5 Things To Know BEFORE Moving to Destin, FL

December 20th, 2023

5 Things To Know BEFORE Moving to Destin, FL

Living in Destin, FL

Are you moving to Destin, FL? Make sure you know these five important things before moving to Destin. 

Destin is a gorgeous city in one of Florida's most northwest points along the Gulf of Mexico waters known as the panhandle. Known as the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village" due to its location near some of the deepest depths of the gulf and home to various species, Destin has tons to offer in such a small area. 

With a population of 13,956, this small beach town provides its residents with an urban feel but access to top-quality attractions, activities, prime real estate, and landscapes. Incredibly popular with tourists and its gorgeous weather year-round, safe neighborhoods, sparkling beaches, tasty restaurants, and vibrant nightlife scene, this is the place to be in Florida whether you are just visiting or looking to move. 

Considered a diverse city in age demographics, Destin is the perfect place for families and young professionals, with various housing options and excellent schools. With a meager crime rate, residents can feel at ease, relaxed, and safe within their homes, making it the perfect beach oasis for many.  

Although the cost of living in Destin is considered high, the city is home to some of the best neighborhoods with a beautiful mix of condostownhomesluxury estates, and single-family homes

Destin, FL truly has it all, from attractions that will keep the entire family entertained, such as Big Kahunas Waterpark and the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, to places where you can go out dancing all night in the city, to nature trails with oak trees shading you from the sun at Henderson Beach State Park.

If you are looking to see what this city is all about and make a move, make sure you know these essential things about what it is like living in Destin, FL. 

Here are the things you should know about life in Destin!

Cost of Living 

According to bestplaces.net, based on a national average of 100, Destin, FL, has a living index of 100.9. This means that the cost of living in Destin is more expensive than in other cities within the U.S. This live index depends upon a few factors, including groceries, health, housing, utilities, transportation, and additional miscellaneous costs that add up to an overall score. 

When moving to a new city or state, mapping out the cost difference is extremely important. Not only so you can ensure that you can afford to live there but also so you can know what you will need to be making as an income and what to expect your new monthly costs to be. Rated as one of the best cities in Florida with gorgeous beaches and various activities, Destin is a great place to live for families and young professionals, making it a highly in-demand city. With more individuals looking for homes than those available, unfortunately, the cost of homes only goes up.

But, when considering moving to a new city, housing costs are not the only ones you must consider. Let's look at some of the cost of living items you should consider before moving to Destin, FL, compared to the national average according to bestplaces.net.

Cost of Living Item Compared to the National Average
Utilities 3.4% higher
Food 5.0% higher
Healthcare 4.2% higher
Housing 68.1% higher
Transportation 6.7% lower

Beautiful homes in Destin, FL

Real Estate 

As mentioned above, the real estate market in Destin, FL, is hot right now, with people from all walks of life coming to claim this city as their new home. But, with such a demand, the housing market is also quite expensive, with the median home value being around $650k. 

Known as a more affluent area, the average income in Destin is also much higher than the national average at $81,468 per household compared to the national average of $70.7k. This means more individuals here can afford expensive housing options and luxury beachfront homesDestin is also a trendy tourist area with many vacation homes, condos, apartments, and more that people will invest in and rent to those visiting. 

What used to be primarily a fisherman's town is now a top vacation spot and a residential area of resorts, retirement communities, new construction homes, and gated communities along the water. The architecture here also varies depending upon when the house or complex was built, with many new construction homes beginning to pop up over time with large windows and high ceilings featuring the natural sunlight that the city is basking in most of the day. 

Image of Florida home with pool and glass covering in the back

Things To Do 

One of the most important things to consider when moving to a new place is what draws you there. Is it a new job, a school, or maybe even just wanting to experience living near the ocean or in a place where you can try new things? Well, Destin is a fantastic place to move to for almost any reason; with so many activities and things to see while close to other large cities, it's challenging to get bored here. 

Unlike any other city, there are tons to explore in this small amount of land. Check out some of the local's favorite spots and attractions below to discover what exciting things to look forward to when moving to Destin. 

Local Favorites 

  • Henderson Beach State Park- This state park, with thirty-foot white dunes and warm, clear waters, is the perfect place to escape for a day. This protected land on the Emerald Coast in the middle of the city of Destin, FL, is a special place with not only gorgeous beach land but also nature trails where you can spot wildlife in their natural habitats as well as campsites directly connected to the beach for a romantic or adventurous stay. For only $6 per vehicle, you get the perks of a tropical oasis without the cost of flying to a tropical island. 
  • Destin Harbor Boardwalk- The center of the city, Destin Harbor Boardwalk is the pinnacle place to be when the sun goes down or after a day out on the water. A beautiful and colorful boardwalk full of restaurants, bars, shops, and tourist attractions such as dolphin tours, parasailing, and paddle boarding is easily the top attraction and area in Destin. 
  • Emerald Bay Golf Club-Emerald Bay is an elaborate 18-hole course located just North of Destin Harbor, featuring waterfront views, a delicious restaurant, and even a hotel on the system. One of the top sought-after residential areas and tourist attractions, you can golf all day and hang out on the water at night. 
  • Big Kahunas Water & Adventure Park is a kid's paradise with tons of twisting water slides, wave pools, a half-pipe surfing area, lazy rivers, and an entire adventure park with mini golf and more. Fun for the whole family, the Emerald Coast's largest water park is a must-visit in Destin. 

Beautiful sunset in Destin, FL


Florida is known for its beautiful warm weather year-round, with temperatures rarely dropping below the 40s. The city of Destin is no different, with its long, hot, and oppressive summers lasting over four months and the winters being just cool and windy with never a whisp of snow. So, if you enjoy being in warmer temperatures more than the others, this location is perfect for you. 

The summer months in Destin are from late May to late September, with average daily high temperatures above 83 degrees. Although very hot during certain times of the year, the city's location makes cooling off in the crisp ocean waters easy and convenient. 

Winters are not even considered winter here, but rather the excellent season due to the temperatures never really dropping enough to be considered cold. This incredible season lasts from early December to early March, with an average daily high of 66 degrees. With temperatures never getting truly cold, locals enjoy water activities such as boating, jet skiing, fishing, paddle boarding year-round, hiking along the nature trails, and visiting some outdoor attractions and boardwalks without breaking a sweat. 

With warm beach weather almost year-round, this city sounds too good to be true. But, unfortunately, with lovely breathtaking beaches often come tropical storms and other natural disasters that can pose a threat. Destin is located on a barrier Island and is considered an extreme risk area for hurricanes, tropical storms, and flooding.

Hurricane season starts on June 1st and goes until the end of November, with the threat of hurricanes being possible at any point. Luckily, storms don't hit every year in Destin, and if they do, they are not always a large category. But, even with no hurricanes, you should always be aware of any threats and look out for flooding caused by too much rain or tropical storms that can sometimes cause just as much damage. 

On average, Florida residents will spend up to $2,600 a year to protect their homes from the damage that these tropical storms can cause. Some ways to protect your home are installing hurricane-proof windows and doors, placing stilts below your home, and purchasing separate insurance specifically for storm damage. But, luckily tropical storms, hurricanes, and flooding are the only natural disasters you have to worry about when living here. 

Stunning view of Destin, FL


Although Destin is not a very diverse city in terms of race and culture, with 84% of its residents being white, it is very diverse in its age population. The percentage of individuals under 18 is 16.8%, and the rate of individuals over 65 years is 18%, with most of the population being in between. 

Perfect for families with top-rated schools ,extremely safe neighborhoods, and family-friendly activities such as spending a day at the beach or the waterpark, this is a top city for those looking to raise children near the water. But this city isn't exclusive to families, with many young professionals and retirees who want to live on this Island. 

Destin has fun and thriving nightlife for the younger crowd, with places like Destin Harbor coming alive with nightclubs, trendy new restaurants, bars, and live music venues. The landscape along the water completely changes at night with bright lights and loud bars perfect for dancing or meeting new people, perfect for the younger crowd. 

Destin is also a top retirement spot with beautiful weather, multiple retirement communities, and activities such as fishing and golf courses only a few miles from your home. Voted as one of "America's 100 Best Places to Retire", it is no wonder many individuals choose to settle down here for a slower way of life in such a beautiful and welcoming environment.

Photo of four young adults dancing at a bar

Pros and Cons of Living in Destin, FL 


  • Excellent schools
  • Exciting nightlife
  • Beautiful weather year-round
  • Amazing Beaches


  • High cost of living 
  • Extra insurance costs due to hurricanes 
  • Limited job market 
  • Not very diverse 

FAQ: Moving to Destin, FL

Here are some commonly asked questions about moving to Destin, FL.

Is Destin, Florida, an excellent place to move to?

Destin is a relatively small and quiet town, offering residents an urban feel. It has plenty of things to do, a good job market, and beautiful homes.

What are winters like in Destin, Florida?

Temperatures in Destin usually don't go below 60°F, and it rarely rains. If you dislike the cold, then Destin is perfect for you because it's summer almost year-round. 

Is Destin, Florida, prone to hurricanes?

Unfortunately, Florida is known to get hit by hurricanes, and Destin is locked on a barrier Island,, typically at the most risk of gales. Destin is always prepared and is still one of the best places to live in Florida. 

Living in Destin, FL - Final Thoughts 

Destin, FL, is a spectacular place to live, with dazzling beaches, lush landscapes, many activities, and beautiful homes. With a small-town beach feel, this city provides its residents with safe, stunning neighborhoods with a beautiful mix of housing options. 

Whether you are looking for a beach town to raise a family near excellent schools and exciting attractions or are a young professional looking to live near the water in a small town with a vibrant nightlife, Destin is the city for you. 

If you or anyone you know is moving to Destin, FL, make sure to contact us here so we can get you connected with one of our Realty Specialists. Whether you want to live in the city's heart or a calm and charming private oasis, we will work with you to find the perfect home. No matter your budget, style preferences, or needs, we will be with you every step of the way. 

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.

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