Are you looking for the perfect beach destination to make your summer unforgettable? Then look no further than Destin, Florida. This small city located on the Gulf Coast has become one of America’s most popular destinations due to its beautiful beaches, fishing charters, and family-friendly attractions.
Destin is located right in the heart of the Emerald Coast, making it a popular spot for beachgoers looking to escape the cities and explore some of the most stunning coastal landscapes in the United States. It was once a small fishing village until tourism turned it into one of Florida’s premier vacation spots; its temperate climate and scenic views bring travelers from around the world each year.
But what exactly makes this coastal town so special compared to other beach destinations? Here we will explore why Destin is an ideal getaway for any type of vacationer, from families searching for fun activities on land and sea to couples whose priority is pure relaxation by the shore.
Reasons Why Destin, Florida Is a Favourite Vacation Spot
Destin, Florida is a popular vacation spot on the Emerald Coast, drawing in an estimated 80% of all visitors. It offers pristine beaches, clear blue water, excellent fishing, world-class golf, thrilling adventure tours, educational museums, and upscale shopping and dining. Tourists can find many cheap vacation spots in Destin to get their money’s worth. We have made a list of the top 10 reasons to visit Destin which include beautiful beaches, fishing, golfing, and shopping.
1. The Fascinating History Of The Town
Destin, Florida is a small fishing community on the Gulf of Mexico that has managed to preserve its historic character. It was named after a fisherman called Leonard Destin and was built to resemble a New England colonial village. This has earned it the nickname “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” due to Captain Destin’s sense of identity and place from his native New England.
The Village of Baytowne Wharf is a family-friendly tourist attraction located in the Sandestin Resort in Miramar Beach, FL. It offers a variety of kid-friendly activities such as arcades, ropes courses, putt-putt, and laser tag as well as world-class dining, entertainment, shopping, and nightlife including the Solaris Dining Cruise and nightclubs like The Village Door and Rum Runners. Gator Beach is also located inside Fud pucker’s restaurant in Destin, FL, and is known as the “World’s Greatest Alligator Park”. Visitors can take pictures with live alligators and learn about the species.
Destin is a popular destination for watersports enthusiasts, offering a wide variety of activities to choose from. Jet skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking, parasailing, and more are all available to visitors. The knowledgeable and patient teachers make it easy for beginners to learn the ropes quickly. For those looking for something more adventurous, dolphin cruises, skimboarding, kiteboarding, and water skiing can be enjoyed in Destin. Boat rentals and tubing are also popular activities here.
Fishing is one of the most popular watersports in Destin due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s known as a sports fisherman’s paradise and calls itself “the luckiest fishing village”. Pontoon boats and jet skis are also widely used here for recreational purposes. When it’s time for a break from the water, there are plenty of other activities available in Destin such as shopping, dining or simply relaxing on the beach. No matter what your preference is, you’re
3. The Beautiful 30A Scenic Highway
30A is a scenic highway located on Florida’s Emerald Coast. It is known for its easygoing beach lifestyle and is a popular destination for families looking to relax and enjoy the sun. The 30A area offers plenty of activities such as biking, shopping in trendy stores, and hanging out at the Red Bar. It is truly a unique neighborhood that cannot be found anywhere else.
The most common route to get to 30A from other parts of the country is via I-45 South and then East on I-10. However, this route can be quite long and many Moms avoid it due to time constraints. An alternative route is to go East on the I-20 to Shreveport, south on the I-49 via Alexandria, and then east onto Destin. Along this route, possible stops include the Infinity Space Center in Mississippi and the USS Alabama Battleship in Mobile.
4. Harborwalk Village
HarborWalk Village in Destin, Florida is a great place to visit for those who enjoy staying out late and partying. This waterfront destination offers restaurants, shopping, watersport rentals, parasailing, concerts, fishing boats, dolphin cruises, and nightlife. The Destin harbor provides a beautiful backdrop for an enjoyable evening out. With its lively atmosphere of shops, restaurants, bars, and live music, HarborWalk Village is the perfect spot to spend an evening with friends or family.
30A is a small stretch of paradise along Florida’s Emerald Coast that offers a laid-back beach lifestyle. Destin also offers a variety of water activities such as jet skiing, boat rentals, parasailing, and dolphin cruises. Whether you’re looking for an exciting night out or just want to relax on the beach during the day, HarborWalk Village has something for everyone. With its stunning views and vibrant atmosphere it’s no wonder why this destination is so popular among tourists and locals alike.
The Gulfarium is a unique and exciting experience for visitors of all ages. Located in the Florida panhandle, this interactive marine park offers a variety of activities that will keep everyone entertained. From interactive displays with dolphins and turtles to snorkeling adventures with stingrays, the Gulfarium has something for everyone. Visitors can get up close and personal with some of the most amazing creatures in the sea, including harbor seals that you can even give a kiss to!
For parents looking for an evening out without their children, the Gulfarium also offers Sunset Camps. These camps provide kids with an unforgettable experience while giving parents the opportunity to enjoy a night out. During these camps, children learn about marine life through hands-on activities such as touch tanks and educational presentations. They also have plenty of time to explore the park’s exhibits and take part in fun activities like scavenger hunts and arts & crafts projects. The Gulfarium is sure to be an unforgettable experience for all who visit!
6. Big Kahuna’s
Big Kahuna’s is a hidden gem in Florida, offering over 40 different water activities. Located in Destin, it has been open for more than 25 years and is the only water park in the area. Big Kahuna offers an array of attractions for all ages, including a half pipe with 36,000 gallons of water per minute for true surfers. The Gulfarium also provides unique experiences such as snorkeling with stingrays and giving a smooch to a harbor seal. For those looking for an evening adventure, the Gulfarium offers an evening sunset camp which includes a dolphin encounter, beach exploring, ocean-themed activities, and dinner with the seals.
Big Kahuna’s is truly an amazing place to visit if you’re looking for some fun in the sun. With its wide variety of attractions and activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking to catch some waves on the half-pipe or get up close and personal with some sea creatures at
7. Recreational Fishing In The Deep
Destin, Florida is known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” due to its diverse deep-sea fishing opportunities. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico offer a wide variety of catches for recreational fishermen, from grouper and snapper to amberjack and cobia. Licensed crew, equipment, bait, permits, and ice are all standard on most fishing trips. Visitors can choose from half-day or full-day trips with experienced captains who know the best spots in the area. Upon returning to port, the crew will wash, fillet, and package the fish for visitors to take home and enjoy.
Fishing in Destin is an exciting experience that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced angler, there are plenty of options available for a fun day out on the water. From trolling for big game fish to bottom fishing for smaller species like redfish and flounder, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your taste.
8. Fantastic Restaurants
Destin, Florida is a paradise for food lovers. With stunning views of the sea and access to freshly caught local fish, it’s no wonder why so many people flock to this destination. One of the most popular restaurants in Destin is Harry T’s. Not only do they serve up delicious seafood dishes, but they also offer a unique service where they will cook any fresh fish brought in by patrons. This makes it easy for visitors to enjoy their own catch without having to worry about preparing it themselves.
In addition to Harry T’s, there are plenty of other waterfront dining options in Destin. From casual beachside eateries to upscale restaurants with breathtaking views, there’s something for everyone. Many of these establishments offer fresh local seafood caught right off the boat, making them ideal spots for those looking for an authentic taste of the area’s bounty. Whether you choose to dine at one of these restaurants or take advantage of Harry T’s cooking service,
9. Crab Island
Crab Island is a popular destination for beachgoers in Destin, Florida. It used to be an island, but has been eroded by sand in the Gulf of Mexico and is now a sand bar located south of the Marler Bridge. The water level varies depending on where one docks their boat, making it accessible only by boat. Visitors can rent boats or charter companies to get to Crab Island and enjoy its many attractions.
Once there, visitors can take part in various activities such as paddleboarding, water volleyball, floating, and sunbathing. There are also plenty of dining options available with pizza delivery services and restaurants located nearby. Additionally, there are several water slides and water sports equipment rentals that can be found at Crab Island for those looking for more adventurous activities. With its beautiful scenery and variety of activities available, Crab Island is a great spot for anyone looking to have some fun in the sun!
10. Sugar White Beaches
Destin, Florida is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. These sugar-white beaches stretch from Pensacola to Port St. Joe and feature powdery white sand shorelines and vibrant green waters. The sand is so pure and thin that visitors can almost hear its sound as they walk through it. It is so clean and soft that it squeaks when you walk on it, making it a truly unique experience.
The emerald-green waters of Destin’s beaches are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, fishing, or just relaxing in the sun. There are also plenty of activities available such as parasailing, jet skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more. With its stunning views and endless activities, Destin is a great destination for anyone looking for an unforgettable beach vacation. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family-friendly adventure, Destin has something for everyone to enjoy!
Best Things to Do in Destin, Florida
Destin, Florida is a popular destination on the Emerald Coast, known for its stunning white sand beaches and abundance of activities. From shopping to alligator-spotting and museum-hopping, there’s something for everyone in Destin. The city is affectionately known as ‘The world’s luckiest fishing village’, having blossomed from a small location into a popular tourist destination.
- Fishing: Destin is known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” and for good reason. The city offers a variety of fishing charters, from the deep sea to inshore, that can take you out on the Gulf of Mexico or Choctawhatchee Bay in search of your catch. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to reel in the big one.
- Shopping: Destin is home to a variety of shopping centers and boutiques, from the Silver Sands Premium Outlets to the Destin Commons. You can find everything from designer clothing and accessories to souvenirs and beachwear.
- Golfing: With its mild climate and beautiful scenery, Destin is a great place to hit the links. The city is home to several championship golf courses, including the Emerald Bay Golf Club and the Regatta Bay Golf & Country Club.
- Water Sports: With its crystal clear waters and white sand beaches, Destin is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. You can rent jet skis, kayaks, paddleboards, and more to explore the area’s bays and beaches.
- Dolphin Watching: Take a boat tour out into the Gulf of Mexico and you may be lucky enough to spot some of Destin’s resident dolphins. You can also take a guided tour to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures.
- Parasailing: Get an aerial view of Destin’s stunning coastline with a parasailing adventure. You’ll soar high above the waves and get a bird’s eye view of the city’s beautiful beaches.
- Museums: Learn about Destin’s history and culture at one of its many museums, such as the Indian Temple Mound Museum or the Air Force Armament Museum.
- Alligator Spotting: Take a tour of the Choctawhatchee Bay and you may be lucky enough to spot some of Destin’s resident alligators.
- Nature Trails: Explore the area’s natural beauty with a hike along one of Destin’s many nature trails, such as the Henderson Beach State Park or the Point Washington State Forest.
- Nightlife: After a day of exploring, head to one of Destin’s many bars and clubs for some nightlife fun. From live music to karaoke, you’ll find plenty of entertainment options.
Iconic Spots for A different Experience in Destin
Known for its stunning white sand beaches and abundance of activities. There must be something a little different to do in Destin, here are some iconic spots that will give you an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re looking for a unique adventure or a romantic getaway, Destin has something for everyone.
Indian Temple Mound Museum
The Indian Temple Mound Museum in Fort Walton Beach, FL is a National Historic Landmark that showcases artifacts from the area’s Native American history. It is located at 139 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548. The museum is open Monday-Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and closed on Sundays.
Visitors to the Indian Temple Mound Museum will find an array of artifacts from the area’s Native American history, including pottery, tools, weapons, and jewelry. There are also interactive exhibits that allow visitors to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of these ancient people. Visitors can also explore the grounds of the museum which include a replica temple mound built in honor of Chief Tuskaloosa who was an important leader in this region during the 16th century. The museum also offers educational programs for children and adults alike which provide insight into this fascinating part of Florida’s history.
Air Force Armament Museum
The Air Force Armament Museum in Eglin Air Force Base, FL is a must-see for anyone interested in military history. The museum showcases the history of air power and its role in modern warfare. It is located at 100 Museum Dr, Eglin AFB, FL 32542. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm and closed on Sundays and Mondays.
The Air Force Armament Museum features a variety of interactive exhibits that explore the history of air power and its role in modern warfare. Visitors can explore the museum’s collection of aircraft, missiles, bombs, rockets, and other armaments used by the U.S. Air Force throughout its history. The museum also offers educational programs for children and adults alike which provide insight into the history of air power and its role in modern warfare.
Destin, Florida is a popular destination due to its stunning white sand beaches, the abundance of activities, and iconic spots that offer a unique experience. From the Indian Temple Mound Museum to the Air Force Armament Museum, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the area’s history and culture. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an exciting adventure, Destin has something for everyone.
Henderson Beach State Park
Henderson Beach State Park is a stunning destination located in Destin, Florida. The park offers 30-foot coastal dunes, sugar-white sand, and turquoise waters that make it a perfect spot for relaxation and exploration. Visitors can enjoy the white sands and emerald waters of Destin while taking in the stunning views of the area. There are also hiking trails to explore and native wildlife such as dolphins, tropical fish, loggerheads, and green sea turtles to observe.
The park provides plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the beach or an adventure exploring nature, Henderson Beach State Park has something for everyone. You can take advantage of the picnic areas or rent kayaks or paddleboards to explore the area further. With its beautiful scenery and abundance of activities, Henderson Beach State Park is sure to be an unforgettable experience!
Destin Commons is a great place to take a break from the beach and enjoy some shopping fun. Located just minutes from the Mid-Bay Bridge, this family-friendly outdoor mall offers bowling, movies, dining and shopping. With over 75 stores and restaurants, there’s something for everyone at Destin Commons. Whether you’re looking for designer outlets or sweet shops, you can find it all here. The mall also features an interactive fountain with colorful lights that kids love to play in.
Silver Sands Outlet Mall in Miramar Beach is another popular destination for shoppers looking for designer outlets and sweet shops. This outlet mall has over 100 stores offering everything from apparel to home decor items at discounted prices. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from if you need a break from shopping. Silver Sands Outlet Mall is the perfect place to find unique gifts or souvenirs while on vacation in Florida’s Emerald Coast.
Dolphin sunset cruise
The Dolphin Sunset Cruise in Destin, Florida is an unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss. Enjoy the beauty of the Emerald Waters and get up close to bottlenose dolphins as you cruise along the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay. The summer months are the best time to take advantage of this unique experience, but cruises are offered year-round. You’ll be able to take in stunning views of Destin from a different perspective and spot dolphins and turtles swimming in their natural habitat.
For an even more breathtaking experience, consider booking tickets for parasailing the day before your cruise. This will give you an aerial view of Destin and the Gulf, where you can spot dolphins and turtles from above. Parasailing is a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the area while also enjoying some fun in the sun. So don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity – book your Dolphin Sunset Cruise today
HarborWalk Marina is a stunning spot in Destin, Florida that offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico and boats bobbing on the water. It’s a great place for families and couples to visit, offering boat rides, cruises, and other tours. The marina is open daily from 5 am to 10 pm and is located at 66 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541.
The Scenic Harbor Boardwalk is a quarter-mile-long boardwalk located along the harbor that provides increased access to the waterfront for visitors to enjoy. It features shops, bars, restaurants, piers, activities, and entertainment that make it an ideal destination for those looking for some fun in the sun. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening stroll or an exciting day out with friends and family, HarborWalk Marina has something for everyone!
Baytowne Wharf is a charming village located on the edge of Choctawhatchee Bay in Miramar Beach, FL. It’s a great spot for couples looking for an escape from the beach for a night of dancing and drinks. The Village Door is the area’s only nightclub with live music, while Fat Tuesday Daiquiri Bar shows sports matches on the big screen. For families, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities such as arcades, ropes courses, putt-putt, and laser tag. World-class dining and shopping can also be found here.
One of the most popular attractions at Baytowne Wharf is Gator Beach located inside Fud pucker’s restaurant in Destin, FL. This alligator park is known as the “World’s Greatest Alligator Park” and visitors can get up close and personal with alligators in the Fud pucker’s Gator Pit. The Crocodilla Discovery Zone includes exhibits such as
Crab Island is a sand bar located south of the Marler Bridge in Destin, Florida. It is a popular destination for those looking to enjoy some fun in the sun and take part in activities such as paddleboarding, water volleyball, floating, and sunbathing. Visitors can get to Crab Island by chartering a boat or renting one themselves. The island is located on the north side of the Destin Bridge in Choctawhatchee Bay.
The beauty of Crab Island lies in its seclusion from the surf and waves of the Gulf of Mexico, making it an ideal spot for those looking to relax and unwind away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained all day long, it’s no wonder why this sand bar has become such a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Destin, Florida is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. It offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico, plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained, and a variety of attractions that make it an ideal spot for families and couples. From HarborWalk Marina to Baytowne Wharf to Crab Island, there’s something for everyone in Destin!