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Destin Florida vs. SouthPadre Island, TX - big difference in water & beaches?

Destin Florida vs. SouthPadre Island, TX - big difference in water & beaches?

Old Jul 2nd, 2004, 08:45 AM
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Destin Florida vs. SouthPadre Island, TX - big difference in water & beaches?

Polling fodorites' opinions, is there that big a difference in the water and beaches between these two places?

We go to SouthPadre almost every summer as it's only 6-1/2 hrs away vs. Destin, FL which is 3 times longer distance wise. My sister-in-laws swears that Destin is far superior in beauty to SouthPadre Island. Just wondering if others feel same?

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Old Jul 2nd, 2004, 09:05 AM
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I have been to both. There is a major difference. Destin's beaches are whiter, the water is clearer. It is also much more developed, crowded and louder.

Main reason for the difference in the beach and water color is the Mississippi River and the Coriolis Effect. Silt discharged from the Mississippi River into the Gulf muddies the water. The silt travels west because of the Earth's rotation. Result, pristine beaches to the east, dark water to the west.

18 hours seems like a long time to spend to drive to a beach. However, if you are a beach person, it is probably worth it.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2004, 09:51 AM
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mlarson...when we lived in Dallas we vacationed in Destin every summer. I've never been to SPI, but my kids and husband have and they all say there is absolutely no comparison. None. Zero. The beach in Destin is so beautiful, with sand that is so white our daughter, age 3 at the time, thought it was snow as we drove along. The water is clear and turquoise blue. More often than not, you can stand in chest deep water and see your feet clearly...something one would normally see only in the Caribbean. It's beautiful.

My m-i-l lived midway between Dallas and Destin so we spent the night there, then went on the next day, making it more convenient for us than it would be for many others. It is a long haul, but once you've seen it, I doubt you'd return to SPI.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2004, 10:21 AM
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My sister moved to Texas in 1974 so after that our beach vacations were at South Padre instead of Florida. In 1974, the beaches in South Padre were white, the water was clear and I think there were 2 hotels. Now - after several oil spills - I would go to about any beach before South Padre. Go to Destin.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2004, 11:29 AM
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I have been to both and would agree with your sister-in-laws - the beach/water in Destin is far more beautiful than South Padre.
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