Destin Florida Family Vacation

Destin Florida Family Vacation

Dive into the Dreamy Delights of a Destin Florida Family Vacation! Ready to transform your typical family getaway into an unforgettable escapade?

This guide unveils the hidden gems and must-visit spots of Destin’s sun-kissed shores.

Discover where azure waves kiss the sugar-white sands, and family fun never ends.


Key Takeaways:

  • Beachfront Bliss: Uncover Destin’s top 10 family-friendly beaches, where safety and fun intertwine.
  • Stay in Style: Find the perfect family lodgings, from cozy condos to luxurious resorts.
  • Dining Delights: Savor the flavors of Destin with our kid-friendly restaurant guide.
  • Adventure Awaits: Explore the best family attractions, from thrilling water parks to magical dolphin cruises.
  • Festive Fun: Get the scoop on the hottest family events and festivals.
  • Shop and Souvenir: Discover shopping havens for memorable family keepsakes.
  • Travel Tips: Navigate Destin with ease, thanks to our insider advice on budget-friendly planning and more.


Prepare to be whisked away on a family vacation in Destin, Florida, where every moment is a treasure waiting to be discovered!


Destin Florida Family Vacation Top 10 Beaches

Destin Florida Family Vacation Top 10 Beaches


Planning a family vacation to Destin, Florida? You’re in for a treat!

Famed for its breathtaking beaches of white sand and waters as clear as crystal, Destin is a paradise for families seeking both relaxation and adventure.

To help you make the most of your trip, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 beaches in Destin, perfect for families.

Each beach offers a unique blend of beauty, safety, and kid-friendly activities.

From the serene shores of Henderson Beach State Park to the vibrant energy of Destin Beach, there’s something for every family to enjoy.

So, pack your sunscreen, grab your beach towels, and get ready to explore the best beaches that Destin has to offer!



  1. Henderson Beach State Park:
    A family favorite with over 6,000 feet of shoreline, nature walks, and a kids’ playground. Rating: 4.8. Open daily from 8 am to sundown. Beach Information.
  2. Crystal Beach:
    Known for safety, with lifeguards present and clearly marked swimming areas. Rating: 4.8. Close to shops and restaurants. Reviews.
  3. Norriego Point:
    Features knee-deep tide pools safe for small kids, perfect for exploring marine life. Ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Rating: 4.6. Reviews.
  4. James Lee Beach:
    Part of Henderson Beach State Park, this beach has lifeguards, a playground, and picnic areas. Rating: 4.7. Beach Information.
  5. June White Decker Park:
    Offers public beach access with amenities like showers, restrooms, and a nearby bike rack. Rating: 4.5. Public Beaches in Destin Florida.
  6. Navarre Beach:
    Family-friendly with restrooms, showers, and opportunities for snorkeling to observe fish and sea turtles. Rating: 4.8. Reviews.
  7. Miramar Beach:
    It’s known for its mix of old and new, including cottages and resorts. Rating: 4.7. Reviews.
  8. Calhoun Beach:
    Information on safety and kid-friendly activities is not available, but it’s a quiet beach ideal for relaxing. Rating: 4.8. Reviews.
  9. Princess Beach:
    Information not found, but known for its clean and well-maintained shore, suitable for swimming and snorkeling. Rating: 4.7. Public Beaches in Destin Florida.
  10. Destin Beach:
    Information not found, but it’s a popular tourist spot with a variety of activities. Rating: 4.7. Top 10 Best Beaches in Destin Florida.


Each of these beaches offers unique attractions and experiences, making them ideal destinations for families seeking fun, safety, and memorable moments by the sea.


Now, let’s have a look at the most popular hotels near these beaches and nearby attractions…


Family-Friendly Hotels Near The Beaches and Attractions


Here’s a table that neatly organizes the hotel information based on their proximity to various attractions in Destin:

Hotel NameStarsPrice Per NightRatingNearby AttractionsFeaturesMore Info URL
Wingate By Wyndham Destin Hotel3$1194.1/5Henderson Beach State Park, Big Kahuna’s Water ParkOutdoor pool, JacuzziLink
Motel 6-Destin, Fl2$793.6/5Destin Beach, Big Kahuna’s Water ParkOutdoor poolLink
Best Western Sugar Sands Inn & Suites Destin3$1094.3/5The Track, Big Kahuna’s Water ParkGame area, Flat screen TVLink
Inn On Destin Harbor3$993.7/5Destin Harbor BoardwalkBar, Entertainment activitiesLink
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa4$1994.2/5Henderson Beach State Park, Silver Sands Premium OutletsSpa centre, Sunbathing terrace, Indoor poolLink
Home2 Suites By Hilton Destin3$1294.5/5Henderson Beach State Park, The TrackFree Wi-Fi, Climate control, Cable TVLink
Quality Inn & Suites Destin2$893.9/5Silver Sands Premium OutletsFlat-screen TV, Entertainment activitiesLink
La Quinta Inn & Suites By Wyndham Miramar Beach-Destin3$1194.4/5Silver Sands Premium OutletsDesk, ComputersLink
The Henderson3$1394.3/5Destin Beach, Henderson Beach State ParkShared lounge, BarLink

This table should make it easier to compare the hotels and their proximity to the attractions in Destin.


Top 5 Family Friendly Attractions in Destin

Here are the top five family-friendly attractions in Destin, you must experience:


1. Hydrojet Dolphin Cruise

Description: This cruise offers an exciting opportunity to see dolphins along the Destin coastline. It’s an interactive experience with marine life, providing excellent photo and video opportunities.

Price: Varies, please check the website for current pricing.

Website: Hydrojet Dolphin Cruise


2. Banana Boat with Mobile Sports

Description: A fun ride on a banana boat led by a speed boat around Destin Harbor. It’s an exciting activity, especially for kids above 5 years old.

Price: $45-55 per person for an hour-long ride.

Website: Banana Boat with Mobile Sports


3. Maximum Magic Show

Description: A live, family-friendly magic show featuring 90 minutes of illusions, interactive tricks, and special effects. It’s suitable for all ages and a great nighttime activity.

Price: Check website for current pricing.

Website: Maximum Magic Show


4. Henderson Beach

Description: A beautiful beach known for its white sands, clear water, and natural scenery. Families can spot wildlife like sea turtles and dolphins, and it offers a large campground for an immersive nature experience.

Price: Free.

Website: Henderson Beach


5. Sea Blaster Dolphin

Description: A dolphin cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Options include a 2-hour dolphin cruise or a 3-hour cruise with 90 minutes of snorkeling. Kids can enjoy free beverages and even try steering the boat.

Price: Check website for current pricing.

Website: Sea Blaster Dolphin


Additionally, Big Kahuna’s Water Park is another great family attraction:

  • Description: Over 40 attractions including waterslides, raft rides, surf simulators, and a lazy river. There’s also a kiddie pool area for toddlers and preschoolers.
  • Price: Online General Admission – $54.99, In Park Price – $57.99.
  • Website: Big Kahuna’s Water Park Tickets


The attractions  above offer a range of experiences from thrilling water adventures to relaxing beach days and magical evenings, making Destin a perfect destination for family fun.

Now, let’s explore some kid-friendly restaurants in Desin….


Eats and Treats: Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Destin


Families visiting Destin can enjoy a variety of dining spots perfect for all ages. Here are some popular kid-friendly restaurants:


1. Margaritaville – Destin

Location: 76 Harbor Blvd., Destin, FL

Features: Gulf front, live music, island-inspired food

Kids’ Menu: Cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, etc.

Rating: 3.5/5



2. Dewey Destin’s Seafood

Location: 9 Calhoun Ave, Destin, FL

Features: Voted best seafood on the Emerald Coast

Kids’ Menu: Cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, etc.

Rating: 4.0/5



3. Flounders Chowder House

Location: 800 Quietwater Beach Road, Gulf Breeze, FL

Features: Famous for Flounder’s Chowder

Kids’ Menu: Chicken fingers, grilled cheese, etc.

Rating: 4.0/5

More Info


4. Lulu’s

Location: 4607 Legendary Marina Drive, Destin, FL

Features: Waterfront seating, sandy play area

Kids’ Menu: Chicken fingers, grilled cheese, etc.

Rating: 4.5/5

More Info


5. The Crab Trap

Location: 3500 Scenic Hwy 98, Destin, FL

Features: Famous for Crab Trap Steamer

Kids’ Menu: Chicken fingers, grilled cheese, etc.

Rating: 4.0/5

More Info


For families seeking healthy and delicious meals, consider trying recipes like One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta or Taco Lettuce Wraps. Check out EatingWell for more healthy family dinner ideas.



Now, let’s have a look at some events and festivals you and your family can check out…


Events and Festivals: Family Fun in Destin


Here are some upcoming family-friendly events and festivals in Destin with dates, locations, and highlights:

Destin Fishing Rodeo

Dates: October 1 – 31, 2024

Location: HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL

Highlights: Month-long fishing tournament, live music, food vendors, fireworks

Event Info


Destin Seafood Festival

Dates: October 4 – 6, 2024

Location: HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL

Highlights: Celebrates local seafood, live music, arts and crafts, seafood dishes

Event Info


Emerald Coast Christmas Bazaar

Date: November 23, 2024

Location: Emerald Coast Convention Center, 1250 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL

Highlights: Over 100 vendors, live music, unique crafts and food vendors

Event Info


Holiday on the Harbor

Dates: December 1 – 31, 2024

Location: HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL

Highlights: Holiday activities, lighted boat parade, fireworks, Santa visits

Event Info


These events offer diverse experiences, from the exciting Destin Fishing Rodeo to the festive Holiday on the Harbor, ensuring fun for the entire family.


Shopping and Souvenirs: Retail Therapy for the Whole Family

Destin Commons

A premier outdoor shopping center featuring a rich blend of 85+ stores and restaurants.

Unique Attractions: Florida’s first Southern Living Store, AMC Movie Theater, and Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl & Grill with underwater-themed bowling.

For Families: Revamped play area for kids, a captivating mural art walk, and various seasonal events.

Destin Commons


HarborWalk Village

A vibrant hub on Destin Harbor, offering a lively mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Activities: Ziplining, magic shows, and live music.

Scenic: Exceptional harbor views and a spirited atmosphere.

HarborWalk Village


Banana Bart’s

Specializes in a wide array of beachwear, souvenirs, and unique gifts.

Atmosphere: A quintessential beach shop experience.

Location: 620 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL.

Banana Bart’s


Frill Seekers Gifts

Offers a curated selection of party invitations, wedding invitations, baby gifts, and more.

Customization: Printing, engraving, monogramming, and embroidery services.

Specialty: Coastal treasures, jewelry, gift baskets, and promotional products.

Location: 4495 Furling Ln Ste 130, Destin, FL.

Frill Seekers Gifts


Silver Sands Premium Outlets

Renowned outlet mall with 100+ designer and name-brand stores.

Top Brands: Includes Coach, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, and Nike Factory Store.

Savings: Offers high-end products at outlet prices.

Location: 10562 Emerald Coast Pkwy W, Miramar Beach, FL.

Silver Sands Premium Outlets


These shopping spots in Destin not only offer a diverse range of products but also enrich the shopping experience with their unique offerings and attractions, making them ideal for family outings.



Tips and Tricks for a Stress-Free Family Vacation in Destin

Best Times to Visit:

  • Ideal months are April to May and September to October for pleasant weather and fewer crowds.
  • Summer is peak season; book in advance if visiting then.

Getting Around Destin:

  • Rent a car for convenience, especially if traveling with young children.
  • Use ride-sharing apps for short trips to avoid parking hassles.

Maximizing Family Budget:

  • Dine at restaurants with kids’ menus and special deals.
  • Look for accommodation with kitchenettes to save on meals.
  • Purchase tickets for attractions online in advance for discounts.

Using Rewards Credit Card:

  • Benefits: Earn points on travel expenses, dining, and shopping.
  • Look for cards without foreign transaction fees and travel insurance benefits.



Additional Travel Tips:

  • Pack sunscreen, hats, and comfortable footwear.
  • Always have bottled water and snacks handy.
  • Check the local event calendar to attend free family-friendly events.
  • Visit popular attractions early to avoid crowds.

Remember, a little planning goes a long way in ensuring a fun and relaxing family vacation in Destin!


Additional Resources and Links

To plan the ultimate family vacation in Destin, Florida, here are valuable resources that cover beaches, accommodations, dining, activities, and more:

Beaches Information:

Visit the official Destin-Fort Walton Beach website for comprehensive information about the best beaches in the area, including safety, amenities, and activities. Destin-Fort Walton Beach Beaches.



For a range of lodging options, including hotels, condo rentals, luxury resorts, vacation homes, and camping sites, check out the following link. Each category offers detailed descriptions to help you find the perfect stay for your family. Destin-Fort Walton Beach Accommodations.


Dining Guide:

Discover the top family-friendly restaurants in Destin with this comprehensive guide. It includes various dining options that cater to different tastes and preferences. Best Restaurants in Destin, FL.


Activities and Attractions:

This visitor’s guide offers an extensive list of things to do in Destin, suitable for the whole family. From water parks to nature trails, find activities that will make your vacation memorable. Destin Visitors Guide.


Tourist Information Centers:

For any queries or additional information, you can contact the Destin area tourist information centers:

Emerald Coast Convention and Visitor Bureau:

800-322-3319 (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-4pm). Emerald Coast CVB.

Destin Area Chamber of Commerce:

850-837-6241 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm). Destin Chamber.


These resources should provide you with all the necessary information to ensure your family has an enjoyable and well-planned vacation in Destin, Florida.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect beach spot, the coziest accommodations, the tastiest dining options, fun-filled activities, or need assistance from local tourist centers, these links have you covered.


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