15 Best Things To Do in Destin, Florida

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

Henderson Beach State Park, Destin - ImageImage Source: flickr.com

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

Baytowne Wharf - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

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 - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

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

Places to visit in DestinImage Source: flickr.com

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

Destin from the top - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

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. 

Dhruvalakshmi, who believes that her Patronus would be a cat, loves day-dreaming and writing. But, she gets very uncomfortable when it comes to writing third person introductions like this one. If you ask her to scribble something about herself, she ...

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Destin

Check out the list of top tourist attractions in Destin! These are some inspiring things to do in Destin to create a wish list of your dream destinations.

  1. # 1 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 1046 times in trip plans
    Village Of Baytowne Wharf

    Tags: Bar, Village, View Point, Observatory

    Address: 9100 Baytowne Wharf Blvd. #120 Miramar Beach, FL. 32550

    Timings: 10:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    The best place to go while at Destin! Visitors may decide to spend a fun filled day at the Village or stay at one of the rentals and spend a few days to explore the Village and enjoy the vacation whil...Read more

  2. # 2 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 637 times in trip plans
    Big Kahuna's Water And Adventure Park

    Tags: Sport, Water Body, Waterfront, Park

    Address: 1007 US-98, Destin, FL 32541, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    With over 40 different rides, this is the best place for kids of all ages. Visitors will be spoilt for choice when it comes to pick the rides. This is one of the top attractions at Destin for families...Read more

  3. # 3 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 1024 times in trip plans
    Destin Harbor Boardwalk

    Tags: Water Body, Waterfront, Village, View Point

    Address: 102 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541, United States

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Destin Harbor Boardwalk is one of the top attractions and is most visited by locals and visitors alike. Staying true to its title as “World’s luckiest fishing village”, Destin Harbor...Read more

  4. # 4 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 581 times in trip plans
    Gulf Islands National Seashore

    Tags: Island, National Park, Water Body, Waterfront

    Address: 3500 Park Rd, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States

    Timings: 08:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    The Park is divided into two districts: Mississippi and Florida district. Whether you visit this National Park for a day or few days, there are plethoras of options available to choose from! Choo...Read more

  5. # 5 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 513 times in trip plans
    The Track Family Recreation Centre

    Tags: Go Carting, Park, Golf Course, Biking Trail

    Address: 1125 US-98, Destin, FL 32541, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Track Destin is family fun park offer Go-karts for all sizes, Arcade Room, Mini Golf, Bumper Cars, Bumper Boats, kids rides, Sky Flyer, big thrills, games arcade and a designated area for kids. If...Read more

  6. # 6 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 654 times in trip plans
    Gator Beach

    Tags: Observatory, Educational Site, Entertainment, Observation Deck

    Address: 20001 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541, United States

    Timings: 11:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    Get a chance to see over 80 alligators and learn about them through educational shows at the Gator Beach. Visitors can feed the alligators using cane pole – proceeds are used for wildlife preser...Read more

  7. # 7 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 608 times in trip plans
    Destin Commons

    Tags: Theatre, Shopping Center

    Address: 4100 Legendary Drive, Destin, FL 32541, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    Voted rightly as “The Best Place to Shop”, it is one of the must visit while at Destin - A one-stop destination for all your shopping needs. It also has some of the finest restaurants, a c...Read more

  8. # 8 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 2 times in trip plans
    Harry T's Boathouse

    Tags: Food And Drinks, Restaurant

    Address: 46 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541, USA

    Harry T's Lighthouse was opened in 1987 on the ground floor of the tallest building in Destin but was later moved to a two-story lighthouse at the Emerald Grande Condominium tower. The décor of...Read more

  9. # 9 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 6 times in trip plans
    Holiday Surf & Racquet Club

    Tags: Hotel

    Address: 510 Gulf Shore Dr, Destin, FL 32541, USA

    Timings: 08:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    The Holiday Surf & Racquet Club is a popular hotel that is situated on the pristine emerald-green waters of Destin's exclusive Holiday Isle. Here, you would be able to enjoy a family-friendly atmo...Read more

  10. # 10 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 2 times in trip plans
    Dewey Destin's Harborside Restaurant

    Tags: Food And Drinks, Restaurant

    Address: 202 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541, USA

    Timings: 11:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    If you are craving delectable seafood while in Destin, Dewey Destin's Harborside would be the perfect place to visit. The Destin family and friends using original Destin and Gulf Coast recipes are kno...Read more

  11. # 11 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 18 times in trip plans
    Crystal Villas Owner Associates Inc Image

    Address: 2850 Scenic Hwy 98, Destin, FL 32541, USA

    Crystal Villa is a beautiful three story midrise which was built in the year 1995 and is popular for its crystal clear sands and stunning surroundings. It comprises of twenty-seven units which are loc...Read more

  12. # 12 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 38 times in trip plans
    Village Inn Of Destin

    Tags: Hotel

    Address: 215 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Located just about 5 minutes away from entertainment and shopping at HarborWalk Village, this spacious hotel has an island-themed lobby and offers various amenities so that you can enjoy a comfortable...Read more

  13. # 13 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 8 times in trip plans
    Destin Yoga By The Sea

    Tags: Yoga Centre

    Address: 3500 Scenic Hwy 98, Destin, FL 32541, USA

    Timings: 09:15 am - 10:30 am Details

    Practice yoga for a healthy and happy life! Destin Yoga by the Sea is truly a haven for those who are seeking to learn yoga and incorporate it into their daily routine. What make s Destin Yoga by the ...Read more

  14. # 14 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 24 times in trip plans
    The Terrace At Pelican Beach

    Tags: Resort

    Address: 1002 Highway 98 East (Check-in Only), Destin, FL 32541, United States

    The Terrace at Pelican Beach is popular for offering luxurious resort condominiums so that you and your family can have a wonderful time. The resort offers a variety of two and three bedroom condomini...Read more

  15. # 15 of 374 Things To Do in Destin | Added 2 times in trip plans
    Embassy Suites Destin - Miramar Beach

    Tags: Hotel

    Address: 570 Scenic Gulf Dr, Destin, FL 32550, USA

    Embassy Suites by Hilton Destin Miramar Beach is one of the renowned 2-star hotels of Destin. The hotel welcomes its guests to walk through a nicely crafted atrium (in open air) and it makes the guest...Read more

Activities And Tours

Explore these activities and tours for awesome experiences in Destin:

  • Save 4% Gulf of Mexico Dolphin Cruise
    Gulf of Mexico Dolphin Cruise15 Reviews

    Duration: 1 Hrs 30 Mins

    Go in search of native dolphins on a wildlife cruise from Destin Harbor. Listen to narration on board as you glide along the ...

    Book Now
  • Save 7% Dolphin Watching Cruise in the Gulf of Mexico
    Dolphin Watching Cruise in the Gulf of Mexico4 Reviews

    Duration: 1 Hrs

    Cruise into the gulf of Mexico for the chance to see dolphins on this 75-minute boat ride. Along with your captain, search th...

    Book Now
  • Moonlight Glide Segway Tour in Destin
    Moonlight Glide Segway Tour in Destin1 Reviews

    Duration: Flexible

    Experience Destin, Florida like never before on this educational and entertaining Segway tour. In this bustling area of north...

    Book Now
  • Destin Sightseeing Tour by Segway with Small Group
    Destin Sightseeing Tour by Segway with Small GroupNew on TripHobo

    Duration: Flexible

    Enjoy a fun ride with history and tips about Destin. Stops at Destin History and Fishing Museum, Clement Taylor Park, Marler ...

    Book Now
Ask question in category
  • Can you ride horses on the beach?

    Answer Report Abuse
    • It is not allowed to ride horses on the beaches of Destin. However, stables in Destin offer horseback riding facilities. 

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  • Where can we go horseback riding in Destin?

    Answer Report Abuse
    • There are many stables in and around Destin where you can enjoy horseback riding. 

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