Destin Outdoor Attractions: 7 Ideas for Family Vacation Fun

The top Destin outdoor attractions celebrate sun, fresh air and warm water. Families will find several options to join in the fun with opportunities for laid-back activities to action-packed encounters. These attractions paired with a reputation for family fun also help Destin rank as a go-to spot for spring and summer vacations. To get your family ready for their beach vacation, we rounded up our favorite Destin outdoor attractions.

7 Destin Outdoor Attractions for Family Vacations

destin outdoor attractions family vacation itrip

Photo: dconvertini

Pick Your Fishing Tour

Fishing excursions top the list of Destin outdoor attractions, especially since the city is known as the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village. Dozens of companies offer different fishing adventures, but top-rated include Gulf Angler Fishing Charters and Intracoastal Experience.

Gulf Angler offers both nearshore and deep sea fishing options on three different size boats. The Home Crown measures 34 feet, and the excursion offers six hours of fishing for cobia, king, snapper and grouper. Shark fishing is also available, but guests must make reservations in advance.

The Intracoastal Experience offers inshore and nearshore fishing options. Led by Captain LW Burroughs, who has 30-plus years of experience fishing in the area, trips range from four to six hours. Inshore options provide guests with calm and more shallow waters, ideal for those uncomfortable with open water. Nearshore fishing takes guests typically 3 miles into the water where they find blackfin tuna, tarpon, sharks and more.

Play at the Waterpark

Home to 40 different play areas, Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park features rides, slides and pools for all ages. Whether looking for adventures or floating around in the lazy river, this waterpark offers both and much more. Families will find more than 9 slides ranging in height and trills, as well as rivers and pools. Smaller children have their own play areas, slides and fountains, ensuring their safety and entertainment.

When not playing in the water, guests can also ride the Cyclone, a propeller ride located 85-feet in the air and Sky Coaster, which hangs guests 100 feet in the air. Visitors can also play a friendly game at Tropical mini-golf, home to 54 holes on three different courses.

destin outdoor attractions beaches

Photo: Kristin Nador

Visit Destin Beaches

Part of the Emerald Coast, Destin’s beaches are known for their sugar-white sand and emerald green waters. The city offers 13 public beach access points, ensuring visitors have multiple ways to get to the beaches. Once popular beach spot is Crystal Sands Beach praised by online reviewers for its beauty and access to sunset views. Other public beach access points include Silver Shells, Barracuda and Tarpon streets.

While at the beach, visitors can go shelling, swim, walk the shores and soak up the sun. To make a beach day even more memorable, check out Beach Sand Sculptures, a local company that teaches guests of all ages to build incredible sand creations.

destin outdoor attractions park beach

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

In addition, families can also visit one of Destin’s parks that offer beach access, wildlife watching and more. Henderson Beach Park – a longtime favorite among Destin outdoor attractions – features 6,000 feet of natural shoreline with several boardwalks that lead to swimming and fishing spots. Want to spend the day? Then pack a lunch and enjoy one of the onsite pavilions that offer picnic and grills, perfect to get the whole group together. Families will also enjoy a trip to James Lee Park, home to 40-plus picnic tables, 9 dune walkovers, a playground and lots of parking for easy beach access.

Don’t Miss Crab Island

Renting a boat or watercraft? If so, the whole family can meet locals and tourists at Crab Island. This popular gathering spot has grown to host more than 1,000 people who love beach life and sunshine.

Visitors can take a three-hour Crab Island excursion, starting around $25 per person, to see marine life, meet locals and play in the water. The tour boat can hold up to 49 passengers, and groups more than 15 should make reservations. Once the tour is over, head to the Destin Boardwalk packed full of places to eat, shop and enjoy year-round entertainment.

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