Autumn is a wonderful time to visit the Emerald Coast. Every month the Destin area is hopping with plenty of family-friendly live concerts, arts and crafts shows, wine tasting, dance performances, food festivals and great theater. With the heat of the summer behind us, it’s a great time to enjoy being outdoors again and attend some of the local festivals and special events offered during September and October.

Baytowne Art Walk – Friday Sept 4 thru Sept 6
Located within the gates of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort on the shores of Choctawhatchee Bay, the Baytowne village features an array of galleries, restaurants and nightlife. Open 5pm-10pm, with free admission, the art walk is the place to be to enjoy live music while you stroll the streets enjoying local art and participating in the live painting competition.

Labor Day Concert Celebration at the Emerald Grande Hotel  – Sept 5 & Sept 6, 7pm – 9 pm
Located in HarborWalk village, the Emerald Grande Hotel is ending the summer with a bang! With lots of family fun this is the place to enjoy live music by The Springs, a versatile duo singing southern rock and traditional country favorites on Saturday and The Village Belles on Sunday. Fireworks will end the weekend’s festivities on Sunday night.

Bluegrass At the Beach – Sept 12, 11 am to 10 pm
A family-friendly event taking place at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village, presents a celebration of music and culture. With seven award-winning bluegrass bands, a Kids’ Art Village, a Pickin’ & Paintin’ area, plenty of food and beverages, it’s a day for the whole family to enjoy the Florida sunshine and warm ocean breezes of Destin.

4th Annual FWB BBQ Festival – Sept 18 & 19, 4 pm to 10 pm
Located at The Landing in Fort Walton Beach, this two day family-friendly festival is sponsored by Okaloosa Gas and the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce. Don’t miss this annual event that features a BBQ cook off with a People’s Choice Award and a cash prize and trophy for the grand prize winner. There will be plenty for spectators as well, with live entertainment, delicious food, a variety of craft beers, and plenty of activities for the kids.

Hispanic Fest – Sept 26, 11 am – 9 pm
Taking place at the Emerald Coast Convention Center in Fort Walton Beach, this FREE family-oriented event showcases the very best of Hispanic culture. Featuring the flavors and aromas of Hispanic cuisine, folklore, music, dances, a “Happy World Kids’ Zone”, and over 60 pieces of art from local artists and art students, this family-friendly educational and cultural event offers something for people of all ages.

7th Annual Kitty Hawk Kites Festival – Sept 26 & Sept 27, 10 am – 4 pm
Located at Kitty Hawk Kites in HarborWalk Village in Destin, this two-day festival is a FREE family-friendly event. Enjoy larger-than-life kites, kite making classes, professional stunt kite flying demonstrations, candy drops, kite flying lessons and special activities at the Kitty Hawk Kites store. Saturday night’s activities end with a fireworks display over Destin harbor at 9 pm. Free shuttle boat service for festival attendees from the docks of HarborWalk Village to Norriego Point.

Destin Seafood Festival – Oct 2 thru Oct 4
Enjoy fresh, local seafood at this year’s 37th annual festival. Located at the Emerald Grande Hotel at HarborWalk Village, this FREE event continues to grow. With three music stages hosting local and coastal musicians, live entertainment hits a perfect note from rock and Reggae to Country music. A family-friendly event, there are 3 separate Kid Zones providing activities for all members of your group.

Baytowne Beer Fest – October 16 & 17
Over 40 breweries, offering domestic and international beers are part of this popular event. Held in the charming village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach resort, Baytowne Beer Fest features on-site craft brewers, beer samplings, seminars, live music and the ever-popular beer bingo.

Pumpkin Palooza – Oct 30 & 31
Taking place at the Emerald Grande Hotel at Harborwalk Village this not-so-spooky Family Fun Fest offers live entertainment for witches, ghosts and comic book heroes of all ages. Children can trick-or-treat among the merchants all day, enjoy pumpkin decorating, free crafts and face painting as well as a costume contest. The evening hours feature thrilling and chilling entertainment and an adult costume contest, with the most creative costume winning a prize.

Trick-or-Treat Street – October 31, 6 pm – 8pm
Located in the village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach resort, bring your ghouls and goblins to trick-or-treat among the merchants. With great music playing on the Events Plaza Stage and Ben Merrell, performing in the lagoon on his fly board, it’s a great place for the whole family. A spooky fireworks display at 8 pm will end the evening’s festivities.