Where Autumn Leaves Never Fall

Autumn on the Emerald Coast begins with a subtle change in the light, skies turn a deeper shade of blue, and nights that become suddenly clear with barely a wisp of a chill.
Where Autumn Leaves Never Fall
Destin, FL
Autumn on the Emerald Coast begins with a subtle change in the light, skies turn a deeper shade of blue, and nights that become suddenly clear with barely a wisp of a chill. In Destin, the fall season is nearly perfect… of course, the mountains to the north have spectacular autumn scenery, but it’s the Florida Panhandle that enjoys some of the best weather of the year when we finally say good-bye to the dog days of summer and welcome the fall! Temperatures finally drop a good 10 degrees or so and the air becomes impossibly dry and fresh; instead of the day after day (incessant) 90 degrees plus, days are in the low 80’s and early morning lows sometimes fall to an astounding 67 degrees Fahrenheit… positively glorious for that early morning run on the beach or even a swim in the Gulf! By then, the famous emerald green water has enjoyed a summer-full of even more famous Florida sunshine resulting in a surf temperature of 85… invitation enough for a morning, noon or nighttime plunge!

The founder of Destin, Leonard Destin, must have remained here in the fall of 1850 for many of the same reasons. Mr. “Destin” left New England, including a MUCH colder surf, to settle the “East Pass” peninsula. The small commercial fishing village was given his name and it remained a lazy, devil-may-care “dot” in the larger scheme of things, as it was cut off from the rest of the world until a bridge was finally built over the Destin Pass in 1930. Though finally “connected,” it was still years before Destin made a name for itself as a resort destination in spite of its fine white sand (known as sugar sand) and clear aquamarine water. Today, Destin is known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” and vacationers and sports enthusiasts alike have long discovered its many charms. Its slow rise however to top-notch resort status allowed its residents to benefit from mistakes made by other communities.

Destin residents were determined to do better… zoning, architecture and growth were given every consideration and the results are evident today in the clean, stunning architecture that has replaced the once tiny fishing village. Destin is no longer “sleepy,” but much of that charm still remains in spite of the incredible growth!

During the fall, the Destin sun shines bright, with only the slightest “hint” of winter in the air. The sky is impossibly blue and clear, making sunsets more spectacular than ever! It’s absolutely imperative to find the perfect balcony… with the perfect chair (or two) and wile away the late afternoon hours with a good book… or take a large cotton quilt to the beach-spread it out on the fine white sand and relax with good friends until the “show” begins. If you feel like bringing a cooler filled with food and drink, you’ll probably stay even longer… and longer!

If you’re a history buff, the Destin Fishing Museum is full of ancient photos and relics that help tell the story of Destin’s infamous past. A little serious research will even reveal why Destin became known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” The photos of early pioneers and artifacts from the same period tell a similar story at the Old Destin Post Office Museum. It’s particularly interesting to note that Destin’s first post office was originally located in the parlor of Billy Marler’s home in 1897… a little known fact to be sure!

There’s plenty to do in Destin in the fall and most of it is outside where you never get hot or cold. As Goldilocks said, “it’s just right” and perfect for barbeques, badminton… or even a civilized game of croquet? The harvest moon passes in October, but once in a “blue moon” you may find yourself with someone special, walking hand in hand at night with the surf tickling your toes. If you’re lucky enough to be in love… this fishing village is also a great place to be “alone” together… so, enjoy the quiet surf, the moonlight and a stolen kiss… in Destin!

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