Four Things You Should Know About Living In Destin

Welcome to our Windows series! This is going to be a spontaneous series that highlights the little things that make up life at Emerge Leadership Academy. Wether it be our daily routines, our city, our church, or the many misadventures that have happened since we started, we hope this series will make you feel like you genuinely know the people behind the Emerge program. So enjoy this series, especially Kelly's great article about what you should know before moving to Destin!


There are so many great reasons for someone to come to Emerge Leadership Academy. The classes, ministry opportunities, and relationships alone make for a life changing experience; but the fact that all of this happens in picturesque Destin, Florida, definitely doesn’t hurt! Destin is a laid back beach community that bustles with chaos and busy tourists. It has all the charm and hospitality you’d expect from a southern town, but manages to have high end shopping and restaurants that draw in people from all over the country. Destin is a pretty unique place, making it the perfect setting for a unique program like Emerge. So if you’re interested in coming to Emerge, here are a few things you should know about living in Destin.


1. The weather is unpredictable.

            It’s no wonder why people like to vacation in Destin, or anywhere in Florida for that matter. The beaches are warm and there’s always a nice breeze coming in from the water; but it can change in an instant. At any moment there could be a thunderstorm. It might only last for a few minutes; or it might stick around for the rest of the week, leaving the entire town partially underwater. But rain or shine, there’s one thing you can always count on here in Destin: humidity!

2. The traffic is also unpredictable.

            The only thing that might be as temperamental as the weather in Destin is the traffic in Destin. This could be because of the tourists. (By the way, tourists are a real thing and for some reason they cause traffic to move super slow. No one really knows why.) It also could be because of good ole’ Highway 98. It’s basically the only road in town, and you have to drive on it to get just about anywhere. That means if there’s a wreck anywhere on 98, the whole thing gets backed up. What usually would be a five minute drive could easily become thirty. On the bright side, at least there’s pretty scenery to look at while you’re sitting in the car!

3. You might not go to the beach as much as you expected.

The beaches in the Destin area are some of the most beautiful in the world. The sand is sugar-white and the water is clear and calm. The beach is also easily accessible. It’s within walking distance from the Emerge campus. You’ll want to spend all your time there. However, you’ll find that living close to the beach is not the same as visiting or vacationing. Emerge, and life in general, will keep you busy. You might not make it to the beach as often as you hoped; but it makes visits to the beach that much more special and refreshing. So, take advantage of the beach being close by, but don’t be disappointed when you can’t make it there every day.

4. We don’t actually live in Destin.

            Yes, it’s true! Emerge is actually in Miramar Beach. It’s right next to Destin, but as far as most people around here are concerned, it’s all basically the same thing. This can get confusing when it comes to mailing addresses and such. That’s really the only time it even matters. Occasionally you may run into some locals who are very particular about specifying which town is which, but for the most part, everything in the region is considered “Destin.” At the end of the day, no matter what town we technically live in, it won’t take long for the Emerald Coast to start to feel like home.

Ok, so I've been a little hard on the Destin area, but seriously, this place is home. It's a beautiful town and we're incredibly blessed to be able to live in most people's vacation spot. Wether you're an out-of-towner or are near the Gulf Coast, you'll fall in love with Destin during Emerge!

- Kelly Phillipson