History of Destin Florida PDF Print E-mail

Know as the “Worlds Luckiest Fishing Village” Destin Florida history dates back to the 7th century A.D. when American Indians inhabited the area because of the bountiful resources provided by the Gulf and the lush forests surrounding the coast. Spanish explorers surveyed Florida as early as 1538. Spanish surveyor Don Francisco Tapia who was commissioned to chart the Florida coast, drew the first known map of the Destin Florida East Pass and surrounding shores in 1693.

East Pass, Destin Florida circa 1950

The Destin Florida modern history is attributed to a fisherman, Captain Leonard Destin, who moved from New London, Connecticut, and settled in Northwest Florida in or about 1845. Captain Destin initiated the fishing industry in the area that is now Destin, these activities continue to this day with the Destin Florida Harbor home to the largest and most elaborately equipped charter fleet in the state of Florida.
Destin’s East Pass is the only waterway connecting the Choctawhatchee Bay to the Gulf of Mexico for approximately 60 miles in either direction. Pensacola to the west and Panama City to the east also have waterway connections from the Bay to the Gulf. Originally, the Gulf of Mexico and the Destin Harbor did not connect to the Choctawhatchee Bay in this area. This posed an extreme danger of flooding to the fishing fleet. In 1926, the Melvin, the Marler and the Destin families took on their largest task to date. Four men cut a drainage ditch two feet wide across Okaloosa Island using only shovels. Within two hours, the ditch was over a 100 yards wide. That hand dug trench opened a torrent of rushing water that created the East Pass into what you see today. The Army Corp of Engineers dredges portions of the East Pass periodically to keep the water deep enough for the boats to move freely back and forth.

East Pass, Destin, FL circa 2000

Just north of the Destin Bridge is known to all the locals as Crab Island. At one time, Crab Island was actually two islands made from sand that the Corp. of Engineers dredged up from the East Pass. This island was large enough back then to inhabit sea grass, small shrubs and nesting seabirds, but time and weather have made it what it is today - an island that appears only when the tide is out which provides a local haven for area boaters and a great place to anchor and enjoy the sun and sand while relaxing with friends.
With growth and development inevitable for such a beautiful place, Destin’s need for a local government was realized in 1984 when it was chartered as a municipality under the laws of the State of Florida with a city council and a city government. Destin is home to 11,119 full-time residents (2000 US Census), however this number can swell to many hundreds of thousands during the summer months renewing itself three to four times a month! Destin is also a great place for “Snowbirds” our fall and winter visitors from the north. People all over the world are learning that the Florida Panhandle offers very pleasant and comfortable surroundings for a wonderful winter break from a harsh northern winter.
Fishing remains one of the top leisure activities in Destin. The 100 Fathom curve comes closer to Destin than any other spot in Florida providing the speediest deep water access on the Gulf. What can you expect to catch? Amberjack, Red Snapper, Grouper, Speckled Trout, Cobia, Red Fish (drum), Flounder, Pompano, Mahi-Mahi, King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Sheepshead, Triggerfish, Ladyfish, an occasional Tarpon, Blue Marlin, and Billfish of all varieties. Whether you are an experienced pro or a first timer, numerous fishing excursions are available and catches can be cooked up for free at a number of fish-friendly restaurants in the area. The highlight of the fishing year is the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo running from October 1 through October 31 where anyone can compete in over 30 different categories for more than $100,000.00 in prizes.
This part of the Emerald Coast or Miracle Strip as some call it, is blessed with crystal clear emerald green / blue waters and sugar-white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. These natural wonders create the perfect environment for the most beautiful and luxurious golf and beach resorts in the world. Beautiful greens, picturesque fairways, and the natural backdrop of the emerald green gulf and surrounding bays make golfing an unforgettable delight.
The Destin area is home to an unimaginable selection of dining opportunities. Our numerous restaurants offer fresh seafood, perfect steaks, as well as Cajun, French, Italian, German, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine. Many establishments offer season appropriate outdoor dining experiencing wonderful themes and beautiful sunsets!
At Destinpasslive.com we are happy and enjoy being a part of the Destin community. We strive to provide up to date information about our beautiful community. If you would like to assist us in maintaining our site and the costs associated with our live venues (Cams) please contact us for an advertising quote.
We have many exciting experiences to come including new and exciting Live Cam views and live Cam events at the Destin Seafood Festival, the Annual Fishing Rodeo, Crab Island, etc.

Please visit us often and see what’s next…



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