One of the most popular destinations in Florida, Destin combines the beauty of the Emerald Coast with activities for all ages. However, many of these activities can get pricey, especially in heavy tourist areas. Don’t worry! Destin has numerous activities that are 100 percent free without skimping on the fun and excitement. For a budget-friendly vacation, check out a few of these free Destin activities.
John C. Beasley Park
Located on protected Okaloosa Island just west of Destin, John C. Beasley Park is an excellent, free way to enjoy the city’s beaches. What makes it different from the rest of the beaches is that it has bathrooms, free parking and changing facilities, yet it doesn’t require you to stay at a specific hotel to gain access. The beach here has the same emerald waters seen throughout the Destin area, and if you walk further west, you’ll eventually reach the Okaloosa Island fishing pier. Watch fishermen grab their daily catch, hit the waves, or enjoy the sea birds before heading back down to the park.
Destin Harbor Boardwalk
While the Destin Harbor Boardwalk has fine dining, tours, high-end boutiques, and water sports, it’s not expensive to walk around and soak up the view. Stay on budget as you saunter down the boardwalk for free among everyone from high rollers to locals. If you’re lucky enough to visit in October, don’t miss out on the Destin Seafood Festival or the Destin Fishing Rodeo, which are two of the city’s most famous and popular events.
Because the boardwalk is centrally located and right on US Highway 98, it’s the ideal spot to search for a Destin hotel that meets your needs and budget.
Opened in 2003, Destin Commons is the region’s largest shopping and entertainment complex with over 90 retail stores and restaurants. It also has free parking, restrooms, and is pet-friendly with free poop bags and disposal facilities, making it an outstanding place to take your kids or Fido to tucker them out. Other activities include a splash pad for those oppressively hot summer days, a playground for young ones, and the Bass Pro Shop fish tank which is entertaining for all ages.
Free Seasonal Events
One thing that Destin does better than most other tourist destinations is providing free events during the peak season from May through September. Free live music is one of the biggest draws at venues around the city, offering genres such as pop, rock, blues, jazz, reggae, and more. The Destin Harbor Boardwalk hosts many of these events, but the nearby towns of Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar, and Baytowne Wharf also have free concerts.
Another awesome free event is the weekly fireworks display in Destin. Every Tuesday through Thursday, starting at 9 p.m, both the harbor and the Okaloosa Island fishing pier have an amazing visual spectacle you’re sure to enjoy.
Destin is a beautiful coastal city that combines beach bars, festivals, seafood, and water sports into a wondrous harmony. Although it’s always tempting to break the bank and do everything the city has to offer, these free attractions give you a memorable experience that’s every bit as good as the expensive alternatives.