8 Reasons to Visit Destin and 30A in the Fall

September 2, 2021

If you’ve ever visited Destin or 30A during the summer, you know it’s bustling with plenty of activities to entertain the whole family. The gorgeous coastline and excellent weather entice visitors from all over the U.S. to relish the Florida sunshine. Sunny, warm days seem to go on forever and linger until the sun sets late in the afternoon. With a variety of attractions, shopping, and restaurants serving fresh, local seafood, it’s an ideal vacation destination for visitors of all ages, ranging from large groups to couples’ vacations. 

What might be surprising is that you can enjoy that and more when fall rolls around, bringing with it milder temperatures, lower humidity, and fewer crowds. As the days cool off, and with no particular need for a reprieve from the heat, the best time of year to visit Destin and 30A might just be the fall.         

Whether here for a mini-day trip, a girl’s weekend, or a family vacay with the whole crew, you’ll find plenty to do this fall in Destin and on 30A!

Fall Activities in Destin and on 30A 

Head to the Beach 

Air and water temperatures average in the high 70s to low 80s this time of year, presenting ideal conditions to head to the beach for some fun in the sun. Scattered throughout  Destin and 30A, you’ll find lots of public beaches, each featuring something a little different than the last, and all gems in their own right.  Whether you prefer a secluded spot tucked away or something a little closer to shops and restaurants, you’ll find it all right here. Be sure to pack sunscreen and plenty of water, and seize the day!

Get Some Exercise 

Destin and 30A are renowned for outdoor activities, but autumn temps let you pack so much more into each day! Rent a bike and hit the Timpoochee Trail, a 19-mile paved bike path that parallels Scenic Highway 30A along the Gulf of Mexico. You’ll no doubt find a fall festival along the way and plenty of eateries for a light bite and refreshing beverage to recharge before heading out again. 

Choctawhatchee Bay, Destin Harbor, the Gulf of Mexico, and the coastal dune lakes along 30A  are just a few places to try paddleboarding. If you’re new to the sport, take a lesson and opt for the bays and lakes before venturing into more challenging waters. You’ll also find the area brimming with golf courses, from short affairs with primarily par threes to more challenging championship courses with longer holes. Forego the cart and opt to walk because the morning air will more than likely be refreshingly cool!

Browse the Farmer’s Markets

Come autumn, local growers present beautiful displays of harvested fruits and veggies in town squares and parks, and it’s delightful to sample the season’s tastings at farmer’s markets. You’ll find a wonderful assortment of fresh produce, local honey, baked goods, and delicious jams along 30A, with Grand BoulevardSeaside, and Rosemary Beach just a few worth mentioning. Browse the booths, sample the offerings, and enjoy the sunshine and autumn breezes!

Explore Nature

With such pristine beaches, it’s easy to forget that some amazing state parks and nature preserves are just off the beaten path. Dress in layers and spend the day hiking, exploring the trails amid dune lakes, salt marshes, coastal forests, and remote beaches. Many parks offer an array of activities, including swimming, biking, paddleboarding, and even horseback riding through the scrub oaks and magnolias prevalent in the area.

Sample Libations

If you’ve been enjoying chardonnay or pinot grigio alongside chilled salads during the steamy days of summer, switch it up for a nice cabernet or merlot. A medium to full-bodied red pairs nicely with the heartier dishes cool weather brings, and you’ll find plenty of places to try something new. Wine World is an excellent resource with made-to-order platters as ideal pairings to your favorite wines.

If you’re a lover of beer, swing by a World of Beer for a great variety of pilsners, porters, lagers, and more! With a constantly rotating locals list to choose from, build your own beer flight and sample as many as you like. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner and offering everything from boneless wings and parmesan truffle fries to flatbreads and burgers, you’ll find something for even the heartiest of appetites!

Catch a Game 

With autumn comes football, and Southerners love the opportunity to hang out with friends, eat some great food, and catch a game. The Big Chill is the ideal gathering spot with expansive lawns, plenty of seating, and a Jumbotron broadcasting college and NFL games. Even if you’re not a football fan, you’ll find plenty to do in this festive outdoor environment with great restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. Be sure to check their schedule beforehand for sporting event game times, concert specifics, and movie schedules.

Share a Sunset 

Autumn brings some of the most breathtaking sunsets the area has to offer, with plenty of places featuring unobstructed views, ideal for taking in the view. Pack a picnic, grab a light jacket, and head to Norriego Point or the Destin Jetties for spectacular views as the sun fades into the horizon. You might even get lucky and see Loggerhead or Green Sea turtles nesting! Book a Destin harbor tiki cruise or a sunset dolphin cruise, and watch the day come to a close while sailing on the crystal clear waters of the Coast. 

Take That Perfect Shot 

The sugar sand beaches and emerald waters present the perfect backdrop for photos, so gather the family together and create a keepsake to last a lifetime. Several photographers in the area are happy to take group and individual shots in a single session, guaranteeing plenty of photos of everyone in your group. Share them on social media, frame them, and decorate your home, or pick that perfect shot for your annual Christmas card.

There’s no need to wait for next summer when there are so many reasons to visit Destin and 30A in the fall. Plan your fall escape to the Emerald Coast today, and you’ll see soon enough why it’s the favorite time of year for those who live here!

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