Our Top 5 Activities for Destin Snowbirds

November 9, 2023

When temperatures plummet up north, Northwest Florida offers a warm and inviting haven for Destin snowbirds looking to escape the winter chill. Although beach strolls, exploring the local cuisine, and watching football in your vacation home or condo can be relaxing, you might yearn for something more. Fortunately, it’s easy to find a variety of Destin snowbird activities to keep the winter blues at bay. From fun events to social gatherings to exciting excursions, there’s no shortage of options to make your Destin snowbird experience unforgettable!

Here’s a list of our top 5 activities for Destin snowbirds, offering non-stop entertainment all winter.

Hit a Bowling Alley

The bowling scene may have changed a little over the years, but the game is still the same, and the nostalgia lives on in Destin! Perfect any time of year, bowling provides an excellent opportunity to socialize, relieve stress, and even get in a little light exercise. If you haven’t been in a while, you’ll quickly see how today’s bowling alleys are redefining the traditional pastime. Evolving from stand-alone alleys to large entertainment centers, you’ll find delicious menus, fun themes, and modern technology in today’s lane, offering a whole new level of entertainment!

With pool, ping pong, and darts thrown in the mix, Hurricane Lanes offers plenty of engaging activities for everyone in your group. If your Friday snowbird bowling game isn’t up to speed, refuel at the cafe, grab a refreshing beverage at the bar, and steady yourself for another round of friendly competition! For a unique experience, hit Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl & Grill in the Destin Commons. You’ll feel like you’re beneath the ocean on a deep-sea dive in this marine-themed bowling alley featuring wooden lanes, underwater scenery, and life-sized recreations of marine life. Enjoy sandwiches, salads, and burgers at the Grill, showcase your impressive bowling skills, and leave no pin standing!

Book a Tee Time

There’s nothing better than getting out in the Florida sunshine and whacking a few balls around. Lovers of the game of golf are always looking for a new challenge, and you’ll find plenty of courses in Destin, each catering to different levels and abilities. The golf scene here is vibrant, and if you’re itching to get out on the fairway and hone your skills, you’ll find the perfect course nearby!

Start on the west end of Destin and hit Indian Bayou Golf and Country Club, an excellent course for those interested in sharpening their long game. Kelly Plantation Golf Club offers stunning views of the Choctawhatchee Bay, while Regatta Bay Golf and Yacht Club ranks as one of the top 15 courses in Florida. Whether going for par at Emerald Bay Golf Club or attempting any of the four championship courses at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get that hole-in-one!

Master Pickleball

Pickleball has become increasingly popular, and for good reason. It’s easy to play, the pace is slower, it requires minimal equipment, and chasing that little ball around is a fun way to exercise! A multigenerational sport attracting people of all ages, pickleball offers a welcoming environment, encouraging enthusiasts to gather on the court, enjoy a little friendly competition, and build lasting friendships. Whether you’re new to pickleball or never even picked up a paddle, you’ll find plenty of places in Destin to learn more about the sport. 

Centrally located, Buck Destin Park offers two free outdoor courts, and picnic tables nearby provide a nice place to brag about your pickleball skills and enjoy lunch afterward. A one-time fee will get you into a game at the Destin United Methodist Church, featuring four indoor courts with portable nets requiring setup. Although reservations aren’t available, courts are available Monday-Wednesday from 9 to 11 a.m. on a first come, first serve basis. Be sure to swing by The Donut Hole, a local favorite, to refuel those tanks! The Destin Community Center offers three indoor wood courts, available for a one-time fee on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:30 to 1:30 p.m. Walk to McGuire’s Irish Pub afterward for a delicious meal sure to satisfy the heartiest appetite and reference Pickleheads, an excellent resource for other pickleball locations in the vicinity.

Take a Scenic Cruise

Given the mild temperatures year-round, water activities are prevalent, even during the winter in Destin. It’s common to see people playing in the surf, fishing along the shoreline, and kitesurfing on Choctawhatchee Bay. Even if you’re not interested in plunging into the Gulf of Mexico in January, Destin offers plenty of ways to enjoy the water, from dolphin excursions to sunset sails!

The folks at the Southern Star in the Destin harbor are happy to set you up on an unforgettable adventure of your choice. Offering many cruise options, they’ll ensure an experience as remarkable as the Destin coastline. Whether you’re interested in learning more about our local bottlenose dolphins or catching stunning sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico, there’s no better way to enjoy the water than on a cruise. Be sure to check out the other available excursions while on the harbor, where you’ll find everything from fishing excursions to jet ski rentals and more!

Join Fellow Snowbirds

Destin sees their share of visitors from all over the Northern United States, Canada, and beyond looking to soak up the sun on our sandy shores. Part of the fun of being a Destin snowbird is meeting other like-minded people on their travels, but sometimes it’s hard to find them. If you missed them on the golf course, enjoying your scenic cruise, or crushing it on the pickleball courts, we’ve got a few other ideas to make your winter stay in Destin unforgettable!

Join The Destin Snowbirds, a local organization created to connect people, promote social activities, and foster charitable endeavors for Destin winter visitors. Weekly meetings feature live entertainment, and the website offers resources to engage in the community, whether embarking on a harbor cruise, attending seasonal dances, or volunteering at various events. Although technically not in Destin, the Walton County Snowbirds provides information and activities for snowbirds throughout Northwest Florida. From ballroom dancing and playing bridge to trips to Biloxi and water aerobics, you’ll find countless ways to entertain yourselves. With socials planned throughout each month and golf leagues to join, you may never want to leave the Emerald Coast!

Need a place to stay during your winter escape? Browse our lovely selection of snowbird-friendly properties to consider your home away from home in Destin!

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