5 Reasons Families Love Fall in Northwest Florida

September 2022

Fall typically sees the kids returning to school and maybe a shift in your workload after that deliciously long summer. But it’s not a bad time to consider a long weekend trip before things get too hectic. After all, you’ll find ideal conditions, fewer crowds, and reduced rates, all the more reason to consider a refreshing fall getaway. With miles of shoreline, activities for the whole family, and plenty of nature to discover, it’s easy to see why Northwest Florida is the perfect destination for your fall getaway.

Pristine beaches, brilliant sunsets, and glimpses of native wildlife aren’t the only thing you’ll find along the Emerald Coast. Southerners celebrate fall with a host of fun activities and festivals that occur this time of year too. Gone are the days of beach towns ‘shutting down’ for the ‘off season’; Northwest Florida is the perfect place to fall in love with fall at the beach. Here’s why.

Incredible Weather

Since it’s the beginning of the school year, homework hasn’t picked up yet. Thankfully, the kids aren’t stuck in front of a computer, bogged down with assignments at this early juncture. That’s a good thing because you’ll want to get outside and drink up the Florida sunshine. Honest locals will tell you that fall is their favorite time of year here and, hands down, the most enjoyable time at the beach. And lower humidity, warm air and water temperatures, and thinner crowds mean you’ll have a little piece of paradise to enjoy all by yourself.

It’s also warm enough to get in the water, so pack a lunch, grab your suits, and head to the sandy shores. With daytime temps hovering around the low 70s and rarely falling below the mid-50s, you won’t need to pack much beyond a few essentials. There are several places to rent bikes in Destin and 30A, so take advantage of the lovely reprieve from the heat and stellar weather, and get out and explore!

Fewer Crowds

In the absence of summer travelers, it’s much easier to explore the area’s beauty without all the hustle and bustle that accompanies peak season. Store owners and shopkeepers tend to be much more relaxed, offering personalized attention and helpful advice and encouraging you to make the most of your stay. You’ll also note more opportunities to engage with the locals as they are typically most active outdoors after Labor Day. After all, it’s their favorite time of year here too! You might also find a more authentic experience without the crowds to contend with, and residents are happy to lend new perspectives and insight into our beautiful Emerald Coast. Whether deciding where to go shopping, which restaurants they prefer in Destin, or how to find the perfect vacation rental, our friendly locals are more than happy to help out!

Reduced Rates

It’s certainly more economical to explore Destin or 30A during the shoulder season, and you’ll find savings on everything from accommodations to attractions. Even restaurants reduce their rates, giving you more flexibility with your choices in the quieter fall months. Traffic is minimal, points of interest are much less hectic, and it’s the perfect time to enjoy a myriad of outdoor pursuits without the wait. Traveling this time of year also frees up extra cash for activities and indulgences you might not usually entertain. Take advantage of your fraction of the cost, off-season vacation, and book an additional tour or excursion, take in a show, or spend a night out enjoying the local music scene. Adopt a play-all-day attitude and see where the gloriously sunny, deliciously crisp autumn days take you!

Festive Events

Considering all the family-friendly happenings this time of year, why not plan your visit to coincide with one of our fall events in Destin or 30A? It will get everyone in the spirit of the season, add some extra fun for the whole family, and give the kids something to talk about at recess. The Destin Seafood Festival returns faithfully each October, and the Destin harbor serves as its stunning backdrop. With the weather so agreeable, you can easily spend hours browsing through the booths, perusing local artwork for sale, and sampling an assortment of freshly prepared local and regional seafood.

It’s no wonder the Destin Fishing Rodeo engages people of all ages. Featuring a host of fun activities spanning the month of October, take your pick from an array of events sure to delight. A wagon boat parade is a free event on the Destin harbor that sees elementary-aged participants parading wagons disguised as charter boats, pirate ships, and more. Take in a 5K fun run meandering along the beautiful Choctawhatchee Bay through historic Destin neighborhoods. The kids can also enjoy a free movie on the JumboTron at AJs while snacking on popcorn, hot dogs, and snow cones, and the whole family will enjoy watching the daily weigh-ins as the ships return with their catch on the docks at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. You’ll find a host of fall events in Destin and 30A, each one sure to make your trip memorable.

Hidden Treasures

If you’ve been coming to the area for years, you probably return to revisit some of your favorite pastimes. A family outing at Big Kahuna’s or the Track is always fun, and renting a pontoon boat to spend the day at Crab Island is something the whole family will remember for years to come.We certainly encourage you to hit the hot spots, but why not take some time to get off the beaten path and explore other areas that are just as entertaining? Enjoy nature without the crowds, catch the sunset from someplace new, and succumb to spontaneity, free of expectations and timelines. Before long, you might stumble across a few hidden gems not typically featured on local websites. Let’s face it; like-minded travelers return to the Emerald Coast because there’s always so much to do, and there’s something for everyone. Just imagine what you might find if you take the road less traveled this fall in Northwest Florida!

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