The Ultimate Florida Summer Guide to Destin and 30A

Packing your suitcase and knowing you have an amazing vacation to look forward to is always an exciting moment. It’s made that much more thrilling when your final destination happens to be Destin or 30A in Florida! When sun, sand, and surf are all your preferred ingredients for a great getaway, you’ll find this area is packed with potential for fun. The following is our Destin vacation guide to some of the top activities, attractions, and dining options you’ll want to be sure to add to your itinerary when your travel plans bring you this way in the summertime.

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Activities and Attractions in Destin

With year-round wonderful weather and the exciting scenery to match, travelers who head towards Destin, Florida to enjoy a sensational getaway will find there’s much to discover in the way of activities and attractions. Whether you’re in town with the entire family or making it a Florida summer vacation for two, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to wildlife encounters, beautiful landscapes, and finding places where you can simply settle into the sand and take it all in stride.

Check Out Henderson Beach State Park

Beach hopping in Destin is definitely a highlight activity of a summer spent here. That said, if you’re looking to pair time on the shoreline with options to encounter nature at its best Henderson Beach State Park is the place to do it. Located at 17000 Emerald Coast Parkway, Henderson Beach State Park provides Gulf beaches as well as a maze of hiking trails to check out when you’re up for some wildlife spotting. Of course, shorebirds abound here as well and when you’re soaking up the sun, you won’t have to go far to catch a view. Visitors to Henderson Beach State Park will also find it’s a prime place in the area to enjoy an afternoon of fishing or swimming when temperatures rise and you’re looking to cool off in true Florida style.

Take the Family to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

When you’re enjoying a summer getaway with the entire family in tow and you have travelers of all ages and interests to cater to, it can feel difficult to find activities that suit all types of styles. However, fun is made simple and accessible when you set your sights on the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. Found at 1010 Miracle Strip Parkway SE in nearby Fort Walton Beach, the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is an incredible place to see marine life up close and learn about intensive conservation efforts across the state of Florida as well. During a visit, guests can get up close to creates ranging from alligators and turtles to stingrays and dolphins just to name a few. If you have time, be sure to book an up-close encounter with on-site staff and enjoy a private behind-the-scenes experience with the marine animals on site, learning more about how the team here is helping these creatures thrive at the park and in the wild. The park is open daily from 9:0 am until 4:30 pm and is a wonderful chance to enjoy an activity that’s as educational as it is engaging for everyone. If you’re heading this way with the really little ones at your side, enjoy the fact that all kids two and under can enter the park free of charge!

Cool Off at Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park

Destin is a destination that revolves around on-the-water fun. When the summer temperatures hit those notorious Florida highs, making your way to Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park is a must! This popular local attraction is great for visitors of all ages who enjoy time on waterslides and under cooling cabana shelters lounging an afternoon away. The park is equipped with splash pads for little ones as well as adrenaline-pumping water attractions for those who are looking for a thrill. Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park is found at 1007 U-98 in Destin and is open daily.

Shop and Stroll the Destin Harbor Boardwalk

Summer in Destin is the perfect time to hit the boardwalk when you’re ready to enjoy shopping, dining, and people watching alike. Accessible at 102 Harbor Boulevard, the Destin Harbor Boardwalk is a vibrant place to spend time watching the boats sail by or popping in and out of specialty storefront if you’d like. The boardwalk is known for its scenic appeal and fun atmosphere that frequently has live music, and amazing aromas from the many restaurants and cafes that line the avenues. Many visitors head to the boardwalk to access rental boats when they’re looking forward to a day of fun on the water, or to link up with on-the-water tours which depart from this area daily.

Finish Your Day with a Sunset Cruise

When you’re looking to end a summer day in Destin in style, you do so on a sunset cruise. Destin Dolphin Cruise is a great company to book this experience through and they’re conveniently located at 500 Harbor Boulevard. Each cruise is a 2-hour experience and there are opportunities to enjoy dolphin spotting along the way as well. The knowledgeable and friendly on-board staff point out areas of interest as you sail, making for a comprehensive look at your scenic surroundings. Couples who are in Destin this summer to enjoy quality time together will find this sunset experience particularly romantic! Be sure to book your spot onboard in advance as these tours tend to fill up quickly.

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Restaurants to Enjoy While You’re Here

For all of the land and water-based fun available to be enjoyed in Destin, it’s also a place where summer visitors can treat their tastebuds! The city is packed with savory stops to be enjoyed no matter what your restaurant preferences may be. The added benefit to dining out in Destin over the summer is that the wonderful weather makes it possible to take your dining time outdoors and make the most of great waterfront views too at a large number of restaurants in this area. When you’re looking for great waterfront restaurants to enjoy, consider adding stops like Dewey Destin’s and Harry T’s to your must-try list. Harry T’s is a popular place among burger enthusiasts while Dewey Destin’s focuses on sensational seafood options. When gulf-to-table seafood is just your style, you’ll have plenty of choices to choose from in Destin. Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer is a must on this front while Lulu’s Destin is a delight when you’re looking for a breathtaking view to pair with your freshly caught fare.

Those traveling to Destin as a family will find it simple to settle into flavor and style across the city. Restaurants like Boshamps Oyster House as well as The Back Porch Destin are family-friendly stops with vast menu selections to cater to taste preferences of all types. When fine dining is more your style, be sure to check out Cuvee Kitchen and Wine Bar while you’re here this summer.

Activities and Attractions Across 30A

Summer travelers pairing their Destin travels with exploration across 30A, or simply enjoying 30A exclusively are in for a true warm weather treat. This area is an oasis of fun for solo travelers, couples, small groups, and large family getaways alike! 30A is a popular place for those who are excited to make the most of summer watersports, but it just as appealing to those who can’t wait to settle into the sand in style and take in the view. 30A is also home to a charming collection of coastal communities to discover which each host their very own lineup of savory restaurants to try. At the end of the day, 30A is a place without any shortage of access to fun!

Be Sure to Make Time for the Beaches

30A’s reputation is very much built on the beauty of its beaches, and that means that a summer trip this way should definitely include some serious shoreline time! These stretches of sand and surf are defined by their sugar-white hues and emerald waves which are just as fun to experience as they are to photograph. While there is a seemingly endless list of beaches in this area to choose from, those found at Grayton Beach State Park are particularly appealing. This is also a great place to get out on a paddleboard and put your balance to the test in a space that’s brimming over with tranquil scenery to enjoy.

Pair Your Beach Day with a Sandcastle Lesson

The family-friendly appeal of a summer getaway to 30A is quite evident and in turn, there are plenty of unique family-friendly activities to include in your beach day too! Consider booking a sandcastle lesson when you’re visiting 30A this summer and looking for an unforgettable activity to add to your itinerary. 30A Sandcastle Lessons offers families a one-of-a-kind experience on the shoreline. When you book with this company, you’ll enjoy the help of an artistic professional who knows how to turn sand into creative expression and can teach you how to do the same! Kids and adults are welcome to participate, and your instructor will meet you at your preferred beach. This company services 16 coastal communities within South Walton including popular stops like Grayton, Seaside, Seagrove, Watercolor and more! Not only does this experience leave you with an amazing photo opportunity, but you’ll walk away with a brand-new skill.

Bike Your Way to Florida Summer Vacation Fun

One of the most popular activities for Florida summer vacation travelers to enjoy when visiting 30A is biking. Not only is it a convenient way to travel between coastal communities, but it allows for making the most of the breathtaking scenery at your very own pace. There are a variety of bike rental companies across 30A that can get you set up with the right gear to match your cycling goals. Whether you rent a bike for a half-day, full-day, or multi-day adventure, be sure to make time to explore the Timpoochee Trail. Often referred to as the 30A Bike Trail, this route spans 18 miles of paved pathway that connects a variety of fun communities to check out along the way. There are several scenic points to break at and make the most of photographing the landscape as well.

Spend Time Admiring Unique Architecture

While 30A is made up of a variety of appealing beach towns to explore, Seaside has a particular appeal to those with a passion for architecture. This entire town is built around the concept of New Urbanism and provides a nearly magical ambiance to embrace while you’re here. Complete with cobblestone streets, unique road connections, pastel-front homes, and ornate beach pavilions and beyond, it’s a place where visitors can step out of time and into an idyllic scene that’s hard to beat.

Relish Experiences with Rare Coastal Dune Lakes

Summer visitors looking for an exclusively experience during their 30A stay will love that South Walton host no less than 15 coastal dune lakes which are rare across the globe. These fresh water lakes are separated by mere feet from the salt water of the Gulf and create a scenic and inspiring place to enjoy the view, get on the water and relish the idea that you’re lucky enough to enjoy an ecosystem that’s hardly found elsewhere!

Restaurants to Savor While You’re in the Area

In addition to the amazing activities and attractions to enjoy across 30A, it’s an area that filled with flavor too. When you’re worked up an appetite after all the fun, satisfying cravings isn’t hard to do. Check out Acme Oyster House in Miramar Beach when you can’t wait to enjoy some sensational and freshly caught fare. Aegean Greek Restaurant in Miramar Beach is another delightful choice when you’re looking for a palate-pleasing moment more inspired by destinations across the map. If you simply need a pick-me-up and a caffeine kick would do the trick, making time for a stop at Amavida Coffee & Tea in Seaside is sure to please. When you’re cravings a slice or two, head over to Angelina’s Pizzeria & Pasta in Seagrove Beach to make it a night of fun family-friendly Italian dining.

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Book Your Florida Getaway Today

Your Florida adventure is calling, so what are you waiting for? Reach out to Five Star Properties today to learn more about our fantastic vacation rental options across Destin and 30A and how we can help you start planning your next scenic adventure this way!

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