Where to Catch the Best Sunsets in Destin Year Round
June 30, 2021
People come to Destin for all sorts of reasons, whether for the many local attractions, numerous outdoor eateries, endless shopping, or the miles of pristine coastline that borders the Gulf of Mexico. The emerald waters and sandy shores are undoubtedly breathtaking, but a trip to Destin wouldn’t be complete without catching a sunset or two. While it can be tricky to determine the best vantage point depending upon what time of year you visit, we’ve got the scoop on where the locals go to catch amazing sunsets.
We’re covering where to catch the best sunsets in Destin no matter what time of year you visit.
The Best Places to Catch Sunsets in Destin All Year Long
When the chill sets in on the rest of the world, Destin welcomes an influx of visitors, all here to enjoy the long days of summer. Although the sunsets are breathtaking, they don’t occur over the beach this time of year, but rather over the Choctawhatchee Bay. Here are some of our favorite spots for summer sunsets, with prime viewing time between 7 and 8 pm local time:
This raised sand bar, formerly a tiny island, is one of the most popular attractions in Destin. Locals and visitors alike arrive daily by water taxis, pontoons, wave runners, and paddleboards, anchoring in the shallows and settling in for a day of fun in the sun! Bring a frisbee or a football, rent a float, and enjoy the many activities available throughout the season, including giant inflatable playgrounds and live concerts. So pack a cooler and hang out for the day, but be sure to catch the sunset before your departure, as the unobstructed views don’t get much better!
Captain Leonard Destin Park
Another little gem honoring Destin’s namesake and the town’s history founded on fishing, this beautiful waterfront property is a welcome reprieve from the busier beaches. Built on Leonard Destin’s original 1830’s homesite, this 3.4-acre park includes a splash pad, playground, and plenty of green space for the kids to run around. Pack some snacks, wander along the paved paths, and enjoy a picnic under the covered pavilion. Launch a paddleboard or kayak, explore the area’s expansive waterways, take a stroll on the pier, and watch the sun sink into the horizon, bathing the sky in color.
Clement Taylor Park
Locals love this quaint little waterfront park, another quiet spot off the beaten path. Cook the day’s catch on outdoor grills and dine on picnic tables scattered throughout the area. Take a dip in the Bay or get a game going on the sand volleyball court while the kids explore the playground. Rent the pavilion in the late afternoon for a special occasion, and watch the day come to a close over the Choctawhatchee Bay.
The Village at Baytowne Wharf
Packed with family-friendly attractions everyone will enjoy, spend a fun-filled day in the heart of Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort. With a playground for the kids, a zipline and ropes course, an arcade, and a laser maze, you’ll find plenty to see and do on the expansive property. Spend the day exploring the shops, restaurants, and bars, and, when you’re ready to relax, grab a cocktail, take in the live music, and watch the blue skies give way to shades of crimson and marigold.
A favorite time of year for many locals, it’s clear that some of the most picturesque sunsets occur in the fall in Destin. With plenty of warm sunshine during the day giving high temperatures around 80 degrees, evenings typically hover around mid-50’s with prime sunset times between 5 and 6:30 pm. Be sure to stick around after the sun goes down for a chance to see Loggerhead and Green Sea turtles nesting!
Swimmers, scuba divers, snorkelers, and boaters alike flock to this peninsula resting between the Destin harbor and East Pass. This stunning public beach connects Choctawhatchee Bay to the Gulf of Mexico and provides numerous protected inlets, perfect for various water activities. Catch some rays, spend a day in the water, and settle in while the sun sinks low for some of the best-unobstructed views the area has to offer.
Famous for fishing, snorkeling, and diving, experience a front-row seat for all the boat traffic throughout the Destin harbor. Constructed to protect the opening of Destin’s East Pass, and readily identified by prominent rock features, here you’ll catch some spectacular sunsets with unencumbered views. Access the East Jetties via the public Osteen Beach Access on Gulfshore Drive and proceed cautiously. The tide moves in and out quickly, and the boulders can be treacherous, but the stunning sunsets are so worth the trek.
Winters are mild along the Gulf Coast, with daytime temps ranging from 50 to 65 degrees, making dusk beach walks comfortable and pleasant. The sun settles over the Gulf of Mexico this time of year and occurs between 5 and 7 pm. Pick your beachfront location, chill on a blanket, and watch the beauty of the day unfold.
Henderson Beach State Park
Grab a jacket, as that’s more than likely all you need for a sunset beach walk in this secluded state park boasting over a mile of sandy shores. Although a minimal daily admission fee is required, you’ll find plenty of parking, covered picnic pavilions, grills, restroom facilities, and even areas for fishing in this lovely Gulf-front park.
The Beach House Condominium
Nestled along Scenic Hwy 98, or as the locals call it, Old 98, is The Beach House Condominium. Resting directly along the Gulf of Mexico, this is the perfect resort to watch a sunset right from your balcony. After a day of strolling along the beach or shopping at the nearby Silver Sands Premium Outlets, enjoy a night in while watching the symphony of colors paint the sky. We can tell you from personal experience that it doesn’t get much better than this.
Destiny by the Sea
Game and media rooms, a seasonally heated community pool and clubhouse, and private beach access are just a few of the amenities guests enjoy in these high-end luxury properties located on the Gulf of Mexico. Spend the day relaxing in the exclusive, private gated community, or travel to the many nearby boutiques and eateries before watching the sun sink into the horizon at the day’s end.
The change in seasons brings college students in need of a retreat and families ready for some Florida sunshine. With both land and water temperatures averaging 70 degrees, you’ll find plenty to see and do this time of year. Sunsets are visible over both the Gulf and the Bay and occur between 6:30 and 8 pm, so be sure to plan your daily activities accordingly!
Destin Harbor Boardwalk
A flurry of activity, the boardwalk features eateries, shops, activities, and live entertainment nightly. Here you’ll find lots of great vantage points, whether that be while strolling along the marina, from one of the many waterfront eateries, or on a kayak, with rentals available on-site. You’ll find the magnificent sunsets provide a gorgeous backdrop as the fishing boats return with their daily catches.
AJ’S Seafood and Oyster Bar
This well-established local hang-out pulses with energy every spring, given the great oysters, cold beer, live entertainment, and prime location. Ideally situated on Destin Harbor, it’s the perfect stop after a day on the water. Take in an icy brew, fresh seafood, and magnificent sunsets from the spacious open-air deck overlooking the Harbor.
SunDestin Beach Resort
Just steps from the beach, this Gulf-front property is located right in the heart of Destin, ideal for quick access to the best restaurants, shopping, and local attractions. Guests will enjoy the many property amenities throughout the day, including indoor and outdoor pools, a hot tub, and a fitness center. As the day winds down, stroll down to the 100 yards of sandy shores for the nightly show as the sun gradually recedes in a blaze of color into the water below.
We’re confident you’ll enjoy sunsets from any one of Destin’s many landmarks, but don’t forget that some of the best views occur from the water and are all year long. Aside from Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, you find lots of inlets, bayous, and lakes scattered throughout the area, making it ideal for paddleboarding and kayaking.
Rent a pontoon boat, book a sunset dolphin tour, or take a helicopter tour for aerial views like no other. Launch your own private watercraft, find your ideal spot, and enjoy the breathtaking sunsets along the Emerald Coast all year long!
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