To expand a little on Mike's answer, Sandestin sit just to the east of Destin and is actually a planned resort community connected with bike paths to amenities and the beach. You can stay in Sandestin, eat at restaurants, go to the beach, go on bike rides, play golf, take a boat taxi from one point to another all without ever getting in your vehicle. There also is a shuttle to take you from one place to another. There is a mixture of architecture here as well, to include "condohotel", patio homes, townhomes, and detached single family homes. It is also a gated community. Because of the availability of of amenities (it stretches all the way from the bay to the Gulf of Mexico), your homeowner/condo association fees are higher than many other places in the area.
Destin, on the other hand, is a full community of residents and vacationers with a world class assortment of restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and all the businesses that would make up a normal community. There are many different "communities" that make up Destin, such as Emerald Bay, Emerald Lakes, Crystal Beach, Indian Bayou, Frangista Beach,etc. Each community might have its own association, association dues, beach area, etc.
So, Bob, it depends on what you are looking for which one you would choose. If you are looking for gulf front property, Destin or Miramar Beach would be the place to look, but if you want a gated resort area, Sandestin would be the choice for you.
If I can be of further assistance or if you would like some more materials, please feel free to contact me at 850-305-6256 anytime, or you can find me at http://www.DestinHomeSale.com.
You can also visit http://www.Destin-FWB.com
for more information on the area as well.
Myke Triebold, GRI, CNAS
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors