The laid-back beach town of Destin, Florida is becoming an increasingly popular destination for anyone who’s craving sunshine, party boats, and dolphin sightings (so yes, basically everyone). A trip to Destin will include plenty of beach time, fresh seafood, and outdoor activities on the water.
When you first arrive, you’ll probably want to kick back in the sand and take in those clear, blue ocean views for a day. But after that, be sure to hit some of the top Destin sightseeing spots. Here are the 6 must-see destinations in and around Destin. Don’t miss out on the best of the Emerald Coast!
Crab Island isn’t exactly an island – there’s no above-ground land, so you can leave your umbrella at the hotel. But the waters around Crab Island are shallow and clear, making it an ideal spot to swim, snorkel, and meet other boaters. Crab Island is a unique experience and a beautiful spot to take in 360-degree views of the ocean. That’s why it’s at the top of our list.
To make the most of Crab Island, rent a pontoon boat for the day. With your own pontoon boat rental, you’ll have the freedom to float around Crab Island at your leisure. Drop anchor and turn up the music, or take off and explore the rest of the shoreline. A pontoon boat is roomy enough for several people to lay out some beach towels and get some sun on deck.
Destin Harbor Boardwalk
Is it really a beach vacation without an old-fashioned boardwalk?
Check out the fishing boats, do some shopping, and dine on fresh oysters al fresco. The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is a bustling spot, especially during peak tourist months. There’s plenty to do, so you can easily spend an afternoon or evening walking, taking in the ocean views, and people-watching.
The boardwalk is a popular destination and offers access to the main harbor, so it’s a perfect spot to rent out a jet ski and take off on the water. Slather on the sunscreen, take an Uber out to the boardwalk, and get ready for a full day of good food, entertainment, and fun out on the waves.
Henderson Beach State Park
For a more low-key atmosphere, stop by this beautiful state park for a long walk. You can expect picture-perfect views of the Gulf, and a quieter vibe that’s perfect for relaxing in the sun.
Henderson Beach is a prime destination for couples and families looking to get away from it all. It offers a wide, white-sand beach that’s ideal for spreading out the beach blanket and getting a tan. Pack up the beach bag and reserve at least one full day to relax at this gorgeous park.
Destin History & Fishing Museum
In Florida, it’s not unusual to have an hour or two of rain in the afternoon – which is the perfect excuse to take a break from the beach and check out this quirky, local museum.
The Destin History and Fishing Museum has everything from model sharks to old nautical equipment. While it’s not the biggest museum, it’s definitely worth a visit – especially if you’re traveling with kids, or have a special interest in local marine life. You’ll gain a whole new appreciation for the city of Destin and its rich nautical history.
For some, several days of perfect beaches and ocean-side cocktails make for the perfect vacation. But if you’re craving just a bit more of an adrenaline rush, or if you have youngsters who are getting antsy after a few afternoons of playing in the sand, you’ll want to hit the Destin Harbor to rent a pontoon boat or jet ski.
Pontoon boats are ideal for larger groups and families who are looking forward to spending the whole day out on the water. They’re built to maximize relaxation and comfort, with room to move around and plenty of seating. You’ll be able to stow away snacks, drinks, phones, and cameras, and still have plenty of space for everyone to hang out and enjoy the day. Rent a pontoon boat for several hours or a full day to get out of the harbor and experience life on the water.
We also have jet ski rentals in the Destin Harbor here at Destin Water Fun. Perfect for couples or small groups, you’ll learn how to safely operate your jet ski, and get to take it out on the water to cruise around at your own speed. Challenge your significant other to a race, or just get out there and enjoy the views of the shoreline. Jet skis are fast, fun, and definitely more thrilling than your usual mode of transportation.
City of Destin
Destin tourism doesn’t begin and end with the beach. The city of Destin is brimming with good food, cold beer, and a welcoming atmosphere. Choose at least one night to get away from the hotel, skip the boardwalk, and check out the best local spots in town. You’ll find that the city of Destin is home to more than its share of fresh seafood, nautical vibes, and quirky bars and restaurants.
Prep for Your Trip to Destin
That concludes our list of the best sightseeing destinations in Florida. Clearly, it’s always a good time to plan a trip to Destin. Whether you’re trying to figure out the perfect summer vacation when the kids are out of school, or you just want to get away from the colder weather in your hometown, Destin will offer the perfect getaway complete with amazing food, unforgettable views, and ocean adventures.
When planning out your travel and accommodation, be sure to reserve your boat rental in advance. That way, you can make sure you’ll have a boat ready for you and your family when you arrive. After all, a private boat rental is the best way to see some of the best parts of Destin, like Crab Island and the harbor.
So pack an extra bottle of sunscreen and free up some memory on your phone for all those beach shots. It’s time to set sail for Destin, Florida.