We Love the Emerald Coast!
The Emerald Coast is an unofficial name for the coastal area in Florida on the Gulf of Mexico that stretches 100 miles from Pensacola to Panama City.Â
- The first nickname dates back to the 1940â€™s when the area was called the â€śPlayground of the Gulf Coastâ€ť. The local newspaper was then called the Playground News, then later the Playground Daily News. It is now known by the name the Northwest Florida Daily News.
- In 1952, a new name emerged when Claude Jenkins, a local journalist, created the term â€śMiracle Strip.â€ť The Miracle Strip Amusement Park, located in Panama City, was a popular area theme park from the 1960â€™s until the 1980â€™s. (No theme park these days, but if you are looking for things to do in Destin, Florida, the possibilities are endless. Links are here.)
- The term “Miracle Strip” was officially adopted by officials and chambers of commerce members at a meeting held at the Staff Restaurant in Fort Walton Beach. It designated the 100-mile stretch of scenic Highway 98 as the Miracle Strip featuring a “fabulous string of motels, hotels and nightspots.”* (We would add outstanding restaurants to that list!)
- According to the Daily News, the term Emerald Coast was coined in 1983 by a junior high school student, Andrew Dier, who won $50 in the contest for a new area slogan.
*Florida’s Miracle Strip: From Redneck Riviera to Emerald Coast by Tim Hollis