Summer is in full swing! The Panhandle is teeming with vacation guests enjoying the Florida sun, sugar white sands, and emerald waters. Destin and surrounding areas provide everything visitors need for a perfect vacation while following COVID-19 rules and regulations.
There are no travel advisories or curfews in place for Destin-Fort Walton Beach. Visitors are expected to follow standard social distancing guidelines and wear masks when inside stores and businesses. Businesses are required to post signage clearly stating policies to avoid confusion.
Okaloosa County beaches are open without restrictions while Destin beaches are open from dawn until dusk only. This includes public and private beaches, beach accessways, trails, parking areas solely for accessing public and private beaches, city beachfront parks and the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier. Social distancing is still required by the Governor of Florida. Visitors are to gather in groups of 10 or less and at least 6 feet of distance between groups.
The Okaloosa area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore is open along with Henderson Beach State Park’s beach access and parking. Henderson Beach State Park's day-use areas are at 50% capacity, and camping sites are open to advance registrations. They are currently not accepting walk-up reservations.
The Florida department of Transportation is not accepting cash for tolls including the Mid-Bay Toll Bridge. Tolls will be collected either via SunPass or toll-by-plate. Administrative fees are waived at this time.
Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) is fully operational. It would be best to check with your airline for additional information.
Restaurants are operating at 50% capacity of inside dining rooms and some have outdoor seating with social distancing. Many local restaurants offer curbside pickup and delivery service.
Bars cannot sell alcohol for on-premise consumption but can sell carry out. Bars are defined as businesses who derive more than 50% of their gross revenue from alcoholic sales.
Local activities and attractions, such as fishing charters, dolphin tours, retail stores, and water sports rental locations are open and welcome your business. Try to support local businesses while visiting the area.
Don’t let a few new rules keep you from enjoying all that Destin and surrounding areas have to offer. With a little knowledge and some common sense, your family will have an incredible vacation experience while creating memories that last a lifetime.