What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

November 30th 2023
Tripshock News
What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

What do locals do in Destin, FL, you ask? Well, that simply depends on the time of year. From watersports on the beautiful, crystal-clear, emerald water to enjoying a relaxing, beachside bonfire, Destin has something for the thrill seeker and the “chill-seeker” all year-long!

In the summer, locals love to hit the water and waves with boating, dolphin cruises, and more. When the cold weather hits, it’s time to enjoy outdoor and indoor things to do like fishing, bonfires, and experiencing the area’s theme parks! Discover the top activities locals do in Destin, FL, for an authentic Destin experience!

Table of Contents



Dolphin Cruises


Dolphin cruises What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

Both fun and educational, a recent TripShock Traveler Story explains why dolphin cruises are one of the most fun things they do in Destin, FL


When you’re hanging out with “Flipper and Friends,” it’s always going to be a great time! Head over to the Destin Harbor and catch a dolphin cruise where you can sit back, relax and watch as these majestic creatures swim and ride the waves. Check out these fun facts about bottlenose dolphins and be prepared for your next dolphin sighting:


dolphin cruise boat in destin fl


While catching a glimpse of a glorious dolphin is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip, there are other amazing animals you may encounter along the way. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for local marine life such as pelicans, sea turtles, sharks, and more!

{Read Reviews & Book the Best Dolphin Cruise in Destin Online}


Crab Island


crab island destin

Crab Island is located just north of the Marler Bridge (below the bridge in the picture above)


What do locals do in Destin, FL? They head to Crab Island to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and major boating holidays! Crab Island Destin is an extremely popular destination for locals across northwest Florida. You can anchor down for a day of fun in the sun. While most locals have their own boats, visitors can easily book a Crab Island boat rental or take a budget-friendly Crab Island water taxi.


Fishing Charters


Fishing What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

A father and son on a fishing charter show off their snapper.


Destin is known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” so if you’re wondering what do locals do in Destin, FL, fishing is definitely on the list! This fun activity is a great way to create memories that will last a lifetime. No experience? No Problem! There are many different types of fishing trips to choose from where you can find the best types of fish to catch and eat. Between party boat fishing, private charters and kid-friendly trips, there is an excursion available for all ages and skill levels! For more information about fishing licenses, visit https://myfwc.com/license/recreational/visitors/

{Read Reviews & Book Destin Fishing Charters Online}




Parasailing What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

Parasailing is a great way to see the sights from a different perspective.


Parasailing is one of the most exhilarating things to do in Destin, FL and is the most fun one can have. It’s also a great way to see the view from hundreds of feet in the air! The best part about parasailing is that it can be done by anyone with enough strength to hold on.

{Read Reviews & Book Destin Parasailing Online}




Paddleboarding What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

Stand-up paddleboarding is one of the top ways both locals and visitors can relax and reconnect with nature


Paddleboarding is one of the top and most popular activities locals do in Destin, FL! Stand-up paddleboarding is a great way to get some exercise, test your balance, and enjoy the beauty of Destin up close and personal. Whether you rent a paddleboard for the afternoon and explore at your leisure, or take a paddleboard tour to watch the sun set over the water, it is sure to be a fun time for the whole family!

{Read Reviews & Book Destin Paddleboard Rentals Online}


Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park


Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

Locals and travelers love seeing the dazzling dolphins and other amazing marine life at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park


The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, located just minutes from Destin, on Okaloosa Island, has been bringing smiles and laughs to locals and visitors alike for the past 60 years! Be amazed as dolphins flip into the air, clown around with sea lions and have an “otterly” amazing time watching otters swim and play. There is so much more to be seen and experienced at the Gulfarium, you don’t want to miss it! Click here for showtimes and schedules: https://www.gulfarium.com/hours_schedule.

{Read Reviews & Book Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park Tickets Online}


Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone


Wild Willy's Adventure Zone What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

Image from https://wwazone.com/


If you’re a kid or a kid at heart, Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone on Okaloosa Island is the perfect place to let your adventurous side come to life! It’s no wonder that Wild Willy’s is one of the top amusement parks near Destin, Florida, as it is Northwest Florida’s largest family entertainment center. With an arcade, 4D movie theater, laser maze, ropes course, mini golf, and more; there is something fun and exciting for everyone!


Emerald Coast Science Center


Emerald Coast Science Center What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

Hands-on displays and exhibits awaken the inner scientist in kids of all ages


While you’re in Fort Walton Beach visiting the Gulfarium or Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone, stop by the Emerald Coast Science Center! If you’re wondering what do locals do in Destin, FL, with children, a trip to this magical museum is definitely towards the top of the list. With over 40 exhibits including robotics and live animals, science and fun truly combine to create an amazing fun-filled afternoon!


Pontoon Rentals


Pontoon rentals What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

Pictured above is a pontoon rental with Gilligan’s Watersports, which is one of the best ways to get to Crab Island


No matter if you’re a local or just visiting, enjoying a day on the water is a MUST! Grab the family and cruise through the harbor in search of dolphins, bring your poles and try your luck at fishing, anchor out and visit Destin’s famous sandbar, Crab Island, or pull the boat on shore for a private beach day. If you don’t bring your own boat, you’ll want to try a pontoon boat rental.

Rentals vary in length of time and number of passengers, so finding the perfect pontoon is a breeze! Just be sure to book in advance. You’ll also want to learn more about boating licenses. If you’re visiting from out-of-state, you can learn all about licenses in our articles covering everything you need to know about Boaters Licenses in Destin, Florida.

{Read Reviews & Book Destin Pontoon Rentals Online}


Destin Beach Photography


Destin Beach Photography What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

Image from Peakpx


Just say cheese and let a professional photographer do the rest! While this may not typically come to mind when pondering the question, “what do locals do in Destin, FL,” Destin beach photography is actually something locals love to take advantage of. And when living in a city with such stunning scenic views, it’s easy to see why!

As a visitor to the area, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget to bring home pictures to share. Destin beach photography is a great way to be sure you and your family capture those precious moments. Set aside part of the day and have a professional photographer capture the magic of a family beach vacation in photos that will last a lifetime!

{Read Reviews & Book Destin Beach Photography Online}


Golf Cart Rentals


Golf Cart Rentals What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

Locals and visitors alike love cruising down Scenic 98 on a Destin golf cart rental


Experience Destin in a whole new way by renting a street legal golf cart in Destin! Cruise down Scenic Highway 98 and check out the stunning emerald water, smell the salt air, feel the breeze in your hair and the Florida sun on your face. 4, 6 and 8-seater golf carts make it easy to accommodate families of all sizes. It is recommended to book in advance and make each time you have to hit the road an experience in itself!


Private Sunset Sail


Sunset cruise What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

Pictured above is a boat sailing in the sunset.


What do locals do in Destin, FL? Catch the sunset! A private sunset sail is the perfect way to end the perfect day on the Emerald Coast! Watch the sun sink down past the horizon, see dolphins frolic and play, and take in the beautiful scenery. This activity is great for any occasion such as date night, girl’s night out, family outings, and more! With multiple charters to choose from, it’s easy to find the one that is perfect for you!

{Read Reviews & Book Destin Sunset Cruises Online}


Beach Bonfire


Beach bonfire What do locals do in Destin FL? [ANSWERED]

Locals enjoying a beachside bonfire


Crank up the heat with a beach bonfire that everyone will enjoy! Cook hotdogs, roast marshmallows, listen to the waves crash and enjoy the company of your favorite people. This activity is sure to bring everyone closer together, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

{Read Reviews & Book Beach Bonfires Online}



Looking for even more fun things to do in Destin, FL? Check out the Destin, Florida Visitors Guide for everything you need to know about Destin and the Emerald Coast!



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