Each grain of sand on Destin Florida’s gulf beaches is quartz washed down from the Appalachian Mountains by the Apalachicola River, ground to a feathersoft, blindingly white, quartz powder.
The unique sand on Destin’s many beaches is among the whitest in the world. Consisting of small quartz particles, this sand which created our beaches came from a process involving the Appalachian Mountains and the Apalachicola River 20,000 years ago.
At the end of the last Ice Age, when the world temperatures began warming, and the ice caps began melting, large volumes of water were carried by the rivers to the world’s oceans. The Apalachicola River, rising in the Appalachians, carried water to the Gulf of Mexico (and continues today). This water carried the quartz particles, from the rock that formed the Appalachian Mountains, and deposited them in the Gulf of Mexico, just 115 miles to the east of Destin. As the sea level began to rise, these quartz sands eventually formed a new shoreline. It is this quartz, ground to perfect granular ovals, that makes the sand on Destin’s beach “squeak” between your toes when you walk on it!
The sands today continually replenish and reach as far west as Pensacola Pass, their final destination.