Happy New Year! It’s 2019 and Destin is in the headlines again-this time, on Fodor’s Travel “Go list” . It seems almost every time we turn around, Destin is back in the news, winning some award for our beautiful beaches and world-class travel activities. If you’ve stumbled on this post looking for Destin attractions, here is a brief rundown of the top attractions that you’ll want to visit should you be lucky enough to travel to the Destin area this year.
1. Florida’s largest and most elaborately-equipped charter fishing fleet. Destin IS the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village, after all, so a visit wouldn’t be complete without at least taking a stroll along the Destin Harbor Boardwalk and taking in the sight of all the boat bringing in their catches at the end of the day. For those who want to get out on the water and try their luck, you book a fishing charter. Charters typically range from 4-10 hours and come in all shapes and sizes and price ranges. You can find more information about fishing charters here. Prefer to DIY? You can rent a fishing boat instead!
2. Crab Island. This underwater sandbar and popular place to anchor your boat (rented or personal) is one of the most talked about and photographed areas in Destin. There’s just no place like it. With inflatable play areas, floating restaurants, and mobile food boats, Crab Island is truly its own destination. Read more about Crab Island here.
3. Gator Beach. Want to see alligators on your trip? Gator Beach in Destin has a great gator viewing area where you can even feed gators from a cane pole. Alligator handlers offer short educational shows throughout the day, AND you can even get your picture taken while holding an alligator! This attraction is free to low-cost depending on what you choose to do (viewing is free, feeding and getting your picture taken is not, but a portion of the proceeds goes back to wildlife protection). Gator Beach is also located at Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill. Eating there might just qualify as an attraction on its own. Definitely a must!
4. Fat Daddy’s Arcade. While you’re at Fudpucker’s/Gator Beach, stop in to the arcade next door and play a few rounds of video games. They have it all-from classics like Ski Ball and Hoops, to the latest, greatest interactive games. Play for big prizes like game consoles or for tickets which can be redeemed for small prizes. This is a great thing to do on rainy days especially!
5. The Track. Go-karts, bumper cars, rides for the kids, etc. There is plenty to do at The Track, especially for the young and young-at-heart!
6. Go Bowling. When was the last time YOU went bowling? If you need a break from the sun and sand, Destin has 2 options for bowling. Hurricane Lanes is the original bowling alley in Destin. It’s your typical bowling alley where you rent shoes and pay by the game to play. Good old-fashioned family fun. Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl opened last year with a different, more modern (and, yes, touristy) version of bowling, where you pay to play by the HOUR (which is a little tricky) and you can order food from their restaurant. Uncle Buck’s is affiliated with Bass Pro Shops and this is reflected in the atmosphere and decor, which is, admittedly, pretty cool.
7. Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park. If water slides, lazy rivers, mini golf and sky coasters are your thing, Big Kahuna’s is a must. This giant water park is an all-day affair and is guaranteed to wear you out!