The beautiful Miramar Beach is often confused with Destin, and while it is considered to be part of the greater Destin area having a similar history, it does have its own distinct attractions, magic, and even its own special history, though brief.
Dating back to the seventh century AD, artifacts found in Destin confirmed that American Indians survived on the land, living off of the seafood found in abundance on the gulf coast. 900 years later, spanish divers were still discovering ship wreckage in the gulf’s waters.
Around 1845, Leonard Destin ventured away from his home in New London, Connecticut and settled at Moreno Point in Northwest Florida. For decades to come, he and his descendants would navigate and fish the channel between Pensacola and Panama City in waters surrounding as the Choctawhatchee Bay, now known as Destin’s East Pass. According to The Destin Log, “Leonard Destin was among members of the Destin family who had sailed to Key West in 1835 to extend the fishing season, and opted to remain in the area, fishing at various places along the Gulf of Mexico. In 1851, he married Martha McCollum, and they made their home in Orleans Parish, La, before returning to Moreno Point.”
Around this time in 1862, President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act of 1862 into law which granted up to 160 acres of free land to anyone who lived on a piece of property for five years and made continual improvements to the land. This meant numerous land lots were available around the Choctawhatchee Bay and many immigrants began to migrate from the Carolinas, Georgia, and Alabama.
At the time, Miramar Beach was known as Shoals, Florida and the first post office was established in 1915 but soon after in 1919, the post office merged with the Santa Rosa Post Office. Shoals expanded over time and grew into a citrus farming community until 1924 when a citrus canker wiped the land of its citrus and Shoals was abandoned by most of its farmers. Its name soon changed to Miramar Beach and eventually developed into the laid-back beachside town that it is today.
Today, Miramar Beach is full of retail shopping, family friendly attractions, and of course a beautiful beach. With activities such as parasailing, dolphin tours, arcades, a gulfarium, and water parks all within a few miles of Miramar, there is fun for everyone! It is home to many unique fine dining restaurants and upscale retail boutiques. A mix of fancy and family friendly, Miramar Beach is a destination that vacationers can’t pass up!
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