Florida’s Emerald Coast is host to many fireworks displays and celebrations. Local and visitors alike love a great fireworks show and you have many choices throughout the year. Of course, you New Year’s Even, Memorial Day, and Independence Day are holidays known for great fireworks, there are many more opportunities that you don’t want to miss. There are plenty of show during the Summer in Destin and Fort Walton Beach.
Upcoming Fireworks Destin – Fort Walton Beach
May 28, 2017 – Memorial Day Weekend Celebration – Baytowne Wharf – Miramar Breach, FL
June 3, 2017 – Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival – Fort Walton Beach, FL
July 4, 2017 – Red, White, and Baytowne – Baytowne Wharf – Miramar Beach, FL
December 31, 2017 – New Year’s Eve at The Landing – Fort Walton Beach, FL
December 31, 2017 – New Year’s Eve Street Party – HarborWalk Village – Destin, FL
December 31, 2017 – Baytowne Countdown – Baytowne Wharf – Miramar Beach, FL
December 31, 2017 – New Year’s Eve Countdown – Seaside, FL
You can always check our fireworks calendar to see the latest listings of all fireworks displays along the Emerald Coast.
4th of July Fireworks 2017
Okaloosa Island Fireworks 2017
May 26, 2016 | admin
You don’t have to look far to find fun Destin Florida events or fun things to do around the Fort Walton Beach, FL area. There are always great festivals along the Emerald Coast to attend for family fun. Whether you are tourists or a local, our area festivals offer plenty of lively music, tasty food, unique entertainment, interesting culture, and plenty of people enjoying our beautiful area. Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Niceville are home to quite a few notable festivals each year, including the Destin Seafood Festival, Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival, and the Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival.
Throughout the year, there are many unique and entertaining festivals around the Destin and Fort Walton Beach area. No matter what your interests, you’ll most likely find a festival to your liking. If for some reason you don’t find a festival that meets your taste, start your own!
April 21-23, 2017 – Musical Echoes Native American Flute Festival – Fort Walton Beach, FL
April 27-30, 2017 – South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival – Miramar Beach, FL
May 12-14, 2017 – ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival – Miramar Beach, FL
May 27-29, 2017 – Memorial Day Weekend Celebration – Miramar Beach, FL
June 3-4, 2017 – Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival – Fort Walton Beach, FL
July 4, 2017 – Red, White, and Baytowne – Miramar Beach, FL
Nearly every weekend you find at least one festival to attend on the Emerald Coast. Most of our local area festivals offer a chance to learn more about a particular topic, such as history or culture, while at the same time offering loads of fun and entertainment. Bring the whole family and invite plenty of friends so our area festivals will be successful and continue to thrive year after year.
Are we missing a festival? If so, please comment below and we’ll be glad to add it to the list above and the festivals calendar. Alternatively, you can add it yourself for FREE.
March 30, 2016 | admin
It’s no doubt that Crab Island is one of the hot spots in the Destin, FL area. Crab Island is an underwater island at the entrance of Choctawhatchee Bay near the East Pass in Destin. Crab Island is typically only 2-3 feet deep which allows children and adults a huge swimming pool-like area to play and keep cool from the hot summer sun. The water is usually crystal clear. Crab Island is an extremely popular hangout place for families and partying people. There are plenty of activities going on at Crab Island, such as live music, dancing, water sports such as volleyball, chicken fighting, free giveaways, food and beverage vendors, and even merchandise vendors.
If you have never been to Crab Island Destin, FL, you may be wondering, “How you I get to Crab Island?” Well, you must have a boat, jet ski, or paddle board to get to Crab Island. You should never try to swim from the shore to get to Crab Island, because the current from the tide flow can be very strong. On the Emerald Coast, Boat rentals in Destin and Fort Walton Beach are very easy to find and usually reasonably priced for a rental for the day.
If you have never been to Crab Island before, you definitely need to know what to pack for Crab Island.
- Sunscreen – The sun is stout here, so bring plenty of sunblock.
- Towel – Towels always come in handy after swimming.
- Hat – Help keep some of the sun off your face and reduce your risk of skin cancer.
- Food & Snacks – You will for sure get hungry, so bring plenty of food for your lunch and snacks throughout the day, or you can always buy hamburgers, hot dogs, wraps, etc. from some of the food vendors; however, there is never any guarantee that they will be open.
- Drinks – You need to make sure and bring plenty of water to replace the lost fluids from sweating, but don’t forget your adult beverages such as beer, wine, or wine coolers. If you plan to be drinking outside of your boat, make sure you don’t have glass bottles.
- Water Toys – Crab Island is all about fun, so bring your toys. Footballs, volleyballs, water guns and other water toys are always great fun!
- Rafts – You might want to chill out and relax so bring a raft to float around the water to stay cool.
- Garbage Bag – When packing your boat, don’t forget a garbage bag to dispose of your food bags, beer and soda cans, and other trash that accumulates during your boating experience at Crab Island.
- Snorkel Equipment – It’s common to see plenty of crabs, fish, and hermit crabs partying at Crab Island, so you might want to bring your snorkel and mask to get a better look.
- Money – You never know what you might want to buy while at Crab Island. There are even ice cream and pizza vendors (Helen Back) coming by in small boats and jet skis selling food. Have your money handy just in case you get a craving for a treat! Or you may want to take your kids to play on some of the inflatables such as the giant water slide or possibly even rent a paddle board for a new experience.
- Camera – Crab Island is a beautiful setting and you will definitely want to take some pictures. If you stay until sunset, you will be in for a real treat. There nothing like experience a Destin sunset. Check out a few of our Destin sunset pictures.
- Music – If you boat doesn’t have a good speaker system, bring a good music player so you can hear some tunes and relax the day away in the sun and water.
Crab Island is a truly unique experience when visiting the Destin – Fort Walton Beach area. Check out a few of the Crab Island pictures. You will not only find a lot of visitors at Crab Island, but a LOT of locals who frequent Crab Island every weekend! Go ahead and do something a little different on your vacation and enjoy the beautiful waters and beaches of the Emerald Coast. If you own a boat and need boat repair without the hassle of taking your boat to a boat mechanic, check out the services of American Mobile Marine. They are a mobile marine service for the Destin – Fort Walton Beach area and will come to your boat to make repairs.
Crab Island Pictures
Things to Do in Destin FL
Boat Repair Destin
July 25, 2012 | admin
We had yet another beautiful weekend on the Emerald Coast and Crab Island was at the center of all of the fun. It was sunny, warm, and the water was crystal clear without any pesky jellyfish. Crab Island was packed with boats, wave runners, paddle boarders, kayaks, and, of course, lots of people.
There were plenty of activities going on this past weekend at Crab Island. Be sure to check out some of the Crab Island pictures from the weekend.
Among the crowd of people at Crab Island, many were tourists, as evident by the quantity of rental pontoon boats from Destin. Crab Island has become one of those “must visit” attractions in the Destin – Fort Walton Beach area and for good reason. The water is as clear as any swimming pool and just the right temperature to cool you off from the hot Florida sun. There is plenty of music, often live bands playing. There are food and beverage vendors. There is water volleyball and even chicken fighting contests.
Of course, Helen Back was there shooting out t-shirts from their air cannon and giving out their delicious pizza.
Paddle Boarding has become very popular along the Emerald Coast and there were plenty of paddle boarders weaving through the boaters at Crab Island. There were even several dogs riding along with their masters on paddle boards.
If you haven’t experienced Crab Island, be sure to do so before all of the food, beverage, and entertainment vendors pack up for the season, which usually occurs around Labor Day. If you down’t own a boat, be sure to catch a ride with a friend sometime or rent a pontoon boat from one of the many boat rental companies along the Destin Harbor.
What to pack for Crab Island
Things to Do in Destin FL
Boat Repair Destin
July 23, 2012 | admin
July 10, 2012 | admin
It’s always great to visit Destin restaurants or other restaurants on the Emerald Coast where kids eat free. Sometimes kids eat free on Tuesday, sometimes, Wednesday, and sometimes Destin restaurants even offer free kids meals everyday with the purchase of an adult entree. Below you will find a list of some restaurants in the Destin, FL area that offer FREE kids meals.
Destin Restaurant Kids Eat Free
- Chick-fil-A – Offers 1 free kids meal with each purchase of an adult combo.
Day of Week: Tuesday
Time: 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Address: 1063 Highway 98 East, Destin, FL 32541
- IHOP – Offers 1 free kids meal per adult entree purchase.
Day of Week: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Time: 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Address: 10859 Emerald Coast Parkway, Destin, FL 32541
- Golden Corral – Kids 3 and under eat free with adult meal purchase all day
Day of Week: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Time: All Day
Address: 733 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541
- Moe’s Southwest Grill – One FREE kids meal with each adult meal purchase.
Day of Week: Wednesday
Time: 3:00 pm to Close
Address: 985 Highway 98 E Ste D, Destin, FL 32541
- Applebee’s – Again, not free, but close enough to include. Kids eat for 99 cents all day.
Day of Week: Wednesday
Time: All Day
Address: 8670 Highway 98 West, Destin, FL 32541
- Marble Slab Creamery – One FREE kids cone with purchase of an original cup or cone.
Day of Week: Wednesday
Time: All Day
Address: 34904 Emerald Coast Parkway, Destin, FL 32541
If you know any other restaurants in Destin, Florida where kids eat free, please let us know by commenting below. We want to keep the list current and as complete as possible.
**All information has been verified as correct as of 07/07/16.**
Fort Walton Beach Restaurants Offering FREE Kids Meals
July 8, 2012 | admin
Are you looking for things to do in Destin FL? Maybe you are visiting for the first time, a regular visitor, or even a local, but there are plenty of things to do in Destin. Below is a list of popular things to do as well as a few “unique” and not so well known things to do in Destin, FL.
- Go to the beach. This is should be no surprise that going to the beach is the top attraction for Destin, FL. The beautiful white sands and the mesmerizing emerald green waters of the Gulf makes the Destin beach one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world.
- Experience Crab Island. In order to get to Crab Island, you must go by boat, jet ski, or by paddle board. This “island” is actually underwater, but only a few feet deep. Here, you find an experience unlike any other. There are hundreds and sometimes thousands of boats anchored in the knee deep water with people hanging out, listening to music, sunbathing on their boats, having a “few” drinks, and just generally enjoying themselves. There are food vendors, games, and often times live music. It’s a great experience. If you are visiting the area, you can very affordably rent a pontoon boat at Destin Harbor and be at Crab Island in just a matter of minutes. Don’t miss this experience! Check out these Crab Island photos.
- Go parasailing! Being lifted high into the air by a parasail while being pulled by a boat gives you a birds eye view of the beautiful Destin area. There’s nothing like the peace and tranquility you get while soaring through the air gawking at all the beauty that Destin offers. Prices are very reasonable and you can save money by doing a tandem ride with a buddy and splitting the cost of the experience.
- Try your luck at Deep Sea Fishing. Destin isn’t called the world’s luckiest fishing village for nothing. There are hundreds of charter boats in Destin Harbor that are ready to take you out into the deep blue to catch some Red Snapper, Grouper, Marlin, and many other great species of fish. Best of all, with a decent tip to the First Mate, all of your catch will be returned to you cleaned, filleted, and bagged for your freezer or your fresh meal that night! Whether you are an individual or you want to charter a whole boat for a group, both options are available.
- Dolphin Tour. There are several dolphin tour boats that will take you and your kids out for a few hours in search of dolphins. The crew is very good at knowing where to find dolphins. All of the dolphin tour companies are actually in communication with each other letting each vessel know where dolphins are located that day so no one leaves disappointed. Bring a camera, because you will have plenty of opportunities for photographs of dolphins jumping from the water. The tours will take you either in the Choctawhatchee Bay or into the Gulf, provided the waters in the Gulf are not too rough. Most of the boats also have a section of the boat with a glass bottom so you can look down into the waters and experience the beauty of the underwater world.
- Go scuba diving. If you are a certified scuba diver, the Destin area offers some great diving experiences. There are several ship wrecks to dive as well as plenty of man made reefs to dive to experience the marine life of the area. It’s easy to find a dive trip in Destin. Just contact a local dive shop and book a trip.
- Relax by the pool. Every condo and hotel in the Destin area is equipped with a pool. Sometimes vacation is just about slowing down from your normal everyday life and relaxing. Sitting by a pool, sipping on a daiquiri, pina colada, or a margarita is just what you need while you get your tan on. But be careful, because the Florida sun is strong, so use plenty of sunblock. Let the kids swim the day away in the pool and they will have no problem falling asleep that night.
- Eat Seafood. Yes, another great thing about vacation is splurging on great meals. Destin restaurants offer a wide variety of cuisines, including fresh Gulf seafood. Most of the restaurants use fresh catch straight off the fishing boats to prepare your scrumptious meals. You’ll definitely be able to taste the freshness of the fish.
- Paddle Boarding. If you want to try a new experience, try paddle boarding. There are many places to rent a paddle board for an hour. It’s a new way to experience the waters of Destin. See how your balance is and you’ll discover muscles in your body that you never new existed.
- Take in a movie. Back home in your busy life, you don’t often have time to just go to a theater and see a movie. Every day tasks such as work, kids activities, house work, and other obligations often eat up your time. While on vacation, you have nothing but time. So after you’ve had enough sun for the day, enjoy an evening at the movies. There are several great area movie theaters. If you want to experience a blast from the past, try an outdoor movie. There are many venues that offer free outdoor movies during the summer in the Destin area. Check out the Destin calendar of events to find out what’s being offered during your visit.
- Pamper yourself at Destin spas. Destin offers some great spas to help rejuvenate your skin, your muscles, and your spirit. Spend a little money on yourself and enjoy the pampering. There are tons of spas to choose from and you won’t be disappointed. Get that massage your back so desperately needs. It will help you relax more during your vacation.
- Catch a Destin Sunset. There’s nothing more beautiful than the sunsets in Destin. Hit the beach just before sunset for a great view or for the best view, see from a boat in the Gulf. The sunsets are amazing and represent the epitome of relaxation and awe. Checkout some of the pictures of Destin sunsets in our photo archive.
- Shopping. Destin offers world class shopping at Silver Sands Factory Outlets, touted as the nation’s largest designer outlet center or at Destin Commons, which offers upscale retail stores along with a Bass Pro Shop. Maybe you want to visit Santa Rosa Mall in Mary Esther, which is just a few short miles down the road from Destin. HarborWalk Village offers a unique shopping environment, as well, with plenty of specialty retail stores, restaurants, bars and clubs. There are thousands of specialty shops and known retail chains all throughout Destin, so bring your shopping legs.
- Get some adventure. Yes, like most beach towns, you can find thrill rides such as bungee jumping and high soaring sky swings. You’ve been wanting to try it, so here is your chance. If you want to opt for something not so “high,” test your driving at some of the area go cart tracks. Settle it right here and now and see if you or your spouse is the better driver. There are many kids activities, too, such as miniature golf, bumper boats, and many other kid friendly rides in Destin.
- Festivals. In the Destin and surrounding area, there are frequent festivals happening all the time. Just to name a few, there is the Billy Bowlegs Festival in Fort Walton Beach, the Destin Seafood Festival, and the Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival in Niceville. Check the Destin events calendar to find out what’s happening during your stay.
- Pirate Cruise. If you want a different experience, take a cruise on the Buccaneer. This Destin pirate ship offers entertainment for both adult and kids. The day cruises are more about entertaining families with children with water gun battles, sword fights, pirate tales, singing, dancing, treasure hunts, and more, while the nighttime cruises are for adults 21 and up. Skip the club one night and check out the Destin nightlife out at sea!
- Helicopter Tour. Thanks to the visitor who pointed this out in the comment below. What better way to get a bird’s eye view of the Emerald Coast, than take a helicopter ride. If the think the Emerald Coast is beautiful from the ground, imagine how it looks from the air. It’s breathtaking!
- Big Kahuna’s Water Park. Even thought the beaches in Destin are awesome, sometimes you just get your fill of the beach. That’s when it’s the perfect time to cool off at Big Kahuna’s Water Park in Destin, FL. There are over 40 slides including the Honolulu Half Pipe which is an opportunity for you to catch a wave. Even just watching is entertaining, but riding the wave on the continuous wave is unforgettable. Other attractions include a couple of lazy rivers, speed slides, wave pool, kids area (for the smaller children), food, and plenty of chairs for sunbathing.
- Night on the town. Destin has some great night clubs with some unique experiences. There’s something special about beach clubs and being in a nightclub atmosphere right on the beach in the open night air and hearing the crash of waves from the beach. There are many different Destin nightclubs to choose from, and you might decide to bar hop between a few of them. The nightlife in Destin is hot, so if you are visiting sans kids, you won’t be disappointed.
Destin, FL is a great family friendly environment with plenty of things to do. You’ll find that your week stay is just simply not enough time. Most visitors to Destin find themselves planning their next trip before they even leave from their fist visit. The beautiful environment, relaxed dress, laid-back lifestyle, and the world-class restaurants and lodging facilities makes Destin a top vacation destination. See you soon, and if you are like thousands of locals in the Destin area, you may find find yourself being a local before too long. We have thousands of now locals who moved here because of the beauty and the great lifestyle offered here. Happy travels!
July 1, 2012 | admin
These days, it’s really expensive to take your family of 4 to the movies. Be prepared to spend upwards of around $35 plus any concessions. However, several of our area theaters are offering FREE and $1 movies for children, and, of course for the adults as well. There is no catch. There are, however, a couple of rules of thumb to follow:
- These theaters are doing this at an extremely low cost or completely FREE so please support them by buying concessions, such as popcorn, candy, and drinks.
- Respect the theaters by throwing away your trash
- Respect other people by not talking, staying off your cell phone, and keeping your kids quiet. Just because the movie is free, doesn’t mean you should let your kids run wild or talk through the movie.
There are 3 area theaters that are offering movies. All movies start at 10:00 am. See the schedules for each theater below for the rest of the summer:
Regal United Artists Santa Rosa 10 – Mary Esther, FL
- 6/26 Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
- 6/27 Hugo
- 7/3 Adventures of Tin Tin
- 7/4 Puss in Boots
- 7/10 Kung Fu Panda 2
- 7/11 Rango
- 7/17 Rio
- 7/18 Spy Kids 4
- 7/24 Chimpanzee
- 7/25 Hoodwinked Too
- 7/31 Arthur Christmas
- 8/1 The Smurfs
Rave Cinemas – Destin, FL
- 6/25 & 6/28 Dolphin Tale
- 7/2 & 7/5 Shorts
- 7/9 & 7/12 Inkheart
- 7/16 & 7/19 Happy Feet
The Marquis Cinema – Crestview – FL
- 6/26 & 6/28: Cars 2 & Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
- 7/3 & 7/5: Rio & Journey 2
- 7/10 & 7/12: Ice Age 3 & Big Miracle
*Ice Age4 opens 7/13
- 7/17 & 7/19: Adventures of Tintin & Smurfs
- 7/24 & 7/26: Happy Feet Two & The Muppets
- 7/31 & 8/2: Secret World of Arietty & Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2
*Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3 opens 8/3
- 8/7 & 8/9: Puss n Boots & Yogi Bear
- 8/14 & 8/16: Kung Fu Panda 2 & Spy Kids 4
So go ahead and enjoy some of the summer by taking the kids out for a great family movie and beat the heat. All of the theaters begin the movies at 10:00 am. Be sure and thank the theaters, because it’s hard to get entertainment for free or just $1.00.
Do you know of other theaters along the Emerald Coast that aren’t mentioned in this article? If so, please comment below and let us know so we can be sure to include them.
June 25, 2012 | admin
If you are a visitor to the Destin – Fort Walton Beach, FL area, you have probably heard how the weather consists of warmth and sunshine. During the summer months, it is very common to have an afternoon rain shower which consists of a terrential downpour for about 20 minutes followed by sunshine. The rain is quickly dried up and you would barely be able to tell that it did rain unless you witnessed it for yourself. However, a couple of times per year, a storm will come through the area and it may rain the entire weekend. While this rain will keep you away from the beatiful beaches along the Emerald Coast of Florida and keep you from swimming at the pool at your condo or hotel, your visit doesnt have to be a complete loss. Below are several things to do in the Destin Fort Walton Beach area when it rains.
- Visit Silver Sands Factory Outlets.
- Check out the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. At this park, you can see shows with dolphins and sea lions and have encounters with many different species of marine animals..
- Take the kids to the Emerald Coast Science Center. This educational center allows you to learn all about the ins and outs of many different areas of science with many hands on displays. Learn about the human body, astronomy, and much more. .
- Go see the U.S. Air Force Armament Museum.
- Go shopping at Santa Rosa Mall in Mary Esther.
- Pamper yourself at one of the many spas along the Emerald Coast.
- Party the day and night away at some of the area beach clubs.
- See a show from Stage Crafters Community Theatre.
- Shop at Destin Commons, which is a collection of upscale and specialty stores as well as Bass Pro Shop.
- Visit Destin History and Fishing Museum. Here you can see award-winning fish which were caught locally, antique rod and reels, and a collecion of vintage photographs.
- If you want a blast from the past, take the kids skating at Fort Walton Beach Skating Center.
- Take the family bowling at one of the area’s bowling alleys.
- Go see a movie at one of many area theaters.
- Visit the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island. There are several restaurants, nightclubs, and beach specialty shops located here.
- Need I even mention to go out to eat? The area is jam packed with incredible Destin restaurants of all varieties.
With all of these things to do while it’s raining, be sure to take advantage of these attractions. Though, don’t be surprised if you see sunshine when you leave on these indoor attractions. Typically the rain showers come quickly and dissipate even quicker, so its rare that youll have a day that you can’t visit the beach or pool at all.
Things to do in Fort Walton Beach When It Rains
June 18, 2012 | admin