When people think Florida, they automatically think Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando. There is so much more to see and do in Florida and Destin Harbor is one of those things!
Destin Harbor, Florida, is awash with activities and attractions. Languishing on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico is the Harbor of Destin. Set in a peaceful and beautiful location, it would be easy to believe that Destin Harbor is only a destination that appeals to those who want quiet and tranquillity. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
Within Destin Harbor and its surrounding areas there is a range of activities and attractions to suit everyone’s entertainment requirements, from the quiet to active.
The harbor enclave is designed to meet the needs of all the seafaring community, with mooring facilities for all, from fishing vessels to luxury yachts. For the tourist, activities abound. Whether your desire is to spend relaxing days fishing in the blue-green waters of the gulf or to take a boat trip to explore the marine and coastal attractions that the area has to offer, all of these are available from the harbor’s business community.
Similarly, for the water sports enthusiast there is a wide range of activities. For example, Destin hosted the Offshore Powerboat World Cup series, a seven-day event, which included the offshore races and a host of on shore based activities and entertainment. For a whole week the harbor was filled with the noise of roaring engines and the sound and sights of the excited crowds.
Destin is home to the most beautiful white sandy beaches and emerald green water. Kids love to spend hours playing in the powdered sugar like sand and warm, calm surf.
For those who prefer a more tranquil aspect, Destin can also provide a much more relaxed experience. Steeped in history the town offers tours of historic buildings and museums where one can share the experiences that were enjoyed by those who dwelt there in days gone by.
Relax in any bar or restaurant and listen to the fishermen recounting stories of times past and you will find yourself transported into the age of the adventurers and pioneers who helped to create this small coastal harbor town. For example, you may learn about the fishermen who, in the 1920’s decided to form a new profit-making business, by offering guided boat tours, or of “Uncle Billy Marler,” the man credited with building a hundred boats and also offering free coffin-making and undertaker services.
To ensure that you enjoy your stay in Destin, the area offers accommodations to suit all tastes. From the harbor side hotels to the self-catering villas and condos, each is designed to enrich the experience of your stay.
GULFARIUM MARINE ADVENTURE PARK
One of Destin’s most enduring family favorites for decades lets you enjoy an afternoon of acrobatic dolphins, delightful sea lions, and more. The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is one of the first aquariums and wildlife education centers in the state. You and the kids will have the chance to learn about penguins, sharks, rays, alligators, pelicans, and of course, dolphins! The Gulfarium is located right on the beach in nearby Fort Walton and just a few minutes from the Destin Harbor Boardwalk.
DOLPHIN WATCH AND HISTORY CRUISES
One of Destin’s all-time best adventures is to explore the Gulf in search of Destin dolphins aboard the Hannah Marie. Complete with a glass bottom viewing area, snack bar, and a climate-controlled cabin, this Dolphin Watch, and Cruise is perfect. Take a scenic tour of the Harbor and learn about Destin’s colorful history. Convenient, comfortable, and affordable these tours depart daily and provide plenty of seating.
BIG KAHUNA’S WATER AND ADVENTURE PARK
Big Kahuna’s Water Park in the heart of Destin is packed with more than 40 water attractions and offers something for every member of the family. Slides include the Cowabunga Racer, Jumanji, and Hammerhead. Also included in admission, you will get to enjoy Big Kahuna’s picturesque tropical mini golf, which has 54 challenging holes on three unique courses!
Crab Island is a sandbar that is located just south of the Marler Bridge in Destin. Crab Island started to gain in popularity as boaters used the area to anchor their boats to catch some rays and wade on the sandbar.
Now Crab Island has erupted into a popular social scene where locals and tourists congregate for fun and sun. Crab Island is just minutes from the Destin Harbor.
The best way to get to Crab Island is by renting a boat. There is no safe way of getting to Crab Island by foot as the currents are much too strong to swim over. Other options for getting to Crab Island are by kayak, paddleboard, jet ski or craigcat.
Crab Island has been a popular spot for the locals for years. They would take their boats and skiffs and congregate with other locals over music, food, and beverage.
Due to the influx of people enjoying Crab Island, vendors have made this an opportunity to sell products and services. There are food vendors that line up on the island and offer burgers, fries, and sandwiches. You will also find mini-stores that sell everything from suntan lotion to doritos. For those looking for an inexpensive thrill, some vendors offer inflatables at Crab Island including large water trampolines and slides.
What is guaranteed from a Destin Harbor visit is that, while it may be your first visit, it will not be your last as you will almost certainly want to return to this unique experience.