**Update: All Florida Coronavirus Restrictions Have Now Been Lifted by Governor Desantis. **
Fishing & Boating Still Allowed During COVID-19 Pandemic
The recent closure of Destin Florida beaches, parks, and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic has left locals and those who are sheltering here in their second homes with little to do. Thankfully, fishing and boating are still allowed here in Northwest Florida! These activities take place outside in the sunshine and fresh, open air and can be done in small, private groups while maintaining CDC standards for social distancing.
Crab Island Open to Boaters and Vendors
Crab Island remains open! You are welcome to anchor your boat (rented or personal) and enjoy the beautiful shallow water at this time.
Crab Island vendors and excursion boats, however, have been suspended by Okaloosa County until May 8, 2020, but have been approved to operate again as early as May 9, 2020. (Update: although the County did vote to reopen Crab Island for vendors, the National Parks Service has denied vendor permits until Federal Phase 2, which is anticipated around the 16th or 17th of May. A federal permit is required to get a county license, so vendors will still not be able to operate until the federal restrictions have been lifted). Crab Island vendors are now OPEN and operating at Crab Island as of May 16, 2020.
Boat and jet ski rentals are still allowed
for groups of 10 or less, provided each boat stays a minimum of 50 feet away from other boats while out on the open water. (Sorry, no rafting up with your friends until after Phase 1 of the Governor’s reopening plan, which starts May 4, 2020.) These rules help to maintain social distancing practices. The FWC and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office are policing our waterways to ensure safety and compliance.
How to Get Out on the Water
Destin Vacation Boat Rentals remains open by reservation at this time, for
a limited number of boat rentals each day. Advance reservations are required. There is no need to worry about being exposed to strangers. Check-in times are being staggered and individual groups will be spaced out at least 6 feet from other groups while checking in for their boat rentals. If you are concerned about cleanliness, rest assured. All boats- as well as the entire check-in area- are being thoroughly bleached and sanitized before, after, and in between boat rentals. Our guests are also being instructed on the best ways to practice social distancing in accordance with Florida’s social distancing laws.
If you’d like to get out of the house and out on the water for the day to visit Crab Island, or just to cruise the Choctawhatchee Bay, rental rates have been discounted by up to 25% through May 15, 2020. You can make a boat rental reservation online or over the phone by calling (850) 650-2628. We look forward to serving you and your family during this time.
We are planning a trip to Destin next week. Your post says no vendors will be allowed to open on Crab Island until the 16th or 17th. Is that still an accurate timeline?
Yes, that decision was made yesterday by the National Parks Service. Crab Island is open (and quite busy!) for boaters, but there will not be any legal vendors until the Parks Service reinstates permits in about a week.
Hi! We plan fo visit and have reserved a boat for 5/21. Are the inflatables there? Do you know approx cost for a wrist band?
We have been told the inflatables plan to set up mid-May. That is a separate business so we can’t say for SURE but that is what we have heard. A wristband is $15/hour or $20/2 hours or $35/day. Hope that helps!
Is it possible to have a driver with a pontoon rental?
Sometimes we can arrange that for you for an additional fee. Give us a call 850-650-2628.
We are planning a trip to Destin on 5/27 thru 5/31. Are there any vendors or activities open at Crab Island yet?
Crab Island vendors are able to operate at Crab Island as of May 16, 2020! Hope that helps!
Has the “10 people max per pontoon” guidance been lifted with the governor’s announcements today ?
Order 20-09 has expired and the 10 passenger, 50 ft rule has been removed from the FWC website, however groups are still being encouraged to limit to 10 people under social distancing guidelines.
Did the inflatables, in fact open? We are coming the first week of June.
As of today (May 21, 20202) the inflatables have not yet opened. We do offer a boat tour that includes inflatables if that is something you might be interested in: https://www.destinvacationboatrentals.com/crab-island-adventure-tour/
Is everything open at crab island now?
Vendors are open at Crab Island, yes.
Are the inflatables open?
Are they allowing boats to anchor in close proximity to each other? Just trying to get an idea of how crowded the water will be with people.
Yes, that restriction has been lifted.
How do the inflatables at the Gulf Island National Seashore compare to those at Crab Island? Good for adults?
There are not any inflatables set up at Crab Island at this time. The inflatables at the National Seashore are part of the Crab Island Adventure Tour and are not open to the public. You must be part of the tour to use them. They include a big inflatable slide, inflatable trampoline, log roll, and mini slide off the trampoline. Fun for all ages. HTH!
When are inflatables gonna open back up we have a trip planned at end of June and kids really wantes to do these. Is there anything else for kids to do out there?
At this time, the inflatables are not set up at Crab Island. It is unclear with the new county restrictions on overnight anchoring if they will set up again… Our Adventure Tour includes some inflatables and other water activities as part of the tour: https://www.destinvacationboatrentals.com/crab-island-adventure-tour/ . Hope that helps!
Can you please share info on the tour to use the inflatables? We are traveling to Destin at the end of June. Are the inflatables at Crab Island up and running yet? Is everything seem to be back to normal at Crab Island now? Still lots of restrictions?
The Adventure Tour includes inflatables: https://www.destinvacationboatrentals.com/crab-island-adventure-tour/ . There aren’t currently any restrictions at Crab Island from Covid, but the inflatables are not set up at Crab Island due to the new county restriction on overnight anchoring. Hope that helps!
Do they sell alcohol @ Crab Island anymore? We are planning to go middle of July!
Are the inflatables and floating food vendors back at Crab Island yet? Planning a trip there from out of on Tuesday, July 1. Thank you.
The floating food vendors are open. The inflatables are not set up at Crab Island. It is unclear with the new county restrictions on overnight anchoring if they will set up again… Our Adventure Tour includes some inflatables and other water activities as part of the tour if you’re interested in both inflatables and the Crab Island experience: https://www.destinvacationboatrentals.com/crab-island-adventure-tour/
Is Crab Island open to kayaking
Yes, it is.
Will crab island and vendors still be open for august 1-2?
There aren’t currently any plans to shut things down, so we hope so! Bookmark this post and check back for updates. We will post here if anything changes.
July 26th – are inflatables at crab Island up yet? If not, can we take our own boat to the other area mentioned that has them?
There are no inflatables at Crab Island this year. The inflatables along the National Seashore are private and can only be used by those who do the Crab Island Adventure Tour. They are not an attraction open to the public. HTH!
I am coming to watercolor resort next week and rented a pontoon with hopes of going to crab Island. Do you know if it is still open with vendors?
There are still some mobile vendors at Crab Island (ice cream, t-shirts, boiled peanuts).
Will there be the huge inflatable slides and trampolines and stuff still?
The inflatables are no longer at Crab Island, though not because of Covid. You can read about changes due to new governmental restrictions here: https://www.destinvacationboatrentals.com/blog-post/crab-island-2021/. Check out the Crab Island Adventure Tour for options that include inflatables: https://www.destinvacationboatrentals.com/crab-island-adventure-tour/ .
My family is coming down next week for the week of Christmas (also my daughter’s birthday!). It looks like you cannot get out to Crab Island anymore when I look to book cruises. I assume it’s because of the weather getting chillier and there are no more vendors? I just wonder if you can even get out there at all? Even if you rented your own boat. Can you give me any direction with that? I’d appreciate it. Also, any other holiday (or non holiday) recommendations?? I did see you can rent a bonfire on the beach, which I thought was cool. Also, we are going to the Gulfarium one day. Thank you!!
Is everything opened up on crab island now. Inflatables. Kayaking snorkeling everything that you guys offer in your excursion package. For 69.00
Yes, our excursions are running with everything that we advertise as being included in the trip. Hope that helps!
We are heading to Crab Island August 3, 2021… do we have to purchase tickets ahead of time?
You should make advanced reservations for your transportation to Crab Island (boat rental, shuttle boat, or excursion). There are no tickets required for entry to Crab Island beyond that.
Can you tell me the price of doing just the inflatable option if renting a private boat to Crab Island?
There is no inflatable option if you are renting a boat. The public water park attraction closed due to County restrictions. The only way to do inflatables now is through the Crab Island Adventure Tour. https://crabislandcompany.com/adventure-tour/
Are any vendors open now at Crab Island? If so, what vendors are there? Thank you!
You can find information about the vendors here: https://www.destinvacationboatrentals.com/blog-post/crab-island-2021/ Hope that helps!