7 Fun Things to Do in Destin, FL
One of Florida’s oldest fishing villages, Destin, FL, has grown into one of Emerald Coasts’ No. 1 tourist destinations. Known for white sand beaches, emerald-green waters and fishing, there are several fun things to do in Destin. From festivals to water parks, the city welcomes travelers to explore its beach-life vibe. We’ve rounded up a few fun things to do in Destin for your trip:
Attractions: Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park
A top spot for family fun in Destin, this water park features 40 different play areas. Head to Big Kahuna’s for a day of slides, dump buckets, wave pools and lazy rivers. Kids of all ages have rides and slides. Parents can splash along or take their chances on one of the fast slides. The Kowabunga Racer provides families a way to race each other on a four-lane drag strip. Don’t forget to try a round of mini-golf, also on site.
Attractions: Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
Located in nearby Fort Walton, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is one of the oldest marine parks in the U.S. It works to connect the local community to marine life with respect and wildlife preservation. At the park, guests will see dolphins, gators, penguins and more. Families have several options for up-close encounters, including snorkeling and animal feedings.
Events: Destin Seafood Festival
Seafood, fun, music: It doesn’t get much better than the Destin Seafood Festival. Usually held in early October, this seafood fest has offered fresh seafood from local vendors for more than 35 years. This free three-day festival is one of the biggest events in Destin. Guests will also enjoy four stages with live music. And kids have three separate fun zones just for them.
Events: Destin Fishing Rodeo
There are no bulls here. This rodeo is the ultimate fishing tournament for saltwater anglers and has been around since 1948. The rodeo takes place in October, with daily weigh-ins, and is free to those who fish aboard boats registered to the rodeo. More than 30,000 anglers compete throughout the month, and the competition awards more than $100,000 in cash and prizes.
Events: Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival
Ahoy, matey! For more than 60 years Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival has delighted all ages. The festival – held annually in late May and early June – features pirates, parades, entertainment and local vendors. Kids can climb the obstacle course, and see pirate skits and live storytelling. Adults should plan to party with the pirates at an annual pub crawl. Dress the kids up, so they can win the costume contest open for ages 3 to 12.
Outdoor Recreation: Helicopter Beach Tours
See Destin in a new way on a Destin Beach Helicopter tour. With packages ranging from seven to 30 minutes, this is a great experience for kids and can also serve as a romantic night out with a special someone. Short trips include the Jettys for dolphin viewing. The longest tour includes Seaside and WaterColor. Learn more about helicopter rides in Destin.
Outdoor Recreation: Horseback Trail Rides
First-timers and equine experts can enjoy a horseback trail ride in Destin. Rated among the top fun things to do in Destin, Arnett’s Gulfside Trail Rides offers rides along 30A’s beaches. The 20-acre horse ranch has horses, or you can bring your own. Due to its location – only a half mile from the beach and area amenities – Arnett’s welcomes you to spend a day in the area.