Southeast
via The Northwest Florida Daily News

FL - What You Need to Know About Public Beach Access in Destin

The city of Destin has been working to acquire more land on the beach to be used for the public, but space is limited since the majority of the city's six miles of beach is private.

So, what's the problem in Destin?

Visitors who don't stay in a Gulf-front condo or neighborhood that has a roped-off private beach are directed to any one of the city's public beach accesses. That sounds like a simple solution in theory, but in practice it means that many of the millions of visitors who come to Destin and don't stay in beachfront property have almost no access to the beach.

According to Daily News measurements, taken both with measuring tape at the public beach accesses and by analyzing property appraiser records, only about 1.4 miles of Destin's beach is open to the public.

Nine of the city's public beach accesses, dispersed throughout the Crystal Beach and Scenic Highway 98 areas, have a combined total of less than a half mile of public beach.

The money

Destin officials have earmarked $9 million worth of local option half-cent sales tax money and Okaloosa County officials have pledged $13 million in county bed-tax money for land acquisitions in the overall initiative.

Read more.

Read also Destin votes to demolish short-term rental homes for more public beach access, The Northwest Florida Daily News, Feb. 3, 2021