Top Things To Do In Destin Florida

Welcome to the beautiful city of Destin, Florida! Known for its stunning white sand beaches and crystal-clear emerald waters, this coastal paradise offers a wide range of exciting activities and attractions. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, or someone looking to relax and unwind, Destin has something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the top things to do in Destin, ensuring an unforgettable experience during your visit.

From exploring breathtaking state parks to indulging in delicious seafood, here are the must-see and must-do activities that make Destin one of the most sought-after destinations in Florida.

Discover the Pristine Beaches

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Destin’s renowned beaches. With their powdery white sand and turquoise waters, these beaches offer the perfect setting for relaxation and sunbathing. Whether you choose to soak up the sun at Henderson Beach State Park or enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Crab Island, a day at the beach is a must during your visit to Destin.

1. Henderson Beach State Park

Located on the eastern edge of Destin, Henderson Beach State Park is a natural gem offering over 6,000 feet of pristine shoreline. Take a leisurely stroll along the sugar-white sand, or set up a beach umbrella and enjoy a picnic with family and friends. The park also features nature trails, a playground, and picnic pavilions, providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation.

2. Crab Island

Crab Island is a unique sandbar located just off the coast of Destin. This submerged island is a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. Hop on a boat or a water taxi and make your way to Crab Island, where you can swim, float on inflatable rafts, or play beach games in the shallow, crystal-clear waters. Don’t forget to grab a refreshing drink from one of the floating food and beverage vendors!

Embark on a Fishing Adventure

Destin is often referred to as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” due to its abundant marine life. Book a fishing charter and experience the thrill of reeling in trophy fish such as red snapper, grouper, or even a marlin. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, the deep-sea fishing opportunities in Destin are unparalleled.

1. Deep-Sea Fishing Charters

Set sail on a deep-sea fishing charter and venture into the Gulf of Mexico’s rich fishing grounds. Professional captains and crews will guide you to the best spots, providing all the necessary equipment and expertise. Whether you’re targeting bottom fish like snapper and grouper or trolling for pelagic species like mahi-mahi and tuna, a fishing charter in Destin promises an exhilarating adventure on the high seas.

2. Destin Harbor Fishing

If you prefer a more laid-back fishing experience, try your luck at Destin Harbor. Rent a fishing rod and cast your line from the harbor pier, jetties, or docks. The harbor is teeming with a variety of fish species, including redfish, flounder, and sheepshead. Enjoy the stunning views of the harbor while waiting for a nibble, and don’t forget to capture your catch with a memorable photo!

Explore the Gulf Islands National Seashore

Venture beyond Destin and discover the natural wonders of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. This unspoiled stretch of coastline offers pristine beaches, hiking trails, and opportunities for birdwatching. Take a scenic drive along Santa Rosa Island or embark on a kayaking adventure through the picturesque waterways.

1. Santa Rosa Island

Explore the breathtaking beauty of Santa Rosa Island, a barrier island located just east of Destin. This part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore boasts stunning white sand beaches, dunes, and vibrant coastal ecosystems. Take a leisurely drive along the Santa Rosa Island scenic byway, stopping at various access points to soak in the panoramic views and dip your toes in the emerald waters.

2. Kayaking Adventures

For a more immersive experience, rent a kayak and explore the tranquil waterways of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Paddle through the intricate network of bays, bayous, and marshes, observing a diverse array of wildlife along the way. Keep an eye out for dolphins, sea turtles, and a variety of bird species that call this pristine coastal habitat home.

Indulge in Water Sports

For those seeking adrenaline-pumping activities, Destin offers an array of water sports. Try your hand at jet skiing, paddleboarding, or parasailing, and enjoy breathtaking views of the coastline from a different perspective. With its calm waters and excellent weather conditions, Destin is the perfect playground for water enthusiasts.

1. Jet Skiing

Feel the thrill of gliding across the water on a jet ski. Rent a jet ski and explore the scenic coastline at your own pace. Whether you prefer a leisurely cruise or an exhilarating ride, jet skiing in Destin guarantees an unforgettable experience. Admire the stunning shoreline, spot marine life, and feel the refreshing spray of the ocean as you zip through the waves.

2. Paddleboarding

Engage your core muscles and enjoy a peaceful paddleboarding session in the calm waters of Destin. Rent a paddleboard and navigate the tranquil bays and bayous, exploring hidden coves and mangrove forests. Stand tall on your board and take in the scenic beauty surrounding you, or challenge yourself with yoga poses on the water for a truly unique experience.

Visit the Destin Harbor Boardwalk

Head to the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, a vibrant hub of entertainment, dining, and shopping. Stroll along the promenade, browse the local boutiques, and treat yourself to fresh seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants. Don’t miss the chance to witness a stunning sunset while sipping on a refreshing cocktail.

1. Waterfront Dining

Indulge in a culinary delight at one of the many waterfront restaurants along the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. Enjoy freshly caught seafood dishes while overlooking the picturesque harbor. From succulent shrimp and oysters to perfectly grilled fish, the local seafood scene in Destin is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.

2. Live Entertainment

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Destin Harbor Boardwalk with its live entertainment options. Enjoy live music performances by local bands, street performers showcasing their talents, or even fireworks displays during special events. The boardwalk comes alive in the evenings, offering a lively and memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Take a Dolphin Cruise

Embark on an unforgettable dolphin cruise and get up close and personal with these majestic creatures. Witness their playful antics as they swim alongside the boat, creating memories that will last a lifetime. This family-friendly activity is a favorite among visitors of all ages.

1. Dolphin-Watching Tours

Join a guided dolphin-watching tour and set sail in search of these intelligent marine mammals. Knowledgeable guides will share interesting facts about the dolphins’ behavior and habitat, ensuring an educational and entertaining experience. Watch as the dolphins leap and frolic in their natural environment, providing a captivating show for all onboard.

2. Sunset Dolphin Cruises

Combine the beauty of a Destin sunset with a dolphin-watching experience on a sunset cruise. Sail along the coast, marvel at the vibrant colors painting the sky, and witness dolphins silhouetted against the stunning backdrop. Capture breathtaking photos of the sunset and create cherished memories as you bond with your loved ones during this magical excursion.

Explore the Destin History and Fishing Museum

Delve into the rich history and heritage of Destin at the Destin History and Fishing Museum. Learn about the city’s early settlers, the thriving fishing industry, and the impact of hurricanes. The museum’s exhibits and artifacts provide a fascinating glimpse into Destin’s past.

1. Early Settlers and Native Americans

Discover the stories of the early settlers who shaped Destin’s history and the Native American tribes who once inhabited the area. Explore exhibits featuring artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that highlight the challenges and triumphs of these communities. Gain a deeper understanding of Destin’s cultural heritage and its evolution over time.

2. Fishing Heritage

Learn about the fishing industry that has played a vital role in Destin’s development. Discover the techniques, tools, and vessels used by fishermen throughout history. Engage with exhibits that showcase the various fish species found in the Gulf of Mexico and the economic impact of fishing on the local community. Gain an appreciation for the hard work and dedication of those who have made a living from the sea.

Tee Off at World-Class Golf Courses

Destin is renowned for its championship golf courses, attracting golf enthusiasts from around the world. With meticulously designed fairways and breathtaking views, playing a round of golf in Destin is a golfer’s dream come true.

1. Regatta Bay Golf andYacht Club

Regatta Bay Golf and Yacht Club is a premier golf destination in Destin, offering a challenging and picturesque 18-hole course. Designed by renowned architect Robert C. Walker, this championship course features meticulously manicured fairways, undulating greens, and water hazards that add both beauty and difficulty to the game. Tee off amidst stunning surroundings and enjoy a round of golf that will test your skills and provide a memorable experience.

2. Kelly Plantation Golf Club

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Kelly Plantation Golf Club, an exquisite golf course situated along the Choctawhatchee Bay. Designed by architect Fred Couples and Gene Bates, this 18-hole masterpiece offers breathtaking views of the bay and meticulously maintained fairways that wind through the native landscape. The challenging layout, coupled with the serene ambiance, creates a golfing experience that is truly unforgettable.

Enjoy a Sunset Cruise

Witness the awe-inspiring beauty of a Destin sunset on a memorable sunset cruise. Sail along the coast, marvel at the vibrant hues painting the sky, and create lasting memories with your loved ones. This romantic experience is perfect for couples or anyone seeking a tranquil evening.

1. Sailing Charters

Step aboard a luxurious sailing charter and set sail into the horizon as the sun begins to set. Feel the gentle breeze on your face and listen to the soothing sounds of the waves as you glide through the water. Sip on a glass of champagne, indulge in delectable hors d’oeuvres, and embrace the romantic ambiance as the sky transforms into a breathtaking canvas of colors.

2. Catamaran Cruises

Experience the ultimate relaxation on a catamaran sunset cruise. Sit back and unwind on spacious decks, enjoying panoramic views of the coastline as the sun dips below the horizon. Let the tranquil atmosphere soothe your senses while savoring a romantic dinner or simply sipping on a tropical cocktail. Capture the magical moments of the sunset as you create memories that will last a lifetime.

Indulge in Fresh Seafood Delights

A visit to Destin is incomplete without savoring the delectable seafood offerings. From local oysters and shrimp to succulent fish dishes, the city is a paradise for seafood lovers. Treat your taste buds to the flavors of the Gulf Coast at one of Destin’s many seafood restaurants.

1. Oyster Bars and Seafood Shacks

Embark on a culinary adventure and visit one of Destin’s renowned oyster bars or seafood shacks. Enjoy freshly shucked oysters on the half-shell, steamed or grilled shrimp, and mouthwatering crab cakes. These casual and lively establishments offer a laid-back dining experience where you can savor the flavors of the sea in a relaxed atmosphere.

2. Fine Dining Seafood Restaurants

If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience, Destin boasts a variety of fine dining seafood restaurants. Indulge in expertly prepared dishes featuring locally sourced fish, lobster, and scallops. Delight in the fusion of flavors and innovative culinary creations crafted by talented chefs who showcase the best of Gulf Coast cuisine. Pair your meal with a fine wine or craft cocktail for a truly memorable dining experience.

In conclusion, Destin, Florida, offers a plethora of activities and attractions for visitors of all interests. Whether you’re craving relaxation on the beach, thrilling water sports, or immersing yourself in nature, Destin has it all. Plan your next vacation to this coastal gem and create memories that will last a lifetime. Explore the pristine beaches, embark on a fishing adventure, and discover the natural wonders of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Engage in exhilarating water sports, visit the vibrant Destin Harbor Boardwalk, and enjoy the magic of dolphin cruises. Delve into the city’s history at the Destin History and Fishing Museum, tee off at world-class golf courses, and savor the freshest seafood delights. Destin truly has something for everyone, ensuring a memorable and fulfilling experience for all who visit.

Related video of Top Things To Do In Destin Florida: A Comprehensive Guide

Also Read