Destin Beach Rules & Regulations
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
The 24 miles of gleaming, powder-soft beaches along Destin, Florida are sure to help you quickly forget the cares of your everyday world. Experience miles and miles of pristine beach playground as well as the expansive waters of the Choctawahatchee Bay. Discover the perfect spot for shell seeking, sun bronzing, sand castle building, soul searching, and surrendering to sun-drenched solitude.
Located on Florida’s Panhandle, Destin, Florida offers an amazing array of beach life, oceanfront condos and resorts, golfing, world-class fishing, boating, nightlife, and world-renowned shopping centers. Enjoy a thrilling day at one of the amusement parks, shop for the top brands at Silver Sands Premium Outlets, or reel in your next trophy fish. You’ll be glad you did.
Before you visit, here are a few beach rules to keep in mind.
DESTIN BEACH RULES & GENERAL INFORMATION
Beach Safety Flags
Destin, FL is committed to beach safety. Please take a minute to study the flag warning system and learn what the colors mean (hint: a red flag means no swimming while green flag is a go ahead). Safety flags are posted at all public beach accesses, be sure to check the surf condition prior to entering the water.
Protect the Beaches
Bonfires / Beach Fires – Fires are illegal on the beach between the water’s edge and mean high water mark or vegetation line.
Camping – Overnight camping is prohibited.
Dogs – For safety reasons, dogs are not allowed on the beaches in Okaloosa County. This policy is mandated by restricting dogs in public parks, beaches, school grounds, restaurants and food stores (except seeing eye & hearing ear dogs).
Fireworks – Fireworks are NOT ALLOWED on the beaches in Destin.
Littering – No littering on the beach and no glass containers on the beach. Trash receptacles are provided at all public beach accesses. This is all part of the Leave No Trace initiative that began in 2017 – leave your footprints only.
Tide & Weather Information – Before you head to the beach, check the tide tables and solunar tables for the Emerald Coast. You can get the forecast for high tides, low tides, hours of maximum fish activity, weather conditions and other useful information at tides4fishing.com.
Vehicles – Vehicles are not permitted on the beach in Destin or Ft. Walton Beaches. County ordinances restrict motor vehicles operating in areas not posted for vehicular traffic, in, on or over any public land, right of way, or recreational areas which will be cited (public beaches included).
DESTIN FLORIDA BEACH LAWS & SAFETY GUIDELINES
To ensure a happy and safe vacation, it is important to follow Destin Florida beach laws & safety guidelines.
Alcohol – Alcohol is allowed on the beach, except in the state parks. Again, no glass. Underage drinking is not permitted.
Boat Launching – The Joe’s Bayou public boat launch is located at 800 Beach Drive in Destin and is open daily, from dawn to dusk. There is a $20 daily launch fee for visitors.
Fishing from the Shoreline – A saltwater fishing license is required by all angler who fish in saltwater. This includes each person fishing from a pleasure craft, on a sandbar or any other land mass accessible by boat or by swimming through water deeper than four feet.
Glass Bottles Are Not Allowed on Beach
Glass bottles are not allowed on any Destin area beaches. If caught with glass on the beach, first-time offenders face a $50 fine, second-time offenders face a $150 fine, and third-time offenders face a $300 fine.
Sand Dunes – Please, 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; however, are very fragile. They are the primary defense against hurricane damage and are a shelter for beach wildlife. Excessive human or vehicle traffic and construction activities destroy vegetation holding a dune in place.
Sand Removal – It is unlawful to remove sand from the beach.
Sea Turtles – Sea Turtles are an endangered species. They lay their eggs along the beaches of South Walton. Avoid the use of flashlights near nests in the evening, do not leave beach chairs and other items on the beach overnight (they block the turtles’ path), and keep your distance if you see turtles or eggs. Sea turtles are protected by federal and state law and substantial fines and federal imprisonment may result from killing, harming, or even interfering with a sea turtle.
Sea Turtles Are Protected by Law
All sea turtles are protected by the US Endangered Species Act and Florida State Law. It is illegal to kill or harm sea turtles. It is also illegal to disturb the nest of a sea turtle. Heavy fines and possible imprisonment may result.
Sea Turtles Need Our Help, Too
Sea turtles nest on Gulf beaches between April and November. Due to human exploration and habitat destruction, sea turtles are threatened with extinction. The female turtle usually comes ashore at night to lay her eggs in the sand. In two or three hours she will lay about 120 eggs, yet only one turtle per nest will survive to adulthood. Avoid disturbing a turtle that is crawling to or from the water. Avoid crowding around a nesting turtle and do not shine lights in her eyes or take flash pictures.
Tents – The City of Destin does not prohibit the placement of a pop-up canopy on beaches within the city limits. However, please note that leaving canopies on the beaches overnight could interfere with the sea turtle nests or beach cleanup.
Wedding Permits – All groups of 20 or more wishing to gather or hold an event of any nature on city-owned property are required to secure a Park Event Permit through the Destin Parks & Recreation Department. Examples include, but are not limited to; weddings, anniversary parties, family reunions, company picnics, sporting events and private events.