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Fun Things to Do in Destin: Beaches, Activities, Foodie Fun & More

Destin Florida Coastline

Forget spring break crowds, Destin is your year-round dose of Florida sunshine and good times.

We’re talking sugar-white sand beaches that squeak between your toes (seriously, it’s weird but cool), water so turquoise it’ll make your phone jealous (ditch the filter!), and enough activities to keep you busy from sunrise to sunset (or until last call at a beachfront tiki bar, no judgment).

Beach Bummin’ Like a Boss:

Destin boasts a stunning coastline with options for every beach bum. Here are a few to get you started:

1. Henderson Beach State Park

This calm paradise with its gentle waves is perfect for building sandcastle empires that rival medieval fortresses, soaking up the sun with a good book, or taking a romantic stroll along the shore hand-in-hand with your special someone.

Read More: ‌We’re Going to Miami – What to Know Before Visiting Florida’s Beach City

2. Crystal Sands Beach

This hidden gem boasts a vibrant coral reef teeming with colorful fish that look like they swam straight out of an aquarium. Grab your snorkel and get ready to be amazed by the underwater world. Imagine spotting a majestic sea turtle gliding past or a vibrant school of neon fish darting between the corals.

Read More: The 5 Top Theme Parks in Orlando (That Are Great for the Whole Family)

3. Jetty East Beach

Known for its consistent swells, this beach is a favorite among surfers of all levels. Just remember, dude etiquette applies (learn the surfer lingo and respect their space) and maybe check with a lifeguard first for safety tips before catching your first wave.

Beyond the Beach

Destin isn’t just a beach lovers’ paradise; it’s an adventurer’s playground!:

3. Get Your Motor Runnin’

Blast off on a jet ski adventure, feeling the wind whip through your hair as you race across the turquoise waters. Explore hidden coves and sandbars inaccessible by land, or feel the thrill of spotting playful dolphins leaping alongside you.

For a more relaxed pace, feel the gentle breeze on a pontoon cruise, soaking up the stunning scenery and keeping an eye out for marine life like majestic manta rays or curious sea turtles.

4. Dive Deep

Trade the beach towel for scuba gear and explore the wonders of the underwater world! Discover shipwrecks teeming with marine life, remnants of a bygone era encrusted with colorful coral and home to an array of fascinating fish.

Come face-to-face with a playful octopus camouflaged in the rocks, or witness a mesmerizing ballet of graceful stingrays gliding through the water. Capture brag-worthy vacation pics that’ll make your friends jealous (don’t worry, we won’t tell them about the underwater camera).

5. Fore!

Calling all golf enthusiasts! Destin boasts championship courses with epic views that will take your breath away. Imagine perfecting your swing on meticulously manicured greens with the emerald green of the course contrasting against the sparkling turquoise ocean.

Keep an eye out for a sneaky gator or two basking in the sun (don’t worry, they mostly keep to themselves!).

6. HarborWalk Village: It’s a Party!

This vibrant harborside village offers a kaleidoscope of experiences. Explore a variety of shops, from quirky beach boutiques to renowned art galleries, to find the perfect souvenir or a unique treasure. Indulge in delicious cuisine at waterfront restaurants, from fresh-caught seafood dishes to international flavors that will tantalize your taste buds.

Catch some live music spilling out from open-air cafes, setting the perfect ambiance for a romantic evening or a fun night out with friends. Maybe you’ll even have a dolphin encounter (seriously!), with these playful creatures known to frequent the harbor. Don’t miss a ride on the skywheel for breathtaking panoramic views of the harbor, the coastline, and the town twinkling below. It’s like a party on the harbor, minus the hangover (hopefully).

7. Big Kahuna’s Water Park

Beat the Florida heat and have a blast on epic slides that will send your heart racing, splash around in wave pools that mimic the ocean’s rhythm, or just relax on a lazy river float, letting your worries drift away. Big Kahuna’s Water Park is perfect for a day of family fun, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Race your friends down a thrilling water slide, scream together on a heart-stopping drop, or simply enjoy a relaxing afternoon soaking up the sun and the laughter of loved ones.

Foodie Paradise (Because Beach Days Make You Hungry):

Destin is a seafood lover’s dream come true. We’re talking fresh-off-the-boat catches that practically jump onto your plate. But there’s more to this delicious story:

8. Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House

Craving the taste of the ocean? Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House, located right on the beautiful Destin Harbor. Imagine this: Savor the freshest seafood catches, practically just-off-the-boat, while the gentle sea breeze carries the scent of salt air and the sound of waves lapping against the shore fills the background. 

Their menu is a celebration of the Gulf Coast’s bounty, from melt-in-your-mouth oysters to mouthwatering seafood specialties cooked to perfection. Plus, their waterfront location offers stunning views that make every meal an unforgettable experience.

9. AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar

A Destin institution, AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar has been a go-to for fresh catches and waterfront vibes since 1984. Located right on the Destin Harbor docks, AJ’s offers diners a chance to combine delicious seafood with stunning views. They’re famous for their oysters, shucked fresh from the Gulf Coast and served up chilled alongside a cold beverage. 

But their menu goes beyond just bivalves. From firecracker shrimp to award-winning seafood gumbo, AJ’s caters to a variety of palates. Live music adds to the lively atmosphere, making it a great spot to unwind and enjoy a taste of Destin.

10. The Village of Baytowne Wharf

This charming spot on the harbor is a haven for foodies. From casual cafes serving up fresh salads and juicy burgers to fancy restaurants with international flavors like sizzling fajitas or melt-in-your-mouth sushi, The Village of Baytowne Wharf has something for every taste bud.

Consider it your one-stop shop for culinary satisfaction. Imagine strolling cobblestone streets, the aroma of different cuisines wafting through the air, as you decide where to embark on your next delicious adventure. Whether you’re craving a taste of Italy, Mexico, or simply some classic American comfort food, The Village has you covered.

Bonus Round: Chill Vibes & Local Finds:

Destin isn’t all about high-octane adventures; it also offers a chance to unwind and discover the hidden gems of the area:

11. History Buff?

Take a fascinating journey into Destin’s rich past at the Destin History & Fishing Museum. Explore exhibits showcasing the town’s maritime heritage, from the days of early explorers to the bustling fishing industry that thrives today.

Learn about the fascinating role Destin played in World War II (pirates not included, but maybe mermaids – legends do persist after all!).

12. Explore Crab Island

Ever dreamed of chilling on a sandbar in the middle of a crystal-clear bay? Crab Island is your ticket to this slice of paradise. This shallow spot isn’t actually an island, but more like a giant sandbar hangout. 

Rent a pontoon boat with your crew, fire up the tunes, and cruise over for an afternoon unlike any other.

Read More: What to Do in Daytona Beach with Kids

13. Shop ’til You Drop

Hit up Destin Commons, an open-air mall paradise. Explore a variety of shops, from national brands to locally-owned boutiques, to find the perfect souvenir or a unique treasure that screams “I totally went to Destin and all I got was this awesome souvenir”. 

After all, retail therapy is a legitimate vacation activity, right? In between shops, grab a bite to eat at a trendy cafe or cool off with a refreshing drink. Destin Commons offers something for everyone, making it the perfect spot to spend a relaxing afternoon.

Read More: The 10 Most Exciting Activities in Orlando, US

Destin, Florida, isn’t just another beach town; it’s a vibrant tapestry woven with sugary-white sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise water, and endless possibilities for fun. Whether you’re a beach bum who dreams of building sandcastle empires and soaking up the sun, a thrill-seeker craving adventure on the water or exploring hidden underwater worlds, or a die-hard foodie with a passion for fresh seafood and international flavors, Destin has something to make your vacation unforgettable.

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