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Your Community Guide to Destin, Florida Our resource guide is a great place to start for where to eat, drink, play, and live in Destin.

Community Guide: Destin

Destin, Florida has been capturing the hearts of young and old for decades, and it’s no wonder. Brimming with Southern hospitality, filled with family-friendly activities, and boasting gorgeous weather year-round, there are tons of reasons people visit every year and why many choose to call it home. We certainly wouldn’t blame you if you extended your vacation and made it a more permanent situation, given the prime Destin real estate and wide selection of gorgeous Destin homes and condos.

Whether you’re here for a quick weekend, an extended stay, or turning your play-cation into a stay-cation that never ends, we’re happy to offer a few tips on where to eat, drink, play, and live in our vibrant community! 

Where is Destin?

Located in the Florida panhandle along the Gulf of Mexico between Pensacola and Panama City, Destin is a popular drive destination for visitors from nearby states. It’s close enough for a day trip, although many prefer a nice weekend getaway. Just two hours from Mobile, four hours from New Orleans, and five hours from Atlanta, you’ll have your toes in the sand in no time!

Serviced by numerous carriers, including Delta, American, United, and Southwest, several airports are nearby, including the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, just 20 minutes away. The Pensacola International Airport and Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport are about an hour from our beautiful Destin community but offer miles of stunning scenery along the way. 

Where to Stay

Whether you’re looking for something in the heart of town or maybe a little off the beaten path, you’ll find plenty of Destin homes and condos to choose from with tons of amenities, including private pools, bikes, EV charging stations, and more. Interested in planting roots here? Talk with one of our agents today about available Destin real estate, whether for a primary residence or a second home you can rent out when you’re not soaking up the sun!

Outdoor Activities 

An easier question might be, what can’t you do in Destin? From water adventures and outdoor activities to shopping, entertainment, and nightlife, you’ll be amazed at all there is to see and do. Although we’re known for miles of pristine white beaches and crystal clear emerald waters, the beach is just the beginning. From hiking, biking, and golfing to snorkeling, paddleboarding, and fishing, the fun never ends in Destin!

Delicious Eats

Southerners love a good meal, particularly when paired with a great view, and there’s no shortage of restaurants showcasing both. Of course, fresh seafood is plentiful, but you’ll also find a variety of cuisine to satisfy everyone in your crew. Here are some favorites:   

  • Crackings – with a breakfast menu of omelets, benedicts, scrambles, and more, the lobster gouda grits and fried green tomatoes make it a truly Southern affair. 
  • The Pancakery – beyond pancakes, you’ll find a broad menu including french toast, crabcake benedict, a crab island omelet, and a fun little’s menu the kids will love.
  • Harry T’s – known for fresh seafood and great views, their weekend brunch is legendary, with Bushwhacker french toast and crab cake hollandaise particularly noteworthy.
  • Louisiana Lagniappe – nestled in a lovely nook in the Destin harbor, this local’s favorite features fresh-from-the-Gulf seafood in a casual, family-friendly environment.
  • Boshamps Oyster House – for fish, shrimp, and oysters, grilled, fried, and blackened, with delicious signature cocktails and gorgeous harbor views.
  • Lulu’s – situated on the Choctawhatchee Bay and known for authentic coastal cuisine, it’s a one-stop shop for food, fun, live entertainment, and delicious margaritas.

Craft Breweries

You’ll find plenty of places in Destin to enjoy an adult beverage, but if you’re a beer lover, we’ve got a few breweries and gastropubs worthy of mention. Swing by The Craft Bar and choose from 30 beers on tap or grab a 32-ounce Crowler-to-go to enjoy in your Destin condo. Try a crafted beer flight or create your own at World of Beer, showcasing a dizzying selection of lagers, pilsners, IPAs, and ales. 

McGuire’s Irish Pub features ales, porters, and stouts alongside live entertainment and delicious pub fare for a great night out for the whole family. A local’s favorite, Destin Brewery offers seasonal and year-round beers, hard seltzers, and limited releases that will see you back for repeat visits. Snack on flatbreads, beef hot dogs, and soft pretzels, and wash it down with an award-winning East Pass IPA or a Destin Ale. 

Shopping Galore

Destin is known for excellent shopping with boutiques, malls, and entertainment districts, several located right near your Destin condo or home. Enjoy shopping, dining, an AMC theater, and a monthly farmer’s market at the Destin Commons. The whole family will look their best after an afternoon at Silver Sands Premium Outlets, featuring over 100 designer and name-brand outlet stores for men, women, and kids.

If you’re looking for the ultimate shopping experience, check out Village at Baytowne Wharf and 

the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. With gorgeous views, excellent restaurants, and fabulous shops, both feature fun activities that will keep the kids entertained for hours.

Family-Friendly Attractions

We know it can be challenging to find something everyone can agree on, but Destin does a great job pleasing the crowd. Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park is one of the best ways to cool off, with water rides and slides, kiddie rides, and an adventure park that will have the kids begging for more. The Track Family Fun Park is a great afternoon outing with go-karts, bumper cars, and blaster boats. Hit the arcade games and ride the Ferris wheel while the more adventurous tackle the Thrill Zone. 

Catch a slew of picture-worthy animal encounters with dolphins, sea lions, penguins, and sharks, and learn about our local marine life at the Gulfarium Marine and Adventure Park. Of course, a trip to Destin wouldn’t be complete without an outing to Crab Island, our local gathering spot on the North side of the Destin bridge. This beloved sand bar spells fun all day long, but it’s only accessible by boat. No worries, you’ll find many vendors in the harbor with trips running all day. Wear your suit and shades, pack sunscreen, and prepare for an excellent day on the water!

Annual Happenings 

No matter what time of year you come, you’re bound to find great Southern food, live entertainment, and an all-around good time at one of our annual events. 

Spring and Summer Events

Grand wine tastings, gourmet food and wine pairings, and a bottomless brunch are just a few of the events at the Sandestin Wine Festival, showcasing over 100 wines available for sampling. The Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival honors a local legend with a downtown pub crawl, concerts in the park, and pirate-themed activities for an entire weekend in nearby Fort Walton Beach.

A popular charity event with five to seven stops extending from Sandestin to Pensacola Beach, The Emerald Coast Poker Run sees participants returning annually. You can join in the fun, too, including a Captain’s party, live music, and a silent auction rounding out the two-day event. 

Fall and Winter Events

Enjoy local art and tasty eats at the Festival of the Arts featuring over 60 artists representing several mediums in an outdoor walking exhibit. Take in a festive two-day event at the Annual Baytowne Wharf Beer Festival, featuring over 200 domestic and international craft brews, plenty of merchants, and fantastic live music. If that’s not enough, The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation hosts a series of outdoor concerts and events throughout the year in a delightful outdoor venue guaranteeing memorable nights under the stars. 

The Destin Fishing Rodeo sees anglers compete for prizes and bragging rights with daily weigh-ins on the docks at AJs Seafood and Oyster Bar, while the Destin Seafood Festival has been luring the locals for years. Bring the whole family to this three-day Destin harbor event featuring fireworks, arts and crafts, kid’s activities, and fresh seafood.

Destin Climate

With an average high temperature of 76°F and an average low of 61°F, it’s no wonder Destin is a popular beach destination all year. Variations from the norm include August, the hottest month, and January, the coldest, but days are typically warm and pleasant each season. Our Gulf waters stay warm through early fall, with temperatures peaking near 88°F in July.

New Resident Resources

We hope you enjoy your time here and look forward to sharing our wonderful city. If you’re considering making Destin your permanent home, the following are great resources to help ensure a smooth transition while you settle into your Destin home or condo!

New Resident Guide

Citizen Help Center

Chamber of Commerce

Parks and Recreation

Places of worship

Scenic Stays Community Guides

Which Northwest Florida beach community is right for you? Browse our real estate community guides to learn more about these unique coastal markets.