Celebrate New Year’s on the Coast

December 15, 2021

It’s that time of year again when we say “farewell” to the old year and “hello” to the new. It’s a  time for reflection and resolutions, marked by celebrations and festivities and often shared with family and friends. For many, it means staying up until the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve, raising a glass, and toasting the arrival of the New Year. Some will head out for a night on the town, complete with dancing, cocktails, and a captivating fireworks display, while others will opt to stay in and quietly bid adieu to the past twelve months discreetly under the radar. 

However you plan to usher in the New Year, you’ll find a plentitude of activities scattered throughout Destin and on 30A, all serving as inspiration for the year ahead. Bring in the New Year with a good meal, a great time, and memories you’ll treasure forever along the Emerald Coast!

Everything You Need to Know to Celebrate New Year’s in Destin and on 30A

Festive Countdowns

What’s more fun than a street party surrounded by enthusiastic people eager to have a good time? At Baytowne Wharf, you’ll find a plethora of activities for adults and kids all year, and December is no exception. Nestled along the Choctawhatchee Bay in Sandestin, the Village of Baytowne Wharf boasts a diverse array of boutiques, eateries, and nightlife, and that’s just the beginning. A laser maze, carousel, ropes course, and zip line are just a few of the attractions available throughout the year, but the holidays bring a whole new flavor. From ice skating to visits with Santa, this festive season culminates in the Baytowne Countdown, a free event and fun New Year’s Eve gathering the whole family will enjoy. With face painting, kids’ activities, two fireworks shows, music, and dancing, it’s definitely a bash you won’t want to miss! 

Looking for something a little quieter but still want to share the night with others? Countdown Seaside is the perfect event for an evening under the stars. Bring some cozy chairs and a blanket, settle in for some live music, and welcome the New Year in the amphitheater at Seaside Square.

Ball Drops

Spend New Year’s Eve at Harborwalk Village, an open-air venue overlooking the Destin harbor. Dining, shopping, nightlife, and stunning views combine to make this a fun place throughout the year with tons for the whole family to see and do. Enjoy the local restaurants, grab some souvenirs, rent a pontoon boat, and catch the sunset.  Just be sure to get back in time to enjoy the New Year’s Eve festivities, including two fireworks displays, live music throughout the evening, and a midnight ball drop signaling the start of the New Year. The Beach Ball Drop at The Big Chill in WaterSound presents a relaxed, casual affair destined to create a memorable evening. You’ll find great food, shopping, and events all year long at this local gathering spot, but New Year’s Eve offers up a DJ dance party with an early countdown and beach ball drop on the sprawling outdoor lawn. Relax in comfy chairs and enjoy a magical night!

For a fun and festive event in Destin just for the kids, Lulu’s Noon Year’s Eve starts early but packs a punch with a magic show, arts and crafts, and inflatables. Fireworks and a beach ball drop earlier in the day let the littles join in the fun, too!

Fabulous Meals

With so many restaurants featuring exclusive menus on New Year’s Eve, there’s no need to spend the holiday in the kitchen. From fresh, casual dining to elegant affairs, here are just a few to get the evening started in Destin and on 30A:

  • Local Catch Bar and Grill – for a fresh take on coastal cuisine with a southern twist, this casual cafe’ in Blue Mountain Beach features a laid-back, kid-friendly atmosphere with live music, specialty drinks, and, some might argue, the best gumbo on 30A.
  • Pescado  – with two events on the books, you’re guaranteed a festive evening in Rosemary Beach. “In the Midnight Hour” features a three-course dinner, dancing, and live music, while “The Courtyard” offers up heavy hors d’oeuvres, a signature band, custom cocktails, and a midnight champagne toast.
  • Fish Out of Water (FOOW) – for a fun evening in a casual yet upscale environment, start the celebration in WaterColor with a multicourse meal, champagne, music, and a photo booth capturing snapshots of the festive occasion.
  • Cuvee 30A – for elevated dining in Inlet Beach, reserve your spot early and prepare yourself for a meal to remember. Enjoy coastal cuisine, and award-winning wine bumped up a notch with an exclusive menu for New Year’s Eve. 
  • George’s  – nestled in the white-walled community of Alys Beach, select from an array of seating timeframes for a four-course dinner with wine pairings available for an additional fee. Kids are welcome, and the whole family will enjoy the flavor sensations that await.
  • Edward’s – expect excellent service, an award-winning wine list, live music, and a beautifully presented four-course meal. Relax, stay awhile, and savor the evening in this vibrant and entertaining setting in Rosemary Beach. 
  • Cafe Thirty-A – for fine casual dining in Seagrove Beach, featuring an exclusive menu, a four-course meal, and a fabulous martini selection destined to get you in the spirit. Top the night off with some notable dessert mentions, including a crème brulée flight or Krispy Cream donut bread pudding.
  • Hotel Effie – Head to Sandestin and raise your glass to a raw bar of shrimp, oysters, lobster, and king crab, followed by dinner and dessert at Ovide. Head up to the Ara Rooftop Pool and Loung for live music, cocktails, fireworks, and a great view of the Emerald Coast.

Fireworks Cruises

Enjoy a delicious meal and a fabulous light show on the Destin Fireworks Dinner Cruise aboard the 125′ Solaris Yacht in Sandestin. This four-and-a-half-hour cruise offers up a five-course meal, dancing and music, party favors, and a midnight champagne toast! If you’d like a shorter version, dine on coastal cuisine, browse the shops at Destin Harborwalk Village, and then set sail on a Southern Star Fireworks Cruise. The whole family will enjoy a ninety-minute voyage offering the best vantage point for the fireworks display over the East Pass.

Private Celebrations

Scenic Stays has the perfect New Year’s getaway accommodation, whether you’re bringing your large family, planning a couples retreat, or traveling solo with your furry companion. Stay in for a movie or game night, order in with a food delivery service on 30A or Destin, or prepare a fabulous meal in one of our vacation rentals, fully equipped to accommodate your every need. Whether in Destin, Miramar Beach, or the communities along 30A, you’ll find an endless selection of memorable ways to ring in the New Year!

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