21 Best Activities in Florida Bucket List


Looking for some fun Destin activities?

If you love beautiful beaches and great water activities, it’s good to know that Destin is one of Florida’s not-so-hidden treasures.

Located halfway between Florica, soft Orlando with a theme park and the very popular city of New Orleans in Louisiana, Destin is a playground on the Gulf Coast with miles of white sandy beaches and calm ocean currents.

Water activities, especially around Destin, are what usually attract visitors and why Destin and the neighboring city of Fort Walton in Florida Panhandle are known as places not to be missed.

Things to do in Destin Florida

Whether you’re in Florida for a day or a week, if you’re looking fun stuff in Destin with or without children, here is a list of some of the best activities Destin and the surrounding area has to offer.

Crab Island

One of the region’s biggest attractions is the ever-popular Crab Island which is not actually an island, but a large submerged sand bar located between Destin and Fort Walton at the entrance to Choctawatchee Bay.

With a water depth of 2 to 4 meters, beautiful sand below and zero waves, Crab Island is a great place to hang out during the day. See our post at activities on Crab Island if you want to know more about it. Crab Island is one of the most fun things to do while in Destiny FL!

Take a cruise to Destin Florida

Whatever your taste, Destin has amazing day and night cruises. Whether you want to party as a local, catch the wind and sail away, look for friendly dolphins or simply cruise the beautiful blue-green waters along the coast, there is a Destina cruise for you. Not sure which one to choose? Here are some more popular cruises in the Destin area.

Destin dolphin tours on board

With several famous dolphin pods surrounding the waters around Destin, going on a dolphin cruise in Destin practically guarantees little time for dolphins. In addition to spotting dolphins, several Destin dolphin excursions include fishing and lunch. Kids will especially enjoy the Destin Dolphin tour.

friends having fun on board

Dolphin Tours on a jet ski

You don’t like crowds? Do you crave a little more speed or do you want to be closer to nature? Then take a water ride on jet skis and get closer to nature. There are several opportunities for water jet-dolphin rides from Destin and Fort Walton that will make you smile from ear to ear as you cross the water. If nature’s call involves zooming in at about 30 miles per hour, then this is the style of cruising for you.

Destin sailing

Whether you jump on a small sailboat or jump on a huge catamaran, the outcome will be the same. At Destin it means the wind in your back and no sounds keep the waves pounding you across the bow. With miles of beautiful coastline and calm sea all around, sailing the Emerald Coast is a guaranteed good day.

Sunset cruises around Destin Florida

Do you like sunsets? Who doesn’t. Due to the angle of the coast in this area, Destin has amazing sunsets that can only be truly enjoyed while on board. Whether you want to be inspired by the beauty of nature or simply want to send the perfect shot to your loved ones, a cruise at sunset Destina is a sure way to end the night high. Coupled with some dolphin sightings and maybe a drink or two, going on a sunset cruise is a great couple or family activity for everyone.

Destin Tiki Cruises

Enjoy the fun as the sun sets on one of Destina’s infamous Tiki cruises.

Sure, you can hop on a pontoon boat (great for families) or board one of the larger fun barges (great for dancers), but Miami has nothing on the Destin Tiki party boat. This one is definitely not for the family, and there are a few of them last night, so choose your party boat wisely. These floating Tiki huts come complete with a bartender, and how much fun you have depends on who you take with you. Tiki Cruise is one of the unique attractions of Destin Florida that you will find!

Go skiing

I hate dolphins, yes, who doesn’t. (I’m kidding.) Do you like speed, freedom and the open sea? Well, if you’ve never done that, it’s time to climb the Jet Ski. With some great opportunities around Destin and Fort Walton, renting a jet ski is a great way to get away from it all and leave your problems.

Rent a stand up paddleboard

Do you prefer a quieter existence than the rumble of a water scooter, but still want some time alone? Then the rental of renting a paddle. We love our own and use them at every opportunity. You can rent a stand-paddleboard in Destin by the hour, day or even week. It’s not much better than a light paddle with the ability to see dolphins or even giant rays below you as you check out Crab Island or miles of coastline.

Kayak rental in Destin

Love all about stand up padboards, but hate standing up? Then maybe your thing is renting a kayak in Destin. We love them both, but when we really want to go the mile or don’t want to risk getting wet, we take out the kayaks. Destin is a great place to rent a kayak and is an easy way to get out of the water if you want to save some money.

kayaking in Florida

Go fishing in Destin Florida

Whether you love deep sea fishing or just catch a few small ones for an impromptu fried fish on the beach, Destin covers you. Options range from renting a small fishing boat to renting a large boat with large capital. With one of the largest fish rental fleets on the East Coast, you can see several destinations of fishing opportunities here Tripadvisor.

Rent a pontoon boat

Do you want to do all of the above? Then maybe renting a pontoon boat is the thing for you. With available captain and self-catering apartment rentals, you can rent a pontoon for a day and get a chance to do it all. It’s certainly one of the best things to do in Destin Florida with kids.

Start early in the morning spotting dolphins, followed by a bit of fishing for delicious young fish on the beach, then continue with a few hours of socializing with the locals on Crab Island, before stopping at one of several delicious restaurants that pervade the entire Destin area. Then return to the boat and look for a few more dolphins while you wait for the sunset. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Want the best of both worlds? You can also rent a pontoon boat and jet ski from somewhere Fateful water adventures. They get great reviews on both Google and TripAdvisor and are one of the top rated water sports providers in the Destin area.

Banana Boat

While many head to Florida to visit the popular theme parks surrounding Orlando, others head down to Miami for nightlife, away from the hustle and bustle of Disney or the wizarding world of Harry Potter you can find the area ripe for fun. That’s right. I’m talking about banana boating. No one makes them better than the crews around Destin. Haven’t you tried? I dare you grab a few friends and tell your driver to hit.

Parasailing in Destin

You will find me far below the clouds, but high above the crowd. True, because of the calm waters of the bay, parasailing is a popular activity in Destin. Whether you’re brave in the sky alone or with a friend, there are several outfits in the area that can draw you in for a view of an area only birds know.

Destin Beaches

Do you like beaches? It’s safe and we’ve been through some of the best in the world.

Hitting the beach is definitely one of the best family things in Destin, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s free in Destin as well!

Destin has several excellent beaches, and more importantly, it has excellent sand. If you love making sand boards, but want a little tutoring, then you might want to consider it lessons from the sand castle while you are in Destin. The best part is that they came to you!

Destinal Florida Arial view

Destin Harbor Boardwalk

After a long day on the water, stretching your feet is a great activity. so be sure to check out Destin Harbor Promenade. With dozens of restaurants, including some of the freshest seafood in the country, as well as shops, hotels and attractions, you’ll almost be sad to have stayed on the water for so long.

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Penguins, dolphins, alligators and more can be found at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, located on a nearby beach in Fort Walton, just a short drive from Destin Harbor. Dancing dolphins, curious sea lions, sharks, rays, and even pelicans can be found in one of Panhandle’s first aquariums and wildlife education centers.

Big Kahuna Water Park

Water slides, tube trails, mini golf and much more can be found at Big Kahuna Water Park during the summer months. If your kids (or your adrenaline-seeking friends) need a little more excitement than they can spend a day at the beach, hitting the local Destin Water Park can lift their spirits.

Other activities in Destin Florida

While there is a lot to do in Destin Florida, the most important thing to remember is fun and safety.

Let us know in the comments below if we missed some of your favorite activities in Destin Florida!

Want some more fun in Florida? See our posts at the best beaches on Florida Key, and family fun in LEGOLAND Florida


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