What to do in a Week in Destin, Florida (Like a Local!)
Wow! There are so many things to do in Destin you would need the entire summer
to get it all in. Unfortunately, most of us only have a week to enjoy it. Being a Destin
local since 1997, I have developed some favorites.
My week in Destin would look like this:
Day 1 (Saturday)
Check in is at 3 so I’m going to hit Wal-Mart right away for the essentials. Unpack
and head to Landshark Pizza (sooooo good) then I would walk over to AJ’s for some
nightlife. Saturday is always kicking there. If I had the kids I would walk over to the
Harborwalk Village and take in the sights.
Day 2 (Sunday)
Brunch is a must when planning a day on the beach so I would head over to Tailfins
Restaurant and enjoy some great food and bottomless Mimosas. Next, the Beach!
Most people will have beach access, however, my preference is the beach at
Pompano Joes. They have an amazing beachside bar and live music. The vibe of
Scenic 98 cant be beat. After the beach I would clean up and head to The Track. I
don’t care how old you are; their go cart track is the best. Heck with the rules, if you
ain’t rubbin’, you ain’t racin’. They have so much to do and their prices are very
Day 3 (Monday)
Time to chill a bit but not too much. We have so much more to do. For breakfast I’m
heading to the Donut Hole. It’s a must. They have so many choices for breakfast and
if you are into donuts, let’s just say you will be in heaven. After breakfast I’m
heading down 30A to Seaside and Watercolor. There is so much beauty down there
and a completely different vibe than Destin. I’m definitely going on a bike ride
(rentals everywhere) and do some shopping in the square. Lunch? No problem. The
food trucks are amazing. There are so many to choose from but my favorite is the
grilled cheese, the Philly grilled cheese to be exact. Prior to going, look up the
history of Seaside. Many people don’t know this but the Truman Show with Jim
Carey was filmed there. After Seaside I would grab my favorite Pinot Noir and stroll
the beach with a flashlight enjoying the sand crabs and the wine.
Day 4 (Tuesday)
Crab Island Adventure! Driving in over the Destin Bridge, Crab Island is so
inviting with all of the action, waterparks, vendors and crystal clear water to enjoy.
The absolute best way to enjoy it is hiring a local all-inclusive charter like me to take
you on an amazing adventure. Let your captain guide you through the Destin waters
and show you things only a local would know. Enjoy a beverage knowing that you
don’t have to drive the boat and have a great day knowing that all the water toys
and details are handled by your charter company. After the tour I would clean up
and head to the beach for an amazing Destin sunset. Hungry yet? Dinner would be at
McGuire’s. This place never disappoints. There will be a wait so I will come with my
patience and enjoy the outdoor bar while waiting on the best meal ever. Once in, you
will take in the sights of over $2,000,000 on the walls and ceilings. I always get the
Blue Cheese burger with bacon. Yum!
Day 5 (Wednesday)
I would take a paddleboard tour of the Destin Harbor in the morning. There is
nothing like paddling with dolphins and watching Destin wake up. There are several
companies but I always choose WET, Inc. They are located on Holiday Isle and will
deliver your boards to wherever you want to start. After a paddle, I would enjoy our
sugar beaches for the day. Our beaches are the only quartz beaches in the World.
The quartz comes from millions of year of Smokey Mountain erosion. After the
beach I would clean up and get ready for an evening at Baytowne Resort. This place is
amazing for kids and adults. There are tons of restaurants to choose from on the
boardwalk but my personal favorite is Hammerheads. I always get the seafood
bucket and have yet to be able to finish it. Maybe one day. Watch the kids play on all
of the gym towers and trampolines while drinking an amazing Mud Slide from Fat
Tuesdays. Evenings don’t get better than Baytowne.
Day 6 (Thursday)
I’m not tired at all so I’m heading to Big Kahunas for the day. Who doesn’t like a
water park? It’s amazing how much they can pack in there but they do. My favorite
is the lazy river but the water slides come in a close second. Be ready to climb some
stairs. The food there is really good for park food and the lines all move very quickly.
After taking a long nap at the condo its time to head to Harborwalk Village. To me,
nothing beats walking the Destin Harbor and all of the sights. There are tons of
activities for the kids and restaurants for miles. Be ready as the sun is going down as
Thursdays always have an airshow and fireworks. The fireworks show is amazing
and lasts for 15 minutes. I like to post up in front of Harry T’s for the best view.
Day 7 (Friday)
Who on earth would visit Destin and not go fishing for a day? We have the luckiest
fishing village and boast 1.5 miles of charter boats. You will catch snapper, mackerel,
grouper and many other species of fish. It’s your last day so it will be fresh to bring
home. Also, you can take part of your catch to most restaurants and they will cook it
for you. After fishing, I’m hitting the pool for a well-needed cocktail and nap. Then
its time to pack. So sadly.
Some notable favorites that were not included in my week but may be enjoyable to
you are the following:
1) Shakes – crazy good frozen custard right next to the Waffle House
2) Jet Skis – go at your own pace and enjoy the Destin Waters
3) Parasail – Its so peaceful and beautiful from 300 feet in the air
4) Golf – there are tons of courses and everyone of them will please
5) Okaloosa Island – a short hop over the Destin Bridge and there are tons of
things to do
6) Destin Tikis – take and evening harbor or sunset cruise on an actual Tiki Boat
7) The Boathouse Oyster Bar – Destin’s number one local hang out. Come
prepared for awesome music and an energetic crowd
I hope you enjoy our town and come back often.
-Gene Eisenmann, Founder of Destin Pontoon Charters