Destin LGBTQ City Guide

Situated in the panhandle on Florida’s stunning Emerald Coast, Destin is a city with a population of around only 20,000 people, but millions of tourists visit each year. One trip to Destin and it would be easy to see why – the 100-mile Emerald Coastline is known for its sugary white sand, emerald waters, and friendly people. Even better, it has a smaller, but thriving LGBTQ community. It’s a wonderful place to visit and a great place to call home.

A Look at Destin’s History

Destin was named after Leonard Destin, a fishing captain from New England who moved to the area in 1845. He was known for adding a bit of New England feel to the area – in fact, those New England roots are still reflected today in buildings like the iconic Henderson Park Inn. The building is often voted one of the most romantic getaway destinations on the coast and features New England-style architecture. Leonard Destin and others who moved to the area at the same time were also avid fishermen, and the area remains an important fishing center today, not to mention being a preeminent tourist destination for travelers across the country, and even from around the world.

A Few Fun Facts About Destin

  • Destin is the most visited city on the Emerald Coast.
  • Fishing is big business in Destin – in fact, it has the largest fleet of fishing vessels in the entire state of Florida.
  • Destin's white-sand beaches look like sugar, but the sand is actually made from ground quartz crystal carried all the way from the Appalachian Mountains down to the Gulf of Mexico via the Apalachicola River.

Read more fun facts about Destin here.

Destin’s LGBTQ Community                                         

Destin is a city that loves and supports its LGBTQ community with a variety of resources, including:

PFLAG Niceville

PFLAG Niceville, located near Destin, is the Emerald Coast’s local chapter of the national PFLAG organization, which is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the country. PFLAG is well-known for its mission of supporting LGBTQ people, friends, family, and allies across the country in a wide variety of ways. With 500 chapters and more than 200,000 members in the United States, PFLAG plays a critical and important role in providing advocacy, support, and resources to the LGBTQ community.

What's the Weather Like in Destin?

Those who live in Destin can expect plenty of sunshine to enjoy those sugary white beaches– 320 days per year, on average. The weather in Destin is warm and fairly mild year-round, with temperatures in January dropping to a low of 40ºF on average, and temperatures in July topping out at around 90ºF. The area receives around 66 inches of rain per year and no snow.

Can’t-Miss Events in Destin

Pensacola Memorial Day Gay Weekend Beach Party

If you live in the Destin area, it’s well worth it to make the short drive over to nearby Pensacola for the Memorial Day Gay Weekend Beach Party. This is a weekend of LGBTQ fun in the sun – and thousands show up to enjoy the beach and the festivities each year. Definitely be sure to put it on your calendar!

Bay Pride

Bay Pride is the area’s annual LGBTQ pride celebration, and it’s one event you don’t want to miss. Whether you enjoy parades, parties, family-friendly activities, or all of the above, you’ll be able to enjoy that at this fun, festive celebration. It's a great way to celebrate, connect to the community – and have fun! You'll want to put this event on your calendar each year.

The Best Neighborhoods in Destin

Unlike some larger towns that have one primarily gay neighborhood, Destin's LGBTQ community tends to be a bit more spread out across the city. This isn't a bad thing though – it simply means that there are many wonderful neighborhoods in town to choose from. There are a wide variety of homes and price ranges available, and choosing the perfect home will largely be a matter of personal preference and budget. Certainly, beachfront properties tend to be more expensive, but there are a wide variety of home styles in several different neighborhoods available. The median list price of homes currently for sale in Destin is $497,000, and the median list price per square foot is $335.  

Arts and Entertainment

The Village of Baytowne Wharf

If you love spending the day enjoying great shopping, excellent food, and plenty of fun, you'll want to be certain to put Baytowne Wharf on your list of must-try places in Destin. The village includes more than 20 restaurants and plenty of unique shops and boutiques and often hosts family-friendly events throughout the year.

Destin Harbor Boardwalk

The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is another ground outdoor entertainment area in Destin that features shops, restaurants, opportunities for outdoor fun like ziplining and boating, and endless beautiful views.

Parks and Recreation

Shell Island

Shell Island is a well-known island in the gulf filled with shells of all kinds and is a popular day destination for tourists and residents alike. Visitors can enjoy collecting shells, watching dolphins or other marine life, boating, or simply relaxing on the beautiful shoreline.

Destin Beaches

Most people are drawn to Destin for the beaches – and that's true of visitors and residents alike. There are countless stunning stretches of shoreline here, and you may have to try out several before you find your personal piece of paradise!

Destin Nightlife

Splash Bar Florida

Splash Bar is a very lively, popular LGBTQ bar located just across the street from the Gulf of Mexico beaches in nearby Panama City, just a short drive away from Destin. It offers a large dance floor, a spacious patio, friendly crowds, and fun-themed nights. 

The Red Bar

Though not technically an LGBTQ bar, Red Bar is one spot that you’ll still want to be certain to put on your list for a night out in Destin. Located in Grayton Beach, just a short drive from the downtown Destin area, Red Bar is known for its great selection of drinks, excellent live music, and friendly crowds.

Contact a Destin Gay Realtor Today

If you're ready to make a move to Destin, at, we're here to help you take the first step toward finding an agent who knows and loves the community, and who can help you find a home and a neighborhood you'll love. We're proud to have a network of excellent realtors in Destin, and we would love to help connect you with the right one. Contact a Destin gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!