Destin is a coastal city in northwestern Florida. It is situated on Emerald Coast, which gets its name from its clear, green waters. The city is a popular vacation destination, and it is known for its beautiful beaches, fishing, and golfer-friendly courses. In addition, you can enjoy a variety of activities in Destin, including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, sailing, and more. I spent a week in this beautiful city, and here is my list of the 35 best things to do in Destin, Florida. So if you are planning a trip, make sure to add these activities to your list.
Things To Do In Destin, Florida
1. Play in the Sand at Henderson Beach State Park
Henderson Beach State Park is one of the most beautiful places in Destin and a must-visit for anyone spending time in the area. The park offers over 6,000 feet of sugar-white sand beaches, lush vegetation, and natural dune ecosystems.
Therefore, this means that there are plenty of things to do at Henderson Beach State Park. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnicking, hiking, and much more. The park also has a full-facility campground, which is great for those looking to stay overnight.
I opted to spend a day at the beach and had an incredible time. The water was crystal clear, and the sand was as soft as powder. I spent most of the day swimming, sunbathing, and just relaxing. It was the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of Destin and just enjoy nature.
Henderson Beach State Park is open year-round and charges a per vehicle fee of $6 (2-8 people), $4 (1 person), or $2 for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Address: 17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541.
2. Get A Bird’s Eye View Of Destin On A Parasailing Adventure
Parasailing is one of the most popular things to do in Destin and a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the Emerald Coast. If you’ve never been parasailing before, don’t worry, it’s really easy. You’ll be harnessed to a parachute and towed behind a boat as it speeds through the water. The ride is extremely smooth, and you can go as high or low as you want.
I decided to try parasailing for the first time on my most recent trip to Destin. I booked a session with Just Chute Me, and they made the entire process incredibly easy. I showed up at their office 15 minutes before my scheduled time, and they took care of the rest.
Although I was a little nervous at first, the experience was absolutely incredible. The views from up in the air were breathtaking, and the ride was extremely smooth. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for fun activities in Destin.
A parasailing session with Just Chute Me typically lasts around 10 minutes and costs $60 per person.
3. Stroll Along The Destin Harbor Boardwalk
The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is one of the most iconic attractions in Destin to visit after enjoying some time on the beach. The boardwalk stretches for almost a mile along the Destin harbor, offering views of the Emerald Coast and the boats that come in and out of the harbor.
The boardwalk is also home to a number of shops and restaurants, so it’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat or do some shopping. This is also where you’ll find the Destin Fishing Fleet, which consists of more than 100 charter boats that offer deep sea fishing, dolphin watching, and sunset cruises.
In addition, there are a few things to do along the boardwalk, such as renting a jetski or taking a ride on the HarborWalk Village zip line.
The Destin harbor is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is no admission fee.
Address: 102 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541.
4. Take a Destin Helicopter Tours
One of the coolest things to do in Destin is to take a helicopter tour. After all, what better way to see the Emerald Coast than from above? Flying high in a helicopter also gives you a completely different perspective of the world and is an experience you won’t soon forget. And best of all, Destin Helicopter Tours offers a variety of tours to choose from. So you can find one that’s perfect for you.
I took a Seaside Tour, which lasted 30 minutes and cost $209 per person. The tour started with a safety briefing from the pilot, followed by a short ride to Destin Harbor. Once we arrived at the harbor, we were treated to aerial views of the emerald green waters, white sand beaches, and luxury yachts. We even got to see a school of dolphins swimming near the shore.
Next, we headed east past Miramar Beach to Seaside. Along the way, we then flew over the dunes of Topsail State Park and got a bird’s eye view of the picturesque coastal town of Seaside. We then turned around and flew back to Destin, enjoying more stunning views of the Emerald Coast along the way.
All in all, a helicopter tour is an incredible experience and one of the best ways to enjoy some of the best sights in Destin from above.
5. Rent a Jet Ski
Feeling adventurous? Why not rent a jet ski and explore the coastline of Destin from the water? There are a number of places that offer Jet Ski rentals, such as Xtreme H2O, Destin Water Fun Pontoon & Watersports Rentals, and Happy’s Watersports.
This is a great activity to do with friends or family and is sure to get your heart pumping. I rented a jet ski from Destin Water Fun Pontoon & Watersports Rentals and had a blast. We rode around for a few hours, exploring the different coves and inlets that make up the Destin coastline.
Jet skiing is a great way to get out on the water and see some of the most beautiful sights of Destin you wouldn’t normally see from the shore. It’s also a great workout! Jet Ski rentals typically start at around $100 for an hour.
6. Go On A “Free-Sailing” Adventure With Sail Away
Destin Florida Sailing is a great way to experience the Emerald Coast from a different perspective. And what could be better than a “free-sailing” adventure, where the only thing you have to worry about is the wind in your sails?
With Sail Away, you can choose from a variety of different sailboats, depending on your budget and group size. The boat is well-equipped with restroom facilities, a stereo system, and a freshwater shower. And with everything needed for a day of sailing provided, all you have to do is show up and enjoy the ride.
I went on a half-day sail with friends, and it was the perfect way to relax and enjoy the incredible views. We even got to see a pod of dolphins playing in the water, which was a nice bonus.
You can personalize your trip with add-ons such as a sunset sail, champagne toast, or private charter. And with prices starting at just $150 per hour for up to 6 people, it’s an affordable way to enjoy the Florida coastline. So be sure to include it on your list of the best things to do in Destin.
Address: 404 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541.
7. Cool Off at Big Kahuna’s Water Park
After a day of sightseeing in Destin, what better way to cool off than by spending a few hours at Big Kahuna’s Water Park? This massive waterpark first opened its doors in 1986 and has since become one of the top Destin attractions.
Today, the park features over 40 slides and attractions, including water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and much more. There’s also an Adventure Park with things like a ropes course, mini golf, and go-karts. This makes it the perfect place to spend a day if you’re traveling with kids.
One of the best things about Big Kahuna is that it caters to all ages. Whether you’re looking for things to do with kids in Destin or just want to have some fun yourself, this is the place to go. I spent most of my time on the water slides, but I also took a spin on the go-karts and played a round of mini golf.
Big Kahuna’s is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm (extended hours during peak season). Admission starts at $48.99 for adults and children above 48 inches tall. Children under 48 inches and seniors over 62 can enter for $40.99.
Address: 1007 US-98, Destin, FL 32541.
8. Take Sandcastle Building Lessons
How many times have you gone to the beach and built a sand castle, only to have it collapse as soon as you step away? If you’ve ever wanted to build a sand castle that will actually stay standing, then you need to take sandcastle building lessons from Beach Sand Sculptures.
Beach Sand Sculptures offers private and group lessons for people of all ages. The lessons are two hours long and start with a quick lesson on sandcastle basics. You’ll then get to build your own sandcastle with the help of a professional sand sculptor.
I took a group lesson with some of my friends during my stay, and it was fun. Our instructor was very patient and helped us every step of the way. By the end of the lesson, we had built a sand castle that actually looked like a castle! It was definitely one of the unique things I did in Destin.
So, don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience the next time you’re looking for activities to do in Destin. Prices vary depending on the number of people in your group. It will cost a group of five $249, a group of six to ten $299, a group of eleven to fifteen $349, and a group of sixteen or more $399.
9. Take A Ride On Banana Boats
Imagine sitting on a giant inflatable raft shaped like a banana, being pulled by a speed boat through the waves of the Gulf of Mexico. Sounds like fun, right? Well, that’s exactly what you can do in Destin!
Banana boats are a great activity for groups or families with kids. The maximum capacity for a banana boat is usually six people, so it’s the perfect activity for a small group of friends. And don’t worry, you’ll be safely strapped in with a life jacket, so there’s no need to worry about falling off.
I took a ride on a banana boat for the first time with Miramar Beach Banana Boat Rides and Snorkeling. At first, I was a bit apprehensive about being pulled through the waves by a speedboat, but once we got going, it was actually a lot of fun. I can assure you that this is one of those things to do in Destin that you’ll be talking about long after your vacation is over. The ride itself lasts for
Banana boat rides typically last between 45 minutes and 1 hour and cost between $20 and $30 per person.
10. Tour the Crab Island Sandbar
The Crab Island Sandbar is a floating party just off the coast of Destin. It’s one of the most famous places in Destin to hang out, relax, and enjoy the Florida sun.
Crab Island is actually not an island but a sandbar that forms just offshore. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to come and spend the day swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and socializing. You can also find plenty of food and drink vendors operating on mobile floating docks.
The sandbar is only accessible by boat, so you’ll need to either rent your own or take the Crab Island Shuttle Boat. I took the shuttle boat, which was very convenient and reasonably priced. The shuttle boat drops you off right at the sandbar and picks you up when you’re ready to leave.
Once you’re at the sandbar, feel free to swim, sunbathe, and explore. There are plenty of things to see and do, and you’re sure to make some new friends along the way.
The Crab Island Sandbar is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Shuttle boat tickets cost $45 per person for a round trip.
11. Tour the Emerald Coast Science Center
The Emerald Coast Science Center is a great place in Destin to take kids. It’s an interactive museum dedicated to introducing kids to the world of science. The museum has different exhibit areas, each with its own focus. They include robotics, animal, aviation, and physics.
In the robotic area, kids can play with and control different types of robots. They can also learn about how robots work and are used in the real world. The animal exhibit is home to a variety of animals, including snakes, lizards, and turtles. Kids can learn about the different adaptations that allow these animals to survive in their habitats.
The aviation exhibit has a flight simulator where kids can experience what it’s like to fly a plane. They can also learn about the science of flight and how airplanes are built. The physics exhibit is all about the different laws that govern our world. Kids can experiment with different types of machines to see how they work.
If you have kids interested in science, the Emerald Coast Science Center is a great place to take them. And it’s not kids-only. Adults will also find the exhibits interesting as this is one of Destin’s attractions for the whole family.
The Emerald Coast Science Center is open from 10 am – 3 pm on Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $9 for adults and $7 for children.
Address: 31 Memorial Pkwy SW, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.
12. Become a Pirate for a Day
Do you have what it takes to be a pirate? Find out at the Buccaneer Pirate Cruise, where you and your crew will set Sail on a real pirate ship in search of buried treasure.
During the cruise, you’ll be given a pirate name, participate in pirate training, and help the crew. You’ll also have a chance to search for buried treasure, dance with the pirates, and enjoy a pirate feast.
The Buccaneer Pirate Cruise is great for kids and adults alike. It’s one of the memorable things to do in Destin and a great way to experience the Gulf of Mexico.
Tickets cost $37 for adults and $22 for children ages 4-14. There is a discount for military personnel and seniors. I suggest booking your tickets two weeks in advance as the cruise often sells out.
Address: 100 Harbor Blvd Unit B, Destin, FL 32541.
13. Go on a Dolphin Watch Cruise
If you want to get up close and personal with some of Destin’s most popular residents, sign up for a dolphin watch cruise. These cruises typically last between 2 and 3 hours and take you out into the Gulf of Mexico to look for dolphins.
There are a number of different companies offering dolphin watch cruises in Destin, but I went with AJ’s Water Adventures. The company provides daytime and sunset cruises, but I opted for the sunset cruise since it sounded more romantic (The cost of a sunset cruise is a bit higher at $40 per person compared to the $30 daytime cruise).
We boarded the boat around 5 pm and set Sail. The captain and crew were very informative, pointing out things of interest and answering questions along the way. We saw a few dolphins, but the highlight of the cruise for me was simply being out on the water and enjoying the beautiful sunset. It was truly a magical experience seeing the sun dip below the horizon and the sky turn a brilliant shade of orange.
A Dolphin Watch Cruise is one of the must-do activities in Destin and is a great way to see the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re interested, I recommend booking in advance as they do tend to fill up. Prices vary depending on the company and time of day but expect to pay between $25 and $50 per person.
14. Tour the Air Force Armament Museum
Located adjacent to Eglin Air Force Base, about 15 miles east of Destin, the Air Force Armament Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in military history or aviation. The museum chronicles the history of armed conflict from World War I to the present day, with a focus on the role of air power.
The museum houses a collection of 29 vintage aircraft and missiles, as well as thousands of artifacts related to the history of air power. Highlights of the collection include a B-52 bomber, AC-130 gunship, and an F-16 fighter jet. In addition to the aircraft, the museum also has an extensive collection of military uniforms, weapons, and memorabilia.
I was fascinated by the history on display at the museum, and it was really cool to see all the different aircraft up close. The museum is also very kid-friendly, with several hands-on exhibits. Therefore, I highly recommend it as one of the best things to do in Destin, Florida.
The Air Force Armament Museum is open 9 am – 5 pm daily. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
Address: 100 Museum Dr, Eglin AFB, FL 32542.
15. Learn About Conservation at the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge
Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is one of the top attractions in Destin for animal lovers. This refuge is a great place to learn about conservation and see some of Florida’s amazing wildlife up close.
Founded in 1994, the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education, conservation, and rehabilitation of Florida’s wildlife. Today, the refuge is home to over 100 animals of 35 different species. Therefore, you can meet a variety of animals, including wallabies, sloths, lemurs, and baboons.
One of the best things about the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is that they offer a variety of educational programs. These programs are designed to teach people about the importance of conservation and what they can do to help protect Florida’s wildlife.
I spent an afternoon at the refuge and left feeling like I had done something good for the world. Seeing all the different animals up-close and learning about their stories was amazing. So if you’re looking for things to do in Destin that are a little bit different, a visit to this refuge is a great option.
Address: 105 Santa Rosa Blvd, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.
16. Get a Taste of the Local Culture at the Destin History & Fishing Museum
For a dose of local history, head to the Destin History and Fishing Museum located in the Historic Fort Walton Beach Landing. The museum chronicles Destin’s history as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” from the 1850s to today.
Exhibits feature artifacts, photographs, and stories of Destin’s earliest residents who made their living off the sea. You can learn about the boom and bust cycles that have occurred in Destin’s fishing industry as well as see a replica of an old-time Destin bait shop.
The highlight of the museum for me was the exhibit on “The Science of Why Destin’s Sand is White.” It turns out that Destin’s sand is not actually white but instead clear! The sand is made up of quartz crystals that have been weathered and broken down into tiny pieces over time.
I spent about an hour at the Destin History and Fishing Museum, but you could easily spend more time here if you are interested in local history. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm, and admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $3 for students/children from age 7.
Address: 108 Stahlman Ave, Destin, FL 32541.
17. Go Deep Sea Fishing
Destin is known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” so it’s only fitting that one of the top things to do in Destin is to go deep sea fishing. You can do three main types of fishing in Destin; offshore trolling, Inshore trolling, and bottom fishing.
Offshore trolling is done in the open water, typically 10 to 20 miles offshore, and is best for catching pelagic fish such as tuna, king mackerel, and marlin. Inshore trolling is done in the bay or near-shore waters and is best for catching flounder, Mahi Mahi, and mackerel. Bottom fishing is done using the heavy tackle for fishing on or near the bottom of the Gulf floor and is best for catching snapper, grouper, and amberjack. No matter what type of fish you’re after, there’s sure to be a charter boat that can take you where you need to go.
I went on an offshore trolling charter with the Destin Inshore Gulf & Offshore Fishing Charters and had an incredible time. The boat was large and spacious, with plenty of room for everyone. We were also provided with all the gear we needed, so all we had to do was show up and fish.
We ended up catching a few tuna, which the captain and crew filleted for us. They also gave us some tips on cooking, which was much appreciated. It was a great experience, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for fun things to do in Destin.
Fishing charters typically last 4 to 8 hours and cost between $700 and $1,300, depending on the type of fishing and the number of people.
18. Visit Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
Nature lovers rejoice! Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is one of the top places to visit in Destin if you want to commune with nature. This 1,640-acre state park comprises different distinct ecosystems; dunes, coastal wetlands, and longleaf pine forests.
The best way to explore the park is by hiking or biking the many trails that wind through the different ecosystems. The most popular trail is the one that leads to the remains of the early 19th-century turpentine facility. There are also plenty of opportunities to go birdwatching and wildlife spotting.
The park also has a three-mile-long beach perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. And if you want to stay overnight, over 156 RV and tent sites are available, two glamping sites, and 32 cabins/bungalows.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is open from 8 am – sunset throughout the year. Admission is $6 per vehicle for 2-8 people, $4 for single-occupancy vehicles, and $2 for pedestrians and cyclists. Camping rates start at $24 per night.
Address: 7525 W. County Highway 30A Santa Rosa Beach FL 32459.
19. Explore the Village of Baytowne Wharf
The Village of Baytowne Wharf is Destin’s premier shopping, dining, and entertainment destination in Destin. This makes it one of the famous places to visit in Destin if you’re looking to do some shopping, grab a bite to eat or enjoy some live entertainment.
The village is situated on the shores of Choctawhatchee Bay and features an array of shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs. There’s also a marina where you can find charter boats and jet skis for rent. And if that’s not enough, the village also hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year.
Stroll through the village to get a feel for the local scene, or stop and shop at one of the many unique boutiques. When you get hungry, there are plenty of dining options to choose from, ranging from casual cafes to fine dining restaurants. And when night falls, the village comes alive with live music and dancing.
There’s no shortage of things to do at the Village of Baytowne Wharf, so it’s definitely worth a visit when you’re in Destin. And if you’re looking for a place to stay, there are a number of Baytowne Wharf hotels in the area. So plan your trip and enjoy all that the Village of Baytowne Wharf has to offer. After all, it’s one of the popular tourist attractions in Destin that attracts people from all over the world.
Address: 9300 Baytowne Wharf Blvd, Miramar Beach, FL 32550.
20. Shop till you Drop
For those that enjoy a good retail therapy session, why not check out some of the best shopping in Destin?
For high-end fashion, check out Silver Sands Premium Outlets. This huge open-air mall features stores like Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Ann Taylor Factory Store, J.Crew Factory, and Brooks Brothers Factory Store. If you’re looking for souvenirs or beachwear on a budget, head to Destin Commons. This open-air shopping center features over 95 stores and restaurants, which are sure to have what you’re looking for.
Take your time strolling through the shops and stop for a bite to eat in between. You can also catch a movie at the 14-screen AMC Destin Commons 14 movie theater.
21. Visit the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
Feeling like you need a little more excitement in your life? Then head to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. The Gulfarium is one of the oldest attractions in Destin, dating back to 1955. It’s home to dolphins, penguins, stingrays, otters, alligators, seals, sea lions, and many more.
The best part of the park is the encounter programs, where you can actually interact with some of the animals. The dolphin encounter is the most popular, where you can play with a dolphin in shallow water.
If you’re looking for things to do in Destin that are educational as well as fun, then a visit to the Gulfarium is a great option. The park offers daily shows and presentations on dolphins, penguins, sea lions, and other animals.
The Gulfarium is open from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm daily. Admission is $24 for adults and $16 for children ages 3-12.
Address: 1010 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.
22. Play and dine at Uncle Bucks FishBowl and Grill
Uncle Buck’s FishBowl and Grill is a unique Destin attraction that combines bowling, dining and drinking all into one. This family-friendly spot is complete with an aquarium-themed bowling alley and an American grill-style restaurant.
The bowling alley has 12 lanes and is decorated with realistic sharks hanging from the ceiling and marine life-themed murals. Playing here feels like you’re bowling under the sea. Even the bowling balls are ocean themed!
In addition to bowling, Uncle Buck’s also has an extensive menu with something for everyone. They have all the classic American favorites like burgers and fries, as well as more unique items like Asian-glazed salmon and shrimp tacos.
Uncle Buck’s is open 11 am – 9 pm Monday through Saturday, and 11 am – 7 pm on Sundays. Bowling rates start at $10 per person for a one-hour game.
Address: 4251 Legendary Dr, Destin, FL 32541.
23. Soak up the Sun at Crystal Sands Beach
Want to spend a day lounging on the beach and working on your tan? Crystal Sands Beach is the place to go. This beautiful, white sand beach is located on the Gulf of Mexico and offers stunning views of the water.
Many tourists don’t know about Crystal Sands Beach, and as a result, it’s much less crowded than some other beaches in Destin. So it’s the perfect place to relax and soak up the Florida sun.
Beautiful cottages and condos are located directly opposite the beach, which makes for a perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a relaxing vacation. And if you get hungry, there are plenty of restaurants located nearby.
There are plenty of things to do in Destin, but sometimes it’s nice just to take it easy and enjoy the beach. And that’s exactly what you can do at Crystal Sands Beach. There are no charges for parking or beach access, so it’s easy on the wallet too!
24. Tour the Indian Temple Mound Museum
The Indian Temple Mound Museum is one of the most important historical attractions in Destin. The museum is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the Native Americans who once inhabited the area. You’ll find exhibits on pottery, tools, weapons, and clothing, as well as a replica of an Indian village. The museum also has a number of interactive exhibits, making it a great place to visit with kids.
The Indian Temple Mound Museum is open from 12 noon – 4:30 pm Monday through Friday and from 10 am – 4:30 pm on Saturday. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 4-17.
Address: 139 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.
25. Sign Up for a Snorkeling Tour
Snorkeling is a great way to see the underwater world without having to get scuba certified. And Destin is one of the best places to snorkel in Florida because of the clear, calm waters and abundance of sea life.
Destin’s most popular snorkeling spots are the Devil’s Den, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and Ginnie Springs.
Depending on which spot you choose, you may see things like coral reefs, sea turtles, stingrays, and a variety of fish. I went on a snorkeling tour with Sundiver Snorkel Tours at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and it was an amazing experience. The water was crystal clear, and the coral reef was absolutely beautiful. I even got to see a turtle swimming by! It was definitely one of the highlights of my trip, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for fun activities to do in Destin.
Snorkeling tours typically last 2 to 3 hours and cost between $30 and $50 per person.
26. Spot Wildlife at Gator Beach
Want to see some Gators up close? Then a visit to Gator Beach in Destin is a must. Gator Beach is a sanctuary for alligators and other reptiles that have been rescued from captivity or injury. These animals are not able to be released back into the wild, so they live out their days at Gator Beach.
Today, there are over 100 alligators that call Gator Beach home. You can see alligators of all sizes, from baby gators that are only a few feet long to adults that are over 12 feet in length. But the gator that really catches everyone’s attention is “Pearl,” the albino alligator. Pearl is a true beauty and is one of only 100 albino alligators known to exist in the world.
The best way to see the alligators is to take a feeder tour. During the tour, you’ll learn all about alligators and their ecology. You’ll also get to see the alligators being fed, which is always the highlight of the tour. The alligators go absolutely crazy for their food, and it’s really something to see.
The best part about Gator Beach is that admission is free. That’s right. It doesn’t cost a thing to see the alligators! Even the tours are free, though donations are accepted. So if you’re looking for free things to do in Destin, Gator Beach should definitely be at the top of your list.
Address: 20001 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541.
27. Be Awed at a Maximum Magic Show
Have you ever seen a live magic show? They’re pretty amazing, and Destin is home to one of the best. The Maximum Magic Show is a family-friendly performance that will leave you both astonished and entertained. The show features grand illusions, sleight of hand, mentalism, and more, all performed by Noah and Heather Wells.
Noah and Heather are professional magicians who have been thrilling audiences for over ten years. They’ve performed all over the world, and they were even awarded the prestigious Merlin Award for Best Illusionists in 2011 and 2012. So when it comes to fun things to do in Destin, you can’t go wrong with a Maximum Magic Show.
I had the chance to see the show while I was in Destin, and I can say without a doubt that it’s one of the best magic shows I’ve ever seen. Noah and Heather are incredibly talented, and their show is truly captivating. The show was filled with jaw-dropping illusions, death-defying escapes, and plenty of audience participation. This is definitely one of the top places in Destin to take the family as it is one of the few things in the city that is geared towards all ages.
The show lasts about 90 minutes and takes place at the HarborWalk Theatre. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children. Shows are scheduled throughout the week, so be sure to check the website for showtimes.
Address: 10 Harbor Blvd Unit 234, Destin, FL 32541.
28. James Lee Park
Another one of the Destin things to do that locals love is to spend a day at James Lee Park. This public beach access point is located on Okaloosa Island and is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and picnicking.
The beach here is wide, and the water is crystal clear. It’s also very shallow, which makes it a great place for kids to play. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables under the pavilion if you need a break from the sun. In addition, there’s a public bathroom and shower on site.
I was impressed by the cleanliness of the beach and how well-maintained it was. It’s definitely one of the top attractions in Destin for those who love the outdoors. The only downside is that there is no lifeguard on duty, so you’ll need to be extra careful if you go in the water.
James Lee Park is open from sunrise to sunset and is free to enter. Parking is also free but can be limited during busy times.
Address: 3510 Scenic Highway 98, Destin, FL 32541.
29. Have fun at Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Destin with kids, look no further than Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone. This family-friendly attraction has something for everyone: laser tag, ropes course, state-of-the-art arcade, bungee trampoline, mini golf, and 4D theater.
My personal favorite was riding the go-karts. They have both single and double karts, so you can race with a friend or family member. The track is also very long, so you can really get up to speed.
I also enjoyed the ropes course, which was a lot of fun and a great workout. But it’s not for the faint of heart as it’s quite high off the ground.
Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone is open from 12 am – 9 pm Monday through Friday, and 10 am – 10 pm Saturday and Sunday. Prices vary depending on the activities.
Address: 1306 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.
30. Find Peace at the Mattie Kelly Park and Nature Walk
If you’re looking for amazing things to do in Destin that are a little more low-key, then I recommend checking out Mattie Kelly Park and Nature Walk. This beautiful park is located north of Destin Harbor and offers stunning views of the bay.
The nature walk is a great way to get some exercise and take in the sights and sounds of the Florida coast. In addition, the park is also home to different species of birds, so it’s a great place for bird watching.
The park has a playground and picnic tables, making it the perfect spot for a family outing. However, there are no bathrooms or trashcans, so be sure to plan accordingly.
I spent an afternoon at the park and absolutely loved it. It was one of the perfect places in Destin to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
The park is open from dawn to dusk and is free to enter.
Address: 825 Beach Dr, Destin, FL 32541.
31. Sunset Watching at Henderson Beach State Park
I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of beautiful pictures of sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. The colors are always vibrant, and the skies always seem clear. So, while you’re in Destin, why not try to capture a sunset of your own? After all, this is one of the things that makes Destin such a special place.
Henderson Beach State Park is one of the best places in Destin to watch the sunset. The park has a long stretch of white sand beach that faces west, making it the perfect place to watch the sun dip below the horizon. It’s an amazing sight to see as the colors of the sky change and the waves sparkle in the light.
As earlier said, there is a nominal fee to enter the park. Once you’re in, take a walk down the beach and find a spot to call your own. Then, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
32. Visit the Gulf Breeze Zoo
Love spending time outdoors and getting up close and personal with wildlife? A visit to the Gulf Breeze Zoo is another great option for things to do in Destin.
Gulf Breeze Zoo is home to over 900 exotic animals from all over the world. The zoo is situated on 50 acres of land and has a variety of different gardens and habitats for the animals to roam.
You can feed a giraffe, hold a bird of prey, and enjoy a guided safari train ride through the zoo. There are also plenty of opportunities to learn about the animals and their habitats through the educational shows and talks offered throughout the day.
Gulf Breeze Zoo is open 365 days a year from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Admission is $26 for adults and $20 for children ages 2-12.
Address: 5701 Gulf Breeze Pkwy, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563.
33. Visit Fort Walton Beach Flea Market
The Fort Walton Beach Flea Market is one of Florida’s largest and most popular flea markets. It’s an indoor market with over 70 vendors selling everything from fresh produce to musical instruments and handmade jewelry. This makes it one of the perfect places in Destin to find souvenirs or gifts for friends and family back home.
I spent a few hours browsing the market and left with a few things for myself, including a beautiful piece of sea glass I found. The market is open daily from 10 am – 6 pm, and admission is free.
Address: 125 Eglin Pkwy SE. Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.
34. Enjoy Destin’s Nightlife
It’s time to move on from things to do in Destin during the day and focus on what this Florida city offers after dark. And let me tell you, Destin knows how to party!
So one of the best things to do in Destin at night is to go to one of the many bars and clubs that line Harborwalk Village. From country bars to dance clubs, there’s something for everyone here.
Another great option is to take a dinner cruise on SunQuest Cruises. The cruise lasts 3 hours and includes a buffet dinner, live music, and dancing. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a romantic evening or celebrate a special occasion after a day of enjoying Destin’s attractions.
Plan your visit for the summer, and you can also enjoy free concerts in the harbor. These concerts are family-friendly and a great way to experience Destin’s nightlife without spending any money.
35. Play a Round of Golf
Destin is home to some of the best golf courses in the country, so if you’re a fan of the sport, be sure to add a round of golf to your list of things to do.
Destin’s best courses include the Kelly Plantation Golf Club, the Regatta Bay and Yacht Club, and the Golf Garden of Destin.
The Kelly Plantation Golf Club is a championship course designed by Fred Couples. It is an 18-hole, par 72 course that features rolling fairways and challenging greens. The course is located on Choctawhatchee Bay and offers stunning views of the water.
The Regatta Bay Golf and Yacht Club is another 18-hole, par 72 course designed by Robert C. Walker. It is a bit more challenging than the Kelly Plantation Golf Club and features elevation changes. The course is located in the gated community of Regatta Bay and offers views of the bay and the surrounding nature preserve.
The Golf Garden of Destin is a public course perfect for all skill levels. It is an 18-hole, par 29 course located in the heart of Destin. The course is well-maintained and offers a variety of obstacles, such as water features and sand traps.
Golf course fees vary depending on the course and time of day. Be sure to check the website of the course you’re interested in playing for more information.
Florida is a beautiful beach town with plenty to offer visitors. From its stunning white sand beaches to its incredible fishing, there’s no shortage of things to do and see in Destin. So whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or a fun-filled adventure, you’ll find it all here.