Destin – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (2024)

Destin is an upscale resort town in the Florida Panhandle.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Primary access to Destin is by private vehicle. It is on US 98 between Pensacola and Panama City. From IH-10 west, take IH-110 south through Gulf Breeze, merge with US 98, and follow US 98 along the coast through Fort Walton Beach. From IH-10 east, take FL 285 south through Eglin Air Force Base, make a left on FL 20 to go east, then a right to go south on Mid Bay Bridge.

By plane[edit]

The closest public airport is Okaloosa Regional Airport (VPSIATA) (Destin–Fort Walton Beach Airport).Car rental agencies are available at the airport, or offer a courtesy pickup service from the airport.There are 2 other nearby airports, Pensacola International Airport (PNSIATA), about 1 hr 20 mins away, and Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECPIATA), about 1 hr away.

Get around[edit]

By public transit[edit]

Destin offers two public transits with limited availability but affordable prices. The transits are offered during the tourist season primarily and can be found at access points in the Crystal Beach shopping center and the Destin Commons.

By shuttle[edit]

  • Coastal Shuttle Service, +1 850-687-8220. 24. Airport shuttle service.
  • Sexton Taxi, +1 850-837-0777, +1 850-585-0908. Airport shuttle service to all local airports. Taxi service throughout the area.


The beach, with its distinctive emerald green water, earning it the nickname of the Emerald Coast. Destin's enormous stretch of beach is spectacular, with some of the finest, whitest sand in the world. The sand is so soft it literally squeaks under foot. You will be spoiled forever after experiencing this.



Destin is famous for its sugar white sand beach and emerald green water.


The area is renowned for its golfing opportunities. The climate is nearly ideal year-round.

  • Ft. Walton Beach Golf Club, 1909 Lewis Turner Blvd., Ft. Walton Beach, +1 850-833-9529. Public championship course. Pro shop, lighted driving range, club rentals and snack bar.
  • Golf Garden of Destin, 112958 Highway 98 East, +1 850-837-7422. Public lighted course and practice area.
  • Regatta Bay Golf & Country Club, 465 Regatta Bay Blvd, +1 850-650-7800. Public, championship course designed by Robert C. Walker.
  • Seascape Resort & Conference Center, 100 Seascape Dr, +1 850-654-7888. Public course with greens and driving range.
  • Emerald Bay Golf Club, 4781 Clubhouse Drive, +1 850 837-5197.

Deep Sea Fishing[edit]

  • Adventure Charters, +1 850-654-4070. Offers many charter options.
  • Pelican Adventures, 210-F Hwy 98 East, +1 850-650-3825.
  • [dead link] One Mo'r Fishing Charter, 314 Harbor Blvd, +1 850-502-3550. Deep Sea & Inshore Fishing Charters. Includes bottom fishing, trolling, and bay fishing. (updated Apr 2017)

Water Sports[edit]

  • A Paradise Watersports, +1 850-837-0123, +1 850-302-0021. On Okaloosa island. Rents all kinds of boats and water gear.
  • Boogies Water Sports, +1 850-654-4497. At the foot of the bridge. Offers watercraft rentals and parasailing.
  • [dead link] Destin Florida Charters, +1 850-393-7009. Charters power and sail yachts.
  • 1 Wet-n-Wild Watersports, 288 Harbor Blvd Unit D, +1 850-243-2628, 8AM-6PM. Offers parasailing, pontoon boat rentals, crab island tours, etc. $. (updated Apr 2017)

Dolphin Cruises[edit]

  • Dolphin Cruise, +1 850-837-7741. At Harborwalk Marina. Offers various cruises including a dolphin cruise.
  • Moody's, 194 Hwy. 98, +1 850-837-1293. Sails the Emerald Magic and America II, available for charter.

Recreation Centers[edit]

  • Destin Laser Tag and Blacklight Minigolf, +1 850-650-6748. (updated Feb 2018)
  • Pleasure Island Waterpark, Highway 98 in Fort Walton Beach, +1 850-243-9738. Has go-karts, personal watercraft, pontoon boats, jet boats, parasailing, and refreshments.
  • The Track, Highway 98 on the east side of town, +1 850-654-4668. Has indoor go-karts, a kids recreation area, miniature golf, and bungee jumping.
  • Gator Beach and Fat Daddy's Arcade, 20001 Emerald Coast Pkwy, +1 850-654-4200. A small but intriguing alligator viewing exhibit. The complex also includes the Fat Daddy's Arcade, gift shop, and Fudpucker's Bar & Grill Free. (updated Jan 2023)


  • 1 Destin Commons, 4100 Legendary Dr. Outdoor shopping mall with a "Main Street" environment. (updated Jan 2023)


There are any number of places to eat both on and off the beach.

  • The Back Porch, +1 850-837-2023.
  • Boathouse Oyster Bar, +1 850-837-3645.
  • Camellia Grill, w Harbor Blvd Suite 200, +1 850 650-2907. Old style diner with New Orleans touches. A favorite in the Carrollton section of New Orleans for generations; now has a branch in Destin in the HarborWalk Village Mall.
  • Captain Dave's on the Gulf, +1 850-837-6357.
  • Destin Chops, 320 Hwy. 98 E (on the second floor of the Destin Yacht Club), +1 850-654-4944. Steakhouse.
  • Dewey Destin's, 9 Calhoun Avenue. (updated Jun 2016)
  • Fisherman's Wharf, 210-D Hwy 98 East, +1 850-654-4766.
  • Hog's Breath Saloon, 541 E. Hwy 98, +1 850-837-5100.
  • Fudpucker's Beachside Bar & Grill, 20001 Emerald Coast Pkwy, +1 850 654-4200.
  • Harbor Docks, 538 Highway 98, +1 850-837-2506.
  • Marina Café, 404 Hwy 98 East, +1 850-650-4208.
  • McGuires Irish Pub and Brewery, 33 E Highway 98, +1 850-650-0000. Steaks and ale.
  • Nightown, +1 850-837-6448.
  • [dead link] Ocean Club Restaurant, 8955 Hwy. 98 West,#107, Miramar Beach, +1 850-267-3666. The grouper comes recommended!
  • Yesterday's, +1 850-654-5251.


  • Vin'tij Wine Boutique (across the street from the Silver Sands Factory Stores). The wine list is extensive. The decor is an eclectic mix of local art and mosaics. The atmosphere is nice.



  • Motel 6, 405 Highway 98 E, +1 850-837-0007.
  • Sleep Inn, 10775 Highway 98 E, +1 850-654-7022.
  • Shore Dreams Vacation Rentals, toll-free: +1-855-550-8005. Pet-friendly condos, golf villas, and houses for all budgets


  • Country Inn & Suites, 4415 Commons Dr E, +1 850-650-9191.
  • Holiday Inn, 1020 Highway 98 East, +1 850-837-6181.
  • Ramada Limited Destin, 39 Old Hwy 98 East, +1 850 837-2378.


  • Club Destin, 1085 Highway 98 E, +1 850-654-4700.
  • Inn on Destin Harbor, 402 Highway 98 E, +1 850-837-7326.
  • Silver Shells Beach Resort and Spa, 15000 Emerald Coast Parkway, toll-free: +1-877-447-3767. Beachfront condominium resort with Ruth Chris Steak House on site.
  • Oversee, +1 888-290-3489. Over 160 vacation rentals to choose from.
  • The Palms of Destin, 4201 Two Trees Rd, toll-free: +1-877-447-3767. Beautiful Gulfside resort with pool, tennis courts, spa, and fitness center.
  • Silver Beach Towers Resort, 1050 Highway 98, +1-877-447-3767. Extraordinary beach front resort on the white sand Gulf Coast.
  • Seascape Golf, Beach & Tennis Resort, 100 Seascape Drive, toll-free: +1-800-874-9106. One, Two and Three bedroom rentals at Ariel Dunes, Ariel Dunes II, Majestic Sun and the Villas.
  • Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, 4000 Sandestin Blvd. A getaway for a Florida golf trip or a relaxing vacation. Top-notch accommodations, access to top-rated golf courses, upscale dining at Seagars, and relax at the Serenity by the Sea Spa.

Go next[edit]

  • Ft. Pickens, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, is a nature preserve and a civil war-era fort and museum. Activities include fishing, camping, historical research, and tours. A 7-day pass is $8, and covers a private vehicle and all passengers. It's located on the far west end of Santa Rosa Island, about 45 minutes west on Highway 98, then take the CR-399 bridge south at Gulf Breeze, then follow CR-399 right.
  • Fort Walton Beach is just to the West on Highway 98 on the other side of Okaloosa Island.
  • Navarre Beach is a relatively unoccupied resort area on Santa Rosa Island. Head west on Highway 98 about 30 minutes, then take a left on Navarre Bridge. An excellent beach with shower facilities is available at the bridge intersection.
  • Panama City Beach is an area more targeted to the younger crowd. It is a popular spring break destination. Head east on Highway 98 about an hour.
This city travel guide to Destin is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.

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Destin – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (2024)


What is so special about Destin Florida? ›

Natural Wonders of Destin, Florida

The underwater 100 Fathom Curve draws closer to Destin than to any other spot in Florida — creating the speediest deep-water access on the Gulf. This phenomenon makes the area the “Billfish Capital of the World” with a world record catch of 1,061 lbs.

What is considered the Emerald Coast in Florida? ›

The Emerald Coast is an unofficial name for the coastal area in the US state of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico that stretches about 100 miles (160 km) through five counties, Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, and Bay, which include Pensacola Beach, Navarre Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, and Panama City Beach.

Is Destin an island? ›

Geography. The city is located on a peninsula separating the Gulf of Mexico from Choctawhatchee Bay. The peninsula was originally an island; hurricanes and sea level changes gradually connected the island to the mainland. Destin is near several other cities in the region.

Is Destin Florida a good place to live? ›

Destin is a town in Florida with a population of 13,923. Destin is in Okaloosa County and is one of the best places to live in Florida. Living in Destin offers residents an urban feel and most residents own their homes. Many young professionals live in Destin and residents tend to be conservative.

What is the best month to visit Destin Florida? ›

The best time to visit Destin is in April and May when the water is warm, the sun is shining and the temperatures are comfortable (expect highs in the mid-70s and 80s). If you visit any earlier, you risk cooler weather and chilly water. A summer trip will put you among the crowds and the peak prices.

What is the number one beach in Destin Florida? ›

These places are best for beaches in Destin: Henderson Beach State Park. Crystal Sands Beach. Jetty East Beach.

Which beach has the clearest water in Florida? ›

The obvious question becomes what part of Florida has the prettiest beaches with the clearest water. Key West, Anna Maria Island, Siesta Key, and Destin are consistently on the top of the list.

Why is Destin Florida permanently closed? ›

Reasons for the closure cited by Eglin officials at the time included an incompatible and unsafe blend of beachgoers and moving vessels along the shoreline, vehicular traffic traveling in the wrong direction on the shoulder of U.S. Highway 98, vehicles being parked on the shoulder of U.S. 98 and the beach area, illegal ...

Can you walk to Crab Island Destin? ›

You can't swim or walk there, either. The only safe way to get to Crab Island is by boat. You can either rent a boat, charter a boat, or do an excursion, like the Crab Island Shuttle Boat or Crab Island Adventure Tour.

Is Crab Island worth it? ›

Crab Island is one of the most popular attractions in all of Destin. Featured on HGTV and Good Morning America, Crab Island's fame has been growing at a rapid pace. The shallow emerald green waters, obstacle courses and floating bars have made it one of the most popular things to do on the entire Gulf Coast.

Do any celebrities live in Destin Florida? ›

Some celebrities like Jimmy Buffet, Mike Huckabee, and Justin Moore even have homes in the area. However, with so many luxurious mansions along 30A and Destin, it's really not surprising that celebrities buy homes here.

How do people afford to live in Destin Florida? ›

“I think there are many options for people across all income levels to live in Destin,” he said. “You can live in a nice apartment/house for $1,000 a month including insurance/taxes. So, even if you are making $25,000, you can make it work based on how you live your life each day and the things that you own and buy.

Is it worth buying a property in Destin? ›

Real estate is said to be one of the best investments to make. If that's true, then Destin is the place to invest in. The beautiful white sand beaches and the easy accessibility from major cities makes buying a home or condo in Destin a very smart investment.

Why do people love Destin Florida? ›

There is so much to love about the Emerald Coast during spring. Resting along the Gulf of Mexico with sugar-white sand beaches and emerald waters, Destin is a perfect spot to recharge and escape. From beautiful scenery, wine tasting, to outdoor adventures, this city has a plethora of activities to explore.

Why is Destin beach water so clear? ›

Destin's White Quartz Sand Influences Water Clarity

Destin's beaches boast exceptionally white quartz sand, primarily composed of tiny, rounded grains created through the erosion and weathering of rocks over time. Even underwater, this beautiful sand reflects sunlight and gives the water a clearer appearance.

Why is Destin so beautiful? ›

Many people know about the Destin, Florida, white sand, but did you know that these beaches are some of the whitest and most hom*ogenous in the world? What gives the sand its signature white color is the tiny quartz particles that make it up. The process that formed the sand actually began more than 20,000 years ago!


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