The White Sand Of Destin Florida

We could make a long list of the many reasons people travel the country (and the world) to visit the Emerald Coast beaches, but one thing that differentiates the Northwest Florida area from all other Florida beaches is the distinct beauty of the pristine, sugar-white sands and emerald green waters.

Emerald Coast White Sand

But what exactly is it that has created this perfection and beauty along the Emerald Coast? People often wonder why the sand is so white, so soft, and just so special. If you’ve been to Destin, Florida, or any of the other nearby Florida beaches, you know exactly what we’re talking about: the sand is as white as pure sugar, so soft that you feel like you are walking on pillows, and (most of the time), you can walk across it with your bare feet without feeling the burn from the hot summer sun. It’s even so fine and clean that it often squeaks when you’re walking across it.

Is there a secret to it? Is there an organization that’s sole purpose is to bleach the sand to keep it pristine and clean? No. It’s just nature. Nature showing off.

Where did the sand come from?

The unique, white sand along the emerald coast consists of pure, small quartz particles which came from a process starting in the Appalachian Mountains. Over thousands of years, as the Appalachian Mountains weathered, quartz and other particles were washed down through the Apalachicola River, ending in the Gulf. As the sediment-filled water reached the Gulf, the lighter quartz particles were left to form the beautiful, pristine beaches. Centuries of tidal friction against the quartz left us with the small, fine-grained sand we enjoy along the Emerald Coast beaches today.

How is the sand in Destin so white?

The sand is almost 100% quartz, which is a highly unusual occurrence to find on other Florida beaches, and the extra-white color comes from the natural ‘bleaching’ from the water and the sun. Another major factor in the sugar-white color is that the area isn’t polluted by water from rivers the way many other beaches are. Rivers often carry sediments that can discolor the water and sand on beaches.

The Story Straight From the Locals

The Destin Chamber website shares, “At the end of the last Ice Age when the world temperatures began warming and the ice caps began melting, large volumes of water were carried by the rivers to the world’s oceans. The Apalachicola River, rising in the Appalachians, carried water to the Gulf of Mexico and continues today.

This water carried the quartz particles from the rock that forms the Appalachian Mountains and deposited them in the Gulf of Mexico, just 125 miles to the east of what is now Destin. As the sea level began to rise, these quartz sands eventually formed a new shoreline. The sands today continually replenish and reach as far west as the Pensacola Pass, their final destination.”

Beach Bliss

Emerald Coast White Sand

A quick walk on the soft, white sand paired with the stunning beauty of the emerald green water is the best way to capture a dose of this beach bliss and ease away any stresses of daily life. Stay just steps away from the beauty at a Destin, Florida luxury vacation rental, and enjoy the natural beauty, thrilling attractions, amazing water activities, great shopping, and many events along the Emerald Coast.