Photo credit: Valerie Rogers
About the Beach
Beach Service : As a service for our guests beach service is included with your reservation – 2 beach chairs and one beach umbrella set up on the beach & reserved for you each day (March 1 – October 31). If you wish to rent more equipment during your stay you should contact the Beach Service attendant on the beach to make arrangements. We suggest you go out to the beach early your first day to make arrangements for your rentals.
Sand Dunes: Please make everyone in your group aware that it is illegal to walk on or across the sand dunes along the beach. They are there to protect from hurricanes. If you are caught walking on the dunes there are heavy fines. Don’t walk on the Dunes!
Dolphins: Keep your eyes open if on the beach at dusk or dawn, we very often see dolphins swimming right off shore. If the dolphins come in close, which they do occasionally, do not get in the water and try to touch them, it is illegal to touch the dolphins (we humans have germs that can harm the dolphins)
Sea Gulls : Do not feed sea gulls. There is a $200 fine if you are caught feeding them.
Jellyfish: When the gulf waters get warmer (generally later in the summer) the jellyfish start to emerge. Some of them do not sting, but others do. If you, by chance, get stung by a jellyfish, here are a couple different websites that tell you how to reduce the effects:
Rip Currents: Over the past few years, there have been several ocean related deaths along the gulf coast caused by rip currents. They are the # 1 cause of deaths in the area. Please pay attention to the flags on the beach. If there is a Double RED FLAG do NOT swim. The rip tides (rip currents) can be deceptively strong. If you, by chance, do get caught in a rip tide, let the current take you out to sea then swim parallel to the beach to get out of the rip current. Here are a couple videos about how to spot and survive rip currents http://www.ripcurrents.com/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hCZuYzNujI
Okaloosa County Beach Safety: http://www.co.okaloosa.fl.us/ps/beach-safety
Flag Warning System
Double Red Flag: Water is closed to public (dangerous water conditions). If caught in the water during double red flags you can be ticketed, fined or even arrested. More importantly, you can die. Please don’t get in the water!
Red Flag : High Hazard (high surf and/or strong currents). When red flags are present, adults are only supposed to go in up to their waist and small children are not supposed to enter the water. If you go in under red flag conditions, be sure to have a flotation device with you.
Yellow Flag: Medium Hazard (moderate surf and/or currents)
Green Flag: Low Hazard (calm conditions, exercise caution)
Purple Flag: Marine Pests Present (jellyfish, stingrays, dangerous fish)
Sharks: And one last precaution, there are sharks are in the gulf. They are generally more afraid of you than you are of them. Thankfully the waters in Destin are generally very clear so you can usually see them. If you are in the water and see a big school of bait fish–often birds will be swarming in the area of baitfish schools (or you can also smell them—they smell super fishy), it’s best to get out of the water—generally there will be dolphins and sharks following them. The sharks rarely come close to shore; they mainly hang out behind the sandbar which is around 100-200 yards off the shore. Bottom line: use common sense whenever in the water, especially in the evening (when sharks do most of their feeding).
Red Tide Information
Red tides are caused by an explosive growth and accumulation of certain microscopic algae in coastal waters. The organism can kill fish in vast numbers, make shellfish poisonous to humans and release toxic airborne irritants that can cause respiratory distress.
While Red Tide is not usually an issue in our location occasionally there may be evidence of the unwelcome algae bloom in the waters off our shore.
For up-to-date information about the presence of red tide please use the resource below:
Latest Red Tide Status Report Available by Phone
Call 866-300-9399 at any time from anywhere in Florida to hear a recording about red tide conditions throughout the state. Callers outside of Florida can dial 727-552-2448. Standard calling charges apply.
Reports are updated on Friday afternoon except during holidays, in which case the report will be released on the closest day. Additional information, if available, is provided on Wednesday afternoon. To receive an e-mail when the current status has been updated, visit our subscription area.
Credit to Christine Karpinski for most of the information on this page.