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  #1  
Old 06/28/2005, 07:07 PM
marinerules marinerules is offline
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is destin better than gulf shores as far as beach and water clarity

i live in arkansas,

and im wanting to go to a beach somewhere thats nice and clear and has a blueish tint to it lol .


not expecting to see the florida keys reef, though it would be nice to see some type of life out .


but im wanting the water to be clear

i was wanting to go to gulf shores , but ive heard the water is not clear.

is destin

or some other place closer to arkansas , wihtin 10 hour driving distance
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  #2  
Old 06/28/2005, 08:12 PM
hsvtoolfool hsvtoolfool is offline
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Boy, it THIS thread in the wrong forum.

Anyhoo...

I think water quality is pretty much the same for the entire Gulf
panhandle area. When it's good in Destin/Ft Walton, it's good in
Gulf Shores. You may have to go much farther South towards
Tampa/Miami to get consistently clear, perfect water. Any Tampa
people want to advise?

The water was fairly murky this Spring when I was in Destin for a
volleyball tournament. But water quality in the Gulf panhandle
varies from year to year and is unpredictable. Hurricane season
affects it a lot. I've never been able to predict jellies and seaweed
blooms, which is my major beef. Sometimes the water's awesome
and clear as the Caribbean. Other years, the water is murky and
full of nutrients and stingers.

Ignoring water quality, the Destin/Ft Walton area is by far my
favorite beach destination. Destin gets more single folks in their
late 20s to early 40s. That's my age group and the clubs are
really fun. Gotta visit "The Swamp" and "Howl at The Moon" and
eat some gumbo at "The Crab Trap"! Gulf Shores has too many
young families with little kids. Not fun to eat out there. Panama is
mostly drunk high-school/freshman college kids. Guaranteed car
accident on the Miracle Strip. Bleah.

Gulf Shores does have two avantages over Destin. Biloxi and
some very nice riverboat casinos like Beau Rivage are just an
hour away down I-10. Also, golf is usually cheaper.

Hope this helps.
  #3  
Old 06/28/2005, 08:13 PM
vee5_2000 vee5_2000 is offline
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The water is far more clear near Destin. Gulf Shores is so near Mobile Bay that it catches a lot of effluent from the port there. Water is not nearly as nice as Destin. Enjoy your stay there!
  #4  
Old 06/28/2005, 08:21 PM
TroyT TroyT is offline
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Destin

Fort Walton

Panama City Beach

I lived in Panama City Beach for about three years. Anyone of these places you will enjoy. Stay away from Gulf Shores if your looking for a the true beach feeling.
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  #5  
Old 06/28/2005, 08:21 PM
noobtank noobtank is offline
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The sand is really pretty and the water does fluctuate during the year but its pretty clear and the water is fairly warm right now. Everybody that goes to the beach goes to "Okaloosa Island" that place is always crowded if you want some privacy there are more secluded places out in sandestin
  #6  
Old 06/28/2005, 08:23 PM
water`bug water`bug is offline
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They don't call that area *Emerald Coast* for nothing.

You *definitely* want to go to Destin over Gulf Shores. The marine life is incredible. We've seen everything from Sea turtles to dolphins, various schooled fish and much much more.

If you snorkle or dive, Destin wins - hands down.

hope this helps,

donna in New Orleans
  #7  
Old 06/28/2005, 08:28 PM
marinerules marinerules is offline
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can you snorkel off of the beach at destin and see anything , or do you have to tak ea boat out to the rreef

i can only snorkel as i dont have a diving liscense
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  #8  
Old 06/28/2005, 08:45 PM
water`bug water`bug is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by marinerules
can you snorkel off of the beach at destin and see anything , or do you have to tak ea boat out to the rreef. i can only snorkel as i dont have a diving liscense
Yes, you can. But I suggest going out on jet ski's. There are a few coves in the area that make great snorkeling spots.

Also, there are quite a few places that offer snorkeling adventures in the Destin area. Most of them provide your gear, as well.

But remember, you can't take anything back with you that houses a living creature!

http://www.destin-fwb.com/Activities/Water/?c=31

http://www.destinadventure.com/Destin%20Snorkeling.htm

hope this helps,

donna in New Orleans
  #9  
Old 06/28/2005, 08:50 PM
98riv 98riv is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by donna`les
They don't call that area *Emerald Coast* for nothing.

You *definitely* want to go to Destin over Gulf Shores. The marine life is incredible. We've seen everything from Sea turtles to dolphins, various schooled fish and much much more.

If you snorkle or dive, Destin wins - hands down.
I agree. I was at San Destin for the last two weeks of May and the water was very clear. You could see dolphins, Sea turtles, big fish, and sharks from our room. The water was full of fish and it was very clear. The beaches were also very clean.
  #10  
Old 06/28/2005, 08:52 PM
wastwage wastwage is offline
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Destin is great now ,Gulf Shores is a mess,Just watch out for sharks they just had a meal in San Destin.
  #11  
Old 06/28/2005, 09:12 PM
98riv 98riv is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by wastwage
Destin is great now ,Gulf Shores is a mess,Just watch out for sharks they just had a meal in San Destin.
That happened just down the beach where we stayed a couple of weeks ago. You could see small sharks on the sand bar almost everyday.
  #12  
Old 06/28/2005, 09:24 PM
JustOneMoreTank JustOneMoreTank is offline
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Watch out for the sharks! Two pretty bad attacks in the last three days.
  #13  
Old 06/28/2005, 09:52 PM
Micki Micki is offline
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I've vacationed at both Destin and Golf Shores. They were both nice, but IMO Destin has much clearer water. If you want close fun snorkeling, go to the Jetties in Destin. Lots of stuff to see there and not out in the "Big Gulf" with the "Big Fish". Lots of people swim around there. Take frozen peas and an underwater camera for some awesome pics!

Yes there are shark there... Obviously most everyone has heard the sad shark happenings lately. I can tell you every time I have parasailed at Destin, I see shark! The first one I ever saw looked like a small jet in the water! I have also swam near baby black tip shark. They are out there. Just use your head and enjoy the beauty that is there.
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  #14  
Old 06/28/2005, 09:54 PM
Micki Micki is offline
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Here is a link...

http://northfloridadiver.net/sites/destin_jetties.htm

I hope to be there in August...
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  #15  
Old 06/29/2005, 10:56 AM
aquaman222 aquaman222 is offline
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Yeah, careful on the sharks in Destin. The kid that was bitten was from a town about 10 miles from where I live. He lost his leg and almost his life. He was a promising young basketball player. Really stinks.
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  #16  
Old 06/29/2005, 12:15 PM
needyreefer needyreefer is offline
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Destin by far.... I'm going in a couple of weeks!
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  #17  
Old 06/29/2005, 01:17 PM
aquaman222 aquaman222 is offline
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Forgot to mention, in the South, we call Gulf Shores "The Redneck Riviera" Nice place to me though, just really more of a family tourist place. My friend has a condo we use to stay in at Gulf Shores.
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  #18  
Old 06/29/2005, 01:38 PM
greenbean36191 greenbean36191 is offline
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I'm not sure if you're willing to drive a little farther, but Cape San Blas/St. Joseph Peninsula SP is IMO the best beach I've been to besides Hawai'i. It's about an hour past Panama city though so it would be a good drive for you. On one side there is a shallow bay with every type of sea life you could imagine: pufferfish, tube anemones, starfish, brittle stars, horseshoe crabs, decorator crabs, urchins, nudibranchs, tunicates, all sorts of snails, sponges, sea hares, scallops, sea horse, etc. At low tide you can walk out about half a mile and still be in 3 inches of water and the life is everywhere around you. On the ocean side the water is super clear, the beaches are empty, the dunes are huge and undisturbed, and there are almost always dolphins swimming near shore.

Unfortunately it got a bit of bad press lately since it happened to be where that boy was attacked the other day. Here is a pic though:
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  #19  
Old 06/29/2005, 03:27 PM
trippyl trippyl is offline
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Jamaica mon - thats the spot with the hot beaches.
  #20  
Old 06/29/2005, 03:42 PM
wastwage wastwage is offline
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No Jamaica mon!
  #21  
Old 06/29/2005, 03:52 PM
Micki Micki is offline
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greenbean, that paicture reminds me of Gulf Shores!
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  #22  
Old 06/29/2005, 03:55 PM
trippyl trippyl is offline
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why no jamaica mon? Irie!!
  #23  
Old 06/29/2005, 04:11 PM
raynist raynist is offline
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The panhandle water is so much clearer than the Tampa/Saint Pete area, not to mention the sand is whiter and softer....

--Ray
  #24  
Old 06/29/2005, 05:24 PM
Redfish Redfish is offline
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No doubt about it. The cleanest water on the north Florida coast line is between Fort Walton Beach and Panama City Beach. Destin being in the middle. Be forewarned, however, that the water is prone to get ugly due to wind, tide, sargassum, jelly fish, etc...

If you are expecting to see reef type life while snorkeling you are probably going to be disappointed. This is true of anywhere is the north 80% of Florida. There are plenty of water activities to be found and I know there are a couple of places in Destin that do snorkel trips. Spending $125.00 to get certified would increase the WOW factor immensely.

Phil
  #25  
Old 06/29/2005, 05:28 PM
Micki Micki is offline
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Snorkel trips that I've been on at Destin are no where near that kind of money... Scuba maybe, but snorkel only maybe $20.00-25.00. Granted, it's not the kind of reef life you would see at other places, but, if you have never snorkeled before it's a nice start.
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