Our Secret is Out – The Emerald Coast is Getting Noticed!

The world is beginning to take notice of the Emerald Coast as a great place to live and visit. In the past year or so, several towns in both Okaloosa and Walton counties have been named as the best town, best beach, and even safest town. The recognition is long overdue and coming from a variety of national outlets. The best kept secret in Florida may no longer be much of a secret.

Destin receives a lot of attention because of the great fishing, beautiful waters, and family-friendly environment. U.S. News and World Report named Destin the top beach in Florida. The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village was also named one of the top 20 small towns in Florida by Cities Journal.

Niceville and Valparaiso were named two of the safest cities in Florida by Movoto. Yes, Niceville is quite nice, as is Valparaiso (known as Val-p by the locals) which happens to be Niceville’s neighbor. And, as the locals say, “Go Niceville!”

Walton County is receiving it’s share of recognition as well.

Huffington Post named Seaside one of the best beach towns in Florida. A beautiful location off of Highway 30A, Seaside is one place locals and tourists alike should visit.

Cities Journal also named Defuniak Springs one of the top 20 small towns, noting it’s rich history as well as the ornate Victorian architecture that you just can’t miss.

If you’ve lived here for even a short while, you know that the Emerald Coast is a hidden gem in Florida. The area is often overlooked for the tourist hot-spots like Orlando and Miami. We know what we have here – the prettiest white sand, the most beautiful water, and the small town lifestyle that’s great for raising families, vacationing, and retirement. It seems the world might be figuring it out, too.

Image via Flickr from Robert S. Donovan

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