Whether you are a local Floridian or planning a visit, the Emerald Coast of Florida sets the stage for some fantastic spring events between March and May. Its stunning white sandy beaches with some of the most crystal-clear emerald waters you will ever see turn to be the perfect backdrop for an assortment of food, art, music, and cultural festivals. Let’s explore some of these annual events which make springtime the most exciting season to be in the Emerald Coast.


Burning Up the Beaches (March)


Burning up the Beaches


The Burning Up the Beaches event is not just another classic car show. Instead, it’s a vibrant amalgamation of shiny chrome, sun-bathed beaches, and profound displays of kindness. Regardless of whether you are a die-hard auto enthusiast or just an ordinary beach-goer, this event guarantees a memorable and worthwhile encounter.

This thrilling event kick-starts with early packet pick-ups and on-site registrations, marking the commencement of an electrifying weekend. It’s the moment when car enthusiasts start assembling, sparking an air of eager expectation and friendly companionship.

As the event gains momentum, attendees celebrate with a full day of unique cruise stops that they can visit at their own pace. A comprehensive driver’s handbook guides the attendees about the nuances of these stops.

As daylight starts to fade, the event transitions into the Beach Bash – a thematically planned dinner where guests can break bread together, exchange tales, and revel in the dynamic performances by the live band. It’s an evening where the sound of laughter and the harmony of music complements the soothing hum of a perfectly tuned engine.

The heart of this event beats at Destin Commons, fittingly christened ‘Car Show Central.’ Amidst gleaming chrome exteriors and vivid old-school paintwork, the nostalgic charm of bygone eras is rekindled, capturing everyone’s imagination. The event crescendos with a valve cover race and awards ceremony, all set to the beat of music spun by a local DJ.

So, why wait? Rev your engines and prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey.



Emerald Coast Cruzin’ (March)


Emerald Coast Cruizin


Along the stunning coastline of Panama City Beach, Florida, Emerald Coast Cruizin stands out as a premier destination for automotive enthusiasts from all corners. Founded in 2005, this annual automotive festival is a dream come true for those who admire the beauty and engineering of classic cars, hot rods, street rods, exotics, and muscle cars alike. Here’s why Emerald Coast Cruizin is more than just a car show—it’s a vibrant celebration of automotive history and culture that offers something for everyone.

Emerald Coast Cruizin was meticulously designed to cater to the diverse interests of automotive enthusiasts. Whether you’re a proud owner of a sleek, vintage hot rod or someone who appreciates the intricate designs of exotics and muscle cars, this event promises an unforgettable experience. It’s not merely about showcasing these mechanical beauties; it’s about celebrating the passion, craftsmanship, and community that binds car lovers together.

Situated at Aaron Bessant Park, just one block away from pristine beaches and directly adjacent to Pier Park’s shopping paradise, the event finds its home in an idyllic setting. With 17 acres of lush green space, comfortable amenities, and a central stage for live music and awards, the event’s location ensures a day well spent for families, enthusiasts, and casual visitors alike.



Sandestin Wine Festival (April)


Wine Festival


Unleash the allure at the esteemed Sandestin Wine Festival, where golden beaches intertwine with the luxurious aromas of premium wine in an orchestration of pleasure and festivity. Nestled in the picturesque Village of Baytowne Wharf, within the lavish grounds of the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, this epic event represents a time-honored tradition extending over four days of sophisticated gastronomy and delightful wine tasting. Assembling under one sky are wine aficionados, epicureans, and those who cherish the sun, the festival serves as a one-of-a-kind gateway to enjoy the vast array of wines from various corners of the world, right in the heart of coastal opulence.

Picture yourself meandering along the verdant paths of the resort, a wine glass cradled in your hand, as you explore a fascinating line-up of wine purveyors, each brimming with tales of their unique creations. As the celebrations of the festival gain momentum, enthusiasts are invited to relish an array of varietals, partake in exclusive dining events such as Roberto’s Santa Margherita Dinner, and ignite their mornings with a Farewell Brunch.

As preparations commence for the upcoming Sandestin Wine Festival, it’s time to sync your calendars for an unparalleled escapade of luxury and relaxation. Whether your goal is to broaden your wine repertoire or to simply absorb the tranquil vibes of Florida’s Gulf Coast, the festival pledges a blend of elegance, enlightenment, and amusement in an unforgettable weekend-long event.



South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival (April)


South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival


For over ten years, the SoWal Wine Festival has evolved into a beloved event, eagerly awaited by wine connoisseurs and casual enthusiasts alike. Situated in the picturesque setting of South Walton, the festival distinguishes itself not just by its exceptional selection of wines but also through its dedication to fostering a sense of community and philanthropy. Annually, the charming and dynamic neighborhoods of South Walton metamorphose into a nexus for wine aficionados, providing a chance for participants to dive into a realm of unparalleled flavors, scents, and encounters.

Crafted with meticulous attention to detail and executed with care, the festival offers a four-day journey that goes beyond a mere celebration; it’s an immersive exploration of the wine culture, marked by a commitment to community welfare. Each tasting invites attendees on an explorative trip across varied vineyards and exclusive varieties, making every toast a meaningful contribution to a larger good. The SoWal Wine Festival stands as more than just an occasion; it’s a landmark event that unites experts and beginners, weaving narratives, forging memories, and nurturing a collective passion for wine.

As it grows, the festival’s core mission persists – to congregate beneath the sunny skies of Florida, revel in the thrill of discovery, and celebrate a future inspired by charity and togetherness, articulated through the universal dialect of wine.



Seabreeze Jazz Festival (April)


Seabreeze Jazz Festival 2


Basking in the luminous ambiance of Panama City Beach, FL, the Seabreeze Jazz Festival shines as a mecca for aficionados of smooth jazz from all corners of the country. Hosted in the captivating Aaron Beasant Park Amphitheater that marries natural allure with the perks of state-of-the-art amenities, the festival presents an all-encompassing sensory journey that transcends the bounds of ordinary musical events. Annually, 600 S Pier Park Dr. blooms into a lively gathering place for the créme de la créme of jazz talent and their devoted followers, all under the limitless canopy of the Florida heavens.

Celebrated for an artist roster that reads like a roll call of jazz luminaries, the festival consistently delights with a diverse palette of musical geniuses. Though lineup and times may shift, the enduring essence of jazz brilliance and the electric atmosphere of collective anticipation are ever-present. Festivalgoers are invited to monitor the official timeline diligently to ensure they savor the moments with their preferred maestros. Beyond the compelling mainstage acts, the Sea Breeze Jazz Festival enriches its attendees’ experience with a variety of supplemental festivities including after-parties, jazz-themed cruise adventures, and exclusive appearances by festival-specific artists, culminating in an exhaustive homage to the jazz tradition.


ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival (May)


ArtsQuest Photo by Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County


Hosted by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County, ArtsQuest provides the perfect forum for artists, performers, and enthusiasts to come together in a symphony of expression and admiration. This annual Fine Arts & Music Festival blooms in the heart of the South Walton community, taking art appreciation and cultural immersion to new heights.

From painting and ceramics to jewelry and digital design, the spectrum of exhibits reflects the limitless boundaries of creativity. Furthermore, ArtsQuest understands the intrinsic connection between art and culture, where each artist’s individual work tells a unique story that resonates with the community.

The Cultural Arts Alliance’s initiative gives artworks and performances space to be viewed, appreciated, and celebrated by the community. As the curtains rise for the upcoming ArtsQuest Fine Arts & Music Festival, let us embrace the opportunity to relish the beauty of creativity and, simultaneously, share in South Walton’s thriving cultural heartbeat.



Memorial Day Weekend Celebrations (May)




As summer beckons with its promise of sunny days and clear night skies, there’s no place like HarborWalk Village in Destin, Florida, to kick things off. The Memorial Day Weekend Celebration at HarborWalk Village is an eagerly awaited event that marks the unofficial start of summer in spectacular fashion. The celebration transforms the Destin Harbor into a vibrant stage for live music, dazzling air shows, and mesmerizing fireworks, creating an atmosphere of pure joy and excitement for locals and visitors alike.


The festivities commence with an evening of live music where the lineup promises to enthrall attendees with powerful performances. The excitement continues with a respectful remembrance ceremony, accompanied by a vintage air show, inviting everyone to look skyward in awe. As the sun sets, the night sky lights up with fireworks and fire spinning, painting the harbor with vibrant colors and energy. The celebration doesn’t stop there; a Silent Disco on Captain’s Deck and live music ensure the party goes on, capped off with another brilliant fireworks and fire spinning display.


With an on-site parking fee that includes all-day access and same-day return, the Memorial Day Weekend Celebration at HarborWalk Village is both accessible and convenient, making it an unmissable event for those looking to commemorate the holiday in style. Set against the idyllic location of 10 Harbor Blvd, Destin, Florida, this annual event offers a perfect blend of entertainment, remembrance, and summer fun, welcoming the warmer months with open arms and uplifted spirits.


Vacation with Emerald Coast Vacation Rentals

As we spotlight all of these great events we would like to invite you to a relaxing stay with Emerald Coast Vacation Rentals. Offering the finest selection of properties along the stunning sugar-white sands and emerald green waters of the Gulf Coast, ECVR ensures that your cultural getaway is complemented by the comfort of a place that feels like home. Indulge in the array of choices, from pet-friendly accommodations to beachfront rentals, ensuring your stay is tailor-fit to your preferences and needs.

Why vacation with us at Emerald Coast Vacation Rentals? The answer lies in the seamless blend of comfort, convenience, and exclusive experiences that our guests testify to time and again. With our meticulous cleanliness, exceptional service, and added perks like our exclusive Amenities Package. Join us for more than just a vacation, but an extension of your artful journey, where the splendor of nature meets exceptional hospitality. Take the first step towards creating unforgettable memories along the mesmerizing shores of Florida’s Emerald Coast—vacation with us at ECVR, where your ideal getaway awaits.