Destin Fort Walton Beach
Known as the Emerald Coast, the coastal communities of Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island encompass 24 miles of white-sand beaches and emerald-green waters perfect for relaxing. And with more than 300 festivals and special events taking place here annually, from the Billy Bowlegs Festival to the Destin Fishing Rodeo, there's plenty to do here as well. Destin, called "The World's Luckiest Fishing Village" is home to Florida's largest charter boat fleet and the Silver Sands Factory Stores, touted as "the nation's largest designer outlet center." Here, elegant restaurants serving fresh seafood, premier resorts, more than 1,000 holes of golf and condo rentals exist alongside beautiful shores. Nearby Fort Walton Beach is all about water and fun - Gulf waves, dunes, resorts and water sports abound. The city even celebrates its own Mardi Gras, a fun, Florida-style spin on the renowned revelry. Also nearby, the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island is a family-friendly attraction, and Florida's Gulfarium lets visitors watch dolphin and sea lion shows and peer into large-scale aquariums.