Top 5 Things to do in Destin Florida

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Throughout my childhood years our typical annual vacation spot was Destin, Florida due to it’s relative proximity to Arkansas and of course because of the gorgeous beaches on offer. Everything that Destin has to offer is suited to it’s reputation as being a tourist destination, from the shopping to the restaurants to the  nightlife. With so many things to see and do in this stretch of Florida’s unheralded coastline, here are my suggested top 5 things to do in Destin.

For anyone unaware of Destin’s exact location, it is located in the northwest corner of the state in the Florida Panhandle, not too far from Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida. Anyone that enjoys relaxing on the beach will enjoy Destin as much as any other Florida type vacation, though one major difference between here and the likes of Miami or Orlando are the prices which are generally much cheaper than further south. Hotels are great value for money or if renting a self-accommodated condo is more your thing there are always great deals available if you do enough research for a week long stay or longer.

Trust me, if you visit and experience each one of these, you will certainly not be disappointed and you will be ready for your next trip back to the Florida Panhandle.

Sandy White Beaches

Throughout the town of Destin the coastline is gorgeous and unlike any other, although I know many people will say that sandy white beaches are everywhere. If you want quiet, sunny and the perfect sandy beach with a warm ocean from the gulf in close proximity, then Destin is definitely the place you need to be for at least a week. There are public access parking lots that you can park and head down to the beach or if you are staying at a condo or hotel with beach access then you will also have the option in purchasing the lounging chairs which to be honest will enhance your beach experience.


However, these frequently come at a substantial cost and it may be cheaper to purchase elsewhere either prior to your trip if you are driving or you can purchase them from any of the souvenir shops and most department stores around the town.

McGuires Irish Pub

When you walk in McGuire’s the atmosphere is not like your typical Floridian restaurant  its much better equipped with a bar, music and a gift shop! The booths in McGuire’s are high back pews, which adds to the character of this Irish pub. when you walk in one other thing that you should notice is that the walls are covered with $1 bills, it became customary for travelers to write a note and sign a dollar bill and then staple it to the ceiling or wall.

Food is amazing, authentic Irish pub experience all the way around and they even brew there own beer.  I would recommend ordering the Senate bean soup for $.18 cents it is incredible, Sheperd’s pie is very authentic and tasty. Everything here will be amazing, McGuire’s will not let you down.

Baytowne Wharf

The Baytowne Wharf area is a great area to walk around and investigate some local shops along with an array of boutiques, restaurants and jam-packed nightlife. The Wharf has a village style look and feel though it’s location by the seafront provides a wonderful scenic opportunity for tourists to experience the local atmosphere. This beautiful setting is a perfect spot to spend an afternoon relaxing or stroll along the front during the evening as the spectacular lighting reflects into the Gulf of Mexico. One of the intriguing aspects of the Baytowne Wharf is an old tree located in the center which is always lit in the evening but also provides plenty of historical stories giving it’s age and perilous location in the center of the rest of the village. Anyone interested in taking a cruise around the Gulf of Mexico or fishing with one of the locals can embark on such a journey from the Baytowne Wharf.

Silver Sands Outlet Mall

We have visited several outlet malls through the United States of America and Silver Sands is certainly in the top few in terms of variety, discounted prices and overall layout. With names ranging from Nike Factory Outlet for the athletic type, Bose and Sony for the tech folks and Coach for the girl in your life, there is definitely something here for everyone.

Along with over 120 outlet stores, there are several restaurants and bakeries along the way for a quick snack which for anyone willing to walk all the stores will be a requirement at the end of a long day. Ample free parking is a bonus and the mall’s proximity to many of the leading hotel and resort chains is a definite advantage.

Souvenir Shops

Anyone who visits Florida will face the prospect of visiting countless souvenir and beach stores. Although they are pretty much all the same in terms of their product range, each one is a little different in terms of layout and it is certainly a worthwhile experience to visit even if you leave without anything.

Beach stores are a great way to save money rather than renting beach chairs and towels as you can generally pick these up for much cheaper than at the hotel chains. Many will still visit the likes of Wal-Mart for the best deals, but for pure convenience the beach side stores are the places to go.

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Heather Boothman
Heather Boothman is the co-founder of A Brit and A Southerner. Born and in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Heather has always been a fond traveler but was only able to start fulfilling her dreams of traveling the world when she met her husband, Chris in 2008. They have since embarked on an amazing journey of travel as they challenge others to follow in their paths of working full-time but also being able to travel frequently! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Heather at [email protected]


  1. The more I see blog posts about the USA the more I think I want to visit anywhere with a beach is a winner with me 🙂 Looks like a shoppers paradise too.

  2. I’ve been in Florida, but never in Destin. That beach on the photo looks beautifu.
    For how long people have been leaving 1$ bills on the walls of McGuire? Just thinking how much money there is on the walls now :). Do you have any photo of Baytowne Wharf. Just curious to see how it looks.

  3. There seem to be many interesting places in Florida, not only the ones I already heard of. The beach for example seems to be a paradise, but as I read there are much more things to do in Destin than just laying on the beach.

  4. I tend to always look past how many things there are to do and see in North America. Funny how that works… ‘gotta get out and see the world before discovering and understanding your own back yard’ type of thing.
    Florida is certainly climbing on my list of places to go. Thanks for putting this up, Destin looks beautiful.

    • You would love Destin especially if you are traveling around the States and just want a few days to get away and relax on the beach. The rest of Florida is very different from Destin because its so commercialized and tourist friendly but Destin has more of a homely feel but on the beach – the best of both worlds in reality!

    • That stretch of Florida coastline is so underrated because it’s on the panhandle rather than the main part of the state where everyone goes to. But that is probably one reason why the beaches are so nice overlooking the Gulf of Mexico because they don’t get the volume in comparison to Miami, Key West etc.

  5. Wow how gorgeous does that beach look?! It never occurred to me that that part of the coast would look so tropical. It is a shame we went through this region in winter as it looks like it would be a fun spot in the warmer months


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