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Guide to Destin for Families

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Destin is widely known for its delicious silky beaches and emerald sea, but there is more out there to experience for those who are interested - not least for families, whether you are traveling with small kids or teens. Tons of fun is guaranteed once you arrive at this beautiful paradise in Florida; you better be prepared to keep up with your kids!

Good for
  • Family
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

10 Places

4 City Tips

Print
Map

10 Places

SandCastle Lessons

Other Outdoor Activities, Lessons & Workshops

Paint the Coast

Lessons & Workshops, Paint & Pottery Studios

Busters Old Time Photos

Other Fun & Games

Jolee Island Nature Park

Parks

AMC Destin Commons 14

Movie Theatres

Ride On Surf School

Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing

Fat Daddy's Arcade

Game & Entertainment Centres

Big Kahuna's Water and Adventure Park

Game & Entertainment Centres, Water Parks

Destin Laser Tag

Game & Entertainment Centres

Henderson Beach State Park

Beaches, State Parks

Enrique A's City Tips

  • For getting around, water taxis and regular taxis are the best option for those who aren't driving. Although public transportation does operate during high season, it's services are quite limited.
  • If you come to Destin during March or April, keep in mind that it's high-season, which means prices rise, and it tends to be noisier and more crowded.
  • Low-season doesn't mean that restaurants or attractions close earlier or close completely; Destin keeps functioning as usual.
  • If you don't feel like visiting during peak season, you should come in October or November, as Springbreak is over and the area is generally quieter.
  • SandCastle Lessons
    Other Outdoor Activities, Lessons & Workshops
    See more photos
    Enrique A Says:

    A really fun and entertaining activity to do with the family, where you are taught the very basics of how to create your own sand sculpture. No matter what your age, all you need is enthusiasm, and you're sure to have a great time creating a masterpiece together! Instructors are super professional and will teach you things you would never imagine could be done with sand and water, plus a little of your own creativity.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Beach Sand Sculptures offers SandCastle Lessons for private groups. Groups are not limited in terms of the number of people as they accommodate both small and large groups.
    • You can purchase a starter kit that will help you commence your journey into sand castle building at home.
    • It is best that you book classes 2-3 weeks in advance, to assure your place, as it is a popular activity with tourists and locals alike.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 6 Classes & Workshops in Destin
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Unique, Fun Activity! 28/09/2018
    • In honor of Lauren and Kathleen 24/09/2018
    • SandCastle Lessons
    Phone:
    +1 303-681-2631
    Hours:
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Paint the Coast
    Lessons & Workshops, Paint & Pottery Studios
    See more photos
    Enrique A Says:

    Kathy is a great painter and teacher who makes it easy and fun to learn how to paint. You might think you have no painting skills, but don’t worry — she will help you connect with your inner creativity, and help you to produce a wonderful piece of art to take home. Set in a cozy cafe environment, at The Pancakery, this is a super fun experience to share with your spouse and kids or teens.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Materials are included in every class.
    • You can also contact Kathy directly to schedule a private party session; prices will depend on how many people attend.
    • It is best that you book your spot in advance, so keep an eye on her website’s monthly schedule when planning your trip.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 6 Classes & Workshops in Destin
    • Great experience for “budding” artists 01/02/2018
    • Painting fun 02/10/2017
    • Paint the Coast
    Address:
    960 U.s. 98
    Destin, FL 32541-2843
    Phone:
    +1 850-240-8698
    Price range:
    US$40 - US$40
    Other:
  • Busters Old Time Photos
    Other Fun & Games
    See more photos
    Enrique A Says:

    If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, and you and your family are fans of the old days - such as the 20’s, Victorian times, or the Wild, Wild West - then this is a nice option for you. The pictures taken are quite creative, and staff will provide you with costumes appropriate to the type of photo shoot you choose. Once you see them printed and mounted on beautiful handmade frames, you’ll have a wonderful keepsake that you're sure to love and treasure forever.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The studio opens daily from 10am or 11am to 6pm or 7pm; opening and closing hours depend on the day.
    • Give them a call and schedule your photo shoot ahead of time.
    • The photographers will let you know all the different size options, and photos are of high quality, and are absolutely sticky-finger-proof!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 22 Fun & Games in Destin
    • It is actually not there 30/12/2017
    • Disappointed 26/06/2017
    • Busters Old Time Photos
    Address:
    300 Harbor Blvd
    Destin, FL 32541-7332
    Phone:
    +1 850-837-3280
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Mon - Thu
    10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Fri - Sat
    10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Jolee Island Nature Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Enrique A Says:

    There are many things to do at Jolee Park. First, you can arrive by kayak to make it more fun, and then once at the park, you can choose your desired hiking route ,and discover the magnolias and other beautiful creations that inhabit the area. There are biking options too, an incredible spot where you can enjoy the sunset, and the best part for the kids — a pirate playground. Once they find it, they’ll have a blast playing around, and you can sneak in a nice picnic too.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Entry fees: The park is located at Sandestin Resort, so it is best to discuss with them directly the type of packages available.
    • Remember to bring mosquito repellent with you, and don’t forget your snacks and beverages for a picnic.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 35 things to do in Destin
    • This is not for the public! 27/06/2018
    • Relaxing... 07/02/2018
    • Jolee Island Nature Park
    Phone:
    +1 850-267-8000
  • AMC Destin Commons 14
    Movie Theatres
    Enrique A Says:

    At this cinema you’ll find IMAX and 3D movies, along with a nice selection of food and drinks — from a complete dinner with a delicious glass of wine for the adults, to high quality fast food such as pizza, hotdogs, and candies for the kids. All of this plus good service from the staff, makes you feel like you’re enjoying your movie from the comfort of your own home.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Tickets are good value, and can be purchased online.
    • The menus have different options - from appetizers to desserts to beverages.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 22 Fun & Games in Destin
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Escape from the Heat!! 01/07/2018
    • Great Experience 10/06/2018
    • AMC Destin Commons 14
    Address:
    4000 Legendary Dr
    Destin, FL 32541-5397
    Phone:
    +1 850-650-4539
    Other:
  • Ride On Surf School
    Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing
    See more photos
    Enrique A Says:

    At Ride On, you'll have a great experience, no matter if it's your first time surfing or if you're almost a pro. Whether you take a single lesson or enroll in the surf camp, you'll be happy with the professionalism and charisma that Dylan and the other instructors display, along with tons of patience — especially towards newbies (as I was when I first met them!) Pure joy and fun over the waves and under the sun, for kids big and small.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Cost of lessons depends on whether you select a private one-to-one, group class (perfect for the family), or choose to take part in a weekly/monthly surf camp.
    • If you are staying for a long time, I would recommend taking the weekly or monthly surf camp with your family; it may be a little pricey but it's incredibly worth it.
    • You can also choose to do some paddleboarding or kayaking if you want a bit of a rest from surfing.
    • Bring snacks and beverages with you, or try one of the restaurants nearby for lunch.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #45 of 168 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Destin
    • Surf School 06/08/2018
    • Life’s better when you surf at Destin, Fl 06/07/2018
    • Ride On Surf School
    Address:
    2237 Old Hwy. 98 East
    Destin, FL 32541-4724
    Phone:
    +1 850-240-7822
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Fat Daddy's Arcade
    Game & Entertainment Centres
    See more photos
    Enrique A Says:

    Another great place for everyone in the family to have loads of fun is Fat Daddy's, where you can enjoy playing in the arcade and trying out all the different games. The best part is that you can exchange the tickets you win for incredible prizes, such as video games, consoles, or plushies for the little ones!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Tokens are needed to play the games.
    • Visit Fudpucker's for some lunch; a nice break from all that gaming.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 22 Fun & Games in Destin
    • Best Arcade EVER! 21/09/2018
    • Fun 09/08/2018
    • Fat Daddy's Arcade
    Address:
    20009 Emerald Coast Pkwy
    Destin, FL 32541-3410
    Phone:
    +1 850-424-6021
    Hours:
    Mon - Thu
    10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Fri - Sun
    10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Big Kahuna's Water and Adventure Park
    Game & Entertainment Centres, Water Parks
    See more photos
    Enrique A Says:

    There's a ride here for everybody's taste - from adrenaline-fueled to relaxing, where you can chill-out after chasing the kids all day in the pools. Best to fuel up first though so that you can keep up the pace - once you start enjoying the rides, you won't want to stop!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    Tips
    • If you visit Destin regularly, it is best that you purchase a seasonal pass. If not, you can purchase a 3-day pass which assures a good deal for the weekend.
    • Check the cabanas out — they are good option to rent while at the park, giving you somewhere nice to rest and catch your breath in-between enjoying the rides.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 1 Water & Amusement Parks in Destin
    • It's a classic 16/10/2018
    • Awful and dirty place 04/10/2018
    • Big Kahuna's Water and Adventure Park
    Address:
    1007 Highway 98 E
    Destin, FL 32541-2901
    Phone:
    +1 850-837-8319
    Other:
  • Destin Laser Tag
    Game & Entertainment Centres
    Enrique A Says:

    Another great place to have a fun family time, here you can choose to play some laser tag, or perhaps glow in the dark mini-golf, or maybe even a lock-in, where you can have the whole place for yourselves — pretty neat! Prepare your family team and get ready for some action!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Lock-ins last for approximately three hours, and must be requested in advance. (They also require a minimum of 20 people.)
    • You can choose to have one to three games of laser tag, which last for 15 minutes.
    • Be sure to arrive to your game on time, as there are lots of parties and events scheduled throughout the day.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 22 Fun & Games in Destin
    • Totally awesome! 12/08/2018
    • Hidden Gem 10/08/2018
    • Destin Laser Tag
    Address:
    20011 Emerald Coast Pkwy
    Destin, FL 32541-3410
    Phone:
    +1 850-650-6748
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    3:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Sat - Sun
    12:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Henderson Beach State Park
    Beaches, State Parks
    See more photos
    Enrique A Says:

    Right at Henderson, you'll have the chance to enjoy a nice swim in calm waters, and then simply lay on the sand while the kids are playing or building castles. You can bring supplies to make a picnic and spend the whole day here — then catch that beautiful sunset falling over the emerald waters that have made Destin so famous.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • It is a pretty calm beach, and this makes it a perfect spot to simply relax — just don't forget to bring your umbrella or tents for shade.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 35 things to do in Destin
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Campground and Beach 15/10/2018
    • Amazing 10/10/2018
    • Henderson Beach State Park
    Address:
    17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy
    Destin, FL 32541-3343
    Phone:
    +1 850-837-7550
    Other:
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