Spring breaker activity tame in Okaloosa compared to Walton

Published: Friday, March 15, 2013 at 03:47 PM.

With the flags and decorated coolers sparsely sprinkled along the Destin beach, it was a stark comparison to a couple miles away at the Whale’s Tail in Walton County, where a sea of humanity packed the beach with a perimeter of law enforcement making periodic arrests. On the Destin side, there was little police presence, or need for that matter.

Small groups of spring breakers, including families, quietly laid out in the sand and avoided the cold ocean water — an almost living testament to the recent announcement that Destin was voted the Travel Channel’s top family friendly beach.

Destin has fostered that atmosphere by requiring hotel guests to be at least 25 years old and by marketing to families.

"It's a lot better than Panama City," said Aurburn student Alexa Bearden on her first Destin visit. "Way chill."

Panama City, Holt suggests, is exactly where minors should go if they want to imbibe without the risk of getting caught.

"That's where I did all of my underage drinking," he said.

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