Drop Down

Monday, September 12, 2022

Activity Guide (Destin) Florida

Destin, located on Florida's Emerald Coast between Pensacola and Panama City, is known for it's emerald green water and white sand beaches. While the beaches are stunning, they are just a small part of what makes Destin so amazing. 

Recommendations in the guide will include:

•             Where to stay

•             Indoor and outdoor activities

•             Snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, and tours

•             Where to eat: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts

•             Public beach access

•             Transportation

•             Money saving and other tips

•             Price guides

•             Best places to find sea shells

•             Safety 

The guide has budget friendly, mid-range, and high-end options. 

You can find a downloadable version of this guide without photos here for $4. 


Crab Island – This sandbar is Destin’s most popular attraction is only accessed by boat. 

·Crab Island Shuttle Boat (starts at $45) Phone: 850-733-7434

 ·Boat Rentals (starts at $300) Phone: 850-650-2628 

There are many more boat tour packages that include stopping by the sandbar 

Village of Baytowne Wharf - The village is located in a gated community. Stop at the gate and get a free visitors pass. Parking can be difficult so use the parking garage 

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park - located in Fort Walton Beach. ($25.95 General Adult admission) It is only about a 7-minute drive from the Harbor Boardwalk. 

Big Kahuna's Water & Adventure Park ($53.99 General Admission) 
Gilligan's Watersports - rents boats, wave runners, offers dolphin tours by wave runner, cruises, and parasailing. (Starts at $10) Phone: 850424-5125 

 Mobile Sports Banana Boat Experience (starts at $55) Phone: 850-6871626 

Tiki Cruises by Cruisin Tikis - a vintage-inspired tiki boat. BOYB (starts at $59) Phone: 850-200-0573 

Indoor Activities (Rainy Day Activities) 

Uncle Buck's Fish Bowl - a restaurant with underwater themed bowling lanes. 

Thrills Laser Tag & Arcade Rock Out Climbing Gym 

Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park 

Mr. E's Escape Rooms Escape Zone 60, Sandestin 


AMC Destin Commons 14 – Movie theater 

Boulevard 10 at Grand Boulevard – Movie theater
Wild Willy's - indoor arcade, two putt putt golf courses, movie theater and more
Rainforest Black Light Mini-Golf & Arcade 

Destin History & Fishing Museum 

Emerald Coast Science Center 

Indian Temple Mound 

Fired Up Pant Your Own Potter Studio 

Mary Hong's Shard Shop – make your own artwork with glass

 From the shore:

 East Pass, Destin East Jetty, Destin West Jetty, and Norriego Point (All near the Destin U.S. 98 Bridge) are popular for snorkeling from the beach.
Reefs at Henderson Beach State Park - East and West ends John C. Beasley Park – reef located east of the pavilion close to shore  

Okaloosa Island Beach Access Four – located close to shore 

New reefs to Check out: 

Dolphin Reef - 685 feet from the shore near Miramar Beach Access 

Sea Turtle Reef at Grayton Beach State Park - 783 feet from shore 

 Seahorse Snorkel Reef at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park - 715 feet from shore 

Guided snorkeling trips: 

Destin Snorkel (Starts at $50) 845-269-2329 

Cattywampus Snorkel tour ($50 for adults and gets cheaper for children) Phone: 850-586-0450 

Flippers Snorkel Adventure Destin ($40 ages 3 and up) Phone: 850-8370113
Snorkeling & Shelling Destin (starts at $59) Phone: 850-650-3802

Guided Fishing Trips:

 Flowing Water Charters (starts at $600) Phone: 850-344-7838 

L4K Charters (starts at $390) Phone: 850-895-1224 

Saltwater Charters (starts at $880) Phone: 833-850-3474

Paddleboard Rentals:

 Destin Paddle Company (starts at $20) Phone: 850-797-2335 

Beach Weekend (starts at $45) Phone: 850-362-6020 

RUN/SUP® RENTALS (starts at $35) Phone: 850-419-6188

Kayak Rentals:

  Destin Clear Kayak Rental (starts at $59) Phone: (850) 837-3000 

 12 Miracle Strip Parkway Southwest, Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548 

 The Kayak Experience Phone: (850) 837-1577 3906 Us Hwy 98 W Bx 2242, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459


Henderson Beach - Phone: 850.837.7550 17000 Emerald Coast Parkway Destin, FL 32541 

Topsail Hill Preserve - Phone: 850.267.0299 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32549 

Grayton Beach - Phone: 850.231.4210 357 Main Park Road Grayton Beach, FL 32549 

John Beasley Park - Phone: 850.689.5772 1550 Miracle Strip Parkway Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Eden Gardens - Phone: 850.231.4214 181 Eden Garden Road Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32549 

 Deer Lake - Phone: 850.231.4210 357 Main Park Road Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32549


 The best place to find shells will be West of Destin. Cross the bridge and head toward Ft Walton Beach. There are a few areas with limited parking along the road. One of the spots requires you to get online permission before entering. We did that easily on the spot. The rules and parking seem to change constantly, so just explore and see what you find. 



Destination Little Donuts
Donut Hole 

Krispy Kreme 

The Pancakery 

Capriccio Café 

First Watch Crackings

Lunch and Dinner 

Merlin's Pizza
Marco's Pizza 

Mimmo's Ristorante Italiano – Great Italian food and friendly service

 LuLu's - Waterfront Dining, a sand beach, colorful seating, and shopping 

The Harbor Tavern 

Pompano Joe's - Pompano Joe's is Caribbean influenced seafood restaurant located directly on the beach. 

East Pass Seafood & Oyster House - Fresh local seafood 

Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House 


 Bad Ass Coffee - Hawaiian roasts coffee 

 Capriccio Café 

 Roast'd Café 

 East Pass Coffee Company Capriccio Café 


 Curly Cream Rolled Icecream
 Wave ice cream & coffee 

Ice Cream Shoppe Destin East
Shake's Frozen Custard 

Bruster's Real Ice Cream 

Cups and Cones Destin 

Ice Cream Shoppe of Destin 

Smallcakes of Destin – Gourmet cupcakes 

The Macaron Chef Destin 

Nothing Bundt Cakes 

Kilwins Destin Commons - Old-fashioned chocolate fudge and candies. They also have ice cream 


 Alamo Street Beach Access - 899-675 Scenic Hwy 98, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 

Barracuda Street Beach Access - 3016-3080 Scenic Hwy 98, Destin, FL 32541 

Crystal Beach Beach Access 

Eglin Matterhorn Beach Access 

Geronimo Street Beach Access - 735 Scenic Hwy 98, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 

Miramar Regional Beach Access - 2396 Scenic Hwy 98, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 

Norriego Point Beach Access - 1 Gulf Shore Dr, Destin, FL 32541 

O'Steen Beach Access - 320 Gulf Shore Dr, Destin, FL 32541 

Pompano Street Beach Access - south end of Pompano Street - 32-2 Pompano St, Destin, FL 32541

Princess Beach Access 

Redneck Beach Access - west end of the Destin Bridge 

Shirah Street Beach Access - Shirah Street and Hwy 98 Destin, FL 32541 

Shores at Crystal Beach Park Access - 2964 Scenic Hwy 98, Destin, FL 32541 Tarpon Street Beach 

Access - 3300 Scenic Hwy 98, Destin, FL 32541


 Destin Commons Destin Commons has over 90 stores and dining options in its shopping village. Address: 4100 Legendary Dr, Destin, FL 32541 

Silver Sands Premium Outlets Silver Sands Premium Outlets has over 110 designer and name brand outlet shops. 10562 Emerald Coast Pkwy W, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 

Grand Boulevard at Sandestin Grand Boulevard at Sandestin is an upscale shopping center with fine dining and a movie theater. Our favorites were the Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer stores. Address: 495 Grand Blvd, Miramar Beach, FL 32550


Hotel Effie Sandestin (Starts at $149 off season) 

Henderson Beach Resort (starts at $400 off season) Pet and kid friendly. Lazy river. Private beach

Henderson Park Inn (starts at $295 off season - $749)
Hyatt Place Sandestin/at Grand Boulevard ($150 -$250)
The Palms of Destin Resort & Conference Center
Best Western Sugar Sands Inn & Suites ($116 to $180)
Seascape Beach Access - 1272-1386 Scenic Hwy 98, Miramar Beach, FL 32550
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Destin E ($198 - $227)
Hampton Inn & Suites Destin ((starts at $147)
Home2 Suites by Hilton Destin starts at $175)
Airbnb – Rent a house for around the same price of a hotel room with much more privacy. https://www.airbnb.com 


The closest airport to Destin is the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport
 1701 State Road 85 N 
Eglin AFB, FL 32542-1498 
Phone: Phone: (850) 651-7160 
Airlines - Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta, and Southwest 

Rental Cars 

ALAMO RENT A CAR www.alamo.com 800-462-5266 or 850-678-0223 

BUDGET RENT A CAR www.budget.com 800-527-0700 or 850-651-0819 

ENTERPRISE RENT A CAR www.enterprise.com 800-736-8222 or 850-609-8006 

NATIONAL CAR RENTAL www.national.com 800-227-7368 or 850-678-0223 

AVIS CAR RENTAL www.avis.com 800-331-1212 or 850-651-0819 

DOLLAR RENT A CAR www.dollar.com 866-434-2226 or 850-609-0154 

HERTZ www.hertz.com 800-654-3131 or 850-651-0612 

Destin Jeep Rentals www.DestinJeepRentals.com 850-687-9262


 Destin is a very safe place. You should still use common safety measures like locking car doors and making sure valuables are secured. Also, apply sunscreen often to avoid sunburn and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. 

Familiarize yourself with the beach flag system 

Tips & Extra Information 

The greatest chance of a hurricanes is in the months of September and October 

The traffic is crazy all year, so plan accordingly! 

The winter months are great for cheaper accommodations. 

The average low temp for Destin in the winter is around 50 degrees. 

Most of the businesses on the Boardwalk are closed in off season. 

Stay in a place that is not beachfront and use one of the public beach access points to save money.

 Hotels and condos book up months in advance.

Wishing you a happy and safe trip!


  1. I am planning a vacation for my family of six and this was so helpful! I love the pictures!

  2. I am planning a vacation for my family of six and this was so helpful! I love the pictures!