Things To Do In Destin For Families

Are you planning a family vacation to Destin? Look no further! This comprehensive guide will provide you with a detailed list of things to do in Destin that are perfect for families. From beautiful beaches to thrilling attractions, Destin offers a wide range of activities that will keep everyone entertained and create lasting memories.

Destin, located in the heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast, is renowned for its stunning white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. But there’s more to this charming destination than just sunbathing and swimming. Let’s dive into the top ten activities that are sure to make your family vacation in Destin unforgettable.

Spend a Day at Henderson Beach State Park

Henderson Beach State Park is a must-visit destination for families in Destin. This pristine park offers a variety of activities that cater to all ages. Start your day by exploring the park’s nature trails, where you can admire the native flora and fauna. The trails are well-maintained and suitable for all skill levels, making it a great option for families with young children.

After working up an appetite, head to one of the park’s picnic areas and enjoy a delicious outdoor meal surrounded by the beauty of nature. The park provides picnic tables and grills, so you can easily prepare a tasty barbecue feast.

Of course, the highlight of Henderson Beach State Park is its stunning beach. The powdery white sand and emerald-green waters make it an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles. The beach is equipped with facilities such as restrooms and showers, ensuring a comfortable experience for the whole family.

Nature Trails

Explore the park’s well-maintained nature trails and immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding environment. Keep an eye out for wildlife sightings, as the park is home to various species of birds and small animals.

Picnic Areas

Take advantage of the park’s designated picnic areas and enjoy a delicious outdoor meal with your family. The shaded picnic tables and available grills make it easy to have a memorable picnic experience.

Beach Activities

Spend quality time with your family on the park’s stunning beach. Swim in the crystal-clear waters, soak up the sun on the soft sand, or engage in friendly beach games. Don’t forget to bring your beach toys and umbrellas for added fun and comfort.

Discover Marine Life at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

For a unique and educational experience, head to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. This renowned attraction offers an up-close look at a variety of marine animals through interactive shows and exhibits.

Start your visit by attending one of the park’s captivating dolphin shows. Watch in awe as these intelligent creatures showcase their agility and intelligence through a series of tricks and acrobatics. You may even have the opportunity to interact with the dolphins and learn more about their behaviors and conservation efforts.

In addition to dolphins, the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is home to other fascinating marine species. Explore the park’s exhibits to see sea lions, seals, turtles, and various fish species. The informative displays provide valuable insights into these creatures’ habitats and conservation needs, making it an educational experience for the whole family.

Dolphin Shows

Be mesmerized by the incredible performances of dolphins in the park’s entertaining shows. Learn about their behaviors, intelligence, and the importance of their conservation.


Visit the park’s exhibits to see a wide range of marine animals up close. From sea lions to turtles, each exhibit offers valuable information about the creatures and their natural habitats.

Interactive Experiences

Enhance your visit by participating in interactive experiences, such as feeding sea turtles or sea lions. These unique opportunities allow you to get even closer to the marine animals and learn more about their care and well-being.

Embark on a Dolphin Cruise

Take your family on a thrilling adventure by embarking on a dolphin cruise. Destin’s waters are home to a vibrant dolphin population, and a cruise is the perfect way to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Board a comfortable boat and set sail on the Gulf of Mexico, accompanied by experienced guides who will provide valuable information about the dolphins and their behaviors. As you cruise along the coastline, keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins swimming alongside the boat, leaping out of the water, and putting on a show.

Many dolphin cruises also offer additional activities to enhance your experience. Some cruises provide opportunities for snorkeling or fishing, allowing you to explore Destin’s underwater world or try your hand at catching some fish. These cruises often provide all the necessary equipment, making it convenient for families.

Dolphin Spotting

Enjoy the excitement of spotting dolphins in their natural habitat. The guides on board will share their knowledge about these fascinating creatures while ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Snorkeling Adventures

Combine your dolphin cruise with a snorkeling adventure to explore the vibrant marine life beneath the surface. Discover colorful fish, coral reefs, and other fascinating underwater attractions as you snorkel in the clear waters of Destin.

Fishing Opportunities

Some dolphin cruises also offer fishing opportunities, allowing you to try your luck at catching fish in the abundant waters of Destin. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, the crew will provide guidance and assistance throughout the fishing excursion.

Visit the Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park

If you’re looking for a day full of excitement and thrills, head to Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park. This family-friendly amusement park offers a wide range of attractions that cater to all ages and preferences.

Start your adventure by plunging down exhilarating water slides. From steep drops to winding twists, these slides guarantee an adrenaline rush for the whole family. Whether you prefer a thrilling ride or a more relaxed experience, Big Kahuna’s has a slide for everyone.

If you’re in the mood for some friendly competition, head over to the park’s go-kart tracks. Race against your family members and see who can claim the title of the fastest driver. The tracks are designed to accommodate different skill levels, ensuring a fun experience for both kids and adults.

For a more leisurely experience, relax in the park’s lazy river or wave pool. Grab an inflatable tube and float along the gentle currents of the lazy river, taking in the beautiful surroundings. Alternatively, cool off in the wave pool, where you can ride the waves or simply relax on the poolside.

Water Slides

Embark on thrilling water slides that cater to all levels of adventure. From steep drops to twisting turns, these slides provide an adrenaline-pumping experience for the whole family.

Go-Kart Tracks

Challenge your family to a thrilling race on the park’s go-kart tracks. Experience the excitement of high-speed driving as you navigate the twists and turns of the tracks.

Lazy River and Wave Pool

Take a break from the adrenaline rush and enjoy a leisurely float down the lazy river or cool off in the wave pool. These relaxing attractions provide a refreshing escape from the heat.

Explore the Emerald Coast Science Center

For a fun and educational experience, visit the Emerald Coast Science Center. This interactive museum offers a variety of exhibits and activities that promote scientific curiosity and learning.

Start your exploration by visiting the center’s hands-on exhibits. Engage in interactive displays that cover a wide range of scientific topics, from physics and chemistry to biology and space exploration. These exhibits are designed to be both educational and entertaining, making them suitable for visitors of all ages.

One of the highlights of the Emerald Coast Science Center is its planetarium. Step inside and embark on a journey through the cosmos as you learn about the wonders of the universe. Sit back and marvel at the stunning visuals and informative presentations that will leave you in awe of the vastness of space.

In addition to exhibits, the center often hosts workshops and demonstrations that allow visitors to participate in hands-on activities and experiments. Check the center’s schedule to see if any special events or workshops align with your visit.

Hands-on Exhibits

Explore the center’s interactive exhibits and engage in hands-on activities that promote scientific learning. From experimenting with magnets to discovering the properties of light, these exhibits make science fun and accessible for all ages.

Planetarium Shows

Immerse yourself in the wonders of space with the center’s planetarium shows. Learn about the planets, stars, and galaxies while enjoying a captivating visual experience.

Workshops and Demonstrations

Participate in workshops and demonstrations that provide a deeper understanding of scientific concepts. From building simple machines to conducting chemistry experiments, these interactive sessions allow visitors to become active participants in the learning process.

Take a Fishing Charter

Destin is known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” and a fishing charter is the perfect way to experience the thrill of deep-sea fishing.

Embark on a fishing charter and set sail into the Gulf of Mexico in search of some of the most sought-after fish species. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice, the experienced captains and crew will ensure that you have an unforgettable fishing adventure.

Once aboard the charter boat, you’ll have access to top-of-the-line fishing equipment and gear. The crew will provide guidance on fishing techniques and help you bait your hooks. As you cast your lines, be prepared for the excitement of feeling a tug on the other end as you potentially hook a big catch.

The waters surrounding Destin are teeming with fish, including red snapper, grouper, amberjack, and king mackerel. The thrill of reeling in a trophy-sized fish is an experience that the whole family can enjoy. Not only will you have fun, but you’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the local marine ecosystem and conservation efforts from the knowledgeable crew members.

Fishing Equipment

Utilize the top-quality fishing equipment provided on the fishing charter. From rods and reels to bait and tackle, everything you need for a successful fishing expedition will be readily available.

Guidance from Experienced Crew

Benefit from the expertise of the experienced captains and crew members who will guide you throughout the fishing charter. They will share their knowledge of fishing techniques and help you maximize your chances of catching fish.

Marine Education

Engage in conversations with the crew members to learn more about the local marine ecosystem and the importance of sustainable fishing practices. Gain a deeper appreciation for the diverse marine life in the Gulf of Mexico.

Stroll Along the Destin Harbor Boardwalk

The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is a vibrant hub of activity and a perfect place for families to enjoy a leisurely stroll. This scenic boardwalk offers stunning views of the harbor and is lined with a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

As you walk along the boardwalk, take in the picturesque sights of fishing boats, luxury yachts, and colorful waterfront buildings. Admire the shimmering waters of the harbor and watch as the sunsets, casting a warm glow over the area.


Browse through the unique shops and boutiques that line the boardwalk. From beachwear and souvenirs to local artwork and jewelry, you’re sure to find something special to take home as a memento of your trip.


Indulge in a delicious meal at one of the waterfront restaurants. From freshly caught seafood to international cuisine, there’s a wide range of dining options to suit every taste. Enjoy your meal while soaking in the scenic views of the harbor.


Experience live music performances and street performers as you stroll along the boardwalk. The vibrant atmosphere and lively entertainment add to the overall enjoyment of this popular destination.

Have a Beach Day at Crab Island

Crab Island is a popular sandbar located just off the coast of Destin. This unique destination is accessible by boat and is perfect for a day of family fun in the sun.

Rent a pontoon boat and make your way to Crab Island, where you’ll find shallow, crystal-clear waters that are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The sandbar offers a safe and enjoyable environment for kids to splash around and build sandcastles, while adults can relax and soak up the sun.

Crab Island is also known for its floating restaurants and food vendors, where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a refreshing beverage. Don’t forget to try some of the local specialties, such as fresh seafood and tropical drinks.

Swimming and Snorkeling

Take a dip in the clear, shallow waters of Crab Island and cool off from the Florida sun. Snorkelers can explore the underwater world and discover colorful fish and marine life.

Beach Activities

Bring your beach toys and enjoy a day of building sandcastles, playing beach volleyball, or simply relaxing on the soft sand. The calm waters make it an ideal spot for kids to safely play in the water.

Floating Restaurants and Food Vendors

Indulge in a delicious meal or snack from one of the floating restaurants or food vendors at Crab Island. From fresh seafood to tropical drinks, there’s something to satisfy every craving.

Visit the Track Family Recreation Center

For a day filled with excitement and family-friendly activities, head to the Track Family Recreation Center. This amusement park offers a wide range of attractions that cater to all ages and interests.

Start your adventure by racing on the go-kart tracks. Whether you’re a speed demon or prefer a more leisurely ride, the tracks have options for everyone. Challenge your family members to a friendly race and see who can claim the title of the fastest driver.

After go-karting, try your hand at mini-golf on one of the park’s well-designed courses. Putt your way through challenging obstacles and enjoy the friendly competition with your family. The courses are suitable for all skill levels, making it a fun activity for everyone.

In addition to go-karts and mini-golf, the Track Family Recreation Center offers other exciting attractions such as bumper cars, bumper boats, and an arcade. Spend the day hopping from one activity to another, creating lasting memories with your loved ones.

Go-Kart Racing

Experience the thrill of go-kart racing on the well-maintained tracks. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced driver, the go-karts provide a fun and exhilarating experience for all.


Challenge your family to a round of mini-golf on the park’s intricately designed courses. Put your skills to the test as you navigate through challenging obstacles and aim for a hole-in-one.

Additional Attractions

Enjoy other exciting attractions such as bumper cars, bumper boats, and an arcade. The Track Family Recreation Center offers a variety of activities to keep the whole family entertained throughout the day.

Discover History at the Destin History and Fishing Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich maritime heritage of Destin by visiting the Destin History and Fishing Museum. This museum showcases the history and culture of the area’s fishing industry through exhibits and artifacts.

Explore the museum’s exhibits, which provide a comprehensive overview of Destin’s fishing heritage. Learn about the techniques used by early settlers and how the industry has evolved over the years. Discover the stories of fishermen who braved the treacherous waters of the Gulf of Mexico in search of a bountiful catch.

The museum also houses a collection of historic photographs and artifacts that offer a glimpse into the past. See antique fishing equipment, old photographs of the town, and displays that depict the daily lives of fishermen and their families.

Throughout the museum, you’ll find informative displays and interactive elements that engage visitors of all ages. Gain a deeper appreciation for the vital role fishing has played in shaping Destin’s history and culture.

Exhibits on Fishing Techniques

Learn about the different fishing techniques employed by early settlers and how they have evolved over time. The exhibits provide valuable insights into the challenges faced by fishermen and the tools they used.

Historic Photographs and Artifacts

View a collection of historic photographs and artifacts that showcase the history of Destin’s fishing industry. Gain a visual understanding of the town’s evolution and the lives of the people who contributed to its prosperity.

Interactive Displays

Engage with interactive displays that bring the history of Destin to life. From hands-on activities to multimedia presentations, these interactive elements make the museum visit enjoyable and educational for visitors of all ages.

Destin offers a plethora of family-friendly activities that cater to all interests. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, marine encounters, or educational experiences, this coastal paradise has it all. Plan your family trip to Destin today and create lifelong memories that your loved ones will cherish forever.

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