Destin Outdoor Attractions: 7 Ideas for Family Vacation Fun

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

Top 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. 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.

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 3 miles into the water where they find blackfin tuna, tarpon and more.

Play at Destin’s 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 in the lazy river, this water park offers both. Families will find more than 9 slides ranging in height and thrills, 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 also ride 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 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 sugar-white sand and emerald green waters. The city offers 13 public beach access points, ensuring visitors have multiple entry points. One popular beach is Crystal Sands Beach praised by reviewers for beauty and sunset views. Other public beach access points in Destin include Silver Shells, Barracuda and Tarpon streets.

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

destin outdoor attractions park beach

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

In addition, families also visit one of Destin’s parks that offer beach access and wildlife watching options. Henderson Beach Park – a longtime favorite among Destin outdoor attractions – features 6,000 feet of natural shoreline with boardwalks that lead to swimming and fishing spots.

Want to spend the day? Pack a lunch and enjoy onsite pavilions that have grills. Families also enjoy a trip to James Lee Park, home to 40-plus picnic tables, nine dune walkovers, a playground and lots of parking.

Don’t Miss Crab Island

Renting a boat or watercraft? If so, 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.

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 holds up to 49 passengers, and groups more than 15 should make reservations. Once the tour is over, head to Destin Boardwalk, a hot spot packed full of places to eat, shops and year-round entertainment.

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