Where to Catch the Best Sunsets in Destin Year Round

July 5, 2023

Destin’s emerald waters and sandy shores are breathtaking, and you should definitely hit the beach during your time here, but a trip to Destin wouldn’t be complete without catching a sunset or two. Whether wrapping up the day by taking in the colorful hues cast upon the water at dusk, or out on an evening sail as the sun sets gently into the Gulf of Mexico, a sunset in Destin is, without a doubt, the cherry on top of the perfect day.

As the seasons change, so too does the location of the sunset. To catch the best Destin sunsets —  we’re talking unobstructed, unrivaled, incomparable sunsets — it’s essential to know where to go. We’re covering where to catch the best sunsets in Destin no matter what time of year you visit.

What Time is Sunset in Destin, Florida?

When the chill sets in on the rest of the world, Destin welcomes an influx of visitors here to enjoy the long summer days. Sunsets typically occur this time of year between 7 and 8 pm local time. The fall, a favorite season for many locals, offers some of the most picturesque sunsets, with prime sunset times between 5 and 6:30 pm.

Winters are mild along the Emerald Coast, and the sun settles over the Gulf of Mexico between 5 and 7 pm, while the spring brings families ready for a break and the opportunity to catch a sunset between 6:30 and 8 pm.

Does the Sun Set Over the Gulf of Mexico in Destin, Florida?

Destin’s beaches are south facing, meaning the sun sets over the beach, but only during half the year.  Destin sunsets are visible in early spring over the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay, while summer sunsets occur over the Choctawhatchee Bay. Watch colors bathe the sky at dusk over the Gulf in fall and winter, a sight to behold.

Where is the Best Place to See the Sunset in Destin, Florida?

It can be tricky to determine the best vantage point depending on the time of year you visit, but we’ve got the scoop on where the locals go to catch amazing Destin sunsets.


Crab Island 

One of the most popular attractions in Destin, this raised sandbar welcomes visitors daily via water taxis, pontoons, wave runners, and paddleboards. Bring a frisbee or a football, rent a float or anchor in the shallows, and settle in for a fun day in the sun. Be sure to catch the sunset before your departure, as the unobstructed views don’t get much better!

Captain Leonard Destin Park 

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. A welcome reprieve from busier beaches, this beautiful waterfront property honors Destin’s namesake and the town’s history founded on fishing. Launch a paddleboard or kayak at dusk, explore the expansive waterways, and watch the sun sink into the horizon.

Clement Taylor Park 

Locals love this quaint little waterfront park, a serene spot off the beaten path. It’s the perfect place to cook the day’s catch on outdoor grills and dine on picnic tables scattered throughout the area. Take a dip in the Bay or play a game 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

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 at Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort. Spend the day browsing the shops, 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.


Norriego Point 

Swimmers, scuba divers, snorkelers, and boaters flock to this peninsula 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 water activities. Catch some rays, spend a day in the water, and settle in while the sun sinks low and cool breezes fill the air.

Destin Jetties 

A renowned fishing, snorkeling, and diving spot, the Jetties were constructed to protect the opening of Destin’s East Pass. Readily identified by prominent rock features, the East Jetties are accessible via the public Osteen Beach Access on Gulfshore Drive. Be cautious as the tide moves in and out quickly, and the boulders can be treacherous, but the stunning sunsets are worth the trek.

Sunset Dolphin Cruise

Winters are mild along the Gulf Coast, with daytime temps ranging from 50 to 65 degrees, making even the evenings comfortable and pleasant. We’re confident you’ll enjoy sunsets from any of Destin’s many landmarks but don’t forget that some of the best views occur from the water all year. Aside from Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, many inlets, bayous, and lakes are scattered throughout the area, making it ideal for a sunset cruise.


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.

Sunquest Dinner Cruise

Embark on a magical dinner cruise in style on a 125-foot yacht departing year-round from the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Featuring three decks and an open air sky deck, take in the views while enjoying delicious cuisine cruising the waterways. Also available for private events, weddings, and receptions, it’s the perfect way to enjoy sunsets in Destin.


Destin Harbor Boardwalk

The boardwalk is a hive of activity, with a wide variety of eateries, shops, and live entertainment nightly. There are many great places to take in the view, whether walking along the marina, dining at one of the many waterfront restaurants, or kayaking (rentals are available on-site). The stunning sunsets provide a beautiful backdrop as the fishing boats return with their catch.

AJ’S Seafood and Oyster Bar

Ideally situated on Destin Harbor, this well-established local hang-out pulses with energy every spring. Enjoy great oysters, cold beer, live entertainment, and magnificent sunsets from the spacious open-air deck overlooking the Harbor. 

SunDestin Beach Resort

With quick access to the best restaurants, shopping, and local attractions, this Gulf-front condominium is located right in the heart of Destin. Guests can enjoy many property amenities daily during their stay, including indoor and outdoor pools, a hot tub, and a fitness center. As the day winds down, stroll down to the sandy shores for the nightly show as the sun gradually recedes in a blaze of color into the water below.

Every Season

No matter what time of year you visit, catching a few sunsets in Destin is a must. Browse our wide selection of vacation rentals near prime sunset viewing spots, or opt for one with a balcony so you can catch the sunsets in Destin from your vacation home or condo!

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