You won’t want to miss out on the Destin’s delightful marine life. Destin harbor is home to one of Florida’s most alluring marine animals; the bottlenose dolphin. You can enjoy watching these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat while taking a glass-bottom boat trip, a tour-guided wave runner excursion, sailing on an old-fashioned sailing ship or taking a modern, family dolphin cruise. Whichever you choose, you won’t forget these delightful creatures and your excursion can be captured for posterity on video. You can read about dolphin cruises on our vacation rentals blog
Crab Island is a must-see while you’re staying in your Destin vacation rental. It’s easy to find on the bay side of the bridge adjoining Okaloosa Island to Destin. What makes Crab Island so fascinating is that is not actually an island at all; it’s almost all underwater. The depth ranges from knee to shoulder-high, which makes it the perfect playground for splashing around. You can enjoy walking around the small sand bar, and the water is calm enough here for children to play in. Why not rent a jet ski and enjoy the surrounding waters or go snorkeling? There’s even a floating hamburger bar nearby.
(Shelling) Sea Shells
If you enjoy shelling, you won’t be short of Destin vacation rentals to choose from. Destin’s beaches are very popular with shelling enthusiasts, probably because the 100-fathom curve touches closer to Destin’s shores than anywhere else along the Gulf Coast. This makes it one of the world’s top five shelling destinations. Destin and the surrounding area offers many dive shops which cater for snorkeling and scuba adventures as well as themed excursions such as deep sea fishing, lobster and shell classes. Check out our vacation rentals blog
for more tips on cruises.
After a few days soaking up the sun on Destin’s beaches there’s nothing better than a trip to the spa. The area is home to a number of day spas close to many Destin vacation rentals, such as The Edge of Paradise, The Art of Relaxation and the Spa at Emerald Cove. These are all close to Destin’s vacation rentals and you can enjoy a number of enervating and rejuvenating treatments such as hot stone and Swedish massages, and facials. Ensure you always look perfect on the beach with a new summer hairstyle, manicure, pedicure and body waxing. Many spas also have facilities such as steam rooms, saunas and Jacuzzis so where you can relax your body and your mind.
In recent years, the Florida Panhandle has become one of the Southeast’s primo shopping destinations. Why not take a break from the beaches and spend a day checking out the wide range of shops the area has to offer. There are a number of shopping centers that cater to many different tastes. If you are looking for a mixture of retail, eateries and cinemas, you will find it at Destin Commons. If designer outlets and factory stores are more to your taste, look no further than Silver Sands Factory Stores. Whichever you choose, in Destin you can certainly shop till you drop!
Flea markets or street markets/Harbor Walk
Florida visitors who stay in Destin vacation rentals often enjoy a trip to Harborwalk. Located on Route 98, the village is a shopper’s haven that is packed with retail outlets, entertainment and activities for all the family. As well as waterfront shopping you can find water sports, pontoon and boat rentals, firework extravaganzas and live entertainment. If you enjoy flea markets you won’t be disappointed. Just a short drive away, Fort Walton Beach is famous for is flea market which is open 7 days per week. There, you can search among a treasure trove of used books, vintage closes, antiques and collectables.
Transportation to Destin
There are a number of options for travelling in and around Destin. The nearest airport is the Northwest Florida Regional Airport
, located in Fort Walton Beach. This is only a 25-minute drive from Destin. Another option is Panama City Beach Airport (PFN), though this is not a conveniently close as Fort Walton. To travel from the airport to your accommodation you can use the Sunshine Shuttle if you choose not to rent a car. Watch out for traffic on Saturday’s as it can get particularly hectic coming into the city. Taxis can be expensive, particularly during the tourist season.
Transportation in Destin
Hiring a car to reach your Destin vacation rental is a simple as making a phone call. Cars can be picked up from the airport and dropped off or collected when you are done. As an alternative, Okaloosa County Transit service runs buses throughout the Destin area from 8 a.m. till 7 p.m. during the summer months, with shuttles arriving at designated destinations every 20 minutes. If you want to really travel in style, why not rent a limousine from 654 Limo? The company offers luxury services with professional drivers 24 hours a day to and from anywhere in the Panhandle region.
No one takes a vacation in Destin without sampling the area’s deliciously fresh seafood, and there is no shortage of choices. You can try the eclectic menu at the Marina Café; “Destin’s Most Awarded Restaurant,” or for more casual fine dining and a menu offering pizza and steak as well as local seafood, check out the Café Thirty-A. Destin’s La Paz Restaurante and Cantina combines mouthwateringly fresh seafood with southern Tex-Mex cuisine. The Smiling Fish Café is a great family-run restaurant where you can take the kids and enjoy the local seafood, Angus Beef and signature salads.
There’s always something to do at night in Destin. If you’re looking for a choice of live bands or a DJ spinning tunes you can get down to, check out The Swamp. If you want a more relaxing atmosphere, visit Harbor Docks for a taste of local food, jazz and country music and meet owner and local character Charles Morgan. The Angler’s Sports Bar is a great place for a night out with the boys, with its two 9-foot projection TVs and 14, 32 inch TVs. For something totally unique, try the White Sands Party Bus. Hire a limo bus for you and up to 24 friends to party on with two dance rooms, dance poles and separate sound systems.
Best places to buy fresh seafood
While staying in your Destin vacation rental, you will need to know the best places to buy fresh seafood so you can enjoy the mouthwatering local fare. Dewey Destin Seafood is a popular favorite and has two locations at Crab Island and Destin Harbor. It offers a host of fresh, local seafood including crab and tuna appetizers and steamed shrimp, scallops and crab by the pound. If you want to prepare it at home then visit Sexton’s Seafood or Destin’s Ice and Seafood, both of which have a wide range of outstanding local seafood and shellfish.
Florida has a number of beach ecotourism locations; perhaps the most popular is Sandestin, home to many Destin vacation rentals. Sandestin is also a regular nesting site for the amazing Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles. They come ashore to lay their eggs in April and May and the young turtles hatch in August and October. If you enjoy cycling and want to help the environment, the Sandestin bicycle tour takes place in May of each year, and the proceeds go towards the Alaqua Animal Refuge. This project is an independent non-profit organization that provides shelter and helps to prevent pet overpopulation.