Looking for unique places and secret spots to visit in Destin, Fl? You’ve come to the right place! 

With direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, Destin has some of the most picturesque beaches and best fishing in Florida. In fact, Destin is often referred to as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”! But there’s much more to Destin than fishing. 

To help you plan a memorable trip, I’ve put together this list of the best hidden gems and secret spots to visit in Destin. From sunset tiki tours to dolphin aquariums, this list has something for you. 

Here are 20 unique things to do in Destin, Fl

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20 Unique Things To Do In Destin 

1. Visit Crab Island

Crab Island
Crab Island (Photo by: Tamara Malaniy on Unsplash)

Crab Island is a small sandbar located just South of the Marler bridge in Destin, Fl. This unique floating bar has food vendors, music, and crystal clear blue green water.

You can visit Crab Island on your own by boat, or go on an excursion to relax around the area.

This 3 hour excursion visits Crab Island on a tiki-themed boat, and provides a cooler so you can bring drinks and snacks. With perfect weather and crystal clear waters, this is an excellent place to hang out for a few hours. Plus, Crab Island is only 1-4 feet deep so you’ll get to walk around the area. 

For tips on where to stay, view our article on the top ten hotels near Crab Island in Destin.

2. Spot Dolphins On A Speedboat

Since dolphins love the warm temperatures of the Gulf Coast, Destin’s waters are a prime location for spotting dolphins.

One of the best ways to see dolphins is to go on a cruise or boat tour. On this 1 hour speedboat tour, you’ll get the chance to see dolphins swim alongside the boat! If you’re traveling with kids, this is an experience you won’t want to miss. 

3. Feed Alligators At Fudpuckers Beach Bar

Fudpuckers Beach Bark is one of Destin’s most popular restaurants that has an alligator park, gift shop, live music, and more. This unique restaurant serves many interesting dishes, from gator bites to mac & cheese bacon jam burgers.

You’ll get to feed, hold, and take photos of alligators at their live alligator park! The restaurant also has a large arcade next door, and gift shop selling clothing and souvenirs. 

20001 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541. Open Sun-Thurs 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11am-9pm. Costs $5 for a bag of gator food, $10 to hold and take photos with alligators. 

4. Pet Dolphins At Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Photo by: Dan Dennis on Unsplash

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is a large marine park with dolphin shows, and many interactive animal exhibits. You’ll get the chance to pet dolphins, baby gators, African black footed penguins, and many other fascinating animals.

It only takes around an hour to explore the entire park, and animal shows are frequently held throughout the day. Gulfarium is located on Okaloosa Island, just 10 minutes away from Destin. 

1010 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548. Open 9am to 4:30pm daily. Admission costs $29.95 for adults (13+), and $21.95 for children (3-12). Get Tickets Online

5. Go On A Tiki Sunset Cruise

Destin Beach Pier during sunset
Destin Beach Pier (Photo by: Michael G on Unsplash)

Sail across the waters of Destin on a floating tiki bar. On this unique sunset cruise, you’ll get to relax, enjoy drinks, and get exceptional views of the sunset in a vintage themed tiki bar.

Plus, you’ll get to spot dolphins along the way. This tour provides a cooler so you can bring your own drinks. Whether you’re looking to have a romantic night out or fun night with friends, this cruise is a great option.  

6. Ride A Banana Boat In The Gulf Of Mexico

banana boat
Photo by: Deva Darshan

Grab a group of friends and ride in a banana boat in the Gulf Of Mexico. You’ll get to ride in a banana float pulled by jet skis as you traverse through Destin’s blue green waters.

This banana boat tour can hold up to 6 people, making it the perfect fun activity to do with friends or family. 

7. Have A New Orleans Style Breakfast At Crackings

Beignets (Photo by: Keeshas Kitchen on Unsplash)

Head to Crackings to try New Orleans style breakfast dishes. With Destin being so close to New Orleans, many restaurants serve similar cuisine.

Bananas foster, beignets, and grits, are all delicious New Orleans breakfast foods worth trying out. Crackings serves everything from lobster goudas grits, to croisseignets (croissants and beignets).  

979 US-98, Destin, FL 32541. Open 7am-2pm, closed Mondays. 

8. Relax On Princess Beach

Destin Beach
Destin Beach (Photo by: Jeff James on Unsplash)

Princess Beach is one of Destin’s best hidden beaches. This secluded beach has bright white sand, and clean crystal clear waters. If you’re looking to relax on the beach without crowds, this is the place to go. 

It’s located on Okaloosa Island, just a 5 minute drive from Destin, Fl. 

Parking located off Miracle Strip Parkway on Santa Rosa Island. There are no lifeguards or facilities on site. 

9. Play Mini Golf At Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone

Located on Okaloosa Island, Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone is an adventure park with kitschy decor, and pirate themed miniature golf courses.

This adventure park has laser tag, bumper carts, arcade games, and a rollercoaster so it’s the perfect place to take kids for a few hours.

1306 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548. Open Mon-Thurs 12-8pm, Fri 12-10pm, Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-8pm. 

10. Try Key Lime Pie From The Donut Hole & Bakery

key lime pie
Photo by: Takuya Nagaoka on Unsplash

Head to the Donut Hole & Bakery to try out classic Floridian key lime pie. The donut hole & bakery serves amazing key lime pie, baked donuts, and hearty breakfast foods. This shop is within walking distance from the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, so it’s a must stop for everybody visiting Destin. 

635 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541. Open 6am-10pm. 

11. Listen To Live Music At McGuire’s Irish Pub 

Head to McQuire’s Irish Pub to listen to live music while enjoying Irish pub foods. From homemade root beer to Irish boxtys (fried mash potato balls), they serve many delicious foods and drinks worth trying.

They have a gift shop that sells Irish decor, clothing, and souvenirs that you can stroll around as you wait for a table. They’re located just across the highway from HarborWalk Village. 

33 US-98, Destin, FL 32541. Open Mon-Sat 11am-2pm, Sun 10am-2pm. 

12. Visit The Indian Temple Mound Museum

The Indian Temple Mound Museum is a small prehistoric Native American museum built on an ancient burial mound. This museum has over 1000 interesting Native American artifacts, and a unique little gift shop that sells replicas of artifacts, pottery, jewelry, and more. 

It’s located on Fort Walton Beach, a short 10 minute drive  from Destin. 

139 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548. Open Tues-Sat 10am-3pm. Closed Sun-Mon. Costs $5 for adults, $3 for children. 

13. Explore Henderson Beach State Park

Henderson Beach State Park
Henderson Beach State Park (Photo by: Samuel Branch on Unsplash)

Henderson Beach State Park is a pet-friendly park with serene white sand beaches and many amazing hiking trails. The park has restrooms, showers, picnic tables, boardwalks, and campgrounds.

It costs $6 per vehicle to enter the park, and you can rent chairs for $50 a day to lounge on the beach. The campgrounds are pet-friendly, and they cost $30 per night to camp, plus a $6.75 fee to make a reservation.

Note: If you’re traveling with a pet, see our list of the best beachfront hotels in Destin for a list of pet-friendly accommodations.

17000 Emerald Coast Parkway Destin FL 32541. Open 8am til sundown, 365 days a year. Entry costs $6 per vehicle. Download a park map here.

14. Shop Souvenirs At Banana Bart

Stop by Banana Bart to shop for unique souvenirs before you leave Destin. The Banana Bart sells interesting trinkets, jewelry, and home decor.

It’s within walking distance from the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, just across the street from The Donut Hole & Bakery. 

620 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541. Open 10am-4pm, closed Sundays. 

15. Solve An Escape Room

Head to Escape Zone 60 to solve an escape room with friends or family. You’ll get an hour to solve puzzles, and challenges to escape a room with a group of up to 6 people.

From crime scene to zombie apocalypse themed escape rooms, this is a fun way to spend a few hours away from the beach. 

415 Mountain Dr STE 7, Destin, FL 32541. Open daily 12-9pm. Costs $28. Book now

16. Visit The Destin History & Fishing Museum

The Destin History & Fishing Museum is a small museum displaying history from early pioneers of the fishing industry from the 1830’s.

The museum has tons of interesting exhibits, a gift shop, and is right by Destin’s first post office building. 

108 Stahlman Ave, Destin, FL 32541. Open Tues-Sat 10am-4pm. Closed Sun-Mon. Costs $5 for adults, 

17. Cruise On The Buccaneer Pirate Ship

Buccaneer Pirate Ship
Buccaneer Pirate Ship (Photo by: David Teodosio on Unsplash)

The Buccaneer Pirate Cruise is a popular pirate cruise with live entertainment. This cruise has many kid-friendly activities, and sells snacks, and beverages for adults.

From sword fights to hula hoop contests, this cruise is fun for all ages. Plus, you’ll get to spot dolphins as you cruise through the Emerald Coast. 

100 Harbor Blvd Unit B, Destin, FL 32541. Open 10am to 3:30pm. Get tickets here. 

18. Have A Sunset Dinner At Louisiana Lagniappe

Head to Louisiana Lagniappe to have a beachfront dinner at one of Destin’s hidden gem seafood restaurants. This fine-dining restaurant serves New Orleans style dishes, and every dish starts off with hushpuppies.

From grouper to crawfish jambalaya, you won’t want to miss this place if you love seafood. Plus, you’ll get incredible views of the sunset overlooking the harbor. 

775 Gulf Shore Dr, Destin, FL 32541. Open daily 4:30-9:30pm. 

19. Parasail Over Emerald Coast

If you’re up for an adventure, go parasailing with Pelican Adventures. You’ll get unbeatable views of the Emerald Coast as you soar over 400 feet in the air!

The parasail can hold up to 3 people side by side, and you can bring up to 12 people so it’s the perfect activity for group celebrations. 

20. Visit The Candymaker Candy Store

Photo by: Joe Styer on Unsplash

Stop by the Candymaker Candy Store to shop for homemade candy, jelly beans, fresh fudge, and salt water taffy. This large candy store serves coffee, breakfast, and sells unique beach souvenirs and apparel.

It’s located right on Destin beach, so it’s a great place to stop for snacks before you head to the beach. 

1771 Scenic Hwy 98, Destin, FL 32541. Open 10am-9pm. 

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