5 Reasons to Love Winter in Destin

November 30, 2023

From fewer crowds to delightful holiday celebrations to countless outdoor adventures, Destin offers the perfect blend of tranquility and rejuvenation, making it an ideal destination for your winter escape. You’ll also notice the winter months bring cheaper airline fares, more flight and rental car availability, less traffic, and easier travel schedules, allowing your relaxing getaway to begin the moment you leave your doorstep! 

Known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” Destin has become a world-renowned beach destination with plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy year-round. With miles of white sand beaches and serene emerald green waters, it’s no surprise that Destin consistently lands on lists of Florida’s top beaches. While late spring and summer remains the most popular time to visit the Emerald Coast, there are several reasons we think you should consider planning a getaway this winter in Destin! 

Mild Weather

Bid farewell to freezing temperatures and gray skies. There’s no such thing as the “winter blues” in Destin! During the winter months, high temperatures in the mid-60s are the norm, making days spent outdoors comfortable and pleasant. Destin also has an above-average amount of sunny days (226 on average!), so you can expect mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine during your stay. If you want to escape from a colder climate, spending winter in Destin may be the perfect escape!

Fewer Crowds

During spring and summer, crowds flock to the Gulf Coast. Destin’s small population of around 14,000 people surges in late spring and early summer, with an estimated 80% of Destin’s yearly 4.5 million visitors arriving during the summer months. It’s common to see beaches with multiple rows of beach chairs and umbrellas and our emerald waters brimming with families enjoying the sunshine during peak season. 

While we understand the appeal of visiting during the warmer months, we also advocate planning an off-season Gulf Coast getaway! When you visit Destin in the winter, you can take your pick from the best beach spots and enjoy virtually no wait times at your favorite Destin restaurants and attractions. If you want to relax, recharge, and beat the crowds, a winter vacation in Destin is calling your name!

Holiday Events

It’s easy to make your holiday season merry and bright in Destin. With a full lineup of holiday events and festive occasions, winter in Destin brings the holiday spirit without the chill, and here are a few of our favorites:

Events at The Village of Baytowne Wharf

The Village of Baytowne Wharf transforms into a holiday wonderland during the winter months. If you’re spending your holiday season on the Emerald Coast this year, you won’t want to miss their lineup of festive activities and lively events! From “Nights of Lights,” a nightly light show during December, to visits with Santa, to a special holiday edition Wednesday concert series, you’ll find something for every family member. If you’re visiting after the holiday season, enjoy ice skating at “Baytowne on Ice” through February! 

Events at Destin Harborwalk Village

Destin’s Harborwalk Village is an outdoor entertainment center and popular gathering spot with shops, restaurants, and attractions for all ages. The harbor comes to life each winter with visits from Santa, Mistletoe Markets, orchestra performances, a holiday boat parade, and more!  Come out and enjoy the festivities, enjoy delicious seafood at one of the many waterfront restaurants, and watch the boats as they make their way back to the harbor. Be sure to check out their events calendar and plan your adventure!

Baytowne Countdown to New Year’s Eve

Ring in the New Year at the Village of Baytowne Wharf! This family-friendly event starts early so the kids can join in this memorable celebration that includes face painting, live music, and an early fireworks display. But that’s just the beginning. The fun continues with dancing, live music, and a spectacular midnight fireworks show for the adult crowd at midnight. Raise your glass, toast to the New Year, and get ready for an evening to remember!

The Sandestin Gumbo Festival 

The Sandestin Gumbo Festival has been bringing locals and visitors together for decades, and this year is no exception. A steaming bowl of gumbo is the perfect way to warm up during the winter in Destin, and you can join the fun as the area’s best chefs compete for “Best Gumbo on the Emerald Coast.” From rich and savory seafood gumbo to hearty chicken and sausage stews, you’ll find the perfect blend of flavors to chase away any winter chill. Whether you prefer it spicy, mild, or somewhere in between, you’re bound to find a new favorite here!

Best Bloody Mary on the Beach

What’s better after a full day of tasting our area’s best gumbo than a day spent tasting and voting for the best bloody mary on the beach? And for those of you with a tried and true bloody mary recipe that friends and family just can’t get enough of, be sure to enter for a chance to win.  Whether sharing or sipping, this is an event you don’t want to miss!

Outdoor Adventures

Mild temperatures, dry weather, and sunny skies make the ideal backdrop for any activity your outdoor-loving heart wants to experience during your Destin vacation. Even during winter in Destin, there’s no shortage of activities to entertain even the wildest adventurists. Does your idea of the ideal vacation include spending every second you can outdoors? Well, you’re in luck because hiking, biking, paddle boarding, and kayaking are just as popular in the winter months! 

From must-visit golf courses to an assortment of outdoor activities (like visiting local favorite Crab Island), the only worry you’ll have is how you will fit it all in!

Cozy Accommodations

After a fun-filled day packed with holiday festivals and outdoor adventures, there’s no better feeling than knowing you have cozy accommodations to head back to. Booking with Scenic Stays means you’ll have every comfort right at your fingertips! 

Equipped with everything you need to relax, recharge, and feel right at home, our vacation homes are centrally located and designed to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Whether your ideal night includes ordering takeout from a local restaurant and enjoying the coastal breezes on your balcony or spending quality time with your family by whipping up a home-cooked meal in the kitchen, rest assured you’ll have just what you need. 

While each season brings something new to discover, spending winter in Destin is a unique way to experience our little piece of paradise. Book your stay in Destin with Scenic Stays today! 

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