Top 5 Reasons to Love Spring in Destin
January 13, 2022
Thousands of tourists flock annually to Destin every summer to enjoy the powder white sand and emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” has become a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts and a world-class vacation destination brimming with activity. From water sports, fishing, and golf, to the many festivals, events, and attractions in Destin, this little piece of paradise offers something for everyone. So why wait for summer when you can take advantage of all the area has to offer before the crowds arrive?
Spring is right around the corner and longer, warmer days encourage lots of time spent outdoors. With air temperatures averaging in the low seventies to the mid-eighties and water temps just as pleasant, there’s no limit to your land and sea adventures. Although you’ll find countless reasons to visit, we’re offering up the top five that should have you making plans to head our way this spring!
Why You Should Visit Destin in the Spring
If you’re new to the area, you’ll find the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico a sight to behold. Gentle lapping waves offer the perfect backdrop for a myriad of water sports, and, as the locals will attest, getting in or on the water should definitely be a priority. The Destin harbor is a great place to start, with an array of watercraft rentals available to accommodate individual pursuits and group outings. Explore the waterways on jet skis, kayaks, or paddleboards, or rent a pontoon boat and take the whole crowd out for a day in the sun. After all, you’ll need some way to get to Crab Island, which is simply a must-do during your time here.
Book a fishing charter or dinner cruise and let someone else take the helm while you sit back, relax, and enjoy lazy afternoons on the water. Explore the underwater world while snorkeling or take in unobstructed views from above via parasail. Both will lend a glimpse of the local marine life, including fish, dolphins, turtles, manatees, and stingrays!
The sugar-white sands of Destin, composed of Appalachian quartz crystals and a powdery soft underfoot, invite people of all ages to come and play. With 12 different public beach access points in Destin, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect spot to sunbathe, swim, build sandcastles, or collect seashells. Whether you’re looking for kid-friendly beaches with shallow waters, spots with a few more waves for bodyboarding or surfing, or still waterways better suited for paddleboards, you’ll find it all nearby.
Don’t have everything you need for your time at the beach? No worries! You can easily rent gear that will undoubtedly enhance your stay. Whether you need a bike or golf cart to get to the beach or beach chairs and an umbrella once you arrive, you’ll find everything you need to enjoy the sunny days of spring along the Emerald Coast.
Festivals and Events
Warmer weather signals the beginning of festival season along the Gulf Coast. We encourage you to check out the local art, live music, and great food at one or all of Destin’s annual spring events. The Mac and Cheese Festival is a fun way for the whole family to enjoy a favorite southern staple prepared by local chefs in ways beyond traditional. Sample the offerings and cast your vote at the Destin Commons, a popular outdoor center with shops, restaurants, and a movie theater featuring the latest releases. The South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival at Grand Boulevard in Sandestin is another favorite. Featuring more than 600 wines, you’ll find knowledgeable connoisseurs eager to impart their wisdom at this festive four-day celebration.
ArtsQuest Fine Arts and Music Festival provide the perfect opportunity to interact with local artists presenting works in various categories. From ceramics and glass jewelry to digital art and photography, you’re bound to find a keepsake to commemorate your time here. The Village at Baytowne Wharf serves as the backdrop for the Sandestin Wine Festival, a four-day event popular with locals and visitors alike. Listen to live music, stroll through the booths, and sample wine while enjoying the coastal breezes and beautiful spring weather.
Each spring Destin’s entertainment districts come alive, providing a diverse mix of waterfront restaurants, funky bars, and lively entertainment. These centrally-located and dynamic areas capitalize on the beauty of the natural surroundings and offer plenty of entertainment both day and night. You’ll find something for everyone at Haborwalk Village, a popular retail, dining, and entertainment complex overlooking the Destin harbor. An adventure area for the kids, water activities for the whole family, and an ever-changing calendar of events ensure repeat visits from locals and visitors alike.
Stroll along the promenade at Baytowne Wharf, browse the shops and boutiques, then grab a bite at one of the restaurants overlooking Choctawhatchee Bay. You’ll undoubtedly return, partly because there’s so much to do, but mostly because there’s something for everyone. Kids will love the playground and carousel, while the Adventure Zone appeals to all ages. Challenge yourself on the Tower Climb, EuroBungy, or ropes courses or, better yet, enjoy a cocktail while the kids have at it! You’ll find the Village Calendar is an excellent resource for special events during the spring and throughout the year.
Aside from numerous golf courses offering every level of play, a plentitude of inshore, nearshore, and offshore fishing excursions, and the many beautiful nature parks in the area, you’ll find plenty more to see and do. Sure, you could spend every day at the beach, but don’t overlook the local attractions offering other fun experiences, many seeing fewer crowds this time of year.
The largest water park on the Emerald Coast and located right in the heart of Destin, Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park features water rides and slides, rivers and pools, and an array of kiddie rides. You’ll also find miniature golf for the whole family and several thrill rides for those that want to test their limits. Just minutes up the road is The Track Recreation Center, a family fun park with go-cart tracks, bumper cars, kids rides, and an arcade with over 50 games. Learn more about the local marine life through various exhibits, shows, and training demonstrations at the Gulfarium Marine and Adventure Park in nearby Fort Walton Beach. Exclusive animal encounters afford unique opportunities to interact with several different marine species, including dolphins, stingrays, and seals!
Where to Stay
Whether your spring vacay lands you in Destin or one of the many communities along Scenic 30A, you’ll find Scenic Stays offers a wide selection of beautiful vacation rentals to suit your every need. Get a jump on the season and book early for the best selection along the Emerald Coast!