Family Things To Do In Destin Fl

Are you planning a family vacation to the beautiful beaches of Destin, Florida? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the top family-friendly activities and attractions that Destin has to offer. From exciting water sports to educational museums, there is something for everyone in this vibrant coastal city. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable family adventure!

Exploring the Stunning Beaches

Dive into the crystal-clear waters and build sandcastles on the pristine white sandy beaches of Destin. The beaches in Destin are known for their beauty and tranquility, making them the perfect place for families to relax and create lasting memories. Whether you prefer lounging under an umbrella or playing beach volleyball, there is no shortage of activities to enjoy.

Building Sandcastles

One of the most beloved beach activities for families is building sandcastles. Let your creativity soar as you sculpt impressive structures in the sand. The soft, powdery sand in Destin is perfect for creating intricate designs and towering sandcastles. Don’t forget to bring your bucket and shovel!

Beach Picnics

Another great way to enjoy the beaches of Destin is by having a beach picnic. Pack a delicious lunch and spread out a blanket on the sand. Bask in the warm sun while indulging in your favorite snacks and spending quality time with your loved ones. The beach provides a picturesque backdrop for a memorable picnic experience.

Beach Games and Sports

If your family loves staying active, the beaches of Destin offer a wide range of games and sports to enjoy. Play a game of beach volleyball, throw a frisbee, or fly a kite. The open space and soft sand create the perfect playground for outdoor activities. Get your family involved and have friendly competitions to add an extra level of excitement.

Dolphin Watching Tours

Embark on an exciting dolphin watching tour and witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. These tours offer a unique opportunity for your family to get up close and personal with dolphins, creating a truly memorable experience for all. Destin is home to a thriving dolphin population, and these tours provide the perfect opportunity to observe them in their natural environment.

The Dolphin Encounter

One of the most popular dolphin watching tours in Destin is the Dolphin Encounter. This tour takes you on a journey through the Gulf of Mexico, where you can observe dolphins swimming and playing in their natural habitat. Some tours even offer the opportunity to interact with the dolphins, allowing you and your family to create unforgettable memories.

Dolphin Research Eco-Tour

If you’re interested in learning more about dolphins and their behaviors, the Dolphin Research Eco-Tour is the perfect choice. Led by marine biologists, this tour combines education and adventure. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in dolphin research activities, such as photo identification and data collection. It’s a unique experience that will deepen your understanding of these incredible creatures.

Sunset Dolphin Cruises

For a romantic and memorable experience, consider taking a sunset dolphin cruise. These cruises allow you to admire the breathtaking sunset while watching dolphins frolic in the waters. The golden hues of the setting sun provide a stunning backdrop for an unforgettable family outing. Capture photos of the dolphins as they playfully leap through the waves.

Deep-Sea Fishing

For the adventure-seeking family, a deep-sea fishing trip is a must. Destin is known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” offering abundant opportunities to catch a variety of fish species. Enjoy a day on the water, bonding with your loved ones and reeling in the big catch!

Charter Fishing Trips

Destin is home to a wide range of fishing charters that cater to families. These charters provide all the necessary equipment and expertise, ensuring a successful and enjoyable fishing experience. The experienced captains will guide you to the best fishing spots and teach you proper fishing techniques. It’s a great opportunity for your family to learn and bond while enjoying the thrill of reeling in fish.

Fish Species to Catch

Destin’s waters are teeming with a variety of fish species, offering a thrilling fishing experience for all. Some popular species to target include red snapper, grouper, amberjack, and king mackerel. Each fish presents its own unique challenge, and catching one will provide a sense of accomplishment for the whole family. Don’t forget to capture a photo with your prized catch!

Fishing Competitions

If your family loves a little friendly competition, consider participating in a fishing tournament. Destin hosts several fishing competitions throughout the year, ranging from small-scale events to large-scale tournaments. Joining a tournament adds an extra level of excitement and camaraderie to your fishing adventure. Compete against other anglers and see who can catch the biggest fish!

Visit the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Take your family on an exciting journey to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. This interactive marine park features live animal shows, exhibits, and educational programs, allowing you to learn about and interact with marine life like never before.

Live Animal Shows

The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park offers a variety of live animal shows that are both entertaining and educational. Watch as dolphins perform acrobatic stunts, sea lions showcase their agility, and penguins waddle around the stage. These shows provide a unique opportunity for your family to learn about marine life while being entertained by their incredible abilities.

Interactive Exhibits

Explore the interactive exhibits at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park and get up close to marine animals. Touch tanks allow you to feel the slimy skin of a stingray or the rough texture of a sea star. Learn about different species of fish, sharks, and turtles through informative displays. The hands-on nature of these exhibits makes learning about marine life engaging and memorable.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours

For an exclusive experience, consider participating in a behind-the-scenes tour at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. These tours take you backstage and provide a glimpse into the daily operations of the park. You’ll have the opportunity to meet the trainers, feed the animals, and learn about the care and conservation efforts taken to protect marine life.

Explore the Henderson Beach State Park

Immerse yourself in nature at the Henderson Beach State Park. This park offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and a mile of pristine shoreline. It’s the perfect spot for a family picnic or a leisurely stroll while taking in the breathtaking views.

Hiking Trails

Henderson Beach State Park features several hiking trails that wind through the park’s natural landscapes. Explore the diverse ecosystems, including sand dunes, coastal scrub, and pine forests. Spot native wildlife, such as birds, turtles, and even the occasional deer. The trails offer a peaceful and scenic escape from the bustling beaches.

Picnic Areas

Enjoy a family picnic at one of the designated picnic areas within the park. Set up a blanket or utilize the picnic tables provided. Breathe in the fresh coastal air and savor a delicious meal while surrounded by the beauty of nature. The park offers a serene and picturesque setting for a memorable outdoor dining experience.


Take a leisurely stroll along the mile-long shoreline of Henderson Beach State Park and go beachcombing. Discover seashells, sand dollars, and other treasures that wash ashore. The quiet and unspoiled beach provides the perfect backdrop for a peaceful and relaxing walk. Let your children’s imaginations run wild as they search for unique shells and marine artifacts.

Discover the Emerald Coast Science Center

Fuel your family’s curiosity by visiting the Emerald Coast Science Center. With hands-on exhibits and interactive displays, this science center provides a fun and educational experience for children of all ages.

Hands-On Exhibits

The Emerald Coast Science Center features a wide range of hands-on exhibits that encourage children to explore and discover the wonders of science. From building structures with blocks to experimenting with electricity, there is no shortage of interactive activities to engage young minds. Let your children’s curiosity guide them as they learn about physics, chemistry, and more.

Planetarium Shows

Step into the planetarium at the Emerald Coast Science Center and embark on a journey through the cosmos. Watch as the night sky comes alive with stars, planets, and galaxies. Planetarium shows provide a mesmerizing experience that will ignite your family’s imagination and deepen their understanding of the universe.

Science Workshops

Participate in science workshops offered by the Emerald Coast Science Center. These workshops provide a more in-depth exploration of various scientific concepts. From dissecting specimens to conducting chemistry experiments, your family can delve into the world of science under the guidance of knowledgeable instructors. It’s a hands-on learning experience that will leave a lasting impression.

Enjoy Water Sports

From paddleboarding and kayaking to jet skiing and parasailing, Destin offers a wide range of water sports activities for the whole family to enjoy.


Try your hand at paddleboarding, a popular water sport that combines balance, strength, and tranquility. Stand on a paddleboard and use a paddle to navigate through the calm waters of Destin. Enjoy the peacefulness of gliding across the surface while taking in the stunning coastal views. Paddleboarding is suitable for all ages and skill levels, making it a great activity for the whole family to enjoy together.


Explore the waterways of Destin by kayaking through its picturesque bays and estuaries. Rent a kayak and paddle at your own pace, immersing yourself in the serene natural surroundings. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as birds, dolphins, and even manatees as you navigate through the mangrove forests. Kayaking is a fantastic way to connect with nature and create shared memories with your family.

Jet Skiing

If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, jet skiing is the perfect water sport for you. Hop on a jet ski and zoom across the waves, feeling the wind in your hair and the spray of the sea on your face. Destin’s clear waters and open expanses provide the ideal playground for jet skiing adventures. Enjoy the thrill of speed and maneuverability as you explore the coastal waters with your family.


For a truly exhilarating experience, take to the skies with parasailing. Strap into a harness, attach to a parachute, and be lifted into the air by a speedboat. As you soar above the water, take in breathtaking panoramic views of Destin’s coastline. Parasailing offers a unique perspective and a sense of freedom as you glide through the sky with your loved ones.

Visit the Destin History and Fishing Museum

Dive into the rich history of Destin at the Destin History and Fishing Museum. This museum showcases the heritage and culture of the city, including its early fishing industry and the development of the coastal community.

Early Fishing Industry Exhibits

Explore exhibits that depict the early days of Destin’s fishing industry. Learn about the techniques and tools used by the first fishermen who settled in the area. See firsthand how fishing played a significant role in shaping the community and its economy. Discover the stories of the brave men and women who made their living from the sea.

Artifacts and Memorabilia

The Destin History and Fishing Museum houses a collection of artifacts and memorabilia that offer a glimpse into the past. View photographs, equipment, and personal belongings of those who contributed to the growth of Destin. These items provide a tangible connection to the city’s history and allow visitors to imagine what life was like in the early days.

Interactive Displays

Engage with interactive displays that bring the history of Destin to life. Try your hand at tying fishing knots, test your knowledge of marine life, or listen to oral histories from local fishermen. The interactive elements of the museum make learning about the past enjoyable and accessible for visitors of all ages.

Take a Pirate Cruise

Ahoy, mateys! Hop aboard a pirate cruise and set sail on a swashbuckling adventure. These themed cruises offer entertainment, treasure hunts, and pirate-themed activities that will thrill the entire family.

Pirate Ship Experience

Climb aboard a pirate ship and become part of the crew. Dress up in pirate attire, learn pirate lingo, and participate in interactive pirate shows. Engage in sword fights, search for hidden treasures, and even fire water cannons. The pirate ship experience allows your family to immerse themselves in a world of adventure and imagination.

Treasure Hunts

Embark on a treasure hunt and follow clues to find hidden loot. Solve riddles, decipher maps, and work together as a team to uncover the pirate’s treasure. The excitement and anticipation of discovering the hidden prize will keep your family engaged and entertained throughout the cruise.

Pirate Themed Activities

Participate in a variety of pirate-themed activities that cater to all ages. Learn the art of knot tying, create pirate crafts, or engage in pirate storytelling. The pirate cruise provides a range of interactive experiences that will leave your family with cherished memories of their time spent as swashbuckling adventurers.

Indulge in Local Cuisine

Treat your taste buds to the flavors of Destin by exploring its vibrant culinary scene. From fresh seafood to mouthwatering desserts, the city offers a variety of dining options that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters in your family.

Fresh Seafood Restaurants

Destin is renowned for its fresh seafood, and there is no shortage of restaurants that specialize in serving the catch of the day. Indulge in succulent shrimp, delectable crab legs, or perfectly grilled fish. Many seafood restaurants offer waterfront dining, allowing you to enjoy your meal while taking in the scenic views of the Gulf Coast.

Beachside Cafes

For a casual and laid-back dining experience, visit one of the beachside cafes in Destin. These charming establishments offer a range of menu options, from burgers and sandwiches to salads and wraps. Enjoy your meal with your toes in the sand, relishing the relaxed beach atmosphere and the sound of crashing waves.

Sweet Treats and Desserts

Finish off your culinary adventure by indulging in the sweet treats and desserts that Destin has to offer. From ice cream parlors to bakeries, there are plenty of options to satisfy your sweet tooth. Treat your family to homemade ice cream, freshly baked pastries, or decadent cakes and pies. It’s the perfect way to end a day of exploring and creating memories.

In conclusion, Destin, FL, is the perfect destination for a memorable family vacation. With its stunning beaches, thrilling water sports, educational museums, and delicious cuisine, there is no shortage of activities to keep the whole family entertained. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in this coastal paradise!

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