The city of Destin is named after a Connecticut man named Leonard Destin, who was a fishing captain and settled in the area around the 1800s. He built a home here, and soon other fishermen came along, and through the decades, generations of fishermen came from Destin. Surprisingly, it wasn’t until the 1980s that Destin became a place for vacation, as its white-sand beaches and emerald-green waters began to attract people from all over. Now, there are numerous beachfront rentals, and family resorts. This part of the United States has a lot of great cities nearby, so if you’re in the area and looking to explore, check out some of the best day trips from Destin, Florida.
Join Flower Water Charters for a refreshing and exhilarating water day trip from Destin. This exciting trip accommodates up to six guests making it a perfect activity for families or groups of friends. You will get to meet cute dolphins as you cruise the ocean and explore the pristine shores of the city. With this four-hour tour, you will also get to experience Crab Island and try your hand at fishing. Fishing rods and baits are already included when you book the excursion. All ages are welcome!
Family Fun Combo: Dolphins, Fishing & Swimming (Flowing Water Charters)
Duration: 4 hours
2. Florida 30A
Perhaps the most popular road trip that you can embark on in the state is along the scenic roads of Florida 30A. This state road goes through different routes in the Florida panhandle. Pack up your things and take your loved ones along for the ride and make 30A your next day excursion from Destin. From the city, you’ll drive through scenic oceanfront towns like Seaside, Seagrove, and Blue Mountain Beach. It only takes less than two hours to see all of 30A, so why not make it a fun trip and make a few stops along the way? That’s what road trips are for, after all!
One of the best day trips from Destin is Panama City. It is a great spot for those looking to take a day trip out of Destin. The city is not far and still on the waterfront, so if you’re into hanging out on the beach, Panama City is a great option. A local real estate investor had convinced the town to change its name from Harrison to Panama City during the time the Panama Canal was being built in hopes of drumming up business. The city would also serve as a port to the Caribbean in much of the same way the canal is.
Panama City Beach Gulf of Mexico Sunset Catamaran Sail
Duration: 2 hours
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Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Shores is a great little city in Alabama that is also known for its amazing beach life. The weather is just about wonderful no matter what time of the year it is, with temperatures being humid, long, and hot in the summer and even sunny and bright during the winter. Many tourists from around the country come to this day trip destination to golf, surf, and vacation—not to mention the exciting fishing that can be done here all year round.
Alabama Gulf Coast Dolphin Cruise
Duration: 2 hours
De Soto National Forest is not exactly on the beach, but it is relatively close to the Gulf of Mexico, and the forest itself is a very important place that showcases the biodiversity of the region. Named after the 16th-century Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, the national forest comprises habitats that are difficult to find elsewhere in the United States—as more than 90 percent of the ecosystem type has already been lost. Further, De Soto National Forest offers year-round opportunities like camping, canoeing, and bird-watching.
Mimi's Guest CottageSuperhost
Top guest reviewsloved the tv and internetthe most adorable cottage it was so comfortable charming and homeythis cottage is quite cute and comfortablelots of green for our dog to run around in outside and spacious comfortable insidethe space is lovely quiet and clean
Host:the hosts are exceptionally accommodating and super friendlyhost christine was very responsive accommodating and has great sense of humormims cottage had everything i needed and the host was excellentyou can expect comfort peace hospitality great conversation friendly familyboth christine and her husband were excellent hostsRead more reviewsquaint house with a great locationa peaceful getaway but close to necessities near by as wellthere are many wonderful places to eat close byit was close to everything and a perfect place to visit with familychristine's place was perfect
Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle and is actually the first place Spanish settlers in the United States occupied in 1555. This Florida Panhandle day trip is known as the City of Five Flags because of the five different nations that have ruled over it at some point in time. Pensacola is one of the most historic places in the area, with tours being offered of its most interesting landmarks as well as a myriad of festivals held here—including a children’s festival, an arts festival, and music festivals.
Pensacola Historic Landmarks Sightseeing Tour in Historic Bus
Duration: 2 hours
Dauphin Island is an interesting little island in the Gulf of Mexico—while technically a part of Alabama, it is a little more than just a really large sand dune. In fact, the population of the island is just a little over 1,000 people. Although sometimes mistaken for Dolphin Island, the island actually takes its name from Louis XV of France, who was the heir apparent to the throne. The spot is mostly visited for its beaches and yearly warm weather.
Henry's House: A Cute Lil' Ol' Beach ShackDauphin Island, Alabama, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewsthere was a very useful book of information on the coffee tableloved leanne’s efficient beautiful and comfortable cottagethe house was clean and very functionalvery clean and cute housebeds were comfortable; house was spotlessnice place very clean we had a good stayvery clean bright and cheery would highly recommend henry’s house and dauphin islandRead more reviewsgood location and cute placethe house was perfect for our family and located in a quiet neighborhood close to anything we neededbeautiful home with great location on the island
Mobile is a great option for those looking to check out a big city—and the biggest city in Alabama. Mobile was founded in 1702 by the French and was the original capital of Louisiana as it was an important center for commerce between the French and Native tribes. The area is largely considered to be one of the Gulf Coast’s cultural epicenters, with great art museums, orchestras, symphonies, and even a mystic society. Check out the local history or explore the city’s many parks and green spaces.
Evening Food Tour of Old Mobile’s Culinary History
Duration: 3 hours
Located along the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, Orange Beach is the easternmost community in Alabama, bordering Florida’s Perdido Key to the east. The area is small, but it is absolutely beautiful, with gorgeous sandy beaches and warm waters throughout the year. The area is popular with vacationers as the weather here is amazing all year. Orange Beach is also a great family destination, with dolphin cruises and rec centers around as well as condos and homes right on the water.
Beachfront - PENTHOUSE - Breathtaking Views!Orange Beach, Alabama, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewswonder view and very comfortable bedthe pull out couch was comfortable and the master bed was comfortable and had nice beddingparking is good and there are three pools and a hot tubvery clean had everything you would needthe condo had everything we needed and was sparkling clean when we got therethe condo is beautifully decorated and cleanclean modern all appliances are newthe bathroom was clean with plenty of towels and travel essentials (shampoo conditioner soap toilet paper)
Host:host was amazingly helpfulhost was very quick and helpfulowner is very helpful with anything and everythingshe responded quickly to any message i sent i would highly recommend staying here and with this hostwonderful place to vaca very family friendly propertyRead more reviewsnice location and within walking distance to several great places to eatwalking distance to several great places to eatbeachfront location is amazing and we would highly recommendthis condo had a fabulous view was close to so many restaurants bar's and places to shopthis was a very great place to stay it was right in the middle of everything and beautiful views
In 2016, Fairhope was named Best Small Town in the South by Southern Living magazine and has a pretty interesting history. The town is located on the shores of Mobile Bay and was designed to be a “radical utopian society” of a single-tax colony that would eliminate the need for any other taxes. Fairhope became a hub for artists and intellectuals including Clarence Darrow and Upton Sinclair and was even a property on early renditions of the game Monopoly. Today, Fairhope is an affluent beachside suburb with amazing beaches and plenty of opportunities for watching the local wildlife on the beach.
Storybook Castle BnBFairhope, Alabama, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewsthe interior of the apartment is beautifully done with special touches like stained glass windowsthe room was clean and had everything we needed and pagan and dean were wonderfulthe room is very spacious and cleanthe entire space was sparkling clean well decorated and well-stocked with everything we neededthe place itself was very cute clean and privatevery clean comfortable room this unique property is one-of-a-kind
Host:great hosts with fascinating storiesvery accommodating and a great hoststaff was attentive friendly and graciousthank you pagan for being a great hostdean and pagan were wonderful hosts very knowledgeable about the area and the absolute definition of hospitalityRead more reviewswithin walking distance of charming downtown fairhopecastle is within walking distance of downtown close to amazing restaurants and entertainmentthe location of the castle is amazing and within walking distance of anything you would need or wantloved staying in the castle everything we wanted to do was within walking distancesecluded but right downtown in easy walking distance to food coffee and shopping
Point Clear is another great destination located next to Fairhope and has all the charm and beauty of a small town combined with the fun of being by the beach. The population here is pretty small, with just over 2,000 permanent residents. Despite the town’s size, Point Clear played a part during WWII as the city’s Grand Hotel was the headquarters of Operation Ivory Soap. The 19th-century hotel still stands today and is in operation. Point Clear has always been a vacation spot for those looking to spend time on the beach, and as early as the 1800s, many of New Orleans’ more affluent citizens spent their holidays here.
Middle Bay Studio & Loft at Little Point ClearFairhope, Alabama, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewsvery cute sweet suites nicely decorated rooms with closet space to hanging rod and shelvesthe rooms where fantastically remodeled with tender-loving carestylish and clean with comfortable bedsawesome place to stay in point clear super clean and charmingprecious clean space would definitely stay here againlinens were luxury and super cleanthis place is the place to stay super charming clean convenient and ran with care
Host:lovely space and warm welcoming hoststhanks for being a great host and extremely availableall communication with the owners and staff was prompt and unbelievably friendlywe loved it this place was a great size to host a handful of people for a visitRead more reviewsmade eating leftovers interesting location-wise it is close to the beach and reasonably close to stores and restaurantsi would absolutely stay here again it was perfect for us location is excellentone thing people should know about fairhope is that the shopping at the boutique shops is amazinggreat place clean safe neighborhood good locationlittle point clear was amazing and a quaint place to stay in fairhope
Located in the Florida Panhandle, Blackwater River State Forest is the largest state forest in Florida. The name comes from the river that runs through the area to Blackwater Bay, and the forest is great for outdoor recreation activities. Camping and fishing are done here regularly with some campsites even having electricity.
House on 22 acre Spring Fed LakeSuperhost
Top guest reviewsdebbie’s she made us an awesome breakfast and had coffee for us each morningshe even had snacks beverages and kid friendly movies available in our room for my boys and ithe room and house was very cleanthe house is extra clean and the breakfasts she made were deliciousthe living space is very clean and well kept and breakfast was greather home was very clean and she had extras in case we left anything at homeher home is clean and she has a beautiful lake out back
Host:great host beautiful placedebbie is a great host very pleasant accommodatingdebbie was an outstanding hostdebbie is a sweet hostdebbie is a super attentive hostRead more reviewsbeautiful beaches are close byi nice quiet get awaygreat place for our family to stay as it's right between pensacola and destinit’s like home away from home i will definitely recommend this place to anyone wanting to get away
One of the best Viator tours you’ll find in Destin is this private Crab Island Excursion that lasts for approximately three to eight hours. It’s an ideal tour for large groups or families and a great way to avoid huge crowds too! When you avail of this 15-person tour with a captain, you’ll get to explore the island and experience activities like kayaking, snorkeling, and sunbathing. Your itinerary will be customized to suit your needs, so you can really make this tour to your own convenience! Kayak and snorkel gears, beach toys, fish food, vests, flotation devices, and many more are already included when you book this one-of-a-kind experience in Destin!
Florida is known for its many beaches and warm weather, but that doesn’t mean the surrounding areas like Destin aren’t worth exploring too. Many kid-friendly resorts are available if you don’t know where to stay in the city during your family vacation. With so many great places both in Destin and around, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t head out and explore the warmth and beauty of this part of the United States.
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