There aren’t many places in the country that can offer sunshine, calm ocean waves, soft sand beaches, and tropical wildlife most months out of the year. Destin, Florida is one of them.
So it should come as no surprise that there are a ton of amazing ways to take in the fresh ocean air while you’re in the area. If you’re looking for new things to do outside, in a tropical environment, then Destin, FL is the right vacation spot for you.
And with all of your options, you might have trouble narrowing down the list. If you’re only in town for one week, here are the top outdoor activities you should make time for during your stay in Destin.
Rent your own pontoon boat
Spending the day cruising around in a pontoon boat is such a relaxing way for you, and your friends and family, to take in the sun. Make the most of summer by floating atop the waves in your own, private party boat.
Since you’ll be renting rather than going on a guided tour, you get to decide where to go, and when to stop and take a break on the sun deck. When you rent a pontoon boat in Destin, you’re even likely to see some dolphins.
Time commitment: If you’re renting a pontoon boat,plan for a half- or full-day. Many groups will prefer a full-day rental, since itt allows for more time to relax and get the full experience. When you’re renting a pontoon boat, you’ll want to leave ample time to learn how everything works and get comfortable, and of course, to explore a bit while you’re at sea.
Plan ahead: Bring drinks, snacks, towels, and anything else you might want for a day out on the waves.
Go jet skiing
If you’re a self-proclaimed speed demon, a jet ski will probably be your preferred way to spend a few hours and take in those gorgeous beach views. You can safely go up to 50 MPH on most jet skis and wave runners – but of course you can go at your own pace if you prefer to take it slow.
You can rent your own, or bring your significant other with you – there are jet skis available for one or two people at a time. You’ll learn how to operate your jet ski, and then you’ll be able to take off and ride around at your leisure. You can wear a life vest, and even pull up to a shallow area if you want to hop in the water and cool off.
Time commitment: Allow at least two hours for your jet ski rental so you can explore different parts of the bay. Keep in mind that you’ll also need a quick tutorial at the beginning to learn how to safely maneuver your jet ski.
Plan ahead: Pack light for this one – your jet ski ride will be a whirlwind and you want to stay nimble! Everything you bring aboard your jet ski or wave runner should be water resistant and preferably hands-free. If you want to catch some photos and videos while you’re out there, pack your phone in a sealed, waterproof bag (available at most surf shops in Destin). If you’ve got a GoPro or other small camera, you can try to attach it safely to your gear or life vest so you don’t have to worry about it flying off when you make a tight turn.
This isn’t just any old fishing trip: fishing tours in Destin are a truly unique experience. You’re on vacation, so go all out and charter a fishing boat. You can even hire a captain for the day, so you don’t have to worry about navigation. You’ll be able to get out on the ocean, where you can catch different types of fish than you’d ever see closer to shore. If you have a professional boat captain and crew, they’ll guide you to the spots where you’re most likely to catch some big fish.
Time commitment: Plan to spend at least 4 hours to charter a fishing boat. Many people choose to allow a whole day for this activity, to make sure they have enough time out on the water to catch their dinner.
Plan ahead: Wear comfortable clothes and plenty of sun protection!
Challenge yourself to learn a new skill and get a little daring while you’re at it. Parasailing is a unique way to see the full view of the ocean and shoreline while you’re soaring in the air. Sign up for an excursion with a well-respected Destin parasailing company, and you’ll get to work with professionals who are experienced at helping newbies to go up in the air for the first time. You’ll essentially be pulled along under a kite, allowing you to glide high up above the Florida shoreline. It’s definitely the best view in Destin.
Time commitment: Your parasailing trip will likely take around two hours from start to finish: you’ll need time to prep, learn how it works, and get into the sky safely.
Plan ahead: Wear your sunglasses and sunscreen, and bring a towel since you’ll board from a boat. If you choose, you can even bring your phone up with you to get some epic aerial footage – just make sure you have a firm grip!
Destin, FL: a top destination for water sports
Clearly, Destin is one of the best places in the country to try out a fun new outdoor activity. The challenge is to make sure you can fit it all in during your trip. Choose your top three watersport rentals to try while you’re in Destin, and make your reservation in advance.
Regardless of which activities you choose, you’re going to go home with beautiful photos and amazing memories. So start packing your swim suits and request that time off. Before you know it, you’ll be catching a wave in Destin.