Things To Do In Destin, Florida: Outdoor Activities, Attractions, Shopping, Dining, Day Trips, And Events | RoamBliss (2024)

Explore the best things to do in Destin, Florida. From beautiful beaches and thrilling water sports to fascinating attractions and delicious seafood restaurants, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant destination. Plan your vacation now!

Outdoor Activities

When it comes to outdoor activities, Destin offers a wide range of options that cater to all interests and preferences. Whether you’re a beach lover, an avid fisherman, a golf enthusiast, or someone who enjoys thrilling water sports, Destin has something for everyone.


Destin is renowned for its pristine white sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The beaches here are simply breathtaking and offer the perfect setting for relaxation, sunbathing, and swimming. With miles of shoreline to explore, you can find your own little piece of paradise. Whether you prefer a secluded spot or a bustling beach with beachfront restaurants and bars, Destin has it all.


Destin is often referred to as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” and for good reason. The city is a haven for fishing enthusiasts, offering a variety of fishing opportunities. Whether you prefer deep-sea fishing, inshore fishing, or bay fishing, Destin has experienced captains and charters that can take you on an unforgettable fishing adventure. From catching snapper and grouper to reeling in marlin and sailfish, the possibilities are endless.

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If you’re a golf enthusiast, Destin is a golfer’s paradise. The city boasts several world-class golf courses that provide a challenging yet enjoyable experience for players of all skill levels. With stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and meticulously maintained fairways, playing a round of golf in Destin is a truly memorable experience. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just starting out, you’ll find a course that suits your needs and offers a great game.

Water Sports

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, Destin offers a plethora of water sports activities. From jet skiing and parasailing to paddleboarding and kayaking, there’s no shortage of thrilling adventures to embark on. Explore the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico, ride the waves, and experience the thrill of these water sports. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced adventurer, there are options available for all skill levels.


When it comes to attractions in Destin, Florida, there is no shortage of options to keep you entertained and enthralled. From lively boardwalks to marine adventure parks, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Let’s dive into some of the top attractions in this beautiful coastal city.

Destin Harbor Boardwalk

The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is a vibrant and bustling hub of activity that offers a little bit of everything. As you stroll along the boardwalk, you’ll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options to explore. Whether you’re in the mood for a delicious seafood dinner, a unique souvenir to take home, or simply want to soak in the lively atmosphere, the Destin Harbor Boardwalk has it all.

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Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

For a truly unforgettable experience with marine life, head to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. This interactive and educational park is a delight for both kids and adults alike. Get up close and personal with dolphins, sea lions, and even sharks as you learn about their behaviors and habitats. The park also offers various shows and presentations, giving you a chance to witness these incredible creatures in action.

Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park

If you’re in the mood for some adrenaline-pumping fun, look no further than Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park. This sprawling park offers a wide range of attractions, from exhilarating water slides to thrilling go-kart races. Cool off in the wave pool, challenge your friends to a game of mini-golf, or simply relax in one of the park’s many lounging areas. Big Kahuna’s is the perfect destination for a day of family-friendly adventure.

Henderson Beach State Park

For those seeking a more serene and natural attraction, Henderson Beach State Park is a must-visit. This pristine stretch of coastline offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico and boasts over 6,000 feet of picturesque shoreline. Take a leisurely stroll along the sandy beach, go for a swim in the crystal-clear waters, or have a picnic in one of the park’s shaded pavilions. With its tranquil atmosphere and natural beauty, Henderson Beach State Park provides a peaceful escape from the bustling city.

Shopping and Dining

When it comes to shopping and dining, Destin offers a multitude of options to suit every taste and preference. Whether you’re looking for a unique shopping experience or craving a delicious meal, Destin has it all. Let’s dive into some of the top destinations for shopping and dining in this vibrant coastal city.

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Destin Commons

Destin Commons is a shopper’s paradise, offering a wide range of stores, restaurants, and entertainment options. This open-air lifestyle center boasts over 90 stores, including popular brands like H&M, Sephora, and Williams-Sonoma. From fashion and accessories to home decor and electronics, you’ll find everything you need and more at Destin Commons.

But it’s not just about the shopping here. Destin Commons also offers a variety of dining options to satisfy your cravings. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual meal or a fine dining experience, you’ll find it at one of the many restaurants and eateries in the complex. Grab a burger at Smashburger, enjoy some Mexican cuisine at Chipotle, or indulge in a seafood feast at Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House. With so many options, there’s something for everyone at Destin Commons.

HarborWalk Village

Located along the picturesque Destin Harbor, HarborWalk Village is a vibrant waterfront destination that combines shopping, dining, and entertainment. This bustling area is a hub of activity, with a wide array of shops, boutiques, and galleries to explore.

As you stroll along the boardwalk, you’ll find unique shops offering everything from beachwear and souvenirs to handmade crafts and artwork. Whether you’re looking for a special gift or a memento of your trip, HarborWalk Village has plenty to offer.

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When it’s time to refuel, there’s no shortage of dining options here. From waterfront restaurants with stunning views to casual cafes and bars, HarborWalk Village has something to suit every palate. Indulge in fresh seafood at Harry T’s Lighthouse, savor a delicious steak at Jackacudas Seafood & Sushi, or grab a quick bite at one of the many food stalls and eateries. With its lively atmosphere and stunning waterfront setting, HarborWalk Village is a must-visit for any food and shopping enthusiast.

Baytowne Wharf

Nestled within the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Baytowne Wharf is a charming village that offers a unique shopping and dining experience. This pedestrian-friendly area is filled with colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and a lively atmosphere that will transport you to a different time and place.

As you explore Baytowne Wharf, you’ll discover a variety of shops and boutiques showcasing everything from clothing and accessories to home decor and artwork. Whether you’re searching for the perfect outfit or looking to spruce up your living space, you’ll find plenty of options here.

When hunger strikes, Baytowne Wharf has you covered with a diverse range of dining establishments. From casual eateries serving up pizza and burgers to upscale restaurants offering gourmet cuisine, there’s something to satisfy every craving. Enjoy a waterfront meal at Marlin Grill, indulge in Italian fare at Roberto’s Pizzeria, or grab a sweet treat at The Candymaker. With its charming ambiance and eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, Baytowne Wharf is a must-visit destination for any shopper or food lover.

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Local Seafood Restaurants

No visit to Destin would be complete without indulging in the fresh seafood that the area is famous for. Destin is home to numerous seafood restaurants that showcase the bounty of the Gulf of Mexico, serving up mouthwatering dishes that will delight your taste buds.

From casual seafood shacks to upscale dining establishments, there’s a seafood restaurant to suit every preference and budget. Whether you’re craving a classic shrimp po’ boy, a plate of steamed crab legs, or a succulent grilled fish, you’ll find it all here.

One popular spot among locals and visitors alike is The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House. This iconic restaurant offers stunning views of the Gulf and specializes in delicious seafood dishes made with the freshest ingredients. Another must-visit is Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant, a family-owned establishment that has been serving up seafood favorites for over 30 years.

So why not treat yourself to a seafood feast during your visit to Destin? Whether you choose a well-known restaurant or stumble upon a hidden gem, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable dining experience that showcases the flavors of the Gulf.

Day Trips

Crab Island

Crab Island is a unique and popular destination for day trips in the Destin area. Located just off the coast, this submerged sandbar offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Imagine wading in waist-deep, crystal-clear waters surrounded by vibrant marine life. It’s like stepping into a natural aquarium!

One of the best ways to enjoy Crab Island is by renting a pontoon boat. Cruise through the emerald waters, anchor your boat, and join the fun. You’ll find floating food vendors, live music, and even water slides. Whether you’re relaxing on an inflatable raft or trying your hand at paddleboarding, there’s something for everyone at Crab Island.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. Discover colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and maybe even encounter a friendly dolphin or two. It’s an unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe of the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast.


Seaside is a charming coastal town that has gained fame as the filming location for “The Truman Show.” This picturesque community is known for its pastel-colored beach cottages, quaint shops, and lively atmosphere. It’s the perfect day trip destination for those seeking a laid-back, beachfront experience.

Stroll along the scenic streets of Seaside and immerse yourself in its unique character. Explore the local boutiques, art galleries, and specialty shops, where you can find one-of-a-kind treasures and souvenirs. Indulge in delicious cuisine at the various food trucks and restaurants, offering everything from fresh seafood to gourmet burgers.

The white sandy beaches of Seaside are a major draw for visitors. Spend the day lounging under an umbrella, building sandcastles, or taking a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters. The beach is also ideal for activities like beach volleyball, paddleboarding, and sunset picnics. With its idyllic charm and natural beauty, Seaside is a must-visit destination for those looking to unwind and enjoy the simple pleasures of coastal living.

Grayton Beach State Park

Nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers will find paradise at Grayton Beach State Park. This pristine coastal park offers a diverse range of ecosystems, from sandy beaches to coastal dune lakes and pine forests. It’s a haven for wildlife and a playground for adventure seekers.

Start your day by exploring the park’s extensive trail system. Hike through the towering sand dunes and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of nature. Keep an eye out for native wildlife, such as deer, turtles, and a variety of bird species. The park also offers guided kayak tours on the coastal dune lakes, providing a unique perspective of the area’s ecosystem.

Grayton Beach itself is a gem of the park. With its sugar-white sands and emerald green waters, it’s the perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing. The calm and shallow waters of Western Lake are ideal for kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. For a truly memorable experience, plan a visit during sunset and witness the sky ablaze with vibrant colors reflecting off the water.

Santa Rosa Beach

Santa Rosa Beach, located along scenic Highway 30A, is a hidden gem that offers a mix of natural beauty and small-town charm. This coastal community boasts pristine beaches, stunning coastal dune lakes, and a relaxed atmosphere that will make you feel right at home.

The beaches of Santa Rosa Beach are simply breathtaking. The powdery white sands and clear turquoise waters create a postcard-perfect setting. Whether you’re lounging under an umbrella, playing beach volleyball, or taking a leisurely stroll along the shore, you’ll find tranquility and serenity in this coastal paradise.

If you’re a nature lover, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the coastal dune lakes. These rare and unique ecosystems are found in only a few places around the world. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and navigate through the calm waters, surrounded by lush vegetation and diverse wildlife. It’s a peaceful and immersive experience that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the wonders of nature.

Santa Rosa Beach is also home to charming local shops and eateries. Browse through the boutiques and art galleries, where you can find handmade crafts and artwork created by talented local artisans. Treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of the waterfront restaurants, specializing in fresh seafood and farm-to-table ingredients. As the sun sets, grab a seat at a beachfront bar and sip on a refreshing co*cktail while enjoying breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.

Events and Festivals

If you’re looking for some excitement and entertainment during your visit to Destin, Florida, you’re in luck! This beautiful coastal city is not only known for its stunning beaches and outdoor activities but also for its vibrant events and festivals. From celebrating the local seafood delicacies to embracing the spirit of the pirates, Destin offers a wide range of experiences that are bound to leave you with cherished memories. Let’s dive into the details of some of the most popular events and festivals in Destin:

Destin Seafood Festival

Calling all seafood lovers! The Destin Seafood Festival is an annual event that celebrates the bountiful harvest of the Gulf of Mexico. Held in the heart of Destin, this festival brings together local restaurants, seafood vendors, and live music to create a lively and delicious experience for all attendees. From succulent shrimp dishes to mouthwatering crab claws, you can indulge in an array of seafood delights while enjoying the scenic views of the harbor. The festival also features arts and crafts vendors, providing a perfect opportunity to shop for unique gifts and souvenirs. Whether you’re a seafood connoisseur or simply looking for a fun-filled day with friends and family, the Destin Seafood Festival is a must-visit event.

Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival

Ahoy, mateys! Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of pirates at the annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival. This lively event pays homage to the legendary pirate, William Augustus Bowles, who once roamed the Gulf Coast. The festival kicks off with a grand pirate invasion, where the infamous Captain Billy and his crew sail into the Destin Harbor, engaging in a mock battle with the local authorities. As the festival unfolds, you can enjoy live music, treasure hunts, costume contests, and even witness a thrilling fireworks display. It’s a fantastic opportunity for both kids and adults to embrace their inner pirate and create unforgettable memories.

Sandestin Wine Festival

Indulge in a sophisticated and refined experience at the Sandestin Wine Festival. This esteemed event brings together wine enthusiasts, sommeliers, and renowned winemakers for a weekend of wine tasting and gastronomic delights. Whether you’re a seasoned oenophile or simply curious to explore the world of wines, this festival offers a diverse selection of wines from around the globe. Sip on exquisite vintages, attend educational seminars, and sample gourmet cuisine prepared by talented local chefs. The picturesque setting of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort adds an extra layer of charm to this enchanting event. Get ready to raise a glass and toast to a memorable wine-filled experience.

Emerald Coast Poker Run

If you’re a fan of high-speed boats and exhilarating races, the Emerald Coast Poker Run is an event you won’t want to miss. This thrilling powerboat poker run takes place along the stunning emerald waters of the Gulf Coast. Participants embark on a heart-pounding journey, visiting various checkpoints to collect playing cards. The goal is to build the best poker hand by the end of the run. Spectators can witness the impressive display of horsepower as sleek boats speed across the waves. The event also includes parties, live entertainment, and opportunities to mingle with fellow boating enthusiasts. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply appreciate the thrill of the race, the Emerald Coast Poker Run promises an unforgettable experience.

In conclusion, Destin, Florida, offers a diverse range of events and festivals that cater to different interests and preferences. Whether you’re a seafood lover, a pirate enthusiast, a wine connoisseur, or a speed enthusiast, there’s something for everyone. So mark your calendars, pack your bags, and get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Destin’s events and festivals.

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Things To Do In Destin, Florida: Outdoor Activities, Attractions, Shopping, Dining, Day Trips, And Events | RoamBliss (1)

John Furlow

Hi, I'm John Furlow, a passionate traveler and writer who has visited over 15 countries and counting. My love for exploring new cultures and experiencing different ways of life has led me to create this blog. Through my writing, I hope to inspire others to travel and discover the beauty of our world.

Things To Do In Destin, Florida: Outdoor Activities, Attractions, Shopping, Dining, Day Trips, And Events | RoamBliss (2024)


Things To Do In Destin, Florida: Outdoor Activities, Attractions, Shopping, Dining, Day Trips, And Events | RoamBliss? ›

Destin is known as the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village." The city houses the largest and most elaborately equipped fishing fleet in the State of Florida. In addition to fishing, recreational opportunities include golf, tennis and water sports, including diving and snorkeling.

What is Destin Florida most known for? ›

Destin is known as the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village." The city houses the largest and most elaborately equipped fishing fleet in the State of Florida. In addition to fishing, recreational opportunities include golf, tennis and water sports, including diving and snorkeling.

What's in Destin Florida for kids? ›

Best Family Attractions in Destin
  • Big Kahunas Waterpark. With over 40 different water play areas, rides, slides and pools, Big Kahuna's is a great water park attraction for families. ...
  • HarborWalk Village. ...
  • Wild Willy's Adventure Zone. ...
  • Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. ...
  • Family-Friendly Destin Vacation Rentals.

What famous people visit Destin Florida? ›

Celebrities in Destin

Tom Cruise was spotted years ago at Café 30A with his wife at the time Nicole Kidman. John Travolta was seen on Holiday Isle. Jim Carrey and Laura Linney were in Seaside almost twenty years ago when they filmed on location there for a fantasy comedy called “The Truman Show”.

Does Destin Florida have a boardwalk? ›

The City of Destin's Harbor Boardwalk stretches nearly a quarter of a mile along beautiful Destin Harbor, providing increased access to the waterfront and preserving the harbor's unique character. The boardwalk project was completed in June 2012 and is the vision of the 2003 Harbor Community Redevelopment Area Plan.

Does Destin have a zoo? ›

At Emerald Coast Zoo, you can get up close and personal with your favorite members of the animal kingdom like sloths, kangaroos, giraffes, and bears. Watch the mighty lion devour lunch at noon everyday. You can also visit our aviary and feed the birds.

Why is Destin so popular? ›

The Fishing

Coined the World's Luckiest Fishing Village, Destin is proud to be home to the largest charter fishing fleet in the nation. With in-shore and deep-sea fishing opportunities abound, it's a fisherman's paradise.

Is Destin FL expensive? ›

When compared with the travel costs of nearby destinations, Destin is a cheaper place to visit. Not only are the costs cheaper when traveling to Destin but it's also less expensive to spend time in this Florida destination overall.

Is Destin safe to swim? ›

The lifeguards actively patrol the 7 miles of Destin beaches from March to October of each year. We encourage everyone to swim near a lifeguard and heed their advice on water safety conditions. Rip Current Information provided by the National Weather Service. View the National Weather Service Rip Current Risk Map.

How much does it cost to go to Crab Island? ›

2024 Crab Island Adventure Tour Pricing:

$85 per person – 4 hour Adventure Tour – includes Crab Island, dolphin tour, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, banana boat rides, shelling & more. $40 for children under age 6 (all tours)

Do any celebrities live in Destin Florida? ›

Some celebrities like Jimmy Buffet, Mike Huckabee, and Justin Moore even have homes in the area. However, with so many luxurious mansions along 30A and Destin, it's really not surprising that celebrities buy homes here.

Is Destin a party place? ›

The sounds and sights of Destin Florida at night are hard to beat. Places like the Destin Harbor come alive with clubs, restaurants, concerts, plays, and more!

Can you swim in the ocean in Destin? ›

The good news is that Destin Beach is definitely swimmable, with plenty of opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and even fishing. The waters off Destin Beach are known for their shallow depths and calm currents, making them ideal spots for beginners and experts alike!

Is Destin beach swimmable? ›

Yes, Destin beach is generally safe to swim in, provided you adhere to the Beach Safety Flag System that indicates the current safety conditions of the water.

Does Destin have a downtown? ›

Welcome to Downtown Destin! This specific part of Destin is where the buzzing tourist city originated and can also be known as “the world's luckiest fishing village”. It is every fisherman's dream to experience firsthand what this famous fishing village is all about.

What is unique about Destin Florida? ›

Destin Florida's Sand is Actually Crystal.

During the last Ice Age, the quartz crystal was pushed down from the tops of the Appalachian Mountains. The crystal has been ground down into white powdery sand by waves and tidal action over many, many years. This action is what causes the sand to be so soft and white.

Why do people love Destin Florida? ›

There is so much to love about the Emerald Coast during spring. Resting along the Gulf of Mexico with sugar-white sand beaches and emerald waters, Destin is a perfect spot to recharge and escape. From beautiful scenery, wine tasting, to outdoor adventures, this city has a plethora of activities to explore.

Is Destin a party town? ›

Destin is lucky to have a bunch of great bars and nightlife located within walking distance of each other, right along the Destin Harbor.


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