Emerald Coast HUB
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Things To Do in Destin FL
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!
- 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.
- 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!