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Sun, Sand and So Much More: Destin, Florida - Not Just Another Beach Town!

Welcome to Destin, Florida – our little slice of paradise nestled along the stunning Emerald Coast! This picturesque destination is home to some of the worlds best beaches with sugary white sand and emerald green water. Besides the magnificent scenery, Destin also offers a myriad of activities and attractions filled with fun and adventure for every traveler. Whether you're craving some beach time to unwind, seeking an adventure-packed getaway, or eager to indulge in our coastal cuisine, Destin and the surrounding areas have got you covered. So grab your flip flops! We're gonna dive in and discover the best things to do in Destin and beyond!

First things first......

Bask In Beach Bliss

Prepare to be mesmerized by Destin's famed sugar-white sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Spend your days basking in the sun, building sandcastles, or simply strolling along the pristine shoreline. Popular beaches include: Henderson Beach State Park, Miramar Beach, Sandestin Beach, and the Noriega Point!

Get On The Water

Explore your adventurous spirit with a variety of water activities that Destin has to offer. Set sail on a dolphin cruise or a fabulous sailing adventure, go snorkeling to discover colorful marine life, or hop aboard one of the many deep-sea fishing charters that will take you where the big fish swim in the Gulf of Mexico. Thrill-seekers can also indulge in adrenaline-pumping experiences like parasailing or jet skiing along the coast. Some prefer to just rent a pontoon boat or even the popular tiki boats and relax on Crab Island, famous for its shallow, crystal-clear waters ideal for swimming and socializing, where you can walk around in waist deep water with drinks in hand.

Water excursions for all ages:

  • Smile N Wave - Join Captain Pam for a day trip aboard her new Trimaran, Nice Tri. All her day trips offer the ability to swim, snorkel, look for dolphins or watch the sunset on the Gulf of Mexico in Destin, Florida.

  • Southern Star Dolphin Cruise - Destin’s Original Dolphin Cruise! The Southern Star offers the most sightings on the Emerald Coast, about a 98% success rate. Observe bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat aboard the largest ship of its kind in the Destin Harbor!

  • Pelican Adventures of Destin - Pelican Adventures offers a variety of activities including Deep Sea Fishing, Parasailing, and Snorkeling/Shelling Eco Tours.

Fab Eats, Shopping & Nightlife at the Destin Harborwalk

Experience the vibrant energy of Destin Harbor Boardwalk, a bustling hub of entertainment, dining, and shopping. Take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk lined with charming shops, waterfront restaurants, and lively bars. Don't miss the opportunity to witness the breathtaking sunset views over the harbor or catch a live music performance or an exquisite fireworks show on select evenings.

The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park Show & Experience

For a family-friendly adventure, that also lends an educational touch, head to Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park located on Okaloosa Island. Explore fascinating exhibits showcasing marine life from the Gulf of Mexico, including rescued dolphins, sea lions, and sharks. Watch captivating animal shows, interact with marine creatures, and learn about their continual conservation endeavors to protect marine life and preserve our beaches.

Schedule a Scenic Cruise & Go Island Hopping

Embark on a scenic cruise along the Emerald Coast to discover its hidden treasures. Many tour operators offer guided excursions, sunset cruises, and private charters, providing an unforgettable way to experience the coastal beauty.

Explore Our Outdoor Adventures

Escape into nature and explore the diverse outdoor landscapes surrounding Destin. Hike along nature trails in nearby state parks such as Topsail Hill Preserve State Park or Eden Gardens State Park. Go on a bike ride exploring the rare coastal dune lakes unique to this region. Birdwatching, kayaking, and paddleboarding are also popular activities for nature enthusiasts.

Destin Culinary Delights = Good Eats

Destin is known as the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village" for a reason. Indulge in the rich culinary scene of Destin, where fresh seafood and coastal flavors take center stage. Savor mouthwatering seafood dishes at waterfront eateries, sample local favorites like Gulf shrimp, oysters, and grouper, or treat yourself to a delectable beachfront brunch. Don't forget to try the famous key lime pie for a sweet taste of Florida's culinary heritage.

Famous Seafood Restaurants

  • AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar - Located right on Destin harbor, this restaurant has been serving up fresh catches since 1978. Try their famous oyster bar with options like charbroiled oysters and oyster shooters.

  • Surf Hut- Situated on the beach with amazing views, this restaurant has been ranked as having one of the best beach views in Destin. They blend up all the best that land and sea have to offer—and make it an experience you'll never forget! From awesome apps to totally epic views, Surf Hut is a great hangout for the whole family..

  • Dewey Destin's - Part of the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, this local legend has a laidback vibe and specializes in seafood classics. Destin's founders started this restaurant over 30 years ago.

Beachside Dining - Several spots offer dining right on the beach, perfect for sunset dinners.

  • The Beach Walk Cafe - Creative beach cuisine served on Henderson Beach, known for dishes like blackened fish tacos and crab stuffed shrimp.

  • La Paz - Authentic Mexican food situated right in the heart of Destin. Try their fish tacos paired with margaritas and great views.

  • The Back Porch - A favorite with the locals since 1974, The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House in Destin got started in a small A-frame building on the beach. They instantly made a name for themselves by serving delicious Gulf seafood with the best Gulf views.  A few years later, they invented the Amberjack sandwich, and the rest is history.

Take A Day Trip to Nearby Attractions

Venture beyond Destin and explore the nearby attractions that add to the allure of the Emerald Coast. Take a short drive to charming seaside towns like Seaside or Rosemary Beach, renowned for their quaint architecture, artisanal shops, and scenic beauty. Alternatively, visit historic landmarks such as Fort Pickens or embark on a nature excursion to the pristine beaches of Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Rainy Day? Sunburned? Shop Til You Drop

Destin is home to some excellent shopping destinations, perfect for finding souvenirs, beachwear, and luxurious brands. Two of the most popular shopping spots are Destin Commons and Silver Sands Premium Outlets.

Destin Commons is an open-air lifestyle center featuring popular stores like Anthropologie, Southern Living, Cute Boutique Shops and Bass Pro. There's also AMC movie theater and plenty of restaurants. It's a great place to spend an afternoon shopping, catching a movie, and grabbing a bite to eat.

Just 10 minutes east down Highway 98 brings you to Silver Sands Premium Outlets. This is the largest outlet mall in the area with 110 designer stores including Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Adidas, and more. You'll find savings between 25-65% off regular prices.

Between these two shopping centers, you're sure to find great shopping opportunities from high end luxury to discounted deals in Destin. Both are centrally located and offer plenty of dining and entertainment options to make a day out of your shopping excursion.

Most Importantly!

Don't let these timeless moments pass without documenting your memories! How often do we find ourselves swept away by the busyness of the present, forgetting to pause and capture the magic unfolding around us? Whether this is your first time to Destin or 20th, every moment is unique and time will pass with or without those memories in a place where you can revisit them.

  • If you haven't already booked a photoshoot for your stay, give me a shout! I would love to help you create these timeless mementos! RHoward Photography

In Conclusion

I hope this list helps in all your vacation planning, but the truth is, Destin and its neighboring gems serve up a smorgasbord of experiences to suit every fancy. Whether you're in the mood for some R&R, craving a thrilling escapade, or itching for a dose of local flavor, this coastal playground has everything you need. Time to pack those bags, catch some rays, and dive headfirst into an adventure you won't soon forget along the Emerald Coast!

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1 Comment

What a beautiful Add! 😘

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