The western Florida town of Destin is surrounded by water: large Choctawhatchee Bay to the north, the Gulf Coast as the southern boundary and Destin Harbor in the downtown area. Visit the shores of all three areas for beaches, water sports, saltwater fishing, nature trails and wildlife spotting.
In the heart of Destin, browse among the shops and restaurants along Harbor Boardwalk. Ask about the “Key to the Harbor” for discounts at many of these businesses. Admire yachts in the harbor or charter your own for boating or fishing.
Look for dolphins in the harbor and in Choctawhatchee Bay. Both spots are great for sailing, windsurfing and Jet Skiing. For a sustainable fishing approach, try the tranquil option of kayak fishing or simply enjoy an eco tour along the shore.
Find public access to soft sand beaches in 13 spots along Florida’s Emerald Coast. Visit Henderson Beach State Park’s sand, water, dunes and nature trails. Arrange accommodations along Crystal Beach or use public access to reach the magnificent Gulf Coast shoreline. Quietly observe sea turtles nesting in the spring or hatching in early autumn.
Join October’s Destin Fishing Rodeo as a spectator or participant. Fishermen compete for numerous prizes for catching various gamefish. Kids win a free rod and reel for catching a fish over 1 pound (0.5 kilogram).
Bring a picnic basket for a dinner on the lawn while listening to music at the Matty Kelly Cultural Arts Village. Concerts on Thursday evenings from May through July feature a variety of genres. See juried artists and enjoy music and food during October’s 2-day Festival of the Arts at this spot in the heart of Destin.
Reach Destin by car, driving 1.5 hours from Pensacola or 2.5 hours from Tallahassee, or fly into the Northwest Florida Regional Airport in nearby Fort Walton Beach. If you don’t have a car, use taxis or the Okaloosa County buses to travel within the city and along the Gulf Coast shore.