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18 Dec 2018
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Local Recommendations

Destin is a great place to vacation with the whole family. Surrounded by crystal clear waters and sugar-white sand beaches, this Floridian oasis offers plenty of things to do, both indoors and outside. From nearby beaches and parks to adventure zones and amusement centers, Destin offers a little slice of fun for all ages. You can easily travel to the area’s best family-friendly attractions from your Destin vacation rental.

Cruise Alongside Dolphins

Experience the magic of the Destin Harbor aboard the two-hour Southern Star Dolphin Cruise, during which the whole family will watch for Atlantic Coastal Bottlenose Dolphins. Kids love watching these playful mammals jump and splash around. The Southern Star is an 80-foot, glass-bottom boat with a spacious and climate-controlled cabin. Check the Southern Star Dolphin Cruise calendar for sunset cruises, holiday specials, and events.

Weigh Anchor and Set Sail

Do you have a pirate lover in the family? The Buccaneer Pirate Cruise will take your whole family on an adventure unlike any other. The 100-foot U.S. Coast Guard-approved ship leaves the HarborWalk Village and embarks on a fun-filled journey through the Gulf of Mexico. Expect lively sword fights, water gun battles, dancing, singing, storytelling, and treasure hunts.

Cool Off at the Water Park

Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park features more than 40 water play areas, slides and rides, lazy rivers, and a wave pool. It’s the ultimate summer adventure park where the kids can roam freely while the adults relax in one of the four cabana areas. Big Kahuna’s is the largest water park on the Emerald Coast, and an attraction sure not to be missed by families staying in a nearby Destin vacation rental.

Meet Sea Creatures

Swim with the dolphins and stingrays or feed the penguins at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, an Emerald Coast staple for learning and adventure. General admission allows you access to all the park’s exhibits, shows, and training demonstrations. The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park brings out the kid in everyone.

Prepare to be Amazed

Enjoy an evening of mystery and illusion at the HarborWalk Theater in Destin. The Maximum Magic Show is an experience for the whole family! Noah and Heather are award-winning illusionists that can surely not be missed. Catch the 75-minute show that features comedy, illusion, audience participation, mindreading, special effects, and more.

Rent a Pontoon Boat

During any Destin vacation, it's compulsory to take advantage of the sunshine and water. Families can rent a pontoon boat at Destin Vacation Boat Rentals, Destin Water Fun Pontoon & Jet Ski Rental, or Luther’s Pontoon, Waverunners & Kayak Rentals. Pontoon boats offer space for the whole family to relax and enjoy the coast. Pack a lunch and experience island time.

Visit Crab Island

With that pontoon boat rental, take the family to Crab Island. While it’s received a reputation as a party spot, Crab Island has long been a family-friendly attraction that everyone will love. Get out on the water early to grab a spot and enjoy the sandbar and crystal clear waters. Locals, tourists, and businesses alike gather on Crab Island.

Sneak in Educational Fun

Located in Fort Walton Beach, the Emerald Coast Science Center offers interactive, educational exhibits. The entire family will be learning and having fun together! The Science Center focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) through its regular exhibits, events, workshops, and programs.

Take a Sandcastle Building Lesson

Ever wonder how people create those intricate and massive sandcastles? You can learn how the pros with a sand castle lesson with Beach Sand Sculptures. Create lasting members with your family with a sandcastle lesson in Fort Walton Beach or Destin.