink and entertainment for the old and young alike. Locals call Destin the 'world's luckiest fishing village' and deep-sea fishing is very much part of the lifeblood of the area. And we mean deep: the offshore shelf drops to depths of over 100 feet just ten miles off the coast.
Destin – Destin's enormous stretch of beach is its main calling card and it is certainly one that shouts out loud. Here you can enjoy scuba diving, snorkelling, jet skiing, parasailing, tubing, water skiing, kayak rentals, deep sea fishing and dolphin cruises. If you fancy staying dry there are some very good golf courses nearby too.
Fort Walton – You can combine your beach activities with learning about the fascinating history of Native Americans at the Indian Temple Mound and Museum.
Pensacola – This historic beach city is in easy reach of Destin and Fort Walton. Surrounded on three sides by water, the Pensacola area is full of history, shipwrecks, beaches and spectacular views.
Panama City Beach – you can find attractions and bars aimed more squarely at the younger crowd in the nearby lively resort of Panama City Beach.
There are many naval museums on offer alongside more historical military sites such as the Civil War fort at Fort Pickens. There are also many museums devoted to Native American history in the area. Meanwhile, out at sea, dolphins and delightful sunsets await you.
The numerous wrecks offer exciting diving and snorkelling opportunities. The most popular wreck dive is the aircraft carrier that can be found submerged nearby. Spearfish divers will enjoy the Russian Freighter that offers grouper, snapper and lobster as potential prizes. Birdwatchers should check out Big Lagoon State Park where birds of prey and migrating birds can be spotted. In the summer months families will love trips out to Seville Square in downtown Pensacola where weekly free music concerts are held. Bring a blanket and picnic the night away!