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Driving Directions to Destin

by Renee Taliaferro on March 4th, 2009

I-65 to The Beach:

(Updated June 2015)  This route below is the best and quickest drive we’ve found to Destin, SanDestin or Fort Walton Beach from any city that goes past Montgomery or Georgiana.

  1. Take I-65 South through Montgomery
  2. Exit I-65 at #114, turn left to Georgiana, AL (from B’ham 145 miles / 2hr10min) onto Highway 106
    (New for 2015 — stay on this road, no longer need to turn onto 55 South because this road now turns into 55)
  3. Go about 26 miles to dead end and turn left to Andalusia, AL
  4. Go 3.8 miles to dead end (at Covington County Mall) and turn right onto West Bypass, turns into 29 South
  5. Go 12 miles on 29 South
  6. 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)
  7. Stay on 137 for 14 miles and it will change into SR 189 at the FL state line
  8. SR 189 dead ends into US 90 — turn left on US 90
  9. You will cross a little bridge and turn at the first light (less than 4 miles) — Antioch Rd. (used to be called PJ Adams Rd. and turns into PJ Adams Rd. — there is a Tom Thumb on the corner)
  10. This road will cross I-10 and dead end into SR 85
  11. Take a right on SR 85. You can 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. Or, after about 12 miles you can take the new toll-by-plate road that goes to Mid-bay bridge.
  12. Go left on SR 20 and watch for signs to the Mid Bay Bridge (Rt. 293) about 10-15 minutes away. (The entrance to Mid Bay Bridge was moved in late 2012, so the turn is a couple of blocks past where it used to be.)
  13. There is a $3.00 toll on the Bridge
  14. After the bridge turn left on 98 to Sandestin and 30A destinations or 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, in addition to fried chicken fingers, peach pies and onion rings. If you’re looking for a healthier option, the salad bar is nice.
There are some other fantastic road-side tomato stands along the way, including Wingard Produce, open seasonally. When you’re on 55 South heading toward Andalusia, look on the left after several miles. It’s in an old barn-style building next to Country Cafe, 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 / Antioch Rd. (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…

5 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    Just what we needed! Thanks SO much for mapping this out in detail for us. We are famous for getting lost and Goggle took us on 331, which we didn’t want to take.

  2. Anonymous permalink

    Thank you SO MUCH!!. Great directions. Much better than our old route.

  3. Thanks for this useful article.

  4. how is it going over mid bay bridge both my daughter and i have a fear of high bridges how high is this one in highest part. is the altrnate better. we are going in a month .

    • Renee permalink

      It’s not a high bridge at all, but it takes a few minutes to cross. You could go through Fort Walton instead and cross over Brooks Bridge. The distance is about the same but you will run into more traffic in Fort Walton.

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