Things to Do at Crab Island

If you’re going to Destin, then you probably already have a few things figured out: where to eat, where you’re staying, which beaches you’re going to hit, and (just in case!) how to spend a rainy day.

As you know, there are hundreds of Destin attractions to choose from. But there’s one hidden gem off the coast of Destin that should be on your must-see list: Crab Island.

Anyone who’s visiting Destin should make a point to get out to this fun little sand bar. It’s become a top destination for party boats, snorkeling, and more. We’ll help you figure out how to get there, and decide what to do while you’re at this little Floridian paradise.

What is Crab Island in Destin?

Crab Island is just off the mainland of Destin, Florida. It’s near the Destin Bridge, so you may even see it as you drive by. While it’s not a true “island” per se, the water is shallow enough to swim safely, or drop anchor and float around for a few hours.

It’s become a popular destination for locals and travelers alike, thanks to the clear, shallow waters and variety of sea life. You might see dolphins swimming past, and party boats cruising by on a sunny day. Plus, since more and more people are venturing out to Crab Island, there’s a festive vibe that often includes music and food along with the brilliant Florida sun.

Look up photos of Crab Island in Florida, and you’ll immediately see why this is such a hot spot.

How to get to Crab Island

Crab Island is close enough to shore for you to get there by boat or jet ski in under 30 minutes, but you can’t get there by car.

Renting a pontoon boat is perhaps the most enjoyable way to get there and back again in one day. You’ll be able to choose your pick-up and drop-off times, so you’re not committed to staying with a tour group. With a pontoon boat, you can bring along your whole family or small group, and have plenty of space to stash snacks and sunscreen for the day. Top it all off with a sun deck and speaker system, and you have the makings of a truly memorable day on the ocean.

You and 9 of your friends can comfortably fit on one pontoon boat for the day. So if you have a group with you, this is the perfect mode of transportation. It’s also the most convenient, since you’ll have room to bring supplies with you, like water and towels. You’ll learn how to operate and navigate the boat before you shove off, so you’ll have the freedom to explore, but also the confidence to safely drive the boat yourself.

It typically only takes about 20 minutes to get from the Destin harbor to Crab Island, and you can rent a pontoon boat for a full day or half a day. Just be sure to reserve your boat in advance, as they may get booked out during busy tourist seasons. 

Once you get to Crab Island, there’s so much to do and see. If you want to make the most of your Crab Island adventure, choose one or two of the many Crab Island activities available to you.

Things To Do at Crab Island

Crab Island has become a popular destination within Destin, and there are plenty of ways to spend a day in the sun.

Crab Island is truly picture-perfect. The water is relatively shallow by the shore, so it’s great for families with kids. The seemingly endless views of blue water, soft waves, and party boats make for an Instagram-worthy experience.

If you go at the right time, you might be able to catch a fireworks display. The experience of drifting through the ocean at night will be one of the most memorable parts of your vacation. And the best part is, there’s never a bad seat: you’ll be able to see the fireworks from any angle. Hop onto our Crab Island Runner Fireworks Cruise!

You can try your hand at snorkeling, and see a variety of tropical Florida fish first-hand. Because the water’s relatively shallow, it’s a perfect spot for newbies and beginners to learn how to snorkel and get comfortable before venturing out into deeper waters.

There are several fishing excursions for those who are expert fishermen, brand new to the sport, and everything in between.

There are also dolphin tours nearby. You might be lucky enough to catch a view of some dolphins at play regardless; but on a professional tour, you’ll hear from a knowledgeable guide who will help you get up close and personal.

If you’re looking for a unique adventure, try a sailing trip. This is perfect for a family or small group that wants to learn the basics of sailing and catch some gorgeous views in the process. You can charter a sailboat for the day: there are plenty of charter boat companies that can provide you with a boat as well as a qualified captain and crew to make sure you’re in safe hands at all times. Why not try out our Crab Island Runner?

Or, for those who value relaxation, try a dinner cruise to Crab Island. After all, you can make dinner reservations anywhere – but how often do you get to dine on a boat with the pelicans gliding past? There are large boats that offer dinner along with your ticket, so you’ll get a good meal while checking out Crab Island.

Plan Out Your Crab Island Adventure

There’s so much to do in Florida, and Crab Island is just one of many attractions in Destin that you can’t find anywhere else. There are plenty of ways to spend your time if you decide to hang out there for a day, and even better: the ride out there and back will be fun in itself.

When planning your Destin vacation, make sure you allow some time to explore Crab Island and the surrounding seas.