Landmark Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Marks 50 Years in Florida

Events planned throughout the year for guests to the destination

Person paddle boarding at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Sandestin has 70 individual neighborhoods spanning the 2,400 acres between the Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Publicity photo

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is celebrating 50 years as the most-visited destination along Florida’s Emerald Coast. The 2,400-acre resort draws vacationers year-round with its huge variety of room types – from hotel rooms to villas and penthouses – scattered along white-sand beachfront grounds, swimming pools, golf courses and tennis courts.

The festivities began earlier this month with guests enjoying social-media-ready photo booth popups, locally brewed beers, and other food and drink specials. A signature wine is in development, and collectors-edition merchandise is expected to debut later this year. The resort is promoting its festivities online with a #sandestin50 hashtag.

Exterior of Sandestin resort with view of pool
The resort features more than 7 miles of beaches, 15 world-class tennis courts and 20 swimming pools. Publicity photo

The land that Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort sits on has an interesting history. Though originally intended for crops and livestock, it was used by the military during World War II to research and test German “buzz bombs” that were captured during the conflict.

Over the following decades, entrepreneurs eyed the land for residential and commercial development – it was once considered the potential Florida location for Walt Disney World and even pursued by owners of the Indianapolis Speedway as the site for a southern racetrack.

Eventually, in the 1970s, a resort community was decided upon with the developers combining the names Santa Rosa Beach and Destin to form a spot to be known as Sandestin.

bike riders at Sandestin
The landscaped ground and trails around the resort are made for exploring. Guests receive two complimentary 4-hour bike rentals daily. Publicity photo

“The secret of the Sandestin experience is in the intentional details, smiles, commitment to service, memories passed down from generation to generation, dedication, and a lot of hard work,” Sara Becnel, Sandestine’s asset manager and vice president of development, said in prepared remarks. “We have not simply remained relevant, but have led the tourism experience for guests through a balance of tradition and innovation.”

A special webpage has been created for celebration updates and historical timelines.

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