Best Things To Do In Destin Fl

Are you planning a trip to sunny Destin, FL and wondering what activities and attractions should be on your must-visit list? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the best things to do in Destin, ensuring that you have an unforgettable experience in this coastal paradise. From pristine beaches and thrilling water sports to delicious dining options and vibrant nightlife, Destin offers something for everyone. So, let’s dive in and explore the top highlights of this beautiful destination!

Relax on the Stunning Beaches

When you think of Destin, the first thing that comes to mind is its stunning beaches. Destin is renowned for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and powdery white sand, making it a beach lover’s dream come true. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful spot to bask in the sun or looking for a fun-filled day of beach activities, Destin has it all.

1. Crystal Beach:

Crystal Beach is a popular choice among visitors for its calm waters and family-friendly atmosphere. This stretch of beach offers ample space to set up your umbrella and enjoy a day of relaxation. Take a refreshing dip in the sparkling waters or build sandcastles with your little ones. Crystal Beach is also known for its picturesque sunsets, so make sure to bring your camera to capture the magical moments.

2. Henderson Beach State Park:

If you prefer a more secluded and natural beach experience, head to Henderson Beach State Park. This pristine coastal preserve boasts over a mile of unspoiled shoreline and offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in nature. Take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalks that wind through the sand dunes, or explore the nature trails that showcase the park’s diverse flora and fauna. With picnic areas and shaded pavilions, Henderson Beach State Park is the perfect spot for a beachside picnic with your loved ones.

3. James Lee Park Beach:

For those looking for a lively beach atmosphere with plenty of amenities, James Lee Park Beach is the place to be. This popular beach destination offers a range of facilities, including showers, restrooms, and beach chair rentals. Take a break from sunbathing and enjoy a game of beach volleyball or have a friendly competition on the beachside basketball courts. The beach also features a designated swimming area, ensuring that you can enjoy the water safely.

With its diverse range of beaches, Destin caters to every preference, whether you’re seeking tranquility or excitement. Spend your days soaking up the sun, building sandcastles, or simply watching the waves crash against the shore. The beaches of Destin will undoubtedly leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Embark on a Dolphin Cruise

One of the most popular activities in Destin is embarking on a dolphin cruise. Prepare to be mesmerized as you witness these graceful creatures frolicking in their natural habitat. Hop aboard a boat specially designed for dolphin watching and let the experienced crew guide you to the best spots for dolphin sightings.

1. Cobia Cruise:

The Cobia Cruise is a favorite among visitors, offering an unforgettable experience of dolphin encounters. This cruise takes you along the scenic coastline of Destin, where you’ll have the opportunity to see dolphins swimming alongside the boat. Marvel at their acrobatic displays as they jump and play in the wake. The knowledgeable guides provide insightful commentary about these fascinating creatures, ensuring an educational experience for all.

2. Sunset Dolphin Cruise:

For a magical experience, consider taking a sunset dolphin cruise. As the sun paints the sky with hues of orange and pink, watch as dolphins gracefully swim in the golden light. The calmness of the evening combined with the beauty of nature creates a serene atmosphere that is truly captivating. Capture this breathtaking moment as you sail into the sunset, surrounded by these majestic creatures.

3. Private Dolphin Charter:

If you’re looking for a more intimate and personalized experience, opt for a private dolphin charter. Charter a boat with your family or friends and have the entire vessel to yourselves. Enjoy the flexibility of customizing your itinerary and spending as much time as you desire observing and interacting with the dolphins. This exclusive experience allows for a deeper connection with these magnificent creatures, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Embarking on a dolphin cruise in Destin offers an incredible opportunity to witness these intelligent creatures in their natural environment. Whether you choose a guided tour or a private charter, the experience of seeing dolphins up close will leave you with a sense of wonder and appreciation for the beauty of nature.

Explore Henderson Beach State Park

If you’re looking to connect with nature and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Destin, a visit to Henderson Beach State Park is a must. This coastal preserve spans over 6,000 feet of pristine shoreline and provides visitors with a unique opportunity to explore untouched landscapes.

1. Nature Trails:

Embark on a journey through the park’s nature trails and discover the diverse ecosystems that thrive in this coastal region. Walk among towering sand dunes and observe the unique plant species that have adapted to the sandy environment. Keep an eye out for the native wildlife that calls the park home, including birds, butterflies, and even the occasional deer.

2. Picnic Areas:

Henderson Beach State Park offers several designated picnic areas, perfect for enjoying a meal surrounded by nature. Pack a picnic basket with your favorite treats and find a shady spot beneath the towering pines. Listen to the soothing sound of the waves as you savor your meal and take in the panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico.

3. Camping:

For a truly immersive experience, consider camping at Henderson Beach State Park. Wake up to the sound of waves crashing and enjoy the breathtaking sunrise over the glistening waters. The park offers both tent and RV camping options, ensuring that you can spend a night under the stars in the comfort of your choice.

Exploring Henderson Beach State Park is a journey of discovery and tranquility. Whether you choose to hike the nature trails, have a picnic, or spend a night camping, this coastal gem will leave you feeling connected to nature and rejuvenated.

Indulge in Water Sports

Destin is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, offering a wide range of thrilling activities that allow you to make the most of its stunning coastal location. From jet skiing to paddleboarding, there’s an adventure for everyone.

1. Jet Skiing:

Feel the adrenaline rush as you hop on a jet ski and zoom across the pristine waters of Destin. Rent a jet ski from one of the many rental companies in the area and explore the coastline at your own pace. Admire the panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico as you ride the waves and experience the thrill of freedom on the open water.

2. Parasailing:

For a bird’s-eye view of Destin’s breathtaking beauty, try parasailing. Strap into a harness, and as the boat accelerates, feel the wind in your hair as you soar high above the glittering waters. Take in the panoramic views of the coastline and marvel at the vastness of the ocean below. This exhilarating activity is a must for adrenaline junkies and those seeking a unique perspective of Destin.

3. Paddleboarding:

Get in touch with your inner Zen as you glide across the calm waters of Destin on a paddleboard. This activity combines balance, strength, and tranquility, allowing you to explore the coastal scenery at a leisurely pace. Whether you choose to paddle along the beach or venture into the picturesque coves, paddleboarding offers a peaceful and immersive experience.

These are just a few examples of the thrilling water sports available in Destin. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced adventurer, there’s an activity for every skill level. Embrace the water and create unforgettable memories as you engage in these exciting water sports.

Visit the Destin Harbor Boardwalk

The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is a vibrant hub of entertainment, dining, and shopping. Located in the heart of Destin, this bustling waterfront area is a must-visit for those seeking a lively atmosphere and a taste of the local culture.

1. Waterfront Dining:

Indulge your taste buds with a visit to one of the many waterfront restaurants along the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. From fresh seafood to international cuisine, there’s a culinary delight to suit every palate. Savor your meal while enjoying panoramic views of the harbor, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of dolphins swimming by.

2. Unique Shops:

Browse through the unique boutiques and specialty shops that line the boardwalk. Discover one-of-a-kind souvenirs, locally made crafts, and fashionable clothing. From beachwear to artwork, the shops offer a diverse range of items, allowing you to find the perfect memento of your time in Destin.

3. Live Entertainment:

The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is a hub of entertainment, with live music and performances often taking center stage. Sit back and enjoy the sounds of talented local musicians as they serenade you with their melodies. The lively atmosphereof the boardwalk creates the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable evening of entertainment.

4. Fishing Charters:

For those looking to try their hand at fishing, the Destin Harbor Boardwalk is the gateway to an incredible fishing experience. Book a fishing charter and set sail with experienced captains who will guide you to the best fishing spots in the area. Whether you’re a novice angler or an experienced fisherman, the thrill of reeling in a big catch will leave you with a sense of accomplishment and a story to share.

The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is a lively hub that offers a little something for everyone. Whether you’re in the mood for a delicious meal, a shopping spree, live entertainment, or a fishing adventure, this vibrant area will not disappoint.

Discover the Emerald Coast Science Center

Perfect for families and science enthusiasts, the Emerald Coast Science Center offers a hands-on learning experience that is both educational and entertaining. Located in Fort Walton Beach, just a short drive from Destin, this interactive museum is a must-visit for those seeking a deeper understanding of the world around us.

1. Interactive Exhibits:

Step into a world of scientific discovery as you explore the interactive exhibits at the Emerald Coast Science Center. From the wonders of physics and chemistry to the mysteries of space and technology, there’s something to pique the curiosity of visitors of all ages. Engage in hands-on experiments, interactive displays, and educational demonstrations that bring science to life.

2. Animal Encounters:

Get up close and personal with fascinating creatures at the Emerald Coast Science Center’s animal encounters. Learn about local wildlife and their habitats through engaging presentations and interactive experiences. From reptiles and amphibians to birds of prey, these encounters provide a unique opportunity to appreciate the diversity of the natural world.

3. Science Workshops:

Enhance your scientific knowledge by participating in one of the science workshops offered at the Emerald Coast Science Center. These workshops cover a wide range of topics and provide participants with the opportunity to delve deeper into specific areas of interest. Learn about robotics, environmental conservation, or even participate in a chemistry experiment. These workshops are designed to inspire curiosity and ignite a passion for learning.

The Emerald Coast Science Center is a place where learning is fun and interactive. It offers a unique opportunity for visitors to engage with science in a hands-on and immersive way, making it a must-visit destination for families and science enthusiasts in the Destin area.

Shop at Destin Commons

If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, head to Destin Commons, an open-air shopping center that offers a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Whether you’re looking for the latest fashion trends, unique gifts, or simply want to enjoy a leisurely day of browsing, Destin Commons has it all.

1. Brand Name Stores:

Destin Commons is home to a variety of well-known brand name stores, making it a shopping haven for those looking for the latest fashion trends and designer labels. From clothing and accessories to footwear and beauty products, you’ll find a wide selection of options to choose from. Explore stores such as H&M, Sephora, and Victoria’s Secret for a truly satisfying shopping experience.

2. Local Boutiques:

For a more unique and personalized shopping experience, make sure to visit the local boutiques at Destin Commons. These independently owned stores offer a curated selection of clothing, jewelry, home decor, and more. Discover one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect the local style and craftsmanship, and support local businesses while you shop.

3. Dining and Entertainment:

After a day of shopping, take a break and indulge in delicious cuisine at one of the many dining options available at Destin Commons. From casual eateries to fine dining restaurants, there’s a culinary delight to suit every taste. After your meal, catch a movie at the state-of-the-art theater or enjoy live entertainment at the outdoor amphitheater.

Destin Commons is more than just a shopping center; it’s a vibrant destination where you can shop, dine, and be entertained. With its diverse range of stores and entertainment options, it’s the perfect place to spend a day exploring and indulging in the best that Destin has to offer.

Take a Fishing Charter

Known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” Destin offers incredible fishing opportunities for both seasoned anglers and beginners. Embark on a fishing charter and set sail on the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico for an unforgettable fishing adventure.

1. Deep-Sea Fishing:

Experience the thrill of deep-sea fishing as you venture into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Join a deep-sea fishing charter and let the experienced captains guide you to the best fishing spots where you’ll have the opportunity to catch a variety of fish, including snapper, grouper, and even marlin. The deep-sea fishing experience in Destin is renowned for its abundance of fish and the excitement it offers anglers of all levels.

2. Inshore Fishing:

If you prefer a calmer fishing experience, consider an inshore fishing charter. Explore the bays, rivers, and estuaries surrounding Destin, where you’ll have the opportunity to catch species such as redfish, trout, and flounder. Inshore fishing is a great option for families and those looking to enjoy a more relaxed fishing outing.

3. Bottom Fishing:

For those looking to reel in some impressive catches, bottom fishing is a popular choice. Drop your line to the bottom of the ocean floor and try your luck at catching species such as snapper, grouper, and amberjack. Bottom fishing charters provide all the necessary equipment and guidance to ensure a successful and fulfilling fishing experience.

Embarking on a fishing charter in Destin is not just about the thrill of reeling in a big catch; it’s about immersing yourself in the rich fishing culture of the area and experiencing the natural beauty of the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, a fishing charter in Destin is an adventure you won’t want to miss.

Savor Fresh Seafood Delights

No visit to Destin is complete without indulging in the freshest seafood the region has to offer. With its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, Destin is renowned for its abundant seafood options, from succulent shrimp to mouthwatering crab legs.

1. Seafood Restaurants:

Destin is home to numerous seafood restaurants that specialize in serving the freshest catches of the day. From traditional seafood boils to gourmet seafood dishes, you’ll find a variety of options to satisfy your cravings. Enjoy your meal with a view of the Gulf of Mexico, as many seafood restaurants offer waterfront dining options.

2. Oyster Bars:

For oyster lovers, Destin is the perfect destination. Visit one of the oyster bars in the area and indulge in a variety of oyster dishes, from freshly shucked oysters on the half shell to oyster po’ boys. Pair your oysters with a cold beer or a glass of wine for a truly satisfying culinary experience.

3. Local Seafood Markets:

If you prefer to prepare your own seafood feast, visit one of the local seafood markets in Destin. These markets offer a wide selection of fresh seafood, including fish, shrimp, crab, and more. Choose your favorite seafood and take it back to your accommodation to cook up a delicious meal in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Indulging in fresh seafood in Destin is a gastronomic delight that allows you to savor the flavors of the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you choose to dine at a seafood restaurant or prepare your own seafood feast, the culinary experience in Destin is sure to leave you craving for more.

Experience Nightlife in Destin

When the sun sets, Destin comes alive with vibrant nightlife options. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away, enjoy live music, or simply relax with a cocktail, Destin offers a variety of venues to suit every preference.

1. Beachfront Clubs:

Experience the energetic atmosphere of beachfront clubs in Destin, where you can dance the night away to the latest beats. Enjoy live DJs, vibrant light shows, and a lively crowd as you let loose and create unforgettable memories. Dance under the stars and feel the sand beneath your feet as you revel in the energetic nightlife scene.

2. Waterfront Bars:

For a more laid-back evening, visit one of the waterfront bars in Destin. Enjoy live music as you sip on refreshing cocktails and take in the panoramic views of the harbor. With a relaxed ambiance and a diverse range of beverages, waterfront bars provide the perfect setting for a memorable night out.

3. Jazz Lounges:

If you’re a fan of smooth tunes and a sophisticated atmosphere, Destin’s jazz lounges are the place to be. Sit back and relax as talented musicians serenade you with their melodic performances. Savor a glass of wine or a craft cocktail as you immerse yourself in the soulful sounds of jazz.

Destin’s nightlife scene offers something for everyone, whether you’re in the mood for high-energy dancing, live music, or a laid-back evening of jazz. Whatever your preference, the vibrant nightlife in Destin ensures that your evenings are as memorable as your days spent exploring the city.

In conclusion, Destin, FL offers a wealth of activities and attractions that cater to all interests. From relaxing on the stunning beaches to embarking on dolphin cruises and exploring nature preserves, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Thrill-seekers can indulge in a variety of water sports, while those seeking a cultural experience can visit museums and immerse themselves in the local arts scene. The shopping, dining, and nightlife options in Destin provide endless opportunities for entertainment and relaxation.

Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a trip with friends, Destin is a destination that will leave you with lasting memories. So, pack your bags, put on your sunscreen, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in this coastal paradise. Discover the best things to do in Destin, and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Related video of Best Things To Do In Destin FL: Ultimate Guide for a Memorable Vacation

Also Read