Beach Safety & Guidelines
To ensure a happy and safe vacation along Northwest Florida's beautiful Gulf Coast, it is important to follow some general safety guidelines. Please learn about our beach flag system and pay attention to the flags, and lifeguards, on any area beach.
Current Beach Conditions
To find out current beach conditions for all area beaches, please click here.
General Beach Guidelines
- Please don't walk on the sand dunes!
Excessive human or vehicle traffic and construction activities destroy vegetation holding a dune in place. Sand dunes are built by sand that blows into vegetated areas on the beach. Dunes act as barriers to winds and waves, protecting homes and businesses. During storms and hurricanes, dune sands wash into the Gulf, reducing the energy of storm waves. To provide natural protection, sand dunes must be preserved. Please stay out of the sand dunes and sea oats, using public beach walkovers instead.
- Sea Turtles Need Our Help, Too
Sea turtles nest on Gulf beaches between April and November. Due to human exploration and habitat destruction, sea turtles are threatened with extinction. The female turtle usually comes ashore at night to lay her eggs in the sand. In two or three hours she will lay about 120 eggs, yet only one turtle per nest will survive to adulthood. Avoid disturbing a turtle that is crawling to or from the water. Avoid crowding around a nesting turtle and do not shine lights in her eyes or take flash pictures.
- Sea Turtles Are Protected by Law
All sea turtles are protected by the US Endangered Species Act and Florida State Law. It is illegal to kill or harm sea turtles. It is also illegal to disturb the nest of a sea turtle. Heavy fines and possible imprisonment may result.
- Glass Bottles Are Not Allowed on Beach
Glass bottles are not allowed on any Destin area beaches. If caught with glass on the beach, first-time offenders face a $50 fine, second-time offenders face a $150 fine, and third-time offenders face a $300 fine, according to a City of Destin Ordinance.