Cities Journal

Top 20 Small Cities In Florida

5. Destin
Photo credit: Rene Rivers / Flickr

12. Destin

People from all over the Southern United States gravitate towards the next place on our list – Destin – when they are vacationing. The city is nestled atop an effectively man-made island, between Choctawhatchee Bay and Gulf of Mexico.

The city grew dramatically over the last 20 years but it is still a relatively small town, with around 12,000 permanent residents. However, the condo complexes and vacation homes make this number grow by epic proportions, with nearly 5 million visitors coming down to the area over the course of one year.

The main attractions of the area are the spectacular beaches and emerald ocean water which are responsible for the moniker Emerald Coast. The very special sand that you will find at the Emerald Coast comes down from Appalachian Mountains and it has an almost sugary quality to it.

Destin, however, offers plenty on its own as well. It has a number of attractions, museums as well as two zoos. The Gulfarium is a particularly popular attraction, giving visitors the chance to learn more about the Gulf ecosystem.

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