beach fishing in Destin, Florida

Family adventures, romantic getaways, party trips, solo excursions — whatever kind of vacation you want, Destin has what you’re looking for.

Once a quiet fishing town, this city is now the star of the Emerald Coast. It’s been called the “Best Family Beach” and one of the “Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in America.” It’s also known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.”

Want to know how to make your own Destin vacation the best it can be? Here’s the official All 30A Properties guide!

Best Restaurants in Destin

In a city known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” you know you’re in for some good seafood. You’ll also come to realize, however, that the best restaurants in Destin don’t stop there!

The Back Porch

With a humble start in 1974 as a tiny shack, The Back Porch has become recognized as one of the best restaurants in Destin!

The whole menu is stellar, from the Back Porch Oysters to the Amberjack sandwich — that’s a dish they invented, which has become one of their many claims to fame! 

Though it’s no longer a shack, The Back Porch is still located right on the beach, offering some of the best beachside dining and sunset views in the area.

Louisiana Lagniappe

Within a sea of similar Destin restaurants, Louisiana Lagniappe has made a name for itself because of the Creole twist it puts on Louisiana and Gulf seafood dishes.

Despite being an upscale, waterfront restaurant, Louisiana Lagniappe has a casual, welcoming atmosphere. It makes a great spot for a family dinner or especially a laidback date night, thanks to the “2 Can Dine and Wine for $59” special!

McGuire’s Irish Pub

For an entirely different kind of dining experience, head over to McGuire’s Irish Pub. The pub vibe and alcoholic menu are often enough to entice people to visit. There’s a mix of Irish liquor and cocktails, as well as classic offerings.

As for food, you’ll find straight American food here but the stars of the show are, of course, the traditional and fusion Irish dishes! Try out the Irish Boxtys or Irish-style Reuben egg rolls (who knew those were a thing?).

man and child walking beach at sunset with sand castle
Fish Tacos, mahi mahi
yellow sunset and sea oats in Destin, Florida

Things to Do in Destin

Unlike the smaller 30A communities, Destin is quite a bustling city with plenty of attractions. When you’re not out at the beach, here are some other amazing things to do in Destin.

Look for Dolphins at Destin’s Original Sea Blaster

People of all ages and accessibility levels can enjoy the daily dolphin cruises at Destin’s Original Sea Blaster. There are snorkeling cruises, sunset cruises, beach cruises, and more!

The two boats this tour company operates are included among the biggest speedboats on the Gulf, with a capacity of over 100 passengers each. Despite this, cruises fill up fast, so make a reservation!

Explore Everything Destin Harbor Boardwalk Has to Offer

You could easily spend the whole day exploring the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. It’s a nearly quarter-mile-long fun and relaxation.

This is the place to be if you’re looking for water-based things to do in Destin, as you’ll find plenty of cruise tours, fishing charters, and water sports, including jet skis and parasailing!

On land, you can work up an appetite by browsing the many shops. Then, go ahead and enjoy the delectable offerings at the wide range of restaurants and bars.

See and Feed 100 Alligators at Gator Beach

For a wonderful blend of fun and education that the whole family will enjoy, head over to Fudpucker’s Gator Beach.

Over a hundred alligators call Gator Beach home — that includes cute baby alligators as well as a rare albino alligator!

This attraction is free to enter and live gator shows happen multiple times a day. You do, however, have to pay to feed the gators and take pictures with them. You can also get VIP tickets to get a firsthand experience of what it’s like to care for alligators!

sailboat in Destin harbor
white sand castle at the beach
surfing in Destin

Events in Destin

Destin is a busy city, with events happening year-round but especially during summer and the holidays. Events in Destin range from exciting to relaxing and everything in between!

Smoke on the Coast BBQ & Fireworks Festival (July)

Smoke on the Coast BBQ and Fireworks Festival is held annually on July 3. This Independence event celebrates family fun and benefits local charities!

BBQ lovers will enjoy $1 samples from various Destin restaurants (and some from neighboring areas), as well as from groups participating in the BBQ competition.

Family activities, family entertainment, live music, and an out-of-this-world firework show round out the evening. It’s an incredible Independence Day experience!

Destin Seafood Festival (October)

The Destin Seafood Festival is not only one of the longest-running annual events in Destin, it’s also one of the most anticipated!

Fishing is a big deal in Destin, both commercially and recreationally, and the sea’s bounty is fully put on display during this festival.

On this three-day weekend in October, on the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, you can enjoy the best in local seafood, as well as music, art, and family-fun activities.

Destin Boat Parade (December)

To bring in the holiday vibes, the Destin Harbor comes alive with lights and cheer during the annual Destin Boat Parade.

Boats get decked out in festive holiday decor and lights, before making their way along the harbor to everyone’s delight. The parade starts near Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House, making its way along the HarborWalk Village, all the way toward the Destin Bridge.

At the end of the procession, a magical fireworks show lights up the night and the Gulf once more!

30A Rentals Near Destin

If you’re searching for Destin vacation rentals, you’re in good company. Destin welcomes 4.5 million visitors every year! Of the many Destin vacation rentals, All 30A Properties offers one of the most versatile and stunning.


Vacation Rentals

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Crystal Blue Cottage

Crystal Blue Cottage

3 Bedroom, Sleeps 9
From $318.49/night