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Destin Florida History

The History of Destin, Florida

Destin is located in the Florida Panhandle, the City of Destin has a rich historical heritage dating back to American Indian inhabitants as early as the seventh century A.D. Spanish explorers surveyed Florida in 1538. Don Francisco Tapia was commissioned to survey the Florida coast and in 1693, drew the first known map of East Pass and its shores.  Destin traces its immediate history to a fisherman, Leonard Destin, who moved here from New London, Conn., and settled in Northwest Florida about 1845. For decades, he and his descendants fished and navigated the only channel passage to the Gulf of Mexico between Panama City and Pensacola, known as Destin’s East Pass.

Fisherman of Leonard Destin’s era fished close to the shores with seine nets from small boats called yawls, which they operated with oars. The oldest seine fishing boat still in existence is The Primrose, a 1920s era boat now restored and on display at Destin’s History and Fishing Museum. A trip through the museum reveals the evolution of fishing in the Destin area, from methods used by its earliest Indian inhabitants to seine nets, the introduction of rods and reels, and, eventually, to the largest charter fishing fleet in the state of Florida. Destin is known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” The city houses the largest and most elaborately equipped fishing fleet in the State of Florida. In addition to fishing, recreational opportunities include golf, tennis and water sports, including diving and snorkeling. The 100 Fathom curve draws closer to Destin than any other spot in Florida providing the speediest deep-water access on the Gulf.

In 2009, Destin celebrated its 25th anniversary as an incorporated municipality. No longer a small fishing village, first-time visitors are still discovering what brings people back to Destin’s harbor and shores year after year… the beautiful white sandy beaches, emerald green waters, friendly atmosphere, supreme dining, and, of course, fishing in the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.”

Where Did Destin’s White Sand Come From?

The white sand of the beaches in the Destin area is among the whitest and most amazing in the world.Consisting of small quartz particles, this sand came from a process involving the Appalachian Mountains and the Apalachicola River 20,000 years ago. At the end of the last Ice Age when the world temperatures began warming and the ice caps began melting, large volumes of water were carried by the rivers to the world’s oceans. The Apalachicola River, rising in the Appalachians, carried water to the Gulf of Mexico and continues today.

This water carried the quartz particles from the rock that forms the Appalachian Mountains and deposited them in the Gulf of Mexico, just 125 miles to the east of what is now Destin. As the sea level began to rise, these quartz sands eventually formed a new shoreline. The sands today continually replenish and reach as far west as the Pensacola Pass, their final destination. The beaches of Destin, Florida are truly some of the most exotic and amazing beaches in the entire world.

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