Try a Destin Snorkeling Adventure

Snorkeling is one of our favorite family activities in Destin. The crystal clear emerald green water, moderate year-round water temperatures, and opportunities to see abundant marine life create some exciting adventures! I can take my 12 year old out, hand him a mask, snorkel, and set of flippers, and he’ll be occupied for literally hours. It’s fun to see Destin through a snorkel mask!

The reason that Destin is an ideal place for snorkeling is that our emerald waters reflect off the sugar white sand, giving exceptional visibility and allowing you to see thousands of fish, different species of crabs, and the occasional sea turtle, manatee, dolphin, or cow nose ray. For anyone who has dreamed of exploring Destin’s crystal clear emerald green waters and interacting with marine life, Destin snorkeling is the perfect activity.

Destin snorkeling


How to get out on the water

If you’re interested in Destin snorkeling, you can rent a boat and bring your snorkel gear including a mask, snorkel, fins, and dive flag, join a snorkel tour, or hire a guide for a more personalized snorkel tour of shipwrecks and reefs all along the Emerald Coast. If you’d prefer the do-it-yourself route, you can also buy a snorkel set and walk to some of Destin’s most popular snorkel destination, or go it alone off the beach.

Destin’s most popular snorkel destination

For those with snorkeling experience, Destin’s East jetty is the most popular destination for snorkeling because it’s accessible both by boat and by foot. This is also where the majority of the snorkel tour boats go. It’s become such a popular place that the City of Destin added a lifeguard station to the point for added safety for snorkelers.

Because the jetty is constructed of large rocks lying on top of one another, these landmark structures act as an artificial reef system and provide the perfect habitat for tropical fish and other sea life, making the jetties a fantastic location for snorkeling. 

Off the beaten path snorkeling locations

Other popular areas to snorkel include the horseshoe cove that is located closer to the tip of Norriego Point on the south side, Crab Island (an underwater sandbar on the north side of the Destin Bridge) if it’s not too crowded, and all along the Gulf Islands National Seashore. If you’re snorkeling with younger children, I would recommend one of these places as the water is shallow and the currents not as strong. 

When to go snorkeling in Destin

The quality of snorkeling in Destin is very dependent upon the tides and the time of year, with greatest visibility at high tide, particularly in the summer months. Due to the strong currents with changing tides, the best (and safest) time of day to go is at high water slack tide. As always, make sure to always use the buddy system and your dive flags! Flotation devices are a good idea as well.


Check with your charter guide or Destin boat rental company to find the best time of day to plan your snorkeling trip, and let us know if we can help! Isn’t it time you got out and explored those gorgeous waters?

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  1. Silas Knight says:

    Snorkeling sounds like a really fun activity to try out. I didn’t know that high tide in the summer was the best time to go snorkeling, so that is good to know. Is that only in Destin, or is that true of most places?

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