Destin Beach Safety and Regulations

Ranked among the 2023 '15 Best Florida Beaches' by US News, our 24-mile stretch of powder-soft beaches is a breathtaking testament to nature's beauty. With its white sands, crafted from Appalachian quartz, and the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, you're in for endless miles of pure paradise.

As you explore our stunning beaches, you may have some questions along the way. Allow us to be your guide to Destin's shores, ensuring you can fully and safely enjoy all of the experiences our coastline has to offer.

Learn about current weather and tide conditions.
Learn about Destin's Leave No Trace Policy and how you can help preserve our beaches.

Beach Safety Flags

We are committed to beach safety. The flag system indicates current surf conditions based on what color safety flag is flying at the beach. Please take a minute to study the flag warning system and learn what the colors mean.

  • Green: Low Hazard (Calm conditions, exercise caution)
  • Yellow: Medium Hazard (Moderate surf and/or currents)
  • Red: High Hazard (High surf and/or strong currents)
  • Double Red: Water Closed to Public
  • Purple: Dangerous Marine Life (Jellyfish, stingrays, dangerous fish)

Safety flags are posted at all public beach accesses. Be sure to check the surf condition prior to entering the water. For more information on beach safety in Destin-Fort Walton Beach,please visit the Destin-Fort Walton Beach, FL page for more information.

Destin Beach Water Condition Updates

Okaloosa County Beach Regulations

  • BEACH WHEELCHAIRS — To request a beach wheelchair, please call the Destin Fire Control District at (850) 837-8413.
  • DOGS — For safety reasons, dogs are not allowed on the beaches in Okaloosa County. This policy is mandated by County Ordinance No. 77-19, Section 6, restricting dogs in public parks, beaches, school grounds, restaurants and food stores (except seeing eye & hearing ear dogs). Instead, please visit the City of Destin's Nancy Weidenhamer Dog Park located at 4100 Indian Bayou Trail.
  • GLASS — Per city ordinance, glass is not allowed on the beach.
  • ALCOHOL — Alcohol is allowed on the beach but not in the state parks. Again, no glass bottles, etc. Underage drinking is not permitted.
  • LITTERING — No littering on the beach, and no glass containers on the beach. Trash receptacles are provided at all public beach accesses. We support the “Leave No Trace” policy. In order to maintain our beautiful beaches, we ask that take anything you bring with you to the beach. Items left on the beach overnight will be removed by City of Destin staff and kept for one week at the City of Destin’s Public Services Maintenance Yard. To retrieve any items, you must make an appointment by calling (850) 837-4242. For more information, please call Beach Code Enforcement at  (850) 267 4578.
  • BONFIRES / BEACH FIRES — According to Okaloosa County Ordinance 79-41, fires are illegal on the beach between the water's edge and mean high water mark or vegetation line (whichever is further).
  • FIREWORKS — Fireworks are prohibited on Destin beaches.
  • SAND REMOVAL — It is unlawful to remove sand from the beach.
  • PEDESTRIAN ACCESS — Per Okaloosa County regulations, no one should block or impede the right of pedestrian access within 20 feet of the water’s edge.
  • VEHICLES — Here in the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area, we promote optimal safety measures for our beaches. According to County Ordinance No. 80-12, which restricts motor vehicles operating in areas not posted for vehicular traffic, in, on or over any public land, right of way, or recreational areas, vehicles are not permitted on the beach (public beaches included).
  • PARKING — All of the public beach parks we list on this page have public parking ranging from nine parking spots to over 300 parking spots. Other large beach access points, like the Boardwalk, also offer free public parking.
  • CAMPING — Overnight camping is prohibited.
  • BEACH EQUIPMENT — According to the City of Destin, you can place pop-up canopies on beaches within the city limits. But the beach you’re visiting may have its own regulations on outside beach equipment, so check ahead. Do not leave canopies on the beaches overnight because they may interfere with the beach cleaning services or possible turtle nesting activities.
  • BEACH WEDDINGS — Beach wedding permits are only available for The Shore at Crystal Beach Park and June White Decker Beach Park with a maximum of 25 people. Beach access points are not available for permits. For more information about event permits, please call the City of Destin Parks & Recreation Department at (850) 837-4242.
  • FISHING FROM THE SHORELINE — A saltwater fishing license is required by all anglers who fish in saltwater. This includes each person fishing from a pleasure craft, on a sandbar, or any other landmass accessible by boat or by swimming through water deeper than four feet. You should contact the Okaloosa County Tax Collector's office at 850-651-7300 or you can purchase a license online.
  • SAND DUNES — Do not walk or play on the dunes at any time. Never walk on beach vegetation. Always use the designated beach access. Dunes are built slowly over hundreds of years and are very fragile. They are our primary defense against hurricane damage and are a shelter for beach wildlife.
  • SEA TURTLES — Our beaches are a nesting ground for sea turtles from May through October. Here is how to help. (1) Prevent all lights from illuminating the beach. (2) Look but don't touch. Disturbing is a federal and state violation. (3) Please fill holes in the sand. (4) Remove any litter.

Destin Public Beach Access

Public Beach Parks

Public Beach Trails

  • Barracuda Trail
  • Calhoun Trail
  • Crystal Beach Trail
  • O’Steen Trail
  • Pompano Trail
  • Shirah Trail
  • Silver Shells Trail
  • Tarpon Trail
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