The Emerald Coast has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to escape to the beautiful sweeping beaches lining the panhandle of the Sunshine State, spend summer nights watching fireworks over the water, or play golf on award-winning courses, there are so many things to do in Destin, FL! It’s the perfect place for you and your family can create memories that will last a lifetime.

For more in-depth information to help plan your next trip to the Sunshine State, be sure to request access to our complimentary Destin and 30A Vacation Guide!

The Top 11 Things to Do in Destin, FL

1. Relax on the BeachDestin, Florida beach

Spending long, lazy days on the beaches of the Emerald Coast is one of the best things to do in Destin, FL. Vast stretches of sugar-white sand invite you and your family to stake out a spot with your towels, chairs, and umbrellas, and make the most of your day under the warm Florida sunshine. Whether you frolic in the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, build sandcastles, or read your favorite book, there are endless ways to relax on our incredible shoreline.

2. Indulge in Coastal CuisineFish Tacos

There’s nothing more rewarding than sitting down to a delicious meal after spending a day making the most of your time in Destin. There are tons of fantastic restaurants in the area that serve up fresh seafood all day long. LuLu’s Destin is a crowd favorite, especially in the evening during sunset. Most of the dining is casual, although you can find high-end restaurants if you’re planning a date night. There is also a smattering of wineries and breweries around the Destin area that are worth checking out, including Grayton Beer Brew Pub and Chautauqua Vineyard and Winery.  

3. Shop ‘Til You DropWoman holding shopping bags in pretty light

 If you need a break from the sun and sand, shopping is one of the best things to do in Destin, FL. Outlet malls and large outdoor shopping centers along Highway 98 offer tons of chain and local stores. Destin Commons and the Silver Sands Outlets are home to the best selection of shops in the area. Plus, there are plenty of places to eat or grab a snack in between shopping excursions!

4. Explore Local HistoryUS Air Force plane

While most visit Destin for the sprawling beaches and beautiful waters, you’ll also find a fascinating treasure trove of history located along our shores. The Emerald Coast plays an important role in the Gulf fishing industry as well as the United States Air Force operations. The Air Force Armament Museum and the Destin Fishing Museum provide visitors with a glimpse into the past and present of our area. 

5. Revel in an Annual Celebrationfireworks 4th of july new years

The Emerald Coast hosts a variety of events throughout the year that you won’t want to miss. Watching Fireworks on the Harbor on Thursday nights throughout the summer is one of the best things to do in Destin, FL, in the summer, especially if you have kids. Whether you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve, one of the many barbeque festivals, or a boat parade, there is something here for everyone to enjoy! 

6. Bike, Hike, and Walk Through the Great OutdoorsCanoe at Grayton Beach State Park

There are so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors, aside from spending lazy days on the sugar-white sand beaches. You can rent a bike and explore 30A, hike through one of the beautiful wooded parks, and take long, drawn-out morning walks on the sand while watching the sunrise. The incredible collection of state parks are among the best hidden gems to explore on foot during your trip. 

7. Hit the LinksDestin, Florida golf course

Destin is a golfer’s paradise. The well-manicured links pay homage to the Sunshine State’s renowned golfing scene, with over a dozen incredible courses located throughout the Destin and 30A areas. The incredible Emerald Coast weather allows for excellent golfing year-round! So, pack your clubs and get ready to play the game of your life!

8. Paddle and Boat on the Waterboat tour

One of the best things to do in Destin, FL, is to spend time out on the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf. Paddleboarding, boating, and kayaking are just a few of the top ways to hit the water and explore the diverse ecosystems that call the Florida panhandle home. There are tons of rental companies up and down the coastline that offer great rates, and with so many days of sunshine, there is plenty of time to enjoy the ocean and Choctawhatchee Bay. 

9. Fish and Snorkle the Emerald Coastsnorkeling

Fishing and snorkeling enthusiasts will feel right at home here, especially with the array of charter boats and cruises available! Destin Harbor is full of incredible charter fishing boats you can rent for a day and reel in a big catch of the coast. You’ll also find local guide companies like Destin Snorkel and Flipper’s Adventure offering fun family snorkel cruises. There are a few spots that you can snorkel without a tour as well.

10. Enjoy Tons of Family EntertainmentHarborWalk Village

Whether you need something to do on a rainy day, during the evening, or need a break from the sun, there is plenty of great entertainment for all ages in Destin. Arcades, bowling alleys, and movie theaters dot the large shopping hubs throughout the area. Whether you want to enjoy go-karts, mini-golf, or a water park, you’ll find it here in Destin.

11. Stay in a Harmony Beach Vacations RentalOne of the decks of the Mermaid House

Booking your stay with Harmony Beach Vacations is the best way to make the most of your trip to the Emerald Coast. Our incredible selection of condos and homes in Destin and 30A offer excellent locations and amenities at rates that won’t break the bank. 

Start planning your Destin vacation today by booking one of our properties! We look forward to welcoming you to the Emerald Coast.