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The greater Destin area features over 24 miles of spectacular sugar-white sandy beaches. This is why their beaches are arguably the “Most Beautiful Beaches in the World”
The white sand that is found on our beaches is actually from the Appalachian Mountains, comprised of quartz that is thousands of years old, giving the sand its reflective properties that help keep our sand so cool in the blazing hot summer sun.
From the sugar-white sands, the brilliant emerald green water of the Gulf, and of course the spectacular sunsets, Destin’s beaches are truly a beach-lovers dream.
Destin Harbor Area Beach Access Points
O’Steen Public Beach Access
Gulf Shore Dr at Holiday Isle
Destin, FL 32541
O’Steen Public Beach is accessed through a walkway off Gulf Shore Drive just north of Norriego Point.
The summer crowds here might seem confusing since there is very limited parking but it is due in part to the fact that many people arrive at this beach by boat from Destin harbor. If you are not arriving by boat, be prepared for the somewhat long walk from the street parking out to the beach.
O’Steen Beach is where you will find The Destin Jetties which are huge boulders stretching out into the water. The swimming area right next to the jetties is some of the best snorkeling in Destin so bring your mask and snorkel to this beach with you. The jetties are also a good fishing spot (I assume since there are usually people fishing from them) and the rocks make beautiful backdrops for photos. Open from dawn to dusk. Call 850-837-4242 for more information.
Norriego Point Beach Access and Park
Norriego Point is a white sand peninsula located at the end of Gulf Shore Drive on Holiday Isle. It is different from most beach areas in Destin because it is not directly on the Gulf of Mexico. One side of Norriego Point is located on Destin harbor and the other side sits on the East Pass which leads out to the Gulf of Mexico.
This beach area has plenty of beautiful scenery and areas to walk around and explore. You can watch boats cruising by on the harbor and take in the view and sounds of Harborwalk Village. The scenery is further enhanced by the sand dunes, sea oats, and wooden fences all over Norriego Point which make beautiful backdrops to photos. You are bound to see plenty of blue heron and other birds out here as well.
There are some inlets of water protected by jetties here that make for nice calm swimming areas on the East Pass side. Some people do swim on the harbor side beach area but just be careful to watch for boats coming and going.
Norriego Point is a popular area for boaters who can beach their boats along the shore on the harbor side to hang out awhile. Many people also come to Norriego Point by Kayak or Paddle Board There is even a Water Taxi stop on Norriego Point so you can come or go here from anywhere on Destin Harbor.
To ensure a happy and safe vacation along the beautiful Emerald Coast, it is important to follow some general safety guidelines. Please learn about our beach flag system and pay attention to the flags, and lifeguards, on any area beach.
– Please don’t walk on the sand dunes!
Excessive human or vehicle traffic and construction activities destroy vegetation holding a dune in place. Sand dunes are built by sand that blows into vegetated areas on the beach. Dunes act as barriers to winds and waves, protecting homes and businesses. During storms and hurricanes, dune sands wash into the Gulf, reducing the energy of storm waves. To provide natural protection, sand dunes must be preserved. Please stay out of the sand dunes and sea oats, using public beach walkovers instead.
– Sea Turtles Need Our Help, Too
Sea turtles nest on Gulf beaches between April and November. Due to human exploration and habitat destruction, sea turtles are threatened with extinction. The female turtle usually comes ashore at night to lay her eggs in the sand. In two or three hours she will lay about 120 eggs, yet only one turtle per nest will survive to adulthood. Avoid disturbing a turtle that is crawling to or from the water. Avoid crowding around a nesting turtle and do not shine lights in her eyes or take flash pictures.
– Sea Turtles Are Protected by Law
All sea turtles are protected by the US Endangered Species Act and Florida State Law. It is illegal to kill or harm sea turtles. It is also illegal to disturb the nest of a sea turtle. Heavy fines and possible imprisonment may result.
– Glass Bottles Are Not Allowed on Beach
Glass bottles are not allowed on any Destin area beaches. If caught with glass on the beach, first-time offenders face a $50 fine, second-time offenders face a $150 fine, and third-time offenders face a $300 fine, according to a City of Destin Ordinance