water activities

Emerald colored water rolling up on the sugar white sandy beaches is just a small fraction of what you can experience in Destin, FL! While it’s totally fine spending your time basking in the sun watching the waves crash on the shore, (one of our favorite things to do!) we decided to come up with 5 must-do water activities in Destin, FL to make the most out of your vacation.

While there are many things to do in Destin, FL for every age and every budget, these are our 5 go-to tried-and-true activities you should experience when visiting the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.


1. Visit Crab Island

If you’ve visited the Emerald Coast or had friends or family members vacation here, chances are you’ve heard about Crab Island. It’s a place where you can anchor your boat, hang out on the sandbar in waist-deep water while soaking up some rays, and so many more water activities to offer! For instance, you can try out the floating obstacle course, grab a drink from one of the floating restaurants, or rent a jet ski or paddle board. In addition to all of these super fun activities, you can even check out a live band on one of the floating stages. Crab Island can only be traveled to by boat and is a place that has something for all ages to enjoy! Learn more about Crab Island here.

water activities

2. Take a Dolphin or Fireworks Cruise

Cruise through the Destin waterways out into the Gulf of Mexico in search of the many marine animals that call these waterways home like the bottle-nosed dolphin. While there are many different dolphin cruises to choose from, our favorite is Destin Snorkel, which offers you a two-hour cruise at sunset in a relaxing setting on an open-air boat with complimentary soda and water.  If you want to experience the dolphin tour a little differently, we recommend Gilligan’s Watersports’ guided wave runner tour where you can get much closer than on a boat to these beautiful sea creatures.

water activities

Experience a fireworks show every Thursday night (between Memorial Day and Labor Day) as well as on most holiday weekends, as the Harborwalk Village honors the military. Destin Snorkel and several other boats on the Destin Harbor offer you the best seat in the house to experience the beautiful display on the water with their special firework’s cruises. Click here to book!

3. Scuba Diving

As a diver, you’re in for a real treat when you decide to dive the waters that surround Destin, FL! You’ll see that a unique range of marine life call our emerald waters home, such as dolphins, sea turtles, various tropical fish, and even a humpback whale was spotted last Spring! There are also reefs and shipwrecks that you’ll be able to explore.  Reefs and underwater activities aren’t just in Destin! Check out some cool water activities and other things the South Walton Artificial Reef Association has going on in the 30A/South Walton area, like the Underwater Museum of Art! While you do need to be a certified diver to visit, admission to the Underwater Museum of Art is 100% FREE!

water activities

4. Snorkeling

If you’re not quite ready to try breathing under water, don’t worry! The beautiful waters surrounding Destin, FL is a great place to see the underwater wildlife. Although you can rent snorkel gear pretty much anywhere in Destin, to get the best experience possible we recommend using Destin Snorkel. You and your family will be in good hands with their certified instructors and coast guard approved boats. They also offer SNUBA®, which is a perfect cross between snorkeling and diving. No certification or prior experience required – take a guided tour and grab a simple-to-use regulator and the floating air supply to explore under the sea, up to 20 feet down!

water activities

5. Fishing

They don’t call Destin the “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” for nothing! If you’re looking for your next fishing adventure, Destin is the place for you! The unique waters that surround Destin offer you an array of fishing opportunities. Whether you’re looking to fish inland, go deep sea fishing, or even kayak fishing, there is something for everyone! There is a variety of different options ranging from affordable to luxury charters. Remember, when you book directly through Gibson Beach Rentals, with our , you’ll receive one free adult pass each day for admission onto the Destin Princess or Destiny charter boat. You’ll spend the day cruising through the crystal waters while fishing along the Emerald Coast where they’ll even have your freshly caught fish professionally cleaned. What more could you ask for!? Check out the rest of our preferred fishing charters here!

water activities

If you’re looking for some other water activities or other things to do in Destin, or want to venture out to Miramar Beach, FL, be sure to check out some other things to do in the area here.


In conclusion, these are just a few of our favorite recommendations for you and your family to do in the water around Destin, FL. But, if you have anything to add, please do in the comments below! We love hearing from you!


Most importantly, Gibson Beach Rentals wants you to Worry Less. Relax More.