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Destination Destin: Best Things to Do

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Posted on February 16, 2023

If you are hungering for an old-fashioned Florida beach escape, then Destin is the ideal destination. Featuring white-sand beaches and gorgeous turquoise waters, there are always fun and relaxing things to do in Destin.

However, staying in a Destin timeshare means that your comfort level goes way up as many other attractions are located conveniently nearby. The beach may be the highlight in this Florida Panhandle city, but don't let that make you miss the many other exciting and memorable activities.

Getting Oriented in Destin

Destin beach from the sky

Located on the Gulf of Mexico with Panama City to the east and Pensacola to the west, Destin is approached by land or from the air. The Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport is a few miles away. Some travelers will arrive via the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, which is 52 miles away, or the Pensacola International Airport, which is 56 miles away.

Destin, along with neighboring Okaloosa Island and Fort Walton Beach, has a reputation as an upscale family destination. The main east-west roadway in the community is U.S. 98. For most travelers, 98 is a major orientation point, and you'll probably spend much of your time along or a few miles from this roadway along Interstate 10.

Primarily known for its stunning coastline, Destin sits along nearly 30 miles of beaches that have been certified by the Clean Beaches Council as "Blue Wave" beaches. Regardless of which stretch of sand you choose to visit; you're guaranteed to be delighted.

Visiting the Beach

Henderson Beach Destin

When it comes to the beaches in Destin, you're spoiled for choice. Henderson Beach State Park is the most popular beach here. Situated in the center of the area, this park is covered with gorgeous white sand and stunningly clear waters. Dip your feet into the waves and look down. Chances are good you'll see fish swimming beside you.

If you're looking for a beach that's a bit quieter and less frequented, head to Crystal Sands Beach. This beautiful coastline is one of the secret things to do around Destin. Don't let its lesser fame fool you. This is an extraordinary beach, and it doesn't charge an entrance fee like Henderson Beach State Park does.

Crab Island isn't precisely an island. In fact, it is a submerged sandbar that features calm, shallow waters where people love to gather. Though it has had a reputation as a party spot in the past, most visitors today say that this is a fun, family-friendly destination. Boaters, kayakers, paddle boarders and others make their way here to enjoy some fun in the sunshine and warm water.

Crab Island Destin

Whether you lounge or play games in the water, Crab Island is a memorable attraction. Be sure to take advantage of the floating food purveyors that pepper the waters. You can find everything from authentic barbecue to a delicious hot dog.

Destin Harbor Boardwalk

Destin Harbor Boardwalk

This is easily one of the most popular things to do in Destin. Within the village is a quarter-mile long boardwalk, and all along its length is an endless collection of restaurants, bars, shops and fun attractions.

Just up the hill from the boardwalk is a sizable parking lot, and entrance to the Boardwalk and the Harborwalk Village is free. Stroll westward toward the Destin Bridge if you are looking for the charter boat docks. This is also the area that has the most stores and other attractions.

Walk eastward to discover a portion of the boardwalk area that feels more like a circus midway. Try your luck with various games of chance, browse through the eclectic offerings at the booths or enjoy an open-air meal.

The boardwalk is a wonderful place to watch boats, catch a fireworks show or pick up some souvenirs. This also is the place to rent a kayak or paddle board or arrange for a Jet Skiing excursion.

Get Out on the Water