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Guide to Destin Outdoors

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Destin is one of the most popular destinations on the Gulf Coast of Florida for many reasons, but undoubtedly one of the major attractions is its spectacular white sand beaches and turquoise water. While there's plenty to explore in Destin, some of the most memorable adventures you'll have are in the great outdoors. Here are some of my favorite outdoor adventures around town.

Good for
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer
  • Like a Local

8 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

8 Places

HarborWalk Marina

Marinas

Henderson Beach State Park

Beaches, State Parks

Destin Harbor

Bodies of Water

Jetty East Beach

Beaches

Fudpucker's Gator Beach

Nature & Wildlife Tours

James Lee Park

Parks

Destin History & Fishing Museum

History Museums

Okaloosa Island Pier

Piers & Boardwalks

Katie C's City Tips

  • The best way to get around Destin is by car. Rent a convertible to enjoy the sun.
  • If you charter a boat for any activity — fishing, diving, snorkeling, etc. — it's customary to tip the deckhands or dive masters for good service. 10-20% is normal.
  • Spring break and summer are the busiest times of year in Destin. If you're looking for fewer crowds, visit in the fall or in April or May — after Spring break but before the summer rush.
  • HarborWalk Marina
    Marinas
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    Destin is known as the 'World's Luckiest Fishing Village' — are you feeling lucky? Head down to the HarborWalk Marina, chat with the captains and book a spot on a charter fishing boat. After a day at sea, you can bring home your catch and have plenty of 'big fish' tales to boot. Don't fancy fishing? There are plenty of restaurants and shops to explore here, too.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There are several different lengths of fishing trips. Book a full day trip for the chance of more success at sea — the longer you go, the more you're likely to catch!
    • Pick your perfect trip: Party charters are cheaper, but have more people; group charters usually have 10 to 15 people on the boat; private charters allow you to go out with just your own group.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 35 things to do in Destin
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Good after dinner walk 06/11/2018
    • Fun, Interesting Place 04/11/2018
    • HarborWalk Marina
    Address:
    66 Harbor Blvd
    FL 32541-2310
    Other:
  • Henderson Beach State Park
    Beaches, State Parks
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    If the beaches of Destin are getting a bit too crowded, head to Henderson Beach State Park. This quiet oasis of calm is much less crowded and features nature trails to explore, areas where you can 'grill out', and pavilions for picnics. Enjoy its 6000 feet of coastline and 208 acres of woodland.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Henderson Beach is a state park, so there is a small fee to enter.
    • There are plenty of clean restrooms and showers for rinsing off after a dip in the Gulf.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 35 things to do in Destin
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • What a wonderful surprise! 12/12/2018
    • Beautiful beach 11/12/2018
    • Henderson Beach State Park
    Address:
    17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy
    FL 32541-3343
    Phone:
    +1 850-837-7550
    Other:
  • Destin Harbor
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    The Destin Harbor sees a ton of activity every day, from fishing boats returning with their catch, to dolphin sightseeing tours, to a wide variety of water sports. The Harbor is also home to a variety of vessels available for deep-sea, inshore and bottom fishing.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Beach Goer
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • A great way to explore the waters around Destin is by paddling. Rent a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard and go for a tour.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 35 things to do in Destin
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Mike`sFishing Trip 12/12/2018
    • A must 08/11/2018
    • Destin Harbor
  • Jetty East Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    There are many beautiful beach areas in Destin, but Jetty East Beach is a true oasis. With fewer people but plenty of pristine sand, it's also a very walkable beach. Stay late for an unforgettable sunset.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Take your mask and snorkel — Jetty East Beach is a great place to see what lives under the waves.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 35 things to do in Destin
    • Unexpected treasure 13/10/2018
    • Love Jetty East 04/10/2018
    • Jetty East Beach
  • Fudpucker's Gator Beach
    Nature & Wildlife Tours
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    There's nothing like holding — and feeding — one of Florida's most famous creatures; the alligator. At Gator Beach, more than 100 live alligators are just waiting for you to visit. Instead of giant creatures, these gators are small, which makes them less intimidating to touch, hold and even pose for a picture with them.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Admission to Gator Beach is free, but you'll need to purchase the food if you're interested in feeding them.
    • Go earlier in the day or at lunch time if you're interested in feeding the gators; they get full by the end of the day.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #31 of 184 Tours in Destin
    • Great place 11/12/2018
    • Gator Feeding 31/10/2018
    • Fudpucker's Gator Beach
    Address:
    20001 Emerald Coast Pkwy
    Fudpucker's Beachside Bar & Grill
    FL 32541-3410
    Phone:
    +1 850-654-4200
    Other:
  • James Lee Park
    Parks
    Katie C Says:

    With a playground, pavilion, picnic shelters, and plenty of parking, James Lee Park is a favorite beach destination in Destin. In addition to the beautiful clear water that you'd expect, there are also several dune walkovers to provide a different perspective.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Forget your beach umbrella? Don't worry, you can rent umbrellas and chairs here.
    • James Lee Park is a great place to get out on the water, so bring your kayak, surfboard or paddleboard for some on-the-waves fun.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #16 of 35 things to do in Destin
    • Beautiful beach with restroom facilities! 07/09/2018
    • Great beach!! 04/07/2018
    • James Lee Park
    Address:
    3510 Scenic Highway 98
    FL 32541-4726
    Other:
  • Destin History & Fishing Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    Destin is a town with a long fishing history. To learn more about the history and stories behind iconic landmarks in town, visit the Destin History & Fishing Museum. Highlights include vintage photographs and artifacts of famous fishermen from the area, a 1925 seine fishing boat, a collection of antique rods and reels, and other exhibits.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 4pm
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 35 things to do in Destin
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Best day of our trip! 01/11/2018
    • Great litle Gem in Destin! 12/10/2018
    • Destin History & Fishing Museum
    Address:
    108 Stahlman Ave
    FL 32541-1533
    Phone:
    +1 850-837-6611
    Other:
  • Okaloosa Island Pier
    Piers & Boardwalks
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    Located just a few miles west of the Destin Bridge, the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier is a 1262 feet-long concrete pier that is a favorite with fishermen and visitors alike. Stroll along the pier and chat with the fishermen to hear their stories, or just try and sneak a peak at their catch. You never know what you might see!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Pier fishing is a quintessential Florida activity. It's easy to find an affordable rod and reel in most shops. Bait your hook and see what you might catch!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 21 things to do in Fort Walton Beach
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Paradise on the Gulf 11/12/2018
    • military reunion 06/11/2018
    • Okaloosa Island Pier
    Address:
    1030 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE
    Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548-6204
    Phone:
    +1 850-244-1023
    Other:
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