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3 Oct 2023
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Northwest Florida has a rich history of fishing, Native American culture, and military life. To learn more about the Florida panhandle's unique history, there are a variety of different museums around and in Destin that you can check out.  Additionally, these museums are great for filling up rained-out beach days.

1. Destin History & Fishing Museum

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Learn about the history of Destin at The Destin History & Fishing Museum. This small local museum presents the history of the city and its journey from a small fishing community to the major tourist destination it is today. The museum has multiple exhibits including ones on the Native Americans that settled here and  the founding Destin families. Of course, they also have over 75 mounts of locally caught fish, the Mike Long Memorial Fish Wall, and the Destin Fishing Rodeo gallery.

2. Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida

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The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida is located just outside of Destin in Valparaiso, FL. Ultimately, the museum aims to preserve, collect, and study historical artifacts pertaining to the panhandle's heritage. Some of their events include the Mardi Gras Golf Scramble, Haunted Heritage Mini Museum, and the Yule of Yesteryear in addition to their craft classes and public programs. They also have unique exhibits that highlight early economic activities, tourism, and military history.

3. Indian Temple Mound Museum

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Located in the heart of Fort Walton Beach, the Indian Temple Mound Museum is another local museum on the history of Northwest Florida. However, this museum is a little different than the others because it primarily focuses on the Native Americans who inhabited the area. The museum depicts 12,000 years of Native American occupation in the area with over 1,000 artifacts. Moreover, the Indian Temple Mound Museum has one of the finest collections of prehistoric ceramics in this region of the country. In addition to Native Americans, the museum also includes artifacts from early European explorers, settlers, and local pirates.

4. Air Force Armament Museum

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Northwest Florida has a huge military presence and Destin is right beside Eglin Air Force Base. At the Air Force Armament Museum right outside of Eglin, you can experience the aviation warfare armament from WWI. Additionally, you can check out the high-tech planes and bombs today's Air Force uses. Additionally, they have an extensive collection of weaponry and cockpit stimulators that will make you feel like you're an Air Force Wing Commander. Outside the museum, you'll see vintage aircraft and the SR-71 Blackbird on display, which is the fastest plane ever built.

5. Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum

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Another great museum in Fort Walton Beach is the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum. It is a historic two-room schoolhouse that depicts the early history of Camp Walton's education system from 1911 through the 1930s. While this schoolhouse is now located in historic downtown Fort Walton Beach, it was originally located on Highway 98. In fact, the schoolhouse has been moved three times in its history. Today, you can learn about this historic school that originally opened in 1912.

Destin has such a rich history, so it's not a surprise that there are so many different museums you can explore while you're in town.

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