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In the very near future, I will purchase a second home in either the Destin or Pensacola areas. It will be beachfront, and either condo or private residence. I will not lease/rent the place. It will be used by myself and 20 year old daughter as well as our friends and family. We will do some boating, but no fishing. We plan on being beach/pool bums while visiting our new place. We now have to make a decision about location and cannot decide if Pensacola or Destin should be the area we buy into. I would appreciate any feedback about the pros and cons of these two cities. Since our permanent residence is New Orleans, we do not want to go much further east that Destin. Thanks to all in advance who responded.
 

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I would highly recommend visiting both places and see for yourself which you like better. When the tourists are gone Destin can be pretty quiet amd peaceful, but Destin doesn't offer much past beaches, fishing, restaurants, golf, and limited shopping.
Pensacola has everything to do...it's a small city. You have everything a beach town would have, plus more shopping and entertainment. Have a civic center for shows/concerts, minor league baseball with the blue wahoos, hockey with the ice flyers.

If i had the money to retire and choose either, i personally would choose Pensacola.
 

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They really are 2 entirely different places. A few years ago, I would have said they were 3 entirely different places as Destin was relatively quiet in the fall and winter, now, not so much. I do not know much about the Pensacola Beach areas but beachfront residences are north of $4 mil.
Have you considered Navarre? It is between the two cities. Your money goes much further.
 

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Unless you LOVE being stuck in traffic, I’d avoid Destin like the plague. Navarre Beach is nice and quiet with some condos. P’cola has lots of condos, with very busy beaches. Perdido is a better option than P’cola beach in my opinion.


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I would rule out Destin due to the traffic and tourist trap atmosphere.
replace Destin with Navarre Beach.
If I were to purchase a beach house it would be in Navarre Beach.
Still close to Pensacola and much more quiet and private..
 

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Navarre might be a little too quiet for a 20 yr old. Destin has the problems others have mentioned. For a father and daughter team I'd opt for Pensacola/Gulf Breeze/Pensacola Beach area.
 

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I live about 1/2 way between the two in Florosa (tiny unincorporated town). I agree that Destin has God awful traffic, tourist stuff and not much else. Pensacola is a small city with most everything. Navarre Beach is nice and quite but the bridge can be a PITA. I suggest you come down for a week. Spend 2 nights in P'cola, 2 in Destin and 2 in Navarre beach. Then decide for yourself.

FWIW. in the near future 98 will be widened from the Garcon Point intersection to the Mary Esther Cutoff. It wii end up being 3 lanes in each direction with dedicated bike lanes. There will be a 2-3 mile flyover in Navarre.
 

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Very disappointing the PFF has not called out the "no fishing" part of your post....

It must be a new day here :)

Pensacola would me my choice (native here and love it!).
 
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Very disappointing the PFF has not called out the "no fishing" part of your post....

It must be a new day here :)

Pensacola would me my choice (native here and love it!).
I was typing when it said there was a new message, haha
 

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@WillyL - your only chance for recovery is swearing your "boating" does not include jet skis, unless you're going to deck it out with a cooler and rod holders then you may get a temporary pass....

Welcome to Pensacola and the PFF too!


..........
 

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The crime in Pensacola would keep me from being there plus they have beach takeovers from various persuasions. As a former beach bum, I loved Destin and a premier address at that. BUT way too crowded now and taxes are very high. I guess I am no help but neither would be my pick
 

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meh, you don't fish, I'd say Destin is your place. Nice nearby restaurants, boardwalk, the strip and crab island to party in your boat.
Besides, we have too many boats over this way already. The gulf can be running +/- 1' and the bay area to the pass will be 2-3' just from boat waves with everyone coming and going in their boats. g/l
 

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OldMan, here ya go

Crime Index
6
(100 is safest)
Safer than 6% of U.S. Cities

Pensacola Annual Crimes

ViolentPropertyTotal
Number of Crimes2902,0712,361
Crime Rate
(per 1,000 residents)
5.5039.2944.79


Crime Index
44
(100 is safest)
Safer than 44% of U.S. Cities

Destin Annual Crimes

ViolentPropertyTotal
Number of Crimes25179204
Crime Rate
(per 1,000 residents)
1.7812.7214.49
 
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