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Driving directions from I-65 to Destin, Sandestin, Hwy 30-A or Fort Walton Beach

by Renee Taliaferro on April 23rd, 2008
Looking for the quickest route from areas along I-65 such as Huntsville and Birmingham to Destin, Sandestin, Hwy 30-A or Fort Walton Beach?

Following are some directions we use when we drive to the beach.

I-65 to the beach
1) Take I-65 South through Montgomery
2) Exit I-65 at #114, turn left to Georgiana, AL (from B’ham 145 miles / 2hr10min) highway 106

3) Go 3 miles and turn right on 31 South (to 55)

4) Go through McKenzie, AL (7.3 miles), road turns into 55 South

5) Go 18 miles to dead end and turn left to Andalusia, AL

6) Go 3.8 miles to dead end (at Covington County Mall) and turn right on 55 South, turns into 29 South

7) Go 12 miles on 29 South

8) Turn left onto Highway 137 (Hwy 137 bears to the left instead of being a sharp left turn. Also, this is not a 4-way intersection and is easy to miss!)

9) Stay on 137 for 14 miles and it will change into SR 189 at the FL state line

10) SR 189 dead ends into US 90 — turn left on US 90

11) You will cross a bridge and turn at the first light (less than 4 miles) — Antioch Rd. (used to be called PJ Adams Rd. — there is a new Tom Thumb on the corner)

12) SR 4 (which you are on) will cross I-10 and dead end into SR 85 (at this intersection the road you are on is probably still labeled PJ Adams Rd.)
13) Take a right on SR 85 and follow until it ends (Niceville) Or, if you’re traveling to Fort Walton Beach, watch for signs to turn right to Ft. Walton a few miles before Niceville.
14) Go left on SR 20 and watch for signs to the Mid Bay Bridge (Rt. 293) about 10-15 minutes away
15) There is a $2.50 toll on the Bridge (paid each way)
16) After the bridge turn left on 98 to Sandestin and 30A destinations and right to Destin

Great places to stop along the way:

Peach Park in Clanton, Alabama, exit 205 from I-65. We always stop here for some famous Chilton County peaches and other fresh produce. Peach Park also serves delicious home-made ice cream and excellent BBQ. If you enjoy fried food, try the chicken fingers, peach pies and onion rings.

There are some other fantastic road-side tomato stands along the way. My favorite is Wingard Produce, open seasonally. After you turn right on 31 South (toward 55), look on the left after the road turns into a four-lane. It’s in an old barn-style building next to Country Café, at the top of a hill.

From the beach to I-65
1) Cross the Mid Bay Bridge and turn left on SR 20

2) Go right on SR 85 approx 20 miles and turn left on PJ Adams (Tom Thumb at intersection on left)

3) Turn left on US 90 at the light

4) Go over bridge and turn right at SR 4 which turns into SR 189 and then into 137 once in AL (total about 28 miles)

5) Turn right on 29 North (12 miles) and turns into 55 North

6) Turn left on 55 North (at the Covington County Mall)

7) Follow signs to I-65 North and then back to Montgomery, and on to Birmingham, Huntsville, etc…

From → Destin

  1. Tomac permalink

    I have a question:
    Are the highways 4-lane or 2-lane highways from Georgiana to Destin?

    I’m thinking of traveling from St. Louis to Destin and would like to know how the route is from Georgiana to Destin.

    Any other hints or suggestions? Thanks, Tomac, St. Louis, MO

    • DARLENE permalink


  2. Renee permalink

    There are some 4-lane and some 2-lane highways between Georgiana and Destin.

    From Georgiana to Andalusia the road starts as a 2-lane, but is 4-lane most of the way.

    After you go through Andalusia and turn left on 137, you’ll be on a long, but scenic, 2-lane road. It’s tempting to speed on this road, but I try to go the speed limit — you’ll see a few patrol cars, plus a friend of mine was pulled over recently.

    Years ago I followed 331 and/or 231 and most of those roads were 2-lane. This is a much better route.

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