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Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Destin Florida

If you are planning a fun vacation to Destin? You are in the right place; In this guide, I will show you the top 10 tourist attractions in Destin Florida. 

Destin, Florida, is famous for its white sugary sands and emerald waters; you will feel like you are in the Caribbean. 

It offers plenty of fun and entertainment experiences that will keep you and your family entrained forever.  

Destin, Florida, is a year-round tourist destination in the U.S. Outdoor activities are numerous here, such as biking, surfing, paddle boarding, parasailing, water skiing, and more. 

Worldclass seafood, restaurants, eclectic shops and boutiques, family vacation resorts, and family friendly attractions are part of the reason Destin has been honored with the title of family friendly beach destination. 

It is truly the luckiest fishing village in all of Florida. So, if you like fishing, you will love it here.

Not to mention they have the Destin fishing Rodeo during the whole month of October, which draws tons of people.  

On Thursdays during the summer months, you can boat to watch the fireworks because there are free fireworks every Thursday.  

Moreover, it has been a true working and living community. Do not mistake this for strict tourists or retiree area.  

Furthermore, there are many best things to do in Destin. Here are 10 of my favorite tourist attractions in Destin, Florida. 

Best Hotels to Stay in Destin, Florida 

These are 10 Best Tourist Attractions in Destin Florida 

1- Henderson Beach State Park 

Probably the most popular thing to do in Destin is the beach itself. It is a beautiful beach, the sand is very soft, and the water is very clear.  

Henderson Beach State Park is perfectly located in the panhandle, right in the heart of Destin, Florida.  

It has more than 6,000 feet of shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico, which is only one of the many reasons why this over 200-acre park is such a gem.  

And it is the closest state park to the famous Crab Island, where you can go down to the harbor, rent a boat and spend the in the most beautiful water you will see on the emerald coast.  

The infrastructure is pretty good at Henderson Beach State Park, two substantial parking lots, covered areas, day picnic, and they also have restrooms as well as outdoor showers.  

The water is so clear in Destin that you can see many sea life swimming along the coast with you.  

Additionally, there is a tremendous campground and has 60 campsites they all have power and water.

Destin offers so much in the way of water activities; you want to check this out.  

If you have not visited Henderson Beach State Park, be sure to add it to your list and book in advance because it is a very popular place and for a good reason. 

2- Crab Island 

Crab Island is a giant sandbar, about a 10-to-15-minute boat ride away from Destin’s harbor walk area. This place is fascinating. 

The whole bunch of people will bring their boats over, they anchor them, and then it’s time to play, party, and do whatever you want.  

Also, there are all sorts of vendors out there who drive around their boats to sell food items, T-shirts, ice cream, giant floating restaurants, and stores you can buy anything you want.  

You can buy a cheeseburger or any floating animal that you could want.

For some people, Crab Island is more like a party scene, and they are having a good time; then it is much more a family thing for some people where they will be hanging out, throwing the football around, and playing on the floating animals.  

That is why this place is enjoyable and entertaining. Now, you can rent a boat if you have a whole bunch of people and go out there for as long as you like.

Or you can take a tour to go out there in which you could ride a glass-bottom boat.  

They pick you up they take you out to Crab Island, which is one of the best experiences you can have in Destin.  

Note! You are allowed to drink, but nobody is allowed to sell beer out there. So, you need to bring all the beer you will drink before you get to Crab Island. 

3- Big Kahuna’s Water Park 

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Detin, Florida, is the Big Kahuna’s, Water Park. It’s a pretty sizeable waterpark with a lot of slides. Some not so modern slide and some very modern slides.   

Enjoy bumper boats, water slides, thrill rides, and so much more when visiting one of Destin’s theme parks.  

There is plenty of things to do with over 40 attractions, including the relaxing lazy river and the thrilling Kowabunga Racer.  

Being Destin’s only water park for more than 25 years, this is a family fun attraction you don’t want to miss.  

Big Kahuna’s is open through spring and summer from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm, depending on the time of year.  

Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park is located on Highway 98 in beautiful Destin, Florida.   

One of the best things to do to ensure a successful trip is to be prepared and bring the essentials like towels and sunscreen.  

While Big Kahuna’s is considered a water park, it also offers thrill rides, mini-golf, and more. Meaning there are tons of ways to keep the whole family entertained for hours.

4- Dolphin Cruise 

There is no better way to unwind with the relaxing dolphin sightseeing cruise in Destin Harbor.   

A Destin sightseeing boat tour finds the dolphins and other beautiful sea creatures like turtles, sea birds, and sharks while giving you brief information from the local sea captain’s experiences.   

This 90-minute Dolphin Cruise offers breathtaking views and an unforgettable experience.   

destin florida things to do

The cruise ships are different from each other, but no matter which tour you select, be ready to be treated to a smooth ride in the Choctawhatchee Bay and Destin Harbor.   

There is a 100 percent chance to spot the dolphins in Destin by ship cruise. So, rest assured the kids will leave with lasting memories of the friendly sea mammals.   

Tours run daily and often, but limited seating is available, so be sure to book in advance to reserve a seat.   

Furthermore, Destin is known for sunsets, clear water, white powdery sand, and a tranquil atmosphere. There’s not any location on the planet such as Destin, Florida.   

In the Gulf of Mexico, there are approximately 40,000 dolphins, which proves it the best place in Florida to see the Dolphins. It is one of the best things to do near Destin, FL. 

5- Norriego Point – Tourist Attractions in Destin, Florida 

Destin is known for its emerald green water and incredible sea life. Norriego point is easily accessible and provides excellent snorkeling.  

So, get your snorkeling gears and jump into the water to swim with the bright and appealing marine life because snorkeling Destin is fun, safe, and easy.  

This incredible place offers many activities for visitors. If you visit here for a day picnic, swimming, snorkelling or other water sports, you cannot go wrong when visiting Norriego point.

One of Destin’s most beautiful areas for fun, fish, snorkel and photos.  

What is the best time to visit Norriego Point? Any time is a fabulous time to head to Norriego Point, with scenic views being served up year-round.   

However, the best time to visit is during the spring, summer, and early fall, as the weather during this time is perfect for swimming and basking in the sun.   

How to go there? When traveling down highway 98 in Destin, all you have to do to get to Norriego point is turn onto Gulf Shore Drive, and you are there.   

Top activities at Norriego Point include swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, boating, sunbathing, and wildlife watching. It is one of the best things to do near Destin, FL. 

6- Pontoon Boat Rentals 

Renting a pontoon boat in Destin is always the best way to see its beauty from a new perspective, and it offers beautiful sightseeing. Also, it is one of the best things to do in Destin with kids.  

This boat ride is a true experience, anchor the pontoon boat at crab island, Destin’s famous destination, or pull the boat ashore for a private beach day.   

At the helm of a rental pontoon, enjoy saltwater fishing with the kids or tubing on the Gulf.  

Moreover, you will enjoy swimming, photography, reading, and you can do onshore activities on this adventure cruise.   

Rentals vary in length of time and number of passengers, so it is easy to find a pontoon and price to fit your needs.   

Make sure to book your Destin pontoon boat rental in advance. Because in summer months and holidays, renting a pontoon boat becomes a hustle due to the busy season.   

If you don’t know how to drive a boat, don’t worry, the friendly and experienced staff will give you a tour of the boat and how it works, all the safety procedures and everything else.   

And the more people who go out with you on the pontoon boat, the less it will cost. You can also rent a jet ski, do parasailing, and a bunch of other activities to do.   

7- Destin Harborwalk Village 

Harborwalk Village is one of the top destinations in Destin. It offers shopping, waterfront dining, live music, entertainment, and adventure by land, air, and water.  

Parking is 10 dollars and free for guests of the Emerald Grand Resort. But if you visit the harbor during the off season, there is no charge for parking, so it seems the parking cost is dependent on the season.  

Harborwalk village teems with excitement, especially during the high season, and when you come to Destin, most likely you want to frolic in the crystal-clear blue waters, and Harborwalk Village has you covered.  

There are so many water activities to choose from. There is bound to be something for every type of excursionist.  

You can go scuba diving or snorkeling, rent a kayak, paddleboard, jet ski, or pontoon. Or let someone else handle all the steering and choose from a variety of cruises.  

Besides that, there are pirate ship cruises, dolphin cruises, sunset cruises, glass-bottom boat tours.

And on Thursdays during the summer, you can even watch the fireworks aboard the cruises. 

8- Fishing in Destin 

Destin’s nickname is the “world’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” so of course, there is fishing.  

It is easy to see why this small beach town is the luckiest fishing village snapper fishing, shark fishing, all types of fishing you can do here.  

Fishing is a lifestyle in Destin and an essential part of any visit is going home with one fishing story. 

As a visitor, you can also schedule private charters and group charters. Even if you are not into fishing, it is interesting to see the catch that’s brought in from all the different boats.  

And if watching fish being prepared for consumption really isn’t your thing, there are stations available to feed the fish.  

As I said earlier, there are so many ways to enjoy the beautiful waters, and that’s no exaggeration. 

9- Destin Pirate Cruise 

Are you visiting Destin with kids? Well, there is no better way to have fun with kids in the Pirate Cruise. 

This fully faceted tour is specially for kids and they will love it. Enjoy a smooth ride on a fully designed pirate cruise. 

Not only this, but this tour includes the pirate costumes for kids, water cannon, hunting for treasure and onboard entertainment put on by Captain Bones. 

The boat ride is surprisingly smooth and children and adults can enjoy sights and sounds of Destin harbor. 

Pirate tours are recommended for children under 10, and the price of Destin pirate cruise includes all of the activities mentioned above. That is why it is one of the fun things to do in Destin Florida. 

10- Shopping in Destin Florida 

Destin, Florida, has grown off the beaten path village, vacation heaven for everyone, and a true working living community.  

With its growth, shopping in Destin, Florida has grown too, with 20 restaurants, 65 retail shops, and more. Some come to fish and golf, and others stay to play and shop.  

There are so many shopping options in Destin. But the Destin common stores are simply the best.

destin beach attractions, shopping in destin

And they have truly cornered the market on not only big national brands but also locally owned favorites and just about something for everybody.  

Because of its popularity, it has pulled other big-name hubs close to its side, including Barnes and Noble, Publix, Whole Foods, Rooms to go, and tons of other ones in the area.  

Then these big-name hubs pull even more stores and local boutiques, adding to the shopping in Destin, Florida, creating a shopping Mecca.  

The Destin commons has done shopping in Destin, Florida, easy and fun. With Destin’s reputation for shopping in the southeast, it is undoubtedly the place to be on Black Friday. 

Final Thoughts on Entertainment in Destin in FL

There are many tourist attractions in Destin, Florida. But If you are looking for good fun in Destin.

Get ready to pick from various options bungee trampolines, escape rooms, a mirror maze, a shooting gallery, and virtual rise are all available at Destin’s Harborwalk Village.  

And if you prefer to take the avengers upwards, check out the zipline, the 40-foot interactive led walk wall, the 100-foot free fall, or even a helicopter ride. Which makes it the best tourist attractions in Destin Florida. 

Moreover, Harborwalk village is also known for shopping. Retailers offer swimwear, jewelry, accessories, and apparel.  

With so many different activities and entertainment options, I feel this makes harbor walk village a great destination for multi-generational families and groups with varying interests. 

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