What To Do: Destins Beaches And Beyond
The Emerald Coast, with its soft white sand and turquoise water, is the biggest draw here. Public beaches are supervised by lifeguards, but before you go, visit the Emerald Coast website and familiarize yourself with the flag warning system, designed to inform the public about safe swimming conditions.
The longest beach in Destin lies within Henderson Beach State Park , offering 6,000 feet of sandy shoreline. The park includes campsites, boardwalks for wildlife viewing, picnic pavilions and playgrounds.
At the east end of Destin, James Lee Park, has a boardwalk, picnic areas, a playground, paved parking and restrooms with changing tables. Enter near the Crab Trap restaurant, a popular spot to grab lunch or a drink.
Theres also beach access at East Pass and Norriego Point. Entrance to the former is behind the Welcome to Destin sign youll see en route from Fort Walton Beach. There are two beaches here, on either side of a jetty the east side is a peaceful place to swim. The west side is popular for fishing.
Norriego Point is at the end of Gulf Shore Drive on Holiday Isle. This area has been undergoing improvements to recreation areas. Work was scheduled to end in spring 2019, so make sure its open before heading over there.
To get farther out on the water, join a guided boat cruise to watch bottlenose dolphins or go sport fishing . Or treat your kids to the novelty of watching sea life through a glass-bottom boat or from the bow of a real-life pirate ship .
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Destin is noted for its sandy shores and turquoise gulf coast waters, making it a great spot for families and those seeking to unwind under the Florida sun. But theres more to the area than its picturesque coast. The town also boasts a huge water theme park in the form of Big Kahunas, guaranteeing plenty of watery fun for all ages, regardless of the weather. The area is also home to plenty of popular outdoor activities like the trails in the neighbouring Henderson Beach State Park or the snorkelling, diving and other watersports activities. The town also boasts plenty of boardwalk shops and restaurants. Whats more, if youre tempted to pay it a visit, there are plenty of accommodation options to enjoy. Read on to find out where to stay in Destin, Florida.
Situated just across the road from the beach, this superbly-rated 3-star property will likely appeal to those guests who simply cannot wait to enjoy a dip in the ocean. It has a light, airy, and modernist interiorâwhich features a cavernous lobby spaceâ, and comes equipped with a host of mod-cons. These include a business centre, free Wi-Fi access, a fitness suite, and a swimming pool. Theres also a restaurant and bar on site so you wont have to wander far for a bite. Theres a free breakfast buffet which sets you up for the day. Those seeking to explore will find Destin Commons mix of shops and eateries just 8 minutes away by car.
Coastal Townhouse In Crystal Beach: Realjoy Vacations
Visiting as a large group? This townhouse is the best accommodation for you. Sleeping no less than 18 people in five bedrooms, it is located right on the beachfront in one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Destin. Guests are given complimentary beach service through the peak season. There are plenty of excellent restaurants and bars within walking distance.
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Crystal Beach Where To Stay In Destin For Couples
- COOLEST Thing to Do Crystal Beach: Enjoy endless rounds of golf at the two biggest courses in the city Kelly Plantation and Emerald Bay.
- BEST Place to Visit Crystal Beach: Enjoy the upmarket vibes at James Lee Beach but make sure to arrange beach service in advance.
Sandwiched between Downtown Destin and Miramar, Crystal Beach offers the best of both worlds. It is one of the more upmarket neighbourhoods in the city, making it the perfect retreat for a couples holiday. If youre happy to splurge a little, Crystal Beach is definitely the place to be.
The vast beach has a lot of the atmosphere of Downtown Destin without going overboard. Head further inland and you will discover the best shopping destination in the city. At night, Crystal Beach is home to ambient cocktail bars and romantic restaurants with sunset views and candlelit vibes.
Beachfront On A Budget In Destin: Cabana Club
When it comes to great condos in Destin, we really struggled to pick just one as our top choice. Cabana Club is not only stylish but also very affordable which is why it holds our top spot for condos in the area. Crystal Beach is right on your doorstep, and the laidback vibes of the neighbourhood are reflected in the interior design.
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Downtown Overall Best Place To Stay In Destin
- COOLEST Thing to Do in Downtown Destin: Take in the stunning coastline from the comfort of a tour boat with Crab Island Cruises.
- BEST Place to Visit in Downtown Destin: The Destin Harbour Boardwalk for its great bars, restaurants, and boutiques as well as boating activities for all levels.
Downtown Destin is the beating heart of the city and an absolute must-visit for anyone heading to the area! This is where youll find the bustling nightlife in the evenings, with bars, clubs, and fairground rides waiting to keep you entertained all night long. Even during the day, youll find a wide range of restaurants catering to all tastes, as well as the most popular outdoor shopping area along the Boardwalk.
Families will enjoy Downtown Destin thanks to the watersports and theme parks on offer. There are a few campgrounds in the north where you can pitch up your motorhome although the condos on offer in the neighbourhood are very budget-friendly and offer some additional comfort.
Public transport isnt the best in Destin, but you can overcome this by staying downtown. Alongside the many tour companies offering excursions to other parts of the Emerald Coast, there are plenty of shuttles on offer. These usually take you directly from the city centre to the most popular tourist neighbourhoods nearby.
Idyllic Hotel In Miramar Beach: Ariel Dunes By Seascape
This hotel is perfect for families seeking the added convenience of hotel living. It comes with two laid back dining venues, one of which is on the beach! Alongside the three swimming pools, guests also enjoy access to tennis courts and a large indoor fitness centre. Each self-contained unit comes with a kitchenette that is adequate for a short self-catering stay.
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Silver Shells Beach Resort & Spa
Want a trip to the beach and a seat in the lap of luxury, all in one go? Silver Shells Beach Resort & Spa, with its six Gulf-front buildings spread across 31 acres and 1,000 feet of beachfront, is your answer. There’s a variety of accommodation types on offer, from Gulf-front penthouses to renovated two-bedroom condos, and a whole host of luxurious amenities – think beachfront dining, a relaxing spa, a rental service on the beach, a fitness center, and even an onsite Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Located near Destin Harbor and adjacent to Henderson Beach State Park, the location of Silver Shells is also a big draw, but perhaps the pièce de résistance of the resort is the 7,500-square-foot Gulf-front lagoon pool. It has a waterfall, whirlpools, and a kiddie pool located nearby, an inviting place to spend the day .
Lavish Apartment In Downtown Destin: The Lucky Dune Bird
Stylish and modern, this Airbnb Plus apartment is perfect if you have a little extra to spend. The balcony enjoys panoramic views of the sunset, and the main Downtown area is only a two-minute walk away. The calming blue furnishings create an easy-going and relaxing atmosphere perfect if you just need to unwind during your trip.
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Flight Costs To Destin
Averaging flights around the world, prices go from a high of $743 average in late December to a low of $466 in early to mid September. Median flight price is $438. These prices are based on millions of flights. For Destin our data includes 309 originating airports, and 80 airlines. The area has more variance in price compared with other locations. Flying to Destin from an airport like Monrovia Roberts International in Monrovia for an average $13,800 trip fare will obviously cost a lot more than from an airport like Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International in Atlanta, GA at an average of just $214.
The cheapest day to fly in is typically Tuesday, and the cheapest day to fly back is usually Tuesday. Click here to see data for the cost of flights from your airport. In Destin, the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive week is about $277, so you can easily save about 59% simply by using our free flight guides and booking in advance.
Places To Stay In Destin
Once youve decided to vacation along our beautiful coast, its time to choose a place to stay in Destin .
Explore Destins many hotel, resort, and vacation home or condo rental options, and choose the best place for you.
Destin Luxury Resorts and Spas
The Henderson Resort, a Salamander Beach & Spa Resort located in the Crystal Beach community, provides a refined setting for your Destin vacation. The four-story resort offers 170 rooms and suites to choose from.
Great food, from small bites to dessert, is a highlight of The Henderson Resort. Make a reservation at Primrose for fine dining with signature plates from land and sea. Enjoy cocktails and oysters at Horizons, a casual bar that took inspiration from Hemingways Florida. For dessert, Sprinkles serves sweet treats to be enjoyed in the nostalgic, 1950s style ice cream shoppe.
Kids will enjoy Henderson Resorts outdoor green and the family pool with its own lazy river. Theres even a Poppys Kids Club and a Kids Night Out program for families traveling with little ones.
The pinnacle of a vacation can be the tranquility of a world-class spa. Within the Henderson Resort is the Salamander Spa, which offers the most luxurious and expansive spa facilities and amenities in Destin. It has 11 private treatment rooms, a full-service salon, whirlpools, and relaxation rooms that overlook the scenery of Henderson State Park. Colorful glass works and artwork by local artisans are featured throughout.
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Embarc Sandestin By Diamond Resorts
The Palms of Destin sits directly across the road from the beach and also boasts a range of water features, an open-air pool, and even a water splash pad for the little ones to enjoy. The resort also comes with its own playground for kids, making this resort a real contender for families. Those who want to keep themselves active during their stay will find the water sports on Destin Beach the on-site fitness suite, and tennis and basketball courts tempting. Guests seeking something more placid activities will no doubt enjoy the hot tub spa and sun terrace. The site also comes with its own restaurant. Other amenities include air-conditioned rooms and free on-site parking.
Best Places To Stay In Destin
Destin is an intimate and friendly resort town, known for its soft white sand beaches, clear emerald waters, and the worlds largest and best-equipped fleet of deep sea fishing charter boats. The small town with approximately 14,000 local residents caters to a tourist traffic of over 4.5 million visitors per year. The main road in Destin is U.S. 98, also known as the Emerald Coast Parkway. This runs the length of the Gulf of Mexico coast, and is lined with hotels, attractions, and dining options. While most tourist sites are on the south side of the peninsula, Destins city center is on the westernmost tip.
Along U.S. 98, the area between Marler Bridge and Airport Road is called Destin Central or Old Destin. This is the focal point of the town along Destin Harbor which is lined with docks that house the Destin Fishing Fleet. You can enjoy splendid sea views and sunsets from several restaurants along the harbor. At the entrance of Choctawhatchee Bay, you have Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village, a plush, all-condo resort overlooking Destin Harbor and Norriego Point. In the heart of Destin Central, enjoy spacious, fully-equipped condos with private balconies, breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, and a host of on-site amenities at the luxurious SunDestin Beach Resort & Hotel.
Miramar Beach / Crystal Beach
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Destin Bed And Breakfast
The Henderson Park Inn, an adults-only bed and breakfast, is the most romantic in Northwest Florida according to luxury guide Cond Nast Johansens. Perched on the edge of the dunes, this large bed and breakfast is consistently ranked a top destination for couples by Tripadvisor, earning the Inn a Certificate of Excellence in 2017. Whirlpool bathtubs, sumptuous food and unspoiled beach views will have you wishing you never have to leave.
For a more casual, kid and dog friendly bed and breakfast, the Destin Beachside Inn is a great choice. Plus, its just across the street from the Crystal Beach community, so fun on the water is never far away.
Santa Rosa Beach Florida
Tucked away on the Florida Panhandle between Pensacola and Tallahassee is a beach town where the waters are a perfect turquoise and the sand feels like soft, finely ground flour between your toes. Visit Topsail Hill Preserve State Park to try your hand at freshwater fishing, hike through well-preserved wetlands, or relax on quiet white sand beaches. You can hike or bike on the trails at Point Washington State Forest, which protects a range of coastal ecosystems.
Youll find numerous shops and restaurants in the historic downtown area, including plenty of cheap eats. One local favorite is The Meltdown on 30A, a food truck specializing in grilled cheese.
Where to stay: Hotels in Santa Rosa Beach are relatively limited, with most visitors choosing vacation rentals instead. TripAdvisor has numerous listings, with summer rates starting below $1,000 a week. For budget hotels, your best bet is to stay in nearby Destin, which has a variety of affordable chain properties such as the Home2 Suites by Hilton Destin.
Getting there: The closest airports to Santa Rosa Beach are Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport and Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in Panama City, each about an hour away.
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Stylish Airbnb In Destin: The Lucky Dune Bird
We love the Airbnb Plus range for the excellent interior design and impeccable customer service, but sometimes it can get a little pricey. Thankfully, this two-bedroom apartment is very reasonably priced yet still comes with all the extras of Airbnb Plus! It features calming blue interiors and a large private balcony, and guests also have access to a beach locker with boogie boards!
Hampton Inn & Suites Destin Sandestin Area
Address: 10861 Highway 98
WiFi AvailableHand sanitizer in guest accommodation and key areasFirst aid kit availableGuest accommodation is disinfected between staysMini-market on siteSmoke alarmsWiFi available in all areasDesignated smoking area
Hilton Beach Golf Resort and Spa enjoys a fabulous reputation among past guests. The beach and the views out from some of the rooms are a big part of the attraction. Those unwilling to brave the open sea will also find no fewer than 3 swimming pools on site. This resort hotel lives up to its reputation by offering a dizzying array of facilities on site. Theres 5 different restaurants and eateries serving everything from steaks to sushi, no fewer than 15 tennis courts, and a full spa for a little stress-busting TLC. Theres also a game room and childrens activities for the little ones. Amenities include Wi-Fi, parking space, and airport shuttle service.
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The Palms Of Destin Resort & Conference Center
The Palms of Destin Resort & Conference Center is an all-condo hotel and conference center located in central Destin next to Henderson Beach State Park and a mile from Indian Bayou Golf Club, making it great for groups and meetings. Since it’s not located directly on the beach, the hotel offers a free five-minute shuttle to Calhoun Beach, but those who want a seamless day in the sun can head right down to the lagoon pool, which features waterfalls and bridges.
Accommodations at The Palms include one- to three-bedroom condos and two-bedroom villas. All have your typical hotel room amenities plus washers and dryers, full kitchens, and private balconies, with some also offering stunning Gulf views. Guests can enjoy three onsite eateries: The Palms Bistro, a coffeehouse, and a bar.
To book: hotels.com
Traveling Cheap To Destin
How cheap can you make a vacation to Destin? The cheapest trip to Destin is about $98 per person per day for travelers willing to take standby flights, deal with inconvenience, and otherwise limit travel expenses. About 1% of rentals are available in the $0 to $100 range for an entire place, and vacation rentals can be booked for as low as $20 per night. These inexpensive rentals must be booked as early as possible and may not be in the most desirable areas. 1-star hotels are more likely to be available, with rooms starting at around $72.
Even cheaper trips are possible depending on where you live and whether you can drive. Check the cheapest times to fly for more saving ideas.
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