Things To Do In Destin Besides The Beach

Things To Do In Destin Besides The Beach

Whether it’s a rainy day or you want to take a break from the Florida sun, there are still several things to do in Destin besides just going to the beach. Destin is known for its emerald green water and white sand but there is more to Destin than most people might realize. Here in Destin, we have a great selection in shopping.  Which is great to take advantage of for back to school shopping. We also have a large and well-airconditioned movie theatre right in the middle of the Destin Commons. Also, our bowling alley, Uncle Buck’s Fish Bar and Grill, is ocean themed and a great way to spend the day with the whole family.

Destin, FL is known as the “luckiest fishing village” so of course, we have awesome deep-sea fishing experiences. These are one of the most popular things to do in Destin. Lastly, we have a snorkeling and dolphin cruise excursions. Those cruises are great ways to make great memories you can hold onto for years with your family. Below we go into detail about things to do in Destin besides the beach!

Things to do in Destin

Shopping in Destin!

In Destin, we have more than just one strip mall locally. We have Destin Commons which is located more centrally in Destin. Also, we have the Silver Sands Premium Outlet Mall and it is located on the east end of Destin. Both malls have many benefits that can fit your shopping needs!

Silver Sands Premium Outlet

Things to do in Destin- Shopping

Silver Sands Premium Outlets is home to 110 designer and name-brand outlet stores including Coach, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th. Visitors can find a variety of shops ranging from women’s apparel and accessories to housewares and sporting goods. Renowned as the premier shopping destination along Northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast, the outlet mall serves the nearby communities of Destin, South Walton, Panama City, and Pensacola. The outlet mall is conveniently located off US Highway 98, one mile west of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. This beautiful outdoor mall features covered sidewalks, lush landscaping, and a children’s play area. There are also a variety of enticing dining options from sit down venues including Carrabba’s Italian Grill to fast-casual and grab-and-go options such as Panera Bread.

Hours are:

Monday-Saturday: 10 AM-9 PM

Sunday: 10 AM-6 PM

For more information on Silver Sands Premium Outlet visit:

Destin Commons 

Things to do in Destin- Shopping

Celebrating 15 years as the Emerald Coast’s best outdoor shopping center, Destin Commons boasts 95+ stores and restaurants, including Florida’s first Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and Southern Living Store. The award-winning line up of stores and restaurants include national and locally-owned favorites, AMC Movie Theater and Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl, an underwater-themed bowling alley. Enjoy their renovated play area, mural art walk & seasonal events for nonstop fun year-round. There truly is something for everyone! They also host several events such as the annual Fourth of July BBQ Festival. To learn more and to keep up with their current events visit:

Hours are:

Monday-Saturday: 10 AM-10 PM

Sunday: 11 AM-8 PM


Things to do in Destin- Movies

If you want to take a break from the hot sun then catching a movie at the AMC Theatre is a great way to do that. They play the latest featured movies as well as sell food, snacks, and of course popcorn! When finding things to do in Destin besides the beach, going to the movies and enjoying a cold soda and popcorn sounds perfect. The AMC Theatre is conveniently located in the center of the Destin Commons Mall. Experience movies in an IMAX experience or state-of-the-art Dolby Cinema theatre where you can enjoy the latest flick in cutting edge. It also has reserved recliners complete with IMAX screen and moving sound.

To find out what movies are playing at this theatre and their times’ visit:

Bowling at Uncle Buck’s Bar & Grill! 

Things to do in Destin- Bowling

When the going gets tough, the tough go bowling. When bowlers get hungry, they flock to Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl and Grill to fill up on a great selection of family favorites. Appetizers, sandwiches, salads, burgers, and more are served up in this fun atmosphere like no other. The rustic nautical-themed restaurant and bar offer the perspective of an underwater high-seas adventure amidst a backdrop of sunken ships and live tropical fish. Tasty fun for the whole family. This is where the outdoors meets the indoors for the ultimate sportsman. Uncle Buck’s Bar & Grill is also conveniently located in the Destin Commons shopping mall. Once you have worked up an appetite after shopping Uncle Bucks is a good place to go to fuel back up with some great food, and enjoy bowling with the family.

For more information visit:

Snorkeling and Dolphin Cruises 

Things to do in Destin- Dolphin Cruise and Snorkeling

Going on a snorkeling and dolphin cruise is a great way to still enjoy the water without having to go on the beach. When it comes to things to do in Destin, this is a hit. A great thing about booking a vacation with Destin Palms Vacations is we also offer VIP Perks for this activity. That’s right, we help you save on this one-of-a-kind experience. The Seablaster is highly recommended and they provide an unforgettable experience.

This cruise is a 3-hour combination trip which includes 90 minutes of snorkeling. Followed by a 90-minute dolphin cruise. It is inshore snorkeling, therefore, they pull up close to a beach. It is initially about 6 feet getting off the boat and into the water. Upon entrance, you can go as shallow (all the way to the shoreline). Also, they do provide all of your snorkeling equipment, as well as life jackets for all ages. When it comes to local excursions the Seablaster is a hit and will surely make amazing memories for your family’s trip.

To find out more about the Seablaster visit:

To find out more about our VIP Perks visit:

Deep-Sea Fishing 

Things to do in Destin- Deep-sea fishing

Another way to enjoy our beautiful waters is to spend all day out on a boat with a fishing reel in hand. Destin is considered the luckiest fishing village so when you are looking for things to do in Destin, this is a great experience. We also offer a VIP Perk for this activity as well! Woohoo, more savings! We highly recommend going through Destin Princess and Destiny. They offer year-round deep-sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico onboard a 72′ Sportsfisherman, Destiny and the 65′ Catamaran, Destin Princess. Furthermore, their boats offer experienced, friendly, and professional crews. In addition, their boats are fast, clean, air-conditioned, and have separate bathrooms for men and women. That’s just a few of the reasons that they are the most popular party boats operating out of Destin, Florida.

For these great local excursions, you can purchase a single ticket for an individual. Furthermore, they can also accommodate groups of up to 56 people for fishing, dolphin cruises, dinner cruises, marriages, or burials at sea. They have been fishing for generations! Minutes away from the Gulf of Mexico.

For more information on Princess and Destiny visit:

For more information on our VIP Perks visit:

Christmas Events in Destin

If you are looking for Christmas events in Destin and what all will be open during your vacation, look no further, we have got you covered! Destin has a number of fantastic events that you and your family can take part in to make unforgettable memories this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Santa is almost here and we are getting so excited!!

Christmas Events in Destin – On The Coast


Start Christmas Eve morning off, December 24th, at the Destin Commons Bass Pro Shop! FREE Photo with Santa: 10AM–5PM and FREE Crafts: 3-5
FREE Games: open to close  See further details about this event here!Santa's Wonderland

Dust off those skates and get in the winter spirit at The Village of Baytowne Wharf’s Baytowne on Ice.  For those visitors who miss the cold and ice, Baytowne’s seasonal ice rink is the perfect opportunity to share some of your favorite holiday traditions.  $11 + $3 skate rental for 90 mins. December 24 Hours are 12-6 pm and December 25 they will be open from 4-10 pm.

Rather stay warm for Christmas Eve indoors? Catch the 2 pm Matinee or 7 pm showing of Frank Capra’s classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Carmike Cinema! This movie is a cherished Christmas tradition for countless families. Building & loan owner George Bailey (James Stewart) is all that stands between the good people of Bedford Falls and the wicked miser Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore). When misfortune strikes on Christmas Eve, George realizes, with the help of an angel named Clarence (Henry Travers), that he truly has a “wonderful life.” (“no man is a failure who has friends.”) Rated PG.

Christmas Events in Destin – Dining

Now we all know that one of the best things about the holiday season is all the amazing FOOD we get to devour! Destin sure does not disappoint this year in the cuisine department.

The Henderson Resort (Christmas Eve)
Join The Henderson Resort for an evening of holiday tradition for their annual Christmas Eve Dinner. Delight in a beautiful 4-course meal with perfect wine pairings.
$79 Per Person | $29 per child | Three and under complimentary
Exclusive of Tax and Gratuity
Reservations are Required
Call Primrose 850.424.4400  The Henderson

Havana Beach Bar & Grill (Christmas Eve)
Celebrate Christmas Eve and enjoy a special 3-course menu!
• $60* per adult | $30* per child (12 and under)
• Reservations required, call 850.588.2882

The Henderson Resort (Christmas Day)
After a morning of tearing open presents, join The Henderson Resort at Primrose in your PJs for a festive brunch buffet. You’ll enjoy carving stations and all your holiday traditional favorites.
For reservations and information, please call 850.424.4400
$45 per person | $19 per child
Prices do not include tax and gratuity.

Cuvée Kitchen + Wine Bar (Christmas Day) 
All is merry and bright at Cuvée Kitchen + Wine Bar this Christmas! Instead of wasting your day in the kitchen, let Cuvee take care of the cooking {and cleaning}. Cost to attend is $44.95 per guest, and $22.95 for children. The buffet will be available from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. To reserve your table, please call (850) 460-2909!

HarborWalk Village (Christmas Day)
Harborwalk Village will also be hosting a Christmas Day Feast! May your Christmas be Merry & Bright! Let the Grande Vista Bar & Grill do all the cooking and cleaning this year. Enjoy a special 3-Course menu featuring Corn & Crab Chowder, Prime Rib, Grouper and More.
Reservations are highly recommended: 850.424.0621.
Adults: $39 per person | Children 12 & Under: $15 per person ++

The Ocean Club
The Ocean Club has a special Christmas Day Menu that they are rolling out just for the Holidays. Please join them with your family for a special Christmas Day Brunch! Let their chefs prepare an irresistible meal you won’t forget! Please call 850-267-3666 for reservations. Seating is limited, so call today! Christmas Day they  will be open 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Christmas Events in Destin – Vacation Specials


Be sure to check out our last minute specials in case you haven’t booked your Winter vacation to Destin, FL yet! You’ll also receive FREE VIP perks during your stay! For availability visit or call (850)270-5227

From our family to yours, Destin Palms wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday!


For a list of additional events visit our events page at:

11th Annual Sugar Sands Charity Golf Classic

11th Annual Sugar Sands Charity Golf Classic
11th Annual Sugar Sands Charity Golf Classic

Planning your Destin vacation in October this year and want to golf for a good cause?

Be sure to check out the 11th Annual Sugar Sand Charity Golf Classic hosted at Kelly Plantation in Destin, FL. Destin Palms Vacations & Real Estate is a proud sponsor of this amazing event.

Grab your best golfing partners and mark your calendars for the 2018 Sugar Sands Golf Classic. Just like every year the event will be on Columbus Day, October 8, 2018! We are looking for sponsors to help us make this event great, call Allie to begin your partnership today! 850-864-4242. A big thank you to our current sponsors & in-kind sponsors! DL Curtis Construction Inc Noah Detention Construction, Silver Slipper Casino Hotel, Walborsky & Bradley, Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, Inc., Dena England Critch, CCB Community Bank, Destin Palms Vacations, Tuscany Italian Bistro, & Tommy Bahama.

Kelly Plantation Golf Club
$250 Per Player / $1,000 Per Team
-Pre-registration party at Tommy Bahama
-Tommy Bahama Golf Shirt
-Golf & lunch at Kelly Plantation
-Ditty Bag, awards, & prizes

Lunch at 11:30 AM; Shotgun Start at 1PM
Dinner to follow at Tuscany Italian Bistro

Destin Dining Christmas Day

Happy Holidays to those of you who are visiting us this year in Destin, FL! We are thrilled to have you and your family with us for the Holidays for a pleasant stay on the Emerald Coast.  Rest assured your dining options are unlimited Christmas Day. While our kitchen’s come well equipped with plenty of cooking supplies to whip up a feast for all, we’ve put together a list of several restaurants open on Christmas Day for those of you who want to take the day off! The following restaurants have confirmed their hours of operation on December 25th, 2017 below. Please note for large parties reservations are recommended to the following that applies.

Marlin Grill

9100 Baytowne Wharf Blvd, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 | Christmas Day Hours: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Enjoy regular hours at Marlin Grill on Christmas Eve, then return Christmas Day for dinner 5-9 p.m. Marlin Grill is at. For additional information or to reserve visit

Primrose Restaurant at Henderson

200 Henderson Resort Way, Destin, FL 32541 | Christmas Day Hours: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM
The Primrose Restaurant inside The Henderson for Christmas Day brunch. For additional information or to reserve visit

Cuvee 30A

12805 US-98, Inlet Beach, FL 32461 | Christmas Day Hours: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Reserve a table at chef Time Creehan’s restaurant Cuvee 30A and enjoy a gourmet Christmas dinner feast. Choose from Christmas Eve dinner, December 24th, 2017 or the Christmas Day feast. For pricing and reservations, visit

Havana Beach Bar & Grill

63 Main St, Rosemary Beach, FL 32461 | Christmas Day Hours: 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Kick back and allow someone else to do the Christmas cooking and cleaning at Havana Beach Bar and Grill inside The Pearl hotel in Rosemary Beach. Reservations are required for December 25th, 2017. Cost is $60 for adults and $30 per child. Price includes a choice of a special three-course meal. For additional information and reservations visit

Sandcastles Restaurant & Lounge

4000 S Sandestin Blvd, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 | Christmas Day Hours: 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Enjoy a Christmas Day feast at Sandcastles Restaurant and Lounge inside the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa. Cost is $43.95 for adults and $16.95 for children age 6-12. For additional information and reservations visit



Although these restaurants are closed Christmas Day, they are offering specialty Christmas Eve dinners.

Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer

210D Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541 | Christmas Eve Hours: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Brotula’s will be open for brunch, lunch, and dinner but will close at 9 PM on Christmas Eve. For additional information visit

Osaka Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

34745 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541 | Christmas Eve Hours: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Osaka is open for regular hours on Christmas Eve. For additional information visit

The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island

1450 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Ft. Walton Beach, FL 32548 Christmas Eve Hours: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Resturants along The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island will remain open on Christmas Eve which includes: Rockin’ Tacos and Floyd’s Shrimp House. For additional information visit

Surf Hut

551 Scenic Gulf Dr, Destin, FL 32550 | Christmas Eve Hours: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
The Surf Hut Destin is an open-air restaurant located directly on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico serving the best seafood, ribs, and oysters on the beach. For additional information visit


Still looking somewhere to stay on the Emerald Coast for a last minute getaway? You’re in luck! We’re now offering 20% OFF 3+ night stays for the month of December at several of our vacation rentals here in Destin, FL. Call us today to reserve your spot shoveling the sand instead of the snow! (850)270-5227
*Subject to availability. 3 Night minimum. Must mention special at time of booking. Valid for new reservations made for December 2017. Select properties.

Top Things To Do on a Rainy Day in Destin

If you are relaxing in a condo or home in Destin and experience some rain, don’t fret! You can still have a magical vacation! Here are a few of our favorite things to do when the beach needs some time to dry.

1. See a movie at one of our awesome movie theaters. Destiny Commons has a theater with a full bar inside and Grand Boulevard has a great movie theater too! * local tip – Grand Boulevard has a $5 movie deal on Tuesday.

2. Go bowling! Uncle Buck’s is a great place to spend a rainy afternoon. This underwater themed bowling alley is located in Destin Commons and offers fun, food and more! You can also go bowling at Hurricane Lanes, which also has a family friendly sports bar area and pool tables.

3. Enjoy some great food. When it’s raining out, you can still enjoy some amazing fresh seafood inside! Try one of the local restaurants and wait for the rain to pass. *local tip Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill has an arcade inside so you can relax and the kids can play games.

4. Take a spa day! A rainy day is a great excuse to enjoy a massage and pamper yourself. Destin has several spas that take walk-ins.

5. Go to a Museum. The Air Armament Museum in Fort Walton Beach is worth the drive. If you are into history, the military, or just like cool planes, this is a must see!

Things to do this weekend in Destin and 30A

Whether you are looking to cut a rug or find your center, there is something to do for every type of personality along the Gulf Coast this weekend. Here are a few of our top picks:

Saturday, July 22

The 4th Annual Fudpoker Run Benefitting OCSO Star Charity & Children In Crisis is Jet Ski and Wave Runner Poker Run benefiting Children in Crisis and OCSO Star Charity. This is a Personal Water Craft Poker Run with 7 stops around the Bay!

Rock The Docks at HarborWalk Village with free live music by Sway Jah Vu at 7 pm on the main stage on the Harborwalk.

Seaside Farmer’s Market offers fresh produce and delicious treats from 8 am to 2 pm on Scenic Highway 30A.

Summer Concert Series: Kane and the Saints at Gulf Place at Town Loop Center in Santa Rosa Beach. The free live music show will begin at 5 pm and end around 8 pm.


30A Farmer’s Market on at Rosemary Beach is the perfect place to pick up some fresh baked goods, fruits, vegetables, and more! The market is from 9 am to 1 pm.

Beach Zen Meditation at Grayton Beach State Park beginning at 6:30 pm.

There is always something fun to do on the beach! If you are planning a future visit to the area, please browse our wonderful selection of vacation condos and homes in Destin!

Events at The Village of Baytowne Wharf

While you are having a blast in your vacation rental in Destin, be sure to check out The Village of Baytowne Wharf! This area is a fantastic place to spend the day and offers tons of family fun, activities, restaurants and more! Free events are planned almost every day during the summer, so feel to visit more than once! Here is the schedule for summer 2017:

Sunday – Sunday Cinema on the Events Plaza Lawn. Lineup:

July 9 | Storks

July 16 | Finding Dory

July 23 | Inside Out

July 30 | Wall-E

Hydroflight Monday – Watch fly-board extraordinaire Ben Merrell do tricks over the Baytowne lagoon starting at 6:30pm.

Boomin’ Tuesday – Enjoy inflatables and lawn games starting at 6pm and then watch as fireworks light up the sky at 9:30.

Wednesday Night Concert Series – Free – Starts at 7pm on the Events Lawn. Lineup:

July 12 | Forrest Williams Band

July 19 | Lauren St. Jane

July 26 | Heather Gillis Band

Magical Thursday – Pirate Captain Davy wows the crowd from 7-9pm for free!

If you are in Destin, be sure to visit the Village of Baytowne Wharf! If you are planning a trip, take a look at our vacation rentals in Destin and find the perfect condo or home for your family vacation!

Summer Events in Destin!

Destin is an amazing place to visit in the summer with plenty of Florida sunshine, sugar white sands, and emerald waters to spend fun filled days with the family. Destin also offers several events all summer long to make sure that visitors and locals alike enjoy the wonderful shores of the Gulf Coast as much as possible. If you are enjoying a vacation rental in Destin this summer, here are a few of our favorite picks!

Rock the Docks at Harborwalk. Every Saturday in summer this Destin Harbor offers free live music at the main stage at 7 pm. Don’t forget to try one of the many amazing restaurants, enjoy a cocktail, and shop the boutiques!

Mattie Kelly Concerts in the Village. The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation presents Concerts in the Village every Thursday night! Bring your lawn chairs and picnic baskets, and settle in for an evening of live music on the amphitheater lawn. Cost is only $15!

Boomin’ Tuesday at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. Enjoy games and inflatables for the kids on the main lawn beginning at 7 pm, and then watch as the sky lights up with a fireworks show at 9:15. This event is free!

If you are visiting the Gulf Coast this summer, be sure to check out our wonderful selection of vacation condos and homes in Destin!

Visit Destin this Spring!

Destin is a wonderful place for a vacation any time of year, but spring is an especially magical time to experience the sugar white sands and emerald waters of the Gulf Coast. How great is Destin in the springtime? Oh, let us count the ways! Here are just a few of our favorite reasons why you should plan a vacation in Destin:

Dolphin Cruise! One of the most unforgettable moment you will have in Destin is when you first see a pod of dolphins playing joyfully in their natural habitat along the Destin Harbor and the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. A dolphin cruise is a fantastic way to go on a boat tour of the harbor and the captains know where the dolphins like to hang out! You can watch and take once in a lifetime pictures as dolphins play beside the boat! There are also sunset options, so you can enjoy a breathtaking sunset over the horizon as well! This is an amazing way to spend an evening in Destin. Reserve your vacation rental with Destin Palms for spring and you can take advantage of a free dolphin cruise for one guest for each day of your stay, excluding your day of departure. That means you can go every day you are here and one of you will be free! This is an awesome deal. Don’t delay. Call today.

Try Snorkeling! Another wonderful way to spend your day during a spring vacation in Destin is to try snorkeling! The water is warm enough and there are several companies that offer, training, equipment,  and group tours. The waters of Destin are clear and gorgeous, and the captains now right where to take you!  You can also choose to go SCUBA diving or SNUBA. SNUBA is a mix of SCUBA and snorkeling. You do where a breathing tank so you can go a bit deeper than snorkeling, but the tank is not attached to you and you don’t have to be certified. SNUBA is a great option for our more adventurous guests!

Dine on Fresh Gulf Seafood! There are several restaurants in Destin that offer Gulf to Table dining, so you know it’s fresh! Try a fried shrimp po’boy, gumbo, or succulent grilled grouper. Seafood in Destin is about as fresh as it gets! Also, if you decide to go fishing, some places offer a “Hook and Cook” service and will prepare your fish for you however you want! That means after a day on the water, you can enjoy a drink while a chef prepares your daily catch. Pretty cool, huh?

If you’re ready to make this spring the best ever, reserve a vacation rental in Destin and take advantage of a free dolphin cruise! Call now!

Valentine’s Day in Destin

Valentine’s Day is almost here! We have some amazing Valentine’s Day vacation rental deals in Destin right now, and if you are looking for ways to impress your sweetie, then we have some great ideas on how to plan a romantic weekend here in Destin. Before you go buying that box of chocolates and teddy bear, take a look at some of these suggestions and take your romance to the next level.

A sunset dolphin. Yes, a cruise where you get to sit back and experience a breathtaking sunset over the Gulf of Mexico while dolphins play in the water beside the boat. This is an unforgettable way to spend an evening in Destin. Have a glass of wine, sit back, and relax on this wonderful cruise. If you book a condo with us now, you can enjoy a free dolphin cruise. In fact, you can enjoy a free dolphin cruise every day of your stay, excluding the day you leave. Awesome, right? We are basically planning your Valentine’s Day for you.

Enjoy a delicious meal. Destin offers some amazing dining experiences. For a casual yet romantic dinner, enjoy a meal and drinks on the third floor of Tailfins and delight in a stunning view of the harbor while you dine. For a formal and amazing experience, make a reservation at the Beach Walk Cafe and you can choose to dine at a table that is in the sand in front of the Gulf. This is fine dining literally directly on the pristine sand with the waves of the Gulf of Mexico washing over the shore right next to you. Beach Cafe is always voted one of the most romantic places and they deserve it.

Relax at a beautiful beach condo or vacation home in Destin. Many of our condos and homes offer luxury amenities that will make leaving the vacation rental a hard decision. Swim in heated pools, enjoy a sunset from your private balcony, take a stroll along the beach, and soak in a hot tub. We have some spaces available for Valentine’s Day weekend that will help you create magical memories that you can cherish for a lifetime.
If you are still looking for a vacation rental in Destin, call us now to hear about some amazing last minute rates we have!