This blog post was updated on April 1, 2020.
In our series taking a look at some of the quirky laws and customs of cities across America, we focus on the idyllic beach destination of Destin. Located on the Florida Panhandle and famed for its white sand beaches, this charming little Emerald Coast town is within easy reach of Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport and offers a relaxing retreat for anyone seeking a seaside break.
But before you visit, make sure you’re in the know about some of the more unusual laws that Destin has laid down over the years. Here’s a look at this municipality’s oddest ordinances and wackiest laws (as may be viewed in the City of Destin’s Code of Ordinances).
Making it more of a challenge for you to have the ultimate blast when vacationing in Destin, it is explicitly stated that you cannot “set off or otherwise cause to explode or discharge or burn” a torpedo. Bummer – I guess that one could sink any fun plans you might have had.
You Can’t Duck the Law Here
Don’t run a-fowl of the law in Destin! If somebody tries to hand you free “baby chickens, ducklings, or other fowl under four weeks of age, or rabbits under eight weeks of age” that person is trying to get you to engage in unlawful activity. Take flight from the scene of the crime immediately and hop on your phone to call the police!
It’s Dead Wrong to Lean Your Bike against a Tree in a Cemetery
Take care parking your bike in a Destin cemetery. There’s a law that states “no bicyclist shall leave a bicycle lying on the ground or paving, or set against trees, or in any place or position where other persons may trip over or be injured by it” in a place that’s “used or intended to be used for the permanent interment of human remains.” That should lay to rest any questions you may have had about bike parking.
Dogs and Cats with Bad Attitudes
If a dog or cat “attacks and bites a person or another animal without provocation it shall be deemed a ‘bad dog’ or ‘bad cat’.” Likewise, any dog or cat that would “approach or chase any person in an apparent attitude of attack or in a vicious or terrorizing manner shall be deemed a ‘bad dog’ or ‘bad cat’.” Now that’s how you take a bite out of animal-on-human crime!
It’s Not Just Weird Laws
Destin sure seems to have some strange ways of doing things. But, in reality, it’s just one of many communities across America and the world with more than a few head-scratchers on its books. Maybe such laws are in place for superstitious reasons? Locals and longtime visitors refer to Destin as the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village – and who’d want to upset the balance of the universe by revoking or rewording a weird law if it might unwittingly do something to mess with that sort of good fortune?
Of course, the most important rule for anyone visiting Destin is to have fun, which is super easy to do. With excellent fishing; golfing; a variety of year-round outdoor activities; lots of shopping; dining and nightlife; and family attractions such as waterparks, sand dunes, nature trails, a boardwalk, and a white sand beach – there’s plenty to do in this coastal paradise city.
Do you know of any cities that have some weird laws and customs that we should feature? Let us know in the comments section below!