One of the best things about booking a vacation rental for your visit to Destin is that you will have a home away from home base for your entire stay. You can unpack and relax and really take your time exploring all the Destin, Florida area has to offer. There is so much to do in and around Destin that you’ll want to come back year after year, creating great new memories each time. One way to make the most of your vacation and make some great memories is to schedule a day trip or two during your visit. The Destin coastal area is packed with interesting places to visit and explore. So leave your luggage behind, pack light and discover these fabulous do-in-a-day adventures!
Learn about Florida’s Wildlife at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia CenterThis environmental education center located in East Freeport, Florida is less than an hour away from Destin. The center houses an exhibit hall filled with displays about Florida’s native wildlife. Your family can learn about, and encounter live and up close, the reptiles, birds, and wildcats that call Florida home. Remember to plan in advance, though. The center is only open to the public during the months of June and July, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays.
See a Wild Ride at the National Naval Aviation Museum When the Blue Angels are home at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, they practice twice a week in the open skies. On most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings all summer long the public is free to view their acrobatic feats. The trip to the Naval Air Station from Destin is a lovely coastal drive of about 2 hours. If you plan to view the action from the Naval Aviation Museum’s flight line, bring ID for everyone in your party who is over the age of 16. You’ll also want to bring your sunscreen and hearing protection- the Blue Angels fly loud and proud.
If you can’t make it to the practice session, there’s still plenty to see and do at the National Naval Aviation Museum. The exhibit hall holds a full fleet of Blue Angel jets plus many other restored and one-of-a-kind aircraft. If you’ve never been up close to a fighter jet before, you don’t want to miss the opportunity. Even stationary, these masterfully designed aircraft resonate with power. Your family will love the giant screen theater and flight simulators too. There’s an on-site café to keep the hungries away during this power-packed day trip. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free. (Note: There is a small fee to view Blue Angel practice sessions from inside the flight line.)
Something for Every Interest at the Gulf Islands National SeashoreLocated along the length of the coast west of Destin, the National Park Services Gulf Island National Seashore reaches all the way from Florida to Mississippi. This national recreational and historic park has something for everyone to discover and explore. Visitors can enjoy traditional beach activities such as snorkeling, swimming and picnics or tour historic forts and archaeological sites.
This national seashore is just one of ten that exist in the United States. The National Park Services maintains the Gulf Island National Seashore for man and nature alike. Eight miles of undeveloped beachfront are preserved along this stretch of the gulf. This undisturbed land is a habitat for migratory and marine birds, native plants and nesting sea turtles. Four different species of threatened or endangered sea turtles are known to nest in the area.
Sail the Sea
Several different companies are at the ready to take your crew aboard to sail the gulf coast seas. From speed boats to catamarans, you can choose your speed. Many friendly captains will even let your children take a spin at the wheel. From short tours to full day trips, you can select the experience you want to have. You can even take an excursion on a pirate ship, argh! The Buccaneer’s family friendly pirate captain has installed bathrooms on his ship and serves smoothies and hot dogs for the kids or beer and wine for mom and dad.
If you’d like to really get your hands wet, try a day or two of sailing school. Sailing classes are available for all levels of experience. Introduce your children to art of seafaring or learn about it yourself. Set sail with your experienced instructors and find out what “learning the ropes” really means.
Destin is the perfect destination for your next vacation. No matter what your ideal vacation includes, from days spent lounging on the beach to discovering Florida’s rich history, you can make it happen in Destin. Unpack and relax, then get to know this wonderful region. The white sand and emerald waters of the gulf coast are waiting.