Visit DestinIt’s the crown jewel of the Emerald Coast, the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village, a utopian paradise surrounded by calm aqua-green waters and crowned by powder blue skies. It’s where people from all over the globe flock to discover and experience its charms— graceful palm trees, pastel-hued tin-roof houses, intriguing history and an abundance of one-of-a-kind attractions. Destin, Florida has earned its place as one of the world’s most popular destinations. Listed as one of TripAdvisor’s top 10 vacation destinations and earning a Traveler’s Choice Award, this island oasis is where the world comes to get away.

#1 Way To Experience Destin Is By Water

Grab your flip-flops, throw on your swimsuit and pack the sunblock–then head to the most popular attraction when you visit Destin; the emerald green waters.

Whoever you are–from the adventurous, to the laid-back and everyone in between, your Destin vacation begins and ends with the infinite possibilities to be experienced in, on and above the water. This tiny slice of heaven is surrounded by shimmering seas that beckon you to explore, whether exploring underwater sea life by snorkeling, making a splash on a Jet Ski, parasailing among the clouds with a bird’s eye view or sailing starry-eyed into our world-famous sunset.

Crab Island excursion– Visit Destin’s most popular underwater attraction: the Crab Island sandbar. Ride the Crab Island Shuttle Boat to and from Crab Island and enjoy spending a full 2-2.5 hours on the sandbar, where you can walk around in waist-deep water and visit floating restaurants and mobile food vendors while you watch your cares float away with the tide. This tour is a great way to “get your feet wet” with a Crab Island experience!

crab island visit destin fl

Waverunner dolphin tour– Destin is home to some of the largest populations of bottlenose dolphins in the world. It’s no surprise that waverunner dolphin tours are some of the most popular things to do in Destin, combining 2 popular activities-jet skiing and dolphin watching- into one. Watch these beautiful and playful creatures on a guided dolphin tour for an up-close experience with our area’s most beloved marine mammals.

waverunner dolphin tours destin fl

Take a cruise on a floating tiki boat-These floating tiki bars are a fun and unique way to cruise the waters of Destin. Pack your own food and drinks and set out on a captained adventure cruise. Sightsee for dolphins as you cruise the Harbor and anchor at Crab Island, where you’re sure to be the center of attention. Nothing says “vacation paradise” quite like a tiki cruise!

crab island tiki boat cruise

All-inclusive adventure tour– The Crab Island Adventure Tour offers a little bit of everything under the sun, combining multiple activities into one fun-filled trip. This all-inclusive, captained boat tour offers 2 stops at local boating hot spots, including the Gulf Islands National Seashore and the famed Crab Island sandbar and includes a dolphin tour, kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling, shelling, banana boat rides, and more! As a bonus, it’s a lot less expensive than doing these activities separately. So dive in and book your seats on the Crab Island Adventure Tour here. It’s becoming one of the most popular things to do in Destin. (Please note the inflatable waterpark in the video below has been outlawed by the National Parks Service and is no longer offered as part of the tour.)

Fireworks cruise– The sunsets in Destin are spectacular, and are best viewed from the water. Even better? Destin puts on a fireworks display over the Harbor every Thursday night from Memorial Day through Labor Day and every Saturday in October. If you’re planning a trip to Destin during the summer, you won’t want to miss taking a fireworks cruise. Tour the Destin Harbor, sightsee for dolphins as the sun goes down, then anchor out and watch the the sky explode with color as the light show begins. Click here for more information on taking a fireworks cruise! You’ll want to plan ahead as seats fill up fast.

Destin harbor fireworks July 4th

Family Fun

Digital detox starts here. For the most unforgettable family vacation, pack your bags, gather up the kids and head South to where sunscreen is the only screen you’ll need. Visit Destin and you’ll find all kinds of action-packed fun including exploring the wonders under the sea as you snorkel the shoreline, learn to fly on a parasail and make some waves on a jet ski.

There’s also dolphins to meet, key lime pie and ice cream to devour, marine life to see up-close and a 65-foot zip line tower to climb. End every perfect day with nature’s most dazzling light show as you experience the world-famous Destin sunset.

Here are the must-do’s for your Destin family vacation itinerary:

Crab Island-One of the most picturesque natural attractions, the Crab Island sandbar is an underwater playground for boaters. You can rent a boat or take an excursion to get there. You’ll find crystal clear, shallow water that at high tide is the perfect shade of aquamarine, floating restaurants, mobile food vendors who come to you by boat, and hundreds of people relaxing in the sun.

Crab Island Floating Restaurant

Gulfarium– See our marine life up close at this local marine adventure park. Offering dolphin shows, animal encounters, and more, this stop is a fun and interactive stop for your family’s visit to Destin.

History and Fishing Museum– Pay a visit to the Destin History & Fishing Museum for a look into Destin’s rich fishing history, which dates back to the 1800s when New England fisherman Captain Leonard Destin settled in the area and pioneered the fishing industry and learn how the city became the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.

Feed the alligators (or the fish)– Nothing says “Florida” quite like alligators. Pay a visit to Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill and feed the 100+ baby alligators at Gator Beach. You can even get your picture taken holding one! Alligators not your thing? Feed the fish that circle the underwater lights surrounding The Edge Seafood Restaurant on the Destin Harbor instead (or in addition to!).

destin florida attractions itinerary fun

Sunset celebration on the rooftop – Visit the adults-only* rooftop bar: Skybar, located just above The Edge Seafood Restaurant on the Destin Harbor, Destin’s only over-the-water restaurant. Take in breathtaking panoramic waterfront and sunset views and raise your glass for a toast as the sun sets and the underwater lights come on below while the firepit is lit on the sunset deck. Voted Best Place to Have a Cocktail, this is the perfect way to end your day in Destin. (*18 to enter, 21 to drink)

skybar adult bar harbor rooftop

Destin & Chill

The real world is worlds away when you visit Destin, where it’s always the perfect time to sip a frosty margarita or a cold beer, laze under a beach umbrella as the tide rolls in and become one with nature’s most beautiful scenery.

Get away from the everyday to a place where you can come as you are, explore at your own pace and experience the carefree vibe that the city is famous for.

Choose Your Own Adventure

If it’s an adrenaline rush you seek, you’ve come to the right place. When you visit Destin, there’s opportunity for non-stop action and thrills, whether it’s a day-long adventure of sun and sea, flying high above the land on a zip line or discovering hidden gems as you tour on a jet ski.

Zip line– Experience Destin’s longest and tallest Dual Zip Line attraction. HarborWalk Adventures Zip Line is known as the most beautiful zip line on the Emerald Coast. Spanning approximately 1,000’ round-trip between two steel towers will be the most picturesque ride overlooking some of the most marvelous turquoise water and sugar sand beaches in Florida. Add in some of the most spectacular sunsets you’ll ever witness, and you’ll soon see why the HarborWalk Adventures Zip Line will be a ride you won’t soon forget.

Jet skiRent a jet ski (or two) and ride around, taking in the breathtaking views of the area by water. Be on the lookout for playful dolphins and other marine animals that call our Florida waters home!

Adventure tour– Enjoy a boat ride, snorkeling, shelling, paddleboarding, kayaking, an inflatable water park and more on the Crab Island Adventure Tour. This all-inclusive tour offers a little bit of everything under the sun, including two stops at different area hotspots: the Gulf Island National Seashore and the famed Crab island sandbar.

crab island inflatables kayaks paddleboards adventure tour

Top Places to Eat

With its Floridian, Cajun and Southern influences, Destin offers a diverse selection of unique dining options.

The Edge – Destin’s only restaurant that was built directly on top of the water, this restaurant offers fresh seafood served al fresco amid panoramic waterfront views. The restaurant downstairs is casual and family-friendly right in the heart of the action on the Destin Harbor. Kids can feed the fish off the docks while adults sit back and enjoy the view. Upstairs is an adults-only rooftop bar with more of an upscale vibe, live music, a firepit, and breathtaking sunset views. Full menu is available on both levels all day and features fresh, Florida-style gulf seafood.

visit destin restaurants
Fudpucker’s– The #1 tourist stop for families with kids, this colorful and fun restaurant offers sprawling seating, an alligator attraction with photo opps galore, and an extensive menu that matches the fun vibe.

Lulu’s – this bayside restaurant offers plenty to keep the littles entertained with a picturesque backdrop and white sandy beach to boot! The menu is large and offers a little bit of everything.

Boshamps– Boshamps Oyster Bar has a HUGE outdoor seating area with multiple levels, an outdoor bar, and a large white sand beach featuring palm trees and hammocks, volleyball, and cornhole games as well as free cane poles for fishing on the docks. The menu is focused on southern-style gulf seafood.

Louisiana Lagniappe– Enjoy fine dining and sunset views from this waterfront restaurant that has been a staple in Destin for decades. Menu features seafood with a Cajun influence.

Harbor Docks– One of Destin’s oldest Harborfront establishments, this restaurant offers a twist on your regular seafood-type fare, offering amazing sushi and thai food as well as fresh gulf seafood dishes.

Top Places to Stay

Accommodations in Destin are as varied as the taste of our visitors and because of this, you’ll find no matter what you’re looking for, it’s here.

Condos are perhaps the most popular type of vacation rental in Destin. Ocean Reef and Compass Resorts have a variety of properties for you to choose from, for whatever fits your needs.

The Island Resort is a newly-renovated property on nearby Okaloosa Island, featuring private Beach Front access, swim up pool rooms, a beach bar for cocktails and live music, close proximity to Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier and more.

The Emerald Grande offers the full resort experience. restaurants, shopping, activities and more as well as jaw-dropping views of the Destin Harbor and Crab Island.

Looking for an AirBnb /House to rent for your group? Book direct online from SkyRun Vacation Rentals and save your AirBnb fees! They have a variety of houses and condos available to rent for your group in both 30A and Destin.

Helpful Tips & Resource Guides

From thrilling watersports to romantic sunset sails, family-fun and historic pursuits, there’s so much to do and see in Destin that it may seem daunting to try and experience it all.

To help you plan your perfect vacation, here are some helpful tips and resources that will ensure you’ll make the most of every moment.

A Sample 5-Day Itinerary for your Destin Vacation

Top 30 Things to Do in Destin

Things to do with Kids in Destin

Crab Island Visitor’s Guide