by Dhruvalakshmi Paithankar Updated on 16 Oct 2018
A beautiful city located in northwest Florida in the United States in the area named Panhandle; Destin is popular for its Gulf of Mexico beaches. Destin Harbor Boardwalk and many golf courses also make this place a wonderful place to vacation. This city is amazing with a lot of fun-filled and thrilling activities to be done with your family, kids an partners. The place will give you a trail of memories to be made once you visit and hence it could be a perfect holiday destination for you. But before you plan to go, below is the list of top tourist attractions in Destin you need to check in order to plan your trip.
Let's explore Destin points of interest and 15 best things to do in Destin:
1. Enjoy the Pristine View of Henderson Beach State Park
The amazing Henderson Beach State Park is bordered with striking emerald waters from the Gulf of Mexico, full of playful dolphins is a must visit place in Destin. The warm sand underneath your feet during the day and the shore by your side at night will make your vacation perfect. You can also go hiking in the nature trails surrounded by greenery and with other activities such as swimming, fishing, family picnic, etc.
Admission: People have to purchase tickets to enter the park.
2. Visit the village of Baytowne Wharf
Although it is named as a village it’s not a neighborhood. It is, in fact, a gathering place where natives from Florida and other visitors come to spend their time by the water without getting wet. The mirror-like clear water gives you some awesome view like seeing your own reflection and watching the sunrise and sunset. For more fun, there is a nautical themed playground where you can have some thrilling adventures. Apart from that, don’t miss the Baytowne LIVE where a lot of festivals and concerts are scheduled and that too for free.
Admission: Entry is free and is open to all public
3. A journey to Jolee Island Nature Park
Nature lovers can have a great time in this five acre of a park which is full of beautiful sceneries. The place is covered with Magnolia and Pine tree masses wita h pirate-themed playground for kids to have their kind of fun while standing at the lookout tower; it can never skip out from your list of places to visit in Destin. With sand and water, you can have loads of fun at the beach with your family and friends.
Admission: Tickets need to be purchased to get into the park
4. Take a dip at the Crystal Beach
Crystal Beach which is just off the Gulf of Mexico is covered with white sand which makes it more attractive and one of the popular places to visit when you are vacationing in Destin. You can either take a dip in the water or just relax in the pastel-colored beach cottages that will offer you comfort and bliss with some really nice view. After taking a stroll along the beach side and having some amazing delicacies at one of the many pavilions, you must head to Waterfront Park for a free concert.
Admission: Admission is free for all
5. Connect with the marine life at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
The baby dolphin at the Marine Adventure Park who is also the ambassador of the park loves the rain and is always excited to meet the visitors. With featured walkways and exhibits, the place is a well-planned animal habitat where you can find various marine creatures enjoying their routine life which is somehow fun and adventurous. You can also enjoy the various dolphin and sea lion shows at times throughout the day to have fun during your vacation in Destin.
Admission: Ticket based entry; prices are different for adults and kids
6. Relive the fun at Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone
With 16,000 square foot indoor arcade, this adventure zone is located in Okaloosa Island. Other things to see is a 60-foot rope course, two putt golf course, Laser Maze, 4D movie theatre, an inflatable zone, Ptero Jump, Yogo Mogo and Salvati’s Pizza Factory. You can have some great time here struggling to get back your old childhood days when you were absolutely carefree.
Admission: Entry is free but needs to pay for various activities inside
7. Fish lovers paradise: Destin History & Fishing Museum
To those who either love fish or loves fishing must definitely go to this place. They can experience the feeling of swimming in the Gulf of Mexico by seeing at some beautiful species of fish caught from the Gulf displayed on a 100 feet of wall. Apart from that, some antique reels and fishing rods can also be seen with vintage Destin photos to make your day. The major attraction is the original Penn reel belonging to Ernest Hemmingway.
Admission: One has to purchase tickets to get into the museum
8. Go for an exhilarating bowling game
Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill and Hurricane Lanes are two of the greatest options for bowling in Destin. With a dozen pool tables, 26 bowling lanes, an arcade, Cabana Café, Rupert’s Sports Bar, etc, Hurricane Lanes is a great place to chill out and have some fun time with your friends and family. Coming to Uncle Buck’s, this place is also no less with 16 underwater themed lanes, saltwater aquarium and a restaurant and bar to offer you some really mouthwatering dishes to smack on after a game of bowling. It can be one of the best 15 things to do in Destin on a rainy day.
Admission: Admission is free but for playing one need to pay
9. Indian Temple Mound
History lovers must surely visit the Fort Walton Beach Indian Temple Mound which is one of the famous archeological places to visit in Destin. There is a museum offering hands-on display which are popular with kids so as to make the kids enjoy on a rainy day. With a range of other historical things such as stone tools made by ancient people and grinding stone to grind corn, etc you will have a really good time there with your friends and family.
Admission: To get into this historical site tickets are needed
10. Take your kids for a ride on the Pirate Cruise
If sword fights, squirt gun fight, swabbing the deck is something that makes your kids happy then you must board the Pirate Cruise where they will get all of them. You can buy your choice of Pirate costumes and can get similar makeup and have some amazing fun activities during your 90 minutes cruise ride. It can never get better if you miss the Pirate Cruise.
Admission: You have to pay for the cruise to sail on it
11. Ship with Dolphins on the Dolphin Sunset Cruise
You might think that how one can see dolphin for sure while they are sailing on a cruise but you will see them all. All those playful dolphins doing tricks and playing with the waves can be a really cool experience. Get some snacks and pack some drinks and take your kids for another fun and thrilling ride on a cruise where you can see the sunset in the water while dolphins swimming by your boat side.
Admission: Pay to get into the cruise
12. Shop until your drop at Destin Commons
One of the major outdoor malls in Destin has all that you ever wanted to buy. With an open area and small shops set up, you will have an amazing shopping experience. Buy something common or something local and you will just love them. After shopping, hop into some nice restaurants and eat some of the yummiest food in Destin. If it is Christmas then you are lucky enough to visit the place as they decorate it really well with a huge decorated and lighted Christmas tree.
Admission: Free of cost and open to all
13. Treat your sweet tooth at Small Cakes of Destin
If you are a sweet lover or a cake lover then you simply cannot skip this place. From local donuts, cupcakes, muffins, cakes, pastries and many other desserts that too of different flavors, you can have it all right at this place. Bring your kids as well and they will not feel like to leave.
Admission: Free to enter and pay for what you eat
14. Go camping at Camp Gulf RV Park
One of the coolest campgrounds in all of North America is this. You simply cannot miss this place if you are in Destin. With activities such as swimming, surfing, water sports and many more, you will have loads of fun on the adventure side or you can simply sit back and relax while watching others having some crazy fun time. This place is a must visit if you are vacationing in Destin.
Admission: Admission is free but for camping and staying you have to pay
15. See Destin from the top
Rent a beach helicopter and see how Destin looks from the top. With huge water bodies, beaches, stalls, restaurants, people roaming around, you will get an awesome aerial view of Destin from beach helicopters. You can also look forward to visiting other beaches in the helicopter and get an awesome aerial view of the beaches and emerald water of Destin. The people roaming having fun and restaurants working will add to the beauty of the view which you simply cannot afford to miss.
Admission: Pay for the helicopter ride
When in Destin, United States, don’t forget to visit the above-mentioned places as without visiting these places your vacation to Destin is just incomplete. So, plan your trip accordingly and make sure to have enough time to enjoy each and every place.