Pin on the map of Florida showing the location of Destin

Tips to "Be Local. Act Local." in South Walton and Destin, Florida

Our team is proud to be Destin locals and as such we want our extended family of friends and guests to feel like a local when they come to town. So in addition to sharing all the local Destin hotspots, we’re sharing another way to feel like a local and help us protect the beach and the endangered sea turtles that nest along our shores. 

Therefore, we’ve identified 7 ways to Be Local and Act Local when you visit the beach: 

Beach trash

Join Us in Removing Trash from the Beach

It is important to leave only footprints when visiting the beach. As a local, in addition to making sure our personal trash, including wrappers, straws and lids, does not end up on the beach, we also take plus one--any other trash we see. Trash is deadly for marine life. Endangered sea turtles that nest along our shores need our help in reducing plastics in our waterways. Locally, the South Walton Turtle Watch monitors nests and coordinates public efforts to help their population grow. In addition, our community partners with the Ocean Conservancy for Coastal Clean Ups and uses their new SWELL App, which allows the public to contribute to international data regarding the volume and types of trash collected. 

hole on the beach

Fill in holes in the sand

Building sandcastles and digging holes in the sand is great fun for all ages, but it is important that you leave the beach clean and flat at the end of the day. Once the sun goes down, holes dug in the beach become a BIG hazard. Beachgoers walking the beach at night can step in these holes and be injured. In addition, sea turtles cannot get to the dunes to lay their eggs and we experience many more false crawls and unsuccessful attempts for momma sea turtle to nest. 

cocktail at the beach

Skip the Straw

The average person uses 1.6 straws per day, which is why it is not surprising that they are among the top 10 items collected every year during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. In fact, volunteers have picked up more than 9 million straws and stirrers from beaches and waterways over the 30+ year history of the International Coastal Cleanup. Unfortunately, many more continue to make their way into our ocean, where they pose a real danger to sea turtles, albatross, fish and other ocean wildlife. Join the local (and global) movement to skip the straw.


Select O.Y.S.T.E.R partner restaurants when you order a dozen.

Through the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance’s oyster shell recycling program miles of living shoreline has been installed to stop erosion and improve the health of the Choctawhatchee Bay. Participating local restaurants, including Shunk Gulley, Half Shell Oyster, The Back Porch, Acme Oyster House, among others, are participating. 

A postcard

Stay off the dunes.

Not only is it the law under Florida State Statutes to not walk on dunes or pick sea oats, but this delicate eco-system is home to many coastal species, including the endangered Choctawhatchee Beach Mouse. In addition, a healthy dune system provides us our first line of defense against storm surge. 

Join the local community staying on the dune walkovers and designated foot paths and help us reduce damage to the dunes. 

Sea Turtle Baby Goes Home

Limit Light at Night.

While flashlights are fun to help find local critters during a nighttime beachwalk, they are harmful for nesting sea turtles who use the moonlight to direct them to the water’s edge. While the county has enacted a turtle safe lighting policy for beachfront homes and condominiums, locals often skip using lights on the back porch and close all blinds at night. Be local by helping us keep the beach clean, dark and flat. Visit the South Walton Turtle Watch page for more ways to keep the beaches sea turtle friendly.

MotherDay 12

Take Nothing but Memories.

As locals, we enjoy the beaches and coastal community as much as our guests and we want to preserve it for generations to come. It is important to not take live species and help us maintain their habitat. 



Plan your next beach getaway. 

Now is the time to book your next beach getaway and be an honorary Destin local. View our collection of vacation rental homes and condominiums online or call one of our friendly vacation specialists at 1-800-225-7652 to find you the perfect home away from home at the beach. When you check-in at Newman-Dailey, our team will provide you a biodegradable trash bag to help you vacation forward and be a local while you're here. Remember to always book direct with Newman-Dailey for our best rate guarantee. 

See you @ the beach!