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Set in the middle of Florida’s Emerald Coast between the city of Destin and the Sandestin Beach Resort, Miramar Beach has everything you want from a classic seaside getaway. This stretch of the Gulf Coast is known for its brilliant turquoise waters and powdery white-sand beaches dotted with colorful chairs and umbrellas. Rent a beach cruiser and pedal the gulf-front pathways. Tee off at one of the many golf courses within driving distance, or spend an afternoon browsing at the outlets or the gift and antique shops in town. Active beachgoers can enjoy water sports such as jet skiing and parasailing and a water park in the area, and anglers can head out on fishing charters in search of tuna and blue marlin. There’s so much to do, so be sure to slow down in the evenings to take in a sunset; they’re spectacular here.
The easiest way to get to Miramar Beach is to fly into Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS), which is just 22 miles west of town, or Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP), 44 miles east of downtown.
Miramar Beach is also within driving distance of several cities in the southeastern United States. New Orleans, LA; Jackson, MS; and Atlanta, GA are all five to six hours away by car. You could even make the drive from cities in states as far away as Texas, Ohio, and North Carolina in a long nine-to-twelve-hour day.
Whether you drive or fly, you’ll want a car to get around Miramar Beach and to visit the beautiful beaches along scenic Highway 30A to the east, and to access the golf courses and parks to the west.
The subtropical Florida Panhandle enjoys balmy beach weather almost year-round. The summer months are typically hot, humid, and crowded with vacationers. You can expect temperatures to hover around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. June also marks the beginning of the rainy season, which brings the risk of hurricanes. Afternoon thunderstorms are a regular occurrence during the summer and particularly during August and September, but they rarely ruin a vacation (though you might want to bring a packable rain poncho, just in case). Spring and fall are wonderful times to visit Miramar Beach, when there are fewer visitors and less humidity, and the temperatures are still in the high 70s to mid-80s. Winters can get chilly here, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s, but it is a favorite time for snowbirds because of the sunny, dry weather.
A quick 15-minute drive from Miramar Beach city center, Henderson Beach State Park protects rolling 30-foot, white-sand dunes covered in coastal scrub. There’s also a short nature trail, picnic facilities, and more than a mile of pristine beach.
There are hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails in South Walton County, but one of the best places for a coastal cruise is the Scenic Highway 98 Trail, which runs right through Miramar Beach. The three-mile path is a favorite with cyclists, joggers, and skateboarders; you can rent a bike at various shops in town.
Scenic Highway 30A begins about four miles east of Miramar Beach and follows the Gulf of Mexico for 28.5 miles, passing sugar-sand beaches, dune lakes, and pine forests. The route is dotted with colorful, charming villages filled with pastel-colored cottages with quaint downtowns. Visit in October to experience the monarch butterfly migration.