The best things to do on your next trip to Emerald Coast, Florida

Have you booked your dream Florida vacation along the Emerald Coast? Throughout the Emerald Coast, there is an endless list of activities and locations that are must-visits for your trip so it’s beneficial to plan an itinerary before your vacation. Below we outline the best things to do on your next trip to Emerald Coast, Florida. 

Henderson Beach State Park

Address: 17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541, United States

Phone: (850) 837-7550


Henderson Beach State Park can be found near Destin, in the northwest of Florida. This state park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Florida. It stretches for miles of crystal white sands that are made up of Appalachian quartz. It provides the perfect backdrop for a summer beach vacation for all. The idyllic and natural sands of the Henderson Beach State Park offer respite from the hectic Destin resorts and hotels.

Besides leisurely beach days, this state park has a wealth of activities. This includes a variety of nature trails, grill spots, and campsite facilities. The Henderson Beach State Park is open every day of the year and entry fees are a reasonable $2-$6 depending on your vehicle. When looking for affordable family days out in the Emerald Coast, Henderson Beach State Park is one of the best that you’ll find.

Destin Harbor Boardwalk

Address: 102 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541, United States

Phone: (850) 683-3009


The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is at the very hub of busy Destin. A visit here will get you right in the center of the action at the Emerald Coast. This buzzing boardwalk stretches over a quarter of a mile, providing amazing views of the sea and harbor. It has recently been modernized with new pavements, lighting, and seating. Destin Harbor Boardwalk has a range of restaurants and water activities making it an ideal day out for your Florida vacation.

Besides payment for activities and transport, the Destin Harbor Boardwalk is completely free to walk around. Take to the sea with a variety of boat tours on offer, as well as a selection of watersports in the harbor for the more daring. This is the perfect time to go on a memorable dolphin spotting trip.

Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventurepark

Address: 1007 US-98 East, Destin, FL 32541, United States

Phone: (850) 837-8319


Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park is undoubtedly the most fun excursion along the Emerald Coast. It is suited to all ages and especially those seeking adventure and thrills. When spending a vacation basking in the hot Floridian sun, cooling off in a waterpark is an absolute must! Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park boasts a range of enormous waterslides. For those not looking to embrace their inner daredevil, there is a range of relaxing pools and cabanas to lounge in.

Tickets for Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park start at $40 and can be booked on the park’s website. A trip here will certainly be one the family never forgets. The park is open between 12-9 pm daily, booking ahead is recommended.

Okaloosa Island

If you are looking to escape hectic down-town crowds, Okaloosa Island is the place to do so. This location boasts incredible white beaches and emerald green waters for the perfect day out in paradise. This island is home to Fort Walton Beach, a family-friendly hotspot. Here you can search for dolphins, do a spot of fishing or even play a round of mini-golf.

After a long day of sun, sea, and sand, relax in one of the many restaurants on offer at Okaloosa Island. Along the idyllic boardwalk, you can sample food from all cuisines. Take your pick from tacos, seafood, burgers, steak, and more. A little further along the island, you will find Wild Willie’s Adventure Zone and Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park for more family fun.

Village of Baytowne Wharf

Address: 9300 Baytowne Wharf Blvd, Miramar Beach, FL 32550

Phone: (850) 267-8000


Looking for a holiday shopping spree but hate busy crowded malls? The Village of Baytowne Wharf is the perfect answer! This quaint shopping plaza has a range of shops and restaurants, ideal for a laid-back family day out. Located close to the Emerald Coast resorts, rental properties and Miramar Beach, the Village of Baytowne Wharf will likely only be a short walk away from your accommodation.

Pick up a selection of souvenirs from your Florida vacation, or maybe update your beachwear wardrobe. After you have shopped til you dropped, take a rest in one of the many cafes found within the shopping outlet. Depending on the time of year you visit, you could be lucky enough to catch an event at the Village of Baytowne Wharf. For example, every February, the village hosts its annual ‘Gumbo Festival’. Here you will find a host of activities and live entertainment. You’re sure to sample some delicious gumbo shrimp too!

Destin Commons

Address: 4100 Legendary Dr, Destin, FL 32541

Phone: (850) 337-8700


Destin Commons is a giant outlet mall located in central Destin. When it comes to the ultimate shopping experience, Destin Commons has you covered. This massive outlet has an even bigger range of retail shops and stores. When you get hungry, you’ll have over two-dozen restaurants and cafes to choose from. At Destin Commons, you are spoiled for choice in every respect. The mall has recently had a refit and the new aesthetic is highly Instagram-able! The walls are adorned with modern artwork and paintings.

Destin Commons provides fun for the whole family. Live performances and entertainment occur throughout the year. This outlet mall gives you more than just an afternoon of shopping. Destin Commons is a whole day out, and one of the best locations on the Emerald Coast.

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