If you’re putting together your vacation itinerary and you’re searching for fun things to do in Destin, Florida, you’ve come to the right place!
Destin is an incredible vacation destination and the perfect place to make fun-filled memories with your family or friends. From boating and fishing to sunbathing on the white sandy beaches, there’s something everyone will love.
Plus, the crystal clear and colorful waters of the Emerald Coast are sure to leave you mesmerized. So come experience the fun and beauty Destin has to offer. Here is just a small list of all of the fun things you can do when you visit Destin, Florida.
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27 Fun Things to do in Destin Florida
Here are 27 of the best activities and attractions that will make your vacation an unforgettable adventure. From beaches to water parks and great restaurants, this list has you covered.
1. Henderson Beach State Park
Visiting Henderson Beach State Park is an absolute must when in Destin. This Florida State Park offers a stunning 6,000 feet of natural scenic shoreline bordered by the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
With boardwalks providing access to the beach for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and even nature trails that wind through the sand dunes, it’s no surprise that this beach is a popular spot to visit. There are even campsites for anyone wanting to extend their visit to the park!
Pro-tip: Keep an eye out as you explore as you might even spot some of the wildlife that makes this spot their home!
2. HarborWalk Village – Destin Harbor Boardwalk
Visiting HarborWalk Village and the Destin Boardwalk is a must when visiting Destin, Florida. This quarter-of-a-mile boardwalk stretches along the beautiful Destin Harbor and offers plenty of fun and excitement.
Anything from parasailing, zip-lining, water sports rentals, live music performances, weekly fireworks, shopping, restaurants, a rock climbing wall, a mini golf course, and escape rooms. Don’t miss out on fun restaurants like Margaritaville and Harry T’s located right here at the harbor. And don’t forget to grab fudge at the Fudgery for a sweet treat!
With so much to see and do, HarborWalk Village should be your first port of call when looking for fun things to do in Destin.
3. Buccaneer Pirate Cruise
Visiting HarborWalk Village in Destin is not complete without an adventure on the Buccaneer Pirate Cruise! You will sail into the beautiful waters of the Emerald Coast and explore undiscovered treasures.
Entertainment and interactive activities, such as pirate-themed fun, witty banter, singing, dancing, and even sword fighting, water gun battles, and authentic cannon firing, will create an adventure and excitement for both the young and old.
With fun activities all around, Buccaneer Pirate Cruise is a great way to make fun memories with your family and friends!
4. Visit Gator Beach – World’s Greatest Alligator Park
Gator Beach at Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill is the ultimate fun spot in Destin, Florida! This free park offers fun and interactive experiences that make it a top-rated attraction. Visitors can get up close and personal with alligators, a picture of holding baby gators, or even feeding them from long fishing poles.
There are all ages of gators here to observe and learn about, making it a fun and educational experience for everyone! And, with the reputation of being the “World’s Greatest Alligator Park,” you won’t be disappointed when you visit Gator Beach.
5. Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park
Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park is one of Destin, Florida’s most iconic attractions, and a must-do when visiting the area. It originally opened in 1986 and offers fun for the whole family with over 40 water attractions, several thrilling rides, and a mini golf course.
From fun slides like the Adrenaline Rush to the gentle float down the Amazon River Adventure Ride, there is something for all ages and tastes. Big Kahuna’s even has its own family fun center with an arcade and a snack bar.
6. Crab Island
Crab Island is a must-visit when visiting Destin, Florida. Located north of the Destin Bridge, this underwater sandbar is a fun spot to explore and enjoy the gorgeous blue-green waters. Whether you’re looking for fun things to do in Destin or just a day of fun in the sun, Crab Island is an ideal spot for it.
At high tide, you’ll find the picturesque waters that make Crab Island so popular. But there’s more than just looking at the gorgeous views – you can also enjoy fun activities like snorkeling, boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more.
7. James Lee Park
James Lee Park, also known as the “Crab Trap Beach” is an absolute must-visit when in Destin. This large white sand-covered beach boasts some of the most spectacular views in the area!
With well-maintained beach facilities like restrooms, changing areas, playgrounds, pavilions, and picnic areas, you’ll never run out of fun things to do or amenities here.
There are even several dune walkovers with views that will take your breath away! The crystal-clear emerald waters are great for sunbathing and swimming, with lifeguards on duty from Early March through the end of October. The waves are also perfect for water sports, so make sure to bring your boogie board or kayak!
8. Enjoy Thrilling & Classic Rides at The Track
If you enjoy go-karts and mini-golf along with other thrilling amusement park rides, then the Track in Destin, Florida is a must-visit. Featuring a variety of rides, from the Hurricane 360 and SkyFlyer to bumper boats and cars, there’s a little something for everyone!
Pro-tip: If you want to avoid the crowds and lines, getting there early right when the park opens is key.
9. Enjoy Games at Fat Daddy’s Arcade
While the name is a bit funny, this is a great place to visit for a little fun in Destin. Fat Daddy’s Arcade in Destin, Florida is the perfect indoor entertainment spot for all ages. With over 120 arcade games, dueling basketball hoops, and interactive action-packed games, visitors can experience endless fun while competing against their friends and family to win exciting prizes.
Plus, with snack bars, pizza, and other food options located nearby, everyone will love visiting Fat Daddy’s Arcade. So come on over and join the fun!
10. Take a Dolphin Sighting Boat Tour
A dolphin cruise in Destin, Florida is an absolute must for anyone looking to experience some of the Emerald Coast’s best sights. With its warm waters and abundance of bottlenose dolphins, you can enjoy a truly unique and unforgettable experience as you observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
There are even a variety of sunset cruises available as well for you to take in the breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico and bask in a beautiful Destin sunset.
11. Visit the Exciting Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone
Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone is a great way to spend a day and one of the most fun things to do in Destin, Florida. Experience the ropes course, mini golf, 4D theater roller coaster, and more.
Plus, its prehistoric dinosaur decor adds to the ambiance of the adventure zone, and it’s a fan favorite amongst families and really anyone looking for something fun to do while visiting. Wild Willy’s is located in nearby Fort Walton Beach (super close to Destin).
12. Enjoy a Workout at the Rock Out Climbing Gym
Rock Out Climbing Gym is the premier bouldering facility on the Emerald Coast, located just a stone’s throw from the Destin Boardwalk. Open rain or shine, it’s one of the best ways to experience some exciting outdoor-style fun in Destin!
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, Rock Out has something to offer. The friendly staff makes it a top-notch bouldering experience. Their personable and knowledgeable team is always available to help you with any questions you may have.
To top off the great experience, Rock Out Climbing Gym also has nitro cold brew on tap!
13. Adventure with Just Chute me! Parasail Destin
Just Chute Me! Parasail Destin is the perfect way to experience a unique adventure in Destin. The company’s friendly, professional, and fun staff will make sure you have an amazing time parasailing in the beautiful green waters of the Gulf Coast.
You’ll get some great photos of your exciting adventure, have the chance to spot dolphins, and even learn some fun facts about the area from your experienced guides.
If you’re new to this, don’t worry! This experience is perfect for first-time parasailers as the ride over the water is pretty gentle and relaxing. So, whether you’re a veteran parasailer or just trying it out for the first time, you’ll have a great experience!
14. Visit the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is one of the top attractions in Fort Walton Beach, right around the corner from Destin. Open since 1955, this marine park features amazing interactive experiences with dolphins, sharks, and other marine life.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of live shows including the popular sea lion show or the dolphin show, as well as up-close animal encounters. There’s also an array of exciting exhibits and activities that will provide hours of entertainment!
15. Bowl and Eat at Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl and Grill
Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill is one of the most unique and fun places to visit in Destin, Florida. Not only does it have a 16 lane bowling alley, but it offers a truly unique atmosphere with a large saltwater aquarium with beautiful tropical fish.
The restaurant itself is rustic and nautical-themed, with mermaids and sea creatures decorating the walls and bowling alley itself. You’ll find a wide variety of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, burgers and more. Prices are slightly high, but be sure to check Groupon for any discounts or weekday specials.
16. Explore The Gulf Breeze Zoo
The Gulf Breeze Zoo is a fun and exciting place to visit while in Destin. With over 900 exotic animals from around the world – including rhinos, hippos, gorillas and more – you’ll find plenty of fun things to do while visiting.
Take a ride on the African safari train, feed American alligators between April and October, or explore the bird sanctuary! Despite its smaller size, the Gulf Breeze Zoo packs a lot of fun into its 50-acre property. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Destin, the Gulf Breeze Zoo is a must!
17. Learn about the Area at Destin History & Fishing Museum
Located near the foot of the iconic Destin Bridge, this small museum showcases fun facts and interesting information on Destin’s rich fishing history. Learn fun facts such as how Jaws 2 was filmed here and discover different types of fish that have been caught in the area over time.
So, whether you love fishing or museums with fun facts, make sure to pay a visit to this charming destination!
18. Shop at Destin Commons
This open-air shopping center boasts 85+ stores and restaurants, including the first Southern Living Store. You’ll find anything from restaurants like Smashburger to retail stores like Lucky, H&M, Bass Pro Shop, and even a movie theater.
Not only that but it’s also a great place to walk around at night with its fun vibes. Whether you’re looking for a fun day or night activity or you just want to enjoy some quality time with friends and family, Destin Commons makes a great spot to hang out.
19. Eat at the Top Restaurants in Destin
When you visit Destin, you can expect to find some of the best seafood dishes and drinks with stunning views of the sunset over the water. There are plenty of restaurants to try along the Destin Boardwalk (you may never leave!) and the surrounding areas.
One of the most well-known at the HarborWalk is the famous Margaritaville. Grab a margarita and enjoy the sunset on the Destin Harbor. Another favorite nearby is The Back Porch, located on the beach with great seafood and plenty of drink specials.
20. Go Golfing at Local Golf Courses
Florida is always a great place for golfing as there are always so many great golf courses to choose from. Destin is no exception. Here you can find some truly incredible golf courses to enjoy a day out on the green.
Some of the top courses in the area include the Indian Bayou Golf and Country Club, the Kelly Plantation Golf Club, and the Regatta Bay Golf And Yacht Club. Book your tee time early to make sure you snag a spot!
21. Go Snorkeling with Destin Snorkel
While in Destin, it’s essential that you go snorkeling in the beautiful clear waters! Destin Snorkel is the leader in snorkeling fun, offering two-stop snorkel tours on the Emerald Coast.
With their 50-foot boat, the Reef Runner, you’ll have the opportunity to explore tropical fish and a variety of other sea life at the Jetties. You’ll also have the chance to collect shells on the beach and explore the shallow water of the grassy flats in the bay.
22. Take a Helicopter Tour of Destin
Taking a helicopter tour of Destin, Florida is an absolute must for anyone visiting the area and looking for a one-of-a-kind experience with stellar views. The views of the Emerald Coast from Destin to Crystal Beach are truly breathtaking, and it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
From the air, you’ll take in the incredible beauty of the clear water and the coastline. You may even be lucky enough to spot dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, and much more from above.
23. Get a Hole in One Playing Mini Golf
Nothing beats a good round of mini golf to end the day after exploring around Destin. Whether you want to challenge your friends or find a great spot for a fun date, there are several places to enjoy a round of mini golf nearby.
The top picks for a game of mini golf (or putt-putt) are T-Rex Island Adventure Golf at Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone and the Surfin’ Safari Golf course located at the Track.
24. Wine Tasting at a Local Wine Cellar
Located in Destin, Emerald Coast Wine Cellars is a must-visit when exploring the area. Not only is it close to the beach, but it’s also the only winery in the area. At Emerald Coast Wine Cellars, you can sip and sample on some of the finest southern muscadine wines produced at their sister store, Chautauqua Vineyards and Winery.
Best of all, wine tastings are free! Plus, you can browse the boutique items upstairs and on the main floor of the winery. Whether you’re looking to find fun things to do in Destin or just want to explore the area’s delicious wines, this cellar is a top spot to visit!
25. Head out on a Fishing Trip
Visiting Destin is a must for fishing enthusiasts and those looking for fun things to do. Dubbed the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”, it offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the US.
From deep sea fishing to offshore sport fishing and great inshore & bay fishing, the fishing here is endless. You can expect to catch some of the best fish around – from redfish and snook to trout, tarpon, wahoo, and snapper. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert angler, it’s a must-experience.
26. Take a Sandcastle Lesson
A sandcastle lesson is a unique way to create memories while vacationing in Destin. In just two hours, you will learn the basics of how to build a sandcastle, from getting the foundation just right to adding fun details and personal touches.
Whether you are looking for fun things to do with the kids or just want to learn a new skill, a sandcastle lesson will deliver fun and lasting memories for everyone involved – and you may be surprised to find the adults having more fun than the kids!
27. Visit the Village of Baytowne Wharf
The Village of Baytowne Wharf is a must when exploring Destin, and is located about 20 minutes away in Sandestin. This is truly a hub where fun and entertainment come together, offering a diverse collection of stores, restaurants, art galleries, and even nightlife.
You can enjoy fun activities like ziplining, riding a carousel, and shopping in the vibrant rows of colorful boutiques and outlet shops. For great food that also serves as a fun dockside hangout spot (and has great sunset views) try the Marina Bar & Grill.
Where is Destin Florida Located?
Destin, Florida is a beautiful beach town located in Northwest Florida (the Florida Panhandle). It is situated east of Pensacola Beach and west of Panama City. Destin is part of Okaloosa County and is nearby the city of Fort Walton Beach.
For those planning a visit to Destin, driving to get there is the most preferred method as you will generally need a car to get around.
If you’re flying in, the nearest airports are Pensacola International Airport (PNS), about 1.5 hours away, and Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) which is about a 30-minute drive.
Where to Stay
I recommend staying at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa.
FAQ on Fun things to do in Destin Florida
If you’re considering a trip to Destin, Florida and all of the fun activities that come with it, here are answers to some of your most pressing questions.
What is Destin Florida best known for?
Destin, Florida is known for its white sandy beaches, emerald green waters, and some of the best fishing in the world! It’s no surprise Destin is known as both the “Crown Jewel of the Emerald Coast” and the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”. Destin has a unique geography and is perfect for catching anything from blackfin tuna to grouper and king mackerel!
Does Destin have a nightlife?
Yes, Destin has a nightlife scene! The fun never stops in this vibrant coastal town. From clubs and bars to restaurants and concerts, Destin is a great place to spend an evening out. A couple of the more popular bars in town include AJ’s Club Bimibi (huge dancefloor) and the more low-key Tailfins Seafood and Oyster Bar right on Destin Harbor.
What’s the best time of year to go to Destin?
The best time of year to visit Destin depends on what you’re after! If you want to enjoy plenty of sunshine outdoors, you’ll want to plan your trip from April through June. The weather is warm and there are tons of activities both on and off the water. Fall has fewer crowds with temperatures still somewhat high and prices a bit lower. The off-season is November through February which will be a lot cheaper (but colder) to visit.
The Wrap-Up: Fun Things to do in Destin Florida
Destin, Florida is a popular vacation spot for tourists from all over. With miles of white-sand beaches and fun water activities like kayaking, dolphin cruises, and fishing charters, it’s the ideal beach vacation. You’ll enjoy outdoor adventure, shopping, nightlife, and much more while exploring this beautiful coastal city.
There are so many fun things to do in Destin, Florida it’s pretty difficult to be bored here!
So, whether you’re looking for a family getaway, a romantic beach escape, or just some time to relax and unwind in the sun, Destin is a great place for it. Enjoy the beautiful Emerald Coast!