Destin, Florida is located in Florida's narrow, green and northwest corner between the Gulf of Mexico and the Alabama and Georgia state lines. This part of Florida is called the 'panhandle' and in addition to palm trees and glorious, white beaches, the area has magnolia trees, mossy live oaks, and loblolly pines that are common in the Deep South.
Destin, in the distinctive panhandle of Florida, is in the central time zone and is just a little different than than mainstream Florida.... it's often called the Emerald Coast, in honor of the crystal clear blue-green water. Destin is famous for its' fishing waters', and there are many deep-sea fishing charters available for hire. Destin, Florida has everything from hotels and fancy resorts to beautiful campgrounds (like Henderson Park) and many fully equipped vacation rentals including condos and beach houses.
There is something to do for everyone in Destin: there are quiet beach spots to relax at, historic districts to visit, and the outdoor lovers can hunt, canoe, go birdwatching, bike, swim, snorkel, sail or hike.
In the spring and summer, you'll find plenty to do in Destin after dark. From martini bars to fishing bars, Destin has a variety of places to party... or to have a romantic evening. Here are a few popular spots:
Howl at the Moon: A fun Dueling Piano Rock and Roll Show, a great place to start your night. (Located on Okaloosa Island - 850-301-0111
* Picolo's The Red Bar: this is one of the most popular places in Destin for fantastic jazz performances.
Hotz Avenue. 850-231-1008
* Rum Runners for Rock and Roll Fun and a lively atmosphere
* The Swamp: Fun live rock bands. Located on Okaloosa Island
Club Aqua Night Club in Destin for an upscale atmosphere
Ideas for Other Activities in Destin:
Kick Back and Relax on the Beach: A great place to go is Henderson Beach State Park. This 208-acre park is on Highway 98 and it is open daily from 8am to sunset. To spend the day here, you'll only have to pay $4 per car, or $1 per pedestrian/bike. You can also bring your pets, as long as they are on a leash. If you get hungry, there are plenty of places to eat right outside the park on its western side. At Henderson Beach State Park you can camp in one of the 60 wooded sites for $21 per night. You should make reservations while planning your trip to Destin at 800-326-3521.
You can also visit James W. Lee Park on the eastern end of Destin for a gorgeous white sand beach excursion. Go here to have a relaxed picnic (plenty of picnic tables!) or for a refreshment at the ice cream parlor. Or try Jolee Island Nature Park for families!
Golf for grown-ups: Make sure to check with all the golf clubs for afternoon and early evening prices - you can get some great deals! Also, check with your hotel for packages. If you'd like to make golf a big part of your vacation,* Indian Bayou Golf and Country Club: it is located off of Airport road and can be reached at 850-837-6191. The Club has three 9-hole courses. Fee: $60
Family Activities in Destin
Too hot in the sun? Jump in! Water activities are obviously abundant in Destin.
* Big Kahuna's Water and Adventure Park is a great family excursion and has 40 water rides and thrill rides, miniature golf, and even go-karts. You can view a video of Big Kahuna's at this page about Destin Florida attractions.
* Rent a pontoon boat or a speed boat and explore the bays.
* Rent jet skis and other water toys at the marinas east of the Destin Bridge.
* Go scuba diving, snorkeling or dolphin-watching. Along the harbor there are many glass-bottom boats that can take you.
Go fish! Destin calls itself the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village." Try your luck and plan a fishing trip just by walking down to the marinas on the north shore of Destin Harbor. You can charter a boat, join a group on a party boat or just fish off of the Destin Bridge.