Destin & 30A Spring Break for Families

January 13, 2023

Now that the holidays are over, it seems we’re all back to the grind until, alas, beloved spring break! That sweet, celebratory reprieve that takes the chill off winter and gets us all in the mood for summer. Although spring break presents an occasion for students to take a little pause from their studies, it’s also a great opportunity for the whole family to let off a little steam. We can’t think of a better place for your spring break adventures than the Emerald Coast.

Beyond sunny days, emerald waters, and miles of sandy shores, you’ll find plenty of recreation to keep the kids entertained all week. Whether you’re looking for an active itinerary, a chill vacay, or a combination of both, the Emerald Coast is an excellent spring break destination for families, and here’s why.

Where to Stay

You don’t have to be a savvy traveler to appreciate the impact accommodations can have on your vacation experience. Space, comfort, location, and amenities are all vitally important and should be at the top of the list when selecting lodging, but they may not be your only considerations. Will you be working while the kids play during a portion of the trip? A private, designated space away from distractions might be in order. Are you willing to drive to the beach, or would you prefer to have the sandy shores just outside your door? Will you need a spacious kitchen to prepare meals and help trim costs during your stay, or is proximity to dining and attractions more important?

Give some thought to amenities so you can cater to everyone’s interests and needs. Would bikes, a private pool, or an EV charging station be deal breakers? It’s your vacation, so be selective. Whether you want to be right in the heart of Destin, take in sweeping vistas along 30A, or catch tranquil views somewhere in between, Scenic Stays has the perfect home or condo to meet all your vacation needs. Need some guidance? Read our tips to find the perfect Destin or 30A vacation rental.

Water Activities

It’s easy to create a kid-friendly agenda when surrounded by water, and you’ll find popular watersports everywhere. From snorkeling, kayaking, and parasailing to fishing, diving, and paddle boarding, there are dozens of ways to enjoy our turquoise waters.

Check out the local marine life via Snuba, a fun, certification-free alternative to diving. The kids will love seeing tropical fish, dolphins, and turtles while paddling around in the Florida sunshine. Pass the time at Crab Island, a must-see in Destin and a favorite for locals and visitors alike. Accessible only by boat, you can either rent your own or catch a ride from a vendor, then hang out at the sandbar and play on the water all day. Listen to live bands on drifting stages, challenge yourself on floating obstacle courses, or simply bask in the sun with a chilled beverage. Of course, if you just want to hit the beach, the calm Gulf waters are perfect for small children to play in the sand, collect seashells, or paddle about on rafts.

Land Adventures

Although a trip to the beach is a must on your spring break vacation, the family fun extends beyond our beautiful waterways. You’ll find a host of activities on shore that are just as inviting. Scenic drives are a relaxing way to take in the scenery, but we suggest getting out in the fresh spring air to experience the area. Explore 30A on bikes via the Timpoochee Trail, a 19-mile paved path that begins in Santa Rosa Beach. Take in the gorgeous ocean and lake views following the trail as it meanders through state parks, beach access points, and charming communities. Each town is worthy of a brief stop, leisurely meal, or refreshing ice cream cone, and it’s a fun way for the whole family to discover the many gems on 30A.

If you like to hike, pack a picnic lunch, bring your suits, and travel through Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Point Washington State Forest, or Grayton Beach State Park. You’ll find plenty of photo ops along the way, the kids will enjoy seeing the sights, and it’s a great way to reconnect with loved ones while taking in the views.

Fun Attractions

You’ll miss out on all the fun if you only plan to visit our pristine white beaches during your stay. Take a break from the sand and hit Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park, or learn about our friendly dolphins at the Gulfarium. The Track promises hours of fun with go-karts, bumper boats, and blaster boats, and Fudpucker’s is more than just a lunch stop. Tour the gift shop, hit the alligator park, catch a show, and let the kids hold and feed a live gator.

Make an afternoon of it and hit Baytowne Wharf or Destin Harborwalk, both entertainment districts showcasing tremendous views, excellent shopping, and fantastic restaurants. You’ll also find plenty of fun activities for the kids, including ziplines, ropes courses, and a playground for the littles.

Family-Friendly Restaurants

We’d be remiss if we neglected to mention the fabulous dining options in the area. From open-air cafes to swanky upscale eateries, Destin and 30A boast an array of casual dining options featuring Gulf-to-table cuisine. A few places to call out offering food and fun:

  • Lulu’s – enjoy coastal cuisine with a Southern flair while the kids embark on the ropes course in the sand just steps away.
  • McGuire’s Irish Pub – enjoy a tasty Irish ale and traditional pub fare while the kids choose from a burger menu that’s anything but standard. 
  • Donut Hole – known for hearty Southern breakfasts, excellent service, and delightful pastries, the kids will go crazy for the homemade donuts. 
  • Crab Trap – featuring fresh, local seafood prepared to order and located right on the beach.

You’ll also find several farmer’s markets that present excellent opportunities for the kids to sample something new. Select from locally-grown produce, veggies, and seafood and bring it back to your vacation rental for a relaxing evening in.

No matter what kind of experience you’re looking for, Destin and 30A offer plenty of versatility to help you make the most of Spring Break with your family!

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