When a much-needed vacation is calling your name and your idea of an ideal destination includes plenty of sun, sand, and surf—a trip to Destin, Florida promises to check every box on the list. This inviting city is a must-see filled with options for fun. While there is a long list of iconic stops to experience, Destin is also home to lesser-known and equally exciting attractions to enjoy. The following are the top five under-the-radar stuff to do in Destin to be sure you check out the next time you’re in town and looking to make the most of every moment.

Eden Gardens State Park

There’s a tendency for visitors to Destin to focus exclusively on the shorelines or exciting on-the-water fun with good reason. That said, if you’re willing to go a bit off the beaten path, there are plenty of gems waiting to be discovered. One of them is Eden Gardens State Park. This pristine locale is found in nearby Santa Rosa Beach and is a beautiful testament to both nature’s finest work and some meticulous landscaping standards implemented at a historical site. Eden Gardens State Park covers a sprawling 163 acres of land at 181 Eden Gardens Road which is open to the public daily between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Part of the historic Weasley Homestead, Eden Gardens State Park features a beautiful mansion as well as a collection of towering trees, greenery and carefully crafted gardens that capture the imagination with ease when they’re in full bloom.

Banana Bart’s

Shopping for one-of-a-kind souvenirs can be a fun activity on any vacation and a trip to Destin isn’t an exception to the rule! When you’re looking for an extra funky and slightly under the radar stop to check out, Banana Bart’s is it! Located at 620 Harbor Boulevard, Banana Bart’s is really easy to spot thanks to its vibrant yellow façade complete with red trim. Inside, Banana Bart’s offers guests a chance to browse a variety of fun souvenirs from t-shirts and keychains to mugs, books, and handcrafted goods as well. Banana Bart’s is open for business daily from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.

Norriego Point

It’s no secret that during high travel season, the most popular beaches that occupy Destin are brimming over with enthusiastic beachgoers excited to make the most of fun under the sun. While that works for some, others are looking for less-crowded locales to enjoy some time on the sand and when that’s the case, Norriego Point is a good solution. This quieter beach is found at the end of Holiday Isle, and is still one of the top things to do in Destin. This destination is defined by sugar-white sands and tranquil waves thanks to the jetties that create a barrier along the nearby inlets. While visitors can view Destin Harbor from one side of Norriego Point, the other side offers up an East Pass view.

Escape Zone 60

There’s something to be said for the outdoor adventure and fun waiting for travelers in Destin, but to find lesser-known activities that are just as fun, you might have to head indoors. Escape Zone 60 is Destin’s premier provider of escape room experiences for those visiting Destin looking for something unique to do on a rainy afternoon. Escape Zone 60 is located at 415 Mountain Drive #7 and is open daily between noon and 9:00 pm. Interactive escapes require some serious puzzle-solving in order to complete and it should be noted that this is an activity that’s best enjoyed alongside family or friends. You have an hour to figure out how to get out of the themed rooms, so be sure to bring your sense of curiosity along with you!

Gator Beach

If you’re looking to get up close to some incredible wildlife native to Florida, while enjoying access to savory food options too, time at Gator Beach promises to be well-spent. Located at 20001 Emerald Coast Parkway, Gator Beach is an alligator park within Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill that provides guests with a chance to see alligators and browse a variety of wildlife exhibits too. From life-sized replicas to live alligator feeding experiences on-site, it’s a fun way to treat your tastebuds while indulging your sense of wonder and adventure as well.

Book Your Florida Getaway Today

Whether you’re in Destin for the scenery, the excitement, the savory options or a little bit of it all, the team at Five Star Properties knows that having accommodations in place that keep you close to the stuff to do in Destin is key to creating an unforgettable vacation. We specialize in helping guests enjoy a customized Destin stay and our portfolio of rental property options in the area incorporate the luxury, comfort, and convenience that travelers deserve! Be sure to reach out today to learn more about our many property selections and additional services. We’re happy to help you turn those travel dreams into a reality in no time.