Florida Emerald CoastDestin is a small beach town full of fun attractions and activities. Located on Florida's Emerald Coast, Destin is known for its white beaches and emerald-green waters. It is now a major tourist destination, started as a small fishing village. 

The city is on a peninsula separating the Gulf of Mexico from Choctawhatchee Bay. This makes for beautiful beaches and views on both sides, facing the Gulf of Mexico and the bay.

The sand on Destin's beaches (and the rest of the Emerald Coast) is some of the whitest in the world. The sand comes from the Appalachian Mountains and is made of finely ground quartz crystal, giving sugar's appearance. 

Other than frolicking on the beaches, Destin has a lot of activities for the whole family. 

Destin Harbor Boardwalk

Florida Emerald CoastThe boardwalk extends over one-half mile from Harborwalk Village east to the Yacht Club, with many shops, restaurants, and activity providers. 

Once you tackle the parking, you can stroll around, grab a meal from a snack shop or a sit-down restaurant, rent a boat or Jet-Ski, go parasailing, or on a guided tour. 

While here, you can also go Dolphin watching or ziplining. Another favorite of mine is The MAXIMUM MAGIC Show at Harborwalk. 

For dining, we tried AJ's and Margaretville. Both were excellent choices, but they don't take reservations, and the wait can be exceptionally long.

AJ's is much more than a restaurant. Along with delicious seafood, you can enjoy live music every night or catch a cruise. 

Another dining choice with splendid views is at Grande Vista Bar & Grill. As you sip your drinks and sample your food, you can enjoy harbor views and the fireworks show on Thursdays. 

Henderson Beach State Park

Florida Emerald CoastDestin has abundant beaches, but this State Beach is quieter, with a mile-long natural trail and rolling dunes. 

The beach has picnic tables in the shade and showers. Instead of carrying your own umbrella and chairs, you can rent some for $25.

Silver Sands Premium Outlets

Florida Emerald CoastIt is a bit outside of Destin in the city of Miramar, but if you feel like shopping, this is the place to go. Shoppers can find extraordinary deals at Coach, Columbia Sportswear, Banana Republic, Gap Outlet, J.Crew, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Under Armour, Vera Bradley, and more.

You can also have a meal or enjoy a snack at places like Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Haagen-Dazs, or Panera Bread.

Big Kahuna's Water & Adventure Park

Florida Emerald CoastIt is warm most months in Florida, so spending time at a waterpark is a must. Big Kahuna is a great place to play miniature gold or plunge into the 40 water rides and adventures. 


Going west on the 98, you will cross a bridge into Okaloosa Island and then Fort Walton Beach for more fun and adventures. Read more about them here