Destin’s beaches are known the world over for their beautiful soft white sand. Extremely fine-grained, the sand found on the 24-mile string of beautiful, pristine beaches that line Florida’s Emerald Coast pampers your feet and soothes the senses. Even on the hottest summer days, Emerald Coast beach sand is cool enough to the touch that you can walk across Destin’s beaches without resorting to the comical running hop that most people adopt when trying to dash across sand that has reached sizzling hot temperatures. But why is the sand on the Florida Panhandle’s Gulf Coast so different than the sand on other Florida beaches? What makes our sand so special that Destin’s beaches are consistently recognized as among the world’s best?
As Destin Realtors say, it’s “location, location, location” that consistently earns Destin a spot on lists of Top 10 beaches in the U.S. and the world. The sand on the beaches in Destin, through the communities that comprise the Beaches of South Walton , all the way to Panama City Beach is made of pure Appalachian quartz. Many beaches around the world have some quartz content, but the beaches along Florida’s Emerald Coast are 99.9% pure quartz, a highly unusual occurrence.
As the Appalachian mountain range weathered over the eons, quartz and other sediments were washed down creeks and streams, eventually making their way into what is now the Escambia River system. As the sediment-laden water reached the Gulf, heavier sediments dropped out to form deltas, leaving the lighter quartz to collect and form today’s beaches. Centuries of wave and water action eventually ground the quartz into smaller and smaller grains, producing the sugar-fine sand Destin residents enjoy today.