Guide to Destin – Best Things to Do & Places to Eat

Destin is a #1 choice for a beach vacation, and the beautiful white sandy beaches and emerald green waters are well worth the trip! Surf, sand, and sun are the main reason to come to this gorgeous part of the Gulf Coast. However, there are so many other things that make Destin a splendid choice for your vacation, even in addition to going to the Beach!

Get Directions & Family Outing Ideas in the Guide

We all have a favorite place to go for an outing or to enjoy a great dining experience when we go on vacation. We have been in this area for quite some time, and we have had the wonderful pleasure of watching Destin grow from a smaller town known as the ‘Fishing Village’ to what Destin is today – a beachside town full of adventures in music, shows, watersports, dining, shopping, and shiny happy people,…and yes still well known for fishing too! The Fishing Village title remains!

Since we’ve had the opportunity to try out the local flavors, we’d like to share our favor flavor -or flavorites with you!

AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar is a classic that has been around since 1984, and for a good reason.  AJ’s is a great place to enjoy fresh seafood, live music, dancing, and water views, making it an ideal choice to go and have an all-around good time. They also now offer dolphin cruises, sunset cruises, sailing, and snorkeling! All of this fun at one location, can you see why we put it as number 1 on the list?  Not even to mention what they offer for sports fans, a Jumbo-Tron screen on the deck to watch your games while you enjoy some fresh catch of the day, or a kahuna burger & rings, your call. The Destin AJ’s is located just at the far East end of the Harborwalk Village at 116 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541.

Have you heard of Jimmy Buffett?  We know if you have, then you’ve also heard of Margaritaville, and we’ve got a great one here that is right over the water at the Harborwalk Village! But, did you know that Jimmy Buffett has a little sister named Lucy? Well he does, and she’s got her own place here in Destin as well, it’s called LuLu’s, and it’s loads of FUN! This super fun dining and water fun combo has it all, and it’s right on the bay for gorgeous water views! The restaurant offers delicious seafood and New Orleans style cuisine. LuLu’s is a great place to go if you have a food allergy, as LuLu’s offers a great variety of allergy-friendly menus like gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, shellfish-free, seafood-free, vegan, and dairy-free. After you enjoy delectable meal or snack, head out to the water and go for a nice paddleboard or kayak adventure! LuLu’s offers water activities right onsite! If you’re feeling even more adventurous, how about a plane ride over the water that land in the water! Now that is an excursion to remember. Live music can be enjoyed in the evenings. This is really a no brainer, just go to LuLu’s if you are even slightly interested in having fun.  This is also our #1 pick if dining with kids. They have a great sandy area for the kids to play and activities for the kids.

A few more of our favorites for food in Destin include:

Of course we have many more favorites, and we are always happy to share more suggestions, drop by or give us a call, and we’ll point you to the flavor you seek.

Now that our bellies are full, how about some adventure? Destin has it covered with a great array of options for all age groups and all budgets too!

For fun in the sun, we have our faves!

Fishing & Diving

Golfing in Destin:

We recommend Regatta Bay, Seascape, Kelly Plantation and Sandestin!  For the best deals go to

More Entertainment and Family Fun in the Destin area!

How about Shopping?

Destin has a great outdoor mall, The Destin Commons! Offering top name brand stores, a variety of eateries from casual to fine dining, a splash zone for kids, as well as a top of the line kiddie choo choo! This is a place where you will not be bored! Something for everyone in the family, even a big-o Bass Pro! You must try Paula Deen’s Resturant, WOW (World of Beer), or for a quick bit Smash Burger or Zoe’s are our favorites.

The Silver Sands Outlet Mall is another must-do for shopping fun! From Ann Taylor to Zale’s, this place has so many shops you could shop till you drop, but you don’t have to drop because this exquisite center offers an abundance of food everywhere you turn, or if you’re just in need of a caffeine jolt, drop in at Starbucks! Great deals at the Outlet Mall can be found year-round!


We have our share of souvenir shops but if you’re looking for that unique beachy souvie to take home for yourself, or a gift for a friend, you may want to make some footprints on over to “Footprints” a great little gift shop just East of the Outlet Mall at 9818 US HWY 98West Destin, FL 32550.  Also drop by Banana Barts just across from the Donut Hole on HWY 98, they always are leading the pack in unique gift ideas. 620 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL, 32541.

The Candymaker is another unique little shop in Destin where you can go to get a special find to take back home. This is a great shop full of souvenirs, candy, and a coffee shop-all just across the road from the Gulf of Mexico! Talking about Candy makes us hungry, back to food for just a second, because there’s just so much to offer here in Destin for eats!


For Pizza Night or Pizza anytime, (or pizza& wings!)we like Landsharks where they also offer a great lunch menu!

Vinnie McGuire’s is another excellent slice! Great pizza and wings!

Breakfast on the go!

For Donuts, we have to recommend the Donut Hole! Also great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but great for donuts especially. It is located in Destin at 635 Harbor Blvd (also known as Hwy 98 in downtown Destin area).

The Pancakery for pancakes of course, and other great breakfast and lunch items. Indoor and outdoor dining.  Great food and a casual atmosphere, a perfect start to your day of adventures! Located just off Hwy 98 in Destin at 960 Hwy 98 East Ste.#104.

As you can tell, we have almost endless options for what to do and what to eat in this great beach town called Destin. These were just a drop in the bucket for our favorites, but sadly, we didn’t have time to write a novel about it, not just yet anyway. Come and try out some of our favorites along with yours and tap into the ever-growing fantastic ball of fun found on Florida’s Emerald Coast!

Whether you’re looking for vacation rentals in Destin or property management on 30a,