Destin watersports are a popular favorite amongst visitors and locals alike. With the most popular attraction in Destin being the emerald green water that surrounds our little slice of paradise, it’s no wonder that so many people travel to our area to bask in the sunshine on white sandy shores while gazing out on the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. If you’ve been to Destin and seen the water first-hand, chances are you’ve been more than a little tempted to dip your toes in the water, so I’ve put together a list of ten different Destin watersports activities to try. From soothing sunset cruises, to thrilling jet ski rides, there’s guaranteed to be a watersports activity for everyone, regardless of age, skill level, or budget!
Top 10 Destin Watersports
- Go Fishing! Who doesn’t want to try their luck fishing in the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village? You can rent a fishing boat and fishing poles and navigate the waters in search of that trophy fish, hire a guide to show you the basics of fishing in Destin Florida, or let the experts do the work and go on a fishing charter. Destin boasts the closest deepwater access in the northern gulf and the fish are plentiful! Fish for grouper, red snapper, mackerel, cobia, shark, redfish, speckled trout or flounder. Be careful, it’s addictive!
- Take the family tubing. Rent a boat and an inflatable tube and enjoy a day of laughter, smiles, and memory-making as you watch the kids (or adults!) skim across the top of the water, splashing in the wake of the boat. The perfect way to add a splash of watersports fun to your Destin vacation!
- Relax at Crab Island. Ride the Crab Island Shuttle Boat, or rent your own boat and anchor on the sandbar and spend a lazy day floating on the water at Destin’s most popular hangout spot. Park away from the crowds and enjoy your own tunes or pull in closer and listen to a live band on a floating stage. Kids can bounce on the giant inflatable trampoline or slide down an inflatable slide into the water. Floating restaurants and mobile food vendors (on boats!) complete the unique setting that is only found here in Destin.
- Go Jet Skiing. Satisfy your need for speed on these fast, yet stable, watercraft. Jet skis are fun for the whole family and allow a different riding experience than a boat. Race across the water and enjoy the spray of the water, or go at a slower pace and explore waterways that aren’t as accessible by boat. Jet ski rentals are one of the most popular Destin watersports activities!
- Go Snorkeling. The crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico provide an excellent view of marine life such as fish, crabs, plant life, sea turtles, sting rays, and occasionally even manatee. Snorkeling is a fantastic way to experience the wonders of nature!
- Explore by kayak. Kayaks are affordable, fun, and are great way to incorporate a little fitness into your vacation. Soak up the sun, paddle through the harbor, and enjoy the scenery as you spot million-dollar waterfront homes, vacationers strolling along the boardwalk, boats travelling by, and marine life so close you could touch it.
- Sightsee for Dolphins. Destin offers a natural ecosystem that is home to many marine animals, including dolphins. Watching wild dolphins is an exhilarating experience that can be enjoyed by all ages. Be sure to watch for other marine life such as fish, sea turtles, manatee, stingrays, and birds. You can rent a boat, join a waverunner excursion, or a dolphin tour boat to see dolphins.
- What’s SUP? One of the latest crazes is the standup paddleboard, or SUP. A cross between a surfboard and a kayak, these boards allow you to stand on the water and paddle, offering an amazing vantage point of the water and marine life. Plus, it’s great exercise and a lot of fun!
- Go Sailing. Catch the wind in your sails and enjoy the soothing sound of the waves lapping against your vessel as it cuts through the water with a sailboat rental or sailing charter. Sailing can be both exhilarating and relaxing. For a similar experience, but with a bird’s eye view, give parasailing a try!
- Watch the sunset or enjoy fireworks over the water. Take a sunset cruise and enjoy breathtaking views of the sun slipping across the sky and sinking over the water, the colors of the sky echoed in the reflection of the water which glitters with gold, crimson, orange, and lavender. Destin sunsets are truly beautiful and are even more memorable when seen from the water. Tip: During the summer months, stay out past sunset on Thursday nights and enjoy the weekly fireworks show over the Harbor with a fireworks cruise.