Destin, Florida Travel Guide

The Emerald Coast isn’t made of sugar, but Destin’s sandy white shores might have you fooled. Once a humble fishing village, Destin is now a premier tourist destination and it’s been living up to lots of hype for years! Find out why Destin’s one of Florida’s top destinations (and that’s saying a lot) with Destin vacation rentals.


Click here for more free travel guides!

What to Do in Destin, Florida

Destin AttractionsWhen visiting the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” it’s a good idea to go fishing! Many kinds of (tasty) fish are easy to catch in the Gulf of Mexico, especially off the coast of Destin. If you don’t know the first thing about angling, hop on board a deep-sea fishing charter and you’ll get the hang of it. And even if you end up unlucky, at least you’ll be cruising the beautiful blue ocean.

Besides fish, the best Destin attractions are still found in the water. Whether you’re scuba diving into the ocean’s depths or parasailing above it, you’ll spend most of your Destin vacation in or around the water. Be as creative or lazy as you like; lie out on the beach, basking underneath the sun, or if you’re up to the challenge, give kiteboarding a try!

When the sun goes down and you can no longer catch that tan, head to your Destin vacation condo or go camping at Henderson Beach State Park. For more information on Destin Beaches, see our Destin Beach Guide.

But it’s not just the beach lovers who come to Destin; golfers consider a Destin vacation a hole-in-one. There are many pristine courses to play on, including the Emerald Bay Golf Club, Kelly Plantation Golf Club, and the Regatta Bay Golf Club, and they provide a nice alternative to the beach! You’re just as liable to get sunburned, though, so lather on that sun block. 

While the beach provides endless entertainment for kids (Fudpucker’s Gator Beach is a must-see), there’s plenty of indoor Destin attractions that will give them a break from the sun. The Track Family Entertainment Center, for instance, features go carts, mini golf, and even bungee jumping.

If you’re having trouble spotting dolphins on your own, see a dolphin show with the family at the Gulfarium. Other great Destin attractions include the Destin History and Fishing Museum, the National Museum of Aviation, and Wyland’s Whaling Wall (an art gallery). More hands-on tourists can take watercolor lessons from local artist Robert Long. 

Back to top

What to See in Destin

There are many ways to experience the Gulf of Mexico in Destin! Don’t just enjoy the view from the shore. Take a dolphin cruise or awe-inspiring glass bottom boat tour and you’ll be promptly blown away by the size and diversity of the Gulf. 

Back to top

Where to Shop and Eat in Destin

When you’re not out fishing for your own meals, dine at Florida’s top seafood restaurants. But you can find all types of food here, not just seafood; favorite restaurants include Marlin’s Grill, Funky Blues Shack, McGuire’s Irish Pub and Brewery, and Another Broken Egg Café.

After you’ve treated yourself to tasty cuisine, treat yourself to some merchandise at shops like Shoo Fly Shoo. The Village at Baytowne Wharf, Destin Commons, Harborwalk, and Beach Walk are filled with both upscale and casual shops and restaurants. Pick up a unique outfit at Distinctively Destin or find out what’s new at Tommy Hilfiger. Don’t feel guilty about spending money – you saved money with a Destin condo rental, remember?

Back to top

When to Visit Destin

Florida Spring Break Family VacationRainy days are practically a foreign concept here in Destin, which enjoys cloudless skies and lots of sun year-round. It can get as cold as 42 degrees in the winter, but that doesn’t last too long. During the daytime, even in months like November, December, and January, you’ll experience beautiful 60 degree weather! So, whether you’re drawn to a warm Destin summer or a breezy but sunny winter vacation, Destin is inviting all year long.

However, if you’re here to fish, remember that each season brings new species! Research the game you’re interested in and come to Destin when there is lots of it around. 

Still having trouble planning your trip? Destin has many events and festivals that can help influence your visit. Watch a professional sandcastle builder in his element at the Sand-sational Sand Fest in June; stuff yourself with scrumptious seafood at the Destin Seafood Festival in fall; and if you’re here in October, don’t miss the amusing mullet tossing competition! Summer tourists may not get to participate in the mullet madness, but they will get to attend concerts in the park!

Back to top

What to Bring to Your Destin Condo

Destin vacations are all about the beach, so prep yourself for the sun with sunscreen, hats, umbrellas, and plenty of beach wear. Your Destin vacation rental will probably equip you with most of your beach needs, so ask the vacation rental owner what to expect upon your arrival!

Also, pack stretchy and flexible clothes – chances are you’ll eat a lot here and that'll come in handy. Or you can go the opposite route and lose weight on vacation!

Back to top

What to Know about Destin

Beachgoers are constantly surprised by parking fees and beach admission, so come prepared with our Destin beach guide, which we'll be adding soon!

Getting around Destin is made simple with the free Island Shuttle, which runs from May to October and will even give you a ride home after a night on the town, as long as you catch it before 1 am!

Back to top

Destin Services

Destin, being the popular resort town it is, truly welcomes all kinds of tourists; and Destin vacation rentals make the city all the more accommodating. Need wheelchair access on the beach? Pet care? Child care? Watercraft rentals? Fishing gear? If you’re headed to Destin, you’ll have all of this and more!

Back to top

Getting to Destin, Florida

Most vacationers fly into the Okaloosa Regional Airport and then take a rental car, shuttle, or taxi to their Destin accommodation. The airport's only 30 minutes away from Destin.

Back to top

Why Destin, Florida vacation rentals?

Book an ultra-private Destin condo by the sea or a luxurious resort condominium! It doesn’t matter what your budget is or what you plan to do once you get here – we’ve got a Destin vacation rental that will make your beach vacation a lot more than just another beach vacation. You’ll remember it for the rest of your life and since Destin vacation rentals boast affordable rates, you can enjoy as many aspects of Destin as you want.

Back to top