If you’re looking for inspiration on where to go for your next Florida vacation, you’re in luck! Destin, Florida is the perfect mix of beaches and relaxation that you need for your next vacation!
Welcome to the renowned “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”! In the waters around Destin, you will find all types of fish, like flounder, channel bass, bluefish, king mackerel, and so much more. Even better, you don’t have to go on a charter or party boat to get the real Destin fishing experience! Some of the best local fishermen will spend their time on the jetties and piers and bring home some major catches. Or if you want to try out your sea legs, there are plenty of charter boats that can take you out into the water where a knowledgeable captain knows exactly where to go to bring home a trophy fish. Many of the local restaurants will cook up your catch of the day if you don’t have access to a kitchen in your accommodation. And if you just want to eat seafood without catching it yourself, every October Destin hosts a seafood festival that brings in fisherman and chefs from around the world to cook up some fresh, locally caught dishes.
Henderson Beach State Park
Pull up a beach chair and bake under the warm Florida sun as you relax at Henderson Beach State Park. This mile long beach is made of Appalachian quartz sand, known for staying cool under the hot sun temperatures, making for a comfortable beach day paradise. The sand reflects in the water to give the beach its iconic emerald green hue. Less busy than the beaches around the resorts in town and known for its peaceful vibe, Henderson is a great spot to go camping, grill, or walk a few hiking trails.
This unique attraction is one you’d only find in Florida! More of a sandbar than an actual island, boaters can anchor up near the island and set off for a full day of fun in the sun. While this spot used to be known for its partying, it’s become more family friendly as the years have passed. There are floating vendors selling treats and drinks, just make sure you bring cash since many don’t have the ability to take credit cards. Alcoholic drinks are allowed but bring those yourself as vendors cannot sell them. It’s best to bring some floats and visit at high tide. No matter how you visit, you are sure to have an absolutely fun time!
Destin Harbor Boardwalk
The boardwalk goes for about a quarter mile along the waterfront, and gives visitors plenty of options to laugh and have fun all day. Free to access, you can spend hours watching ships and boats sailing in and out of the harbor, or people watching as you sit down and enjoy an ice cream cone. The view from the boardwalk at sunset is unparalleled. At nighttime, there are multiple clubs and and bars open to dance the night away at. But don’t worry, during the day the boardwalk is very family friendly, and maybe a bit touristy. This is also where you can rent kayaks, stand up paddle boards, or jet skis if you want to take a dip into the water!
If you’re looking for some relaxing outdoor activities, Destin has plenty of world class golf courses and resorts to choose to spend an afternoon at. Courses go through the bayous and magnolias and the palmetto trees as you play on these championship courses. Golfing in Destin is a great way to get outdoors and experience some fun while you’re on vacation in Florida!
No trip to Florida would be complete without going on a boat and searching the waters for dolphins! There are plenty of different tour options to fit any budget that will take you out and start finding this majestic creatures. From daytime cruises to sunset sails, you will find the perfect tour by just walking around the harbor and talking to venders. Some also offer snorkeling or sailing trips as well!
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
While much smaller than the Florida favorite Sea World, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is sure to entice visitors of all ages with its fun and colorful marine life displays and it will teach you all you need to know about the local aquatic species. You see stop and see a dolphin show, or the hilarious sea lions show, before walking around and visiting the alligators, penguins, and sting rays. You can even go snorkeling with the sting rays, for an extra fee. This park is a lot of fun and a must visit if you don’t want to go on a dolphin cruise or just want to visit someplace that’s engaging to your younger children.
If you’re in Florida and want to see some really cool animals, chances are you’re looking out for alligators. Look no further than Gator Beach! Home to hundreds of baby and adult alligators, you will have a fantastic time seeing these creatures in a safe manner. You can stop by any of the three daily shows the park puts on, or pay to experience being a caretaker for the day and see how park staff take care of the alligators before the park opens. You will leave Gator Beach with a newfound respect for these large and not so scary reptiles.
Big Kahuna’s Water Park
If you need a break from laying out under the sun on the beach or at your hotel’s pool, you’re in luck! The place to cool down is at Big Kahuna’s Water Park. With dozens of water slides fit for guests of all ages and sizes you will have an amazing time and you laugh and scream your way down into the pools below. Of course, there are also cabanas if you need to relax in the shade while your kids play all day. This park is a lot of fun for both kids and adults and will be a highlight of your trip.
Whether you’re a budding architect or a master at constructing towers as high as you, everyone will enjoy perfecting their skills at a sandcastle building lesson. Here you will do beyond the typical few buckets of safe flipped upside down and you’ll learn the way professionals make their impressive sand sculptures. A skill you can use for years to come, get ready to impress your family and friends on your next beach vacation when your sand castle abilities grow in skill and height!
Whether you’re laying out on the beach or cruising in the water, you will have an amazing time in Destin, Florida!