Destin Snorkeling

Destin snorkeling is a family favorite for Destin area visitors. The crystal clear emerald green water, moderate year-round water temperatures, and opportunities to see abundant marine life create some exciting adventures. It’s fun to see Destin through a snorkel mask!

The reason that Destin is an ideal place for snorkeling is that our emerald green 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, seahorse, 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 tours


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, or join a snorkeling tour, where a captain and crew take you out and show you the best spots for viewing marine life underwater. Destin has a variety of snorkel tours, from shorter tours that hit one or two spots to longer do-it-all adventures that include snorkeling as well as other activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, inflatable water parks, and more.

Destin’s most popular snorkel destinations

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. The caveat here is that the pull from the tides can be strong and the water can get deep quickly, so it’s best to go only on a guided tour.  

The other popular area to snorkel is along the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a long stretch of undeveloped shoreline along the south side of the Choctawhatchee Bay. The water here is shallow and the currents not as strong, making it an ideal location for novice snorkelers and young children. Because the gulf flows into the bay on the south side, the visibility here is good as well. Marine creatures make their homes in this area’s grass beds and you can find a large variety of seashells, seahorses, crabs, fish, rays, and more.

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 spring and summer months. Due to the strong currents with changing tides (particularly at the Jetties), 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 or join a captained tour that can help ensure your safety! Flotation devices are a good idea as well.

Check with your tour 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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