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“Best Of 2010” – Picks The Best Things To Do While On Vacation In Destin, Fl

Year after year, travelers from all over the world come to Destin to enjoy the beautiful beaches and upscale entertainment.  However, most travelers don’t have the opportunity to experience the best of Destin because they simply don’t know.  In my experiences as a local resident in the Destin area, I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of interesting people.  I would get the question asked a lot, “What is there to do in Destin?”  For all those people reading this and planning to visit Destin in 2010, let me give you a clue to what will be hot in 2010.

10. Shopping – Destin is home to two major shopping centers and a handful of medium to large shopping plazas.  The two big shopping centers that headline the area are Destin Commons and Silver Sands Outlet Mall.  Both of these Malls include popular brand stores such as GAP, Coach, Victoria Secret, Bass Pro Shop and Saks 5th Avenue.  If you need a break from the sun, shopping is a great alternative!

Best Tip – Before going shopping, be sure to check out the website for these shopping centers for discounts and other promotions.

9. Air Force Armament Museum – The Air Force Armament Museum is located in Fort Walton Beach, but it is a must see for anyone visiting Destin.  Surrounding the museum are various aircraft used in World War II and beyond.  Inside the museum, you’ll experience numerous weapons dated back to the 1800’s.  It’s free to enter the museum, but a donation is appreciated to maintain the building.

Best Tip – Museums are a great way to spend the day when the weather is unfavorable for outdoor activities.

8. Go on a Dinner Cruise – Instead of eating at a restaurant, how about on a three- story yacht?  Sunquest Dinner Cruises offers the best in upscale dining and is great for the entire family.  Enjoy a 3-hour dinner cruise while listening to live entertainment with beautiful sunset and scenery of the Choctawatchee Bay.

Best Tip – SunQuest Dinner Cruises is located in the Baytown Marina on the east side of Destin.  Arrive early to insure a good seat and enjoy a cold beverage while you’re waiting for the boat to take off.

7. Take a Helicopter Tour – Have you ever wondered what it’s like viewing Destin from above?  Take a tour with Destin Helicopter and see the beautiful beaches from an entirely different perspective.  You can even do a Shark Tour where the pilot lets you see sharks swimming below, Yikes!

Best Tip – Make sure you go on a sunny day so you can get the most out of your photo shoots.

6. Fly High, Go Parasailing – Unlike the helicopter tour, you can actually feel the wind in your face.  Make sure to let the captain know you don’t want to get wet!  Check out Harbor Water Sports in Destin for a fun Parasail Adventure.

Best Tip – Most of the time, you can have up to three people during each flight.  This will help the ones who are scared of heights.

5. Dolphin Tours – There is nothing like a relaxing sunset cruise on the Destin harbor.  In addition, you have the opportunity to see Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.  If you’re lucky, they will come up right to the boat and do tricks!  These trips are relatively inexpensive and a great activity for the entire family.  Olin Marler Charter Cruises is a great choice for your dolphin cruise experience.

Best Tip – Have your camera ready at all times.  Dolphins will come and go very quickly at times.

4. Big Kahuna’s Water Park – Big Kahuna’s Water Park is one of the biggest attractions on the emerald coast.  In addition to the water park, you’ll find go-carts, miniature golf and thrill rides.  This is a top pick for kids, but it’s also fun for all ages

Best Tip – If you plan on staying in Destin for more than a week, it may be wise to get a seasonal pass for $100.  Single ticket prices can range from $40-$50 per person and the seasonal pass will allow entry all week.

3. Snorkeling – You are probably wondering how snorkeling made it up this far, but snorkeling can be very fun and exciting.  Destin Snorkel offers tours daily that take you to a popular location near the harbor that provides great visibility.  You can also rent an underwater camera that lets you take digital pictures and video for just $25 extra.  Destin Snorkel offers free kayak rental, complimentary beverages and high quality goggles, snorkel and flippers.

Best Tip – Sunny days are the best for snorkeling because it gives the best visibility for underwater viewing.

2. Charter Fishing – Charter Fishing has been Destin’s most popular activity since the 1950’s.  The Destin Harbor is home to hundreds of charter fishing vessels available for hire.  There are trips available for all ages and skill level.  Olin Marler Charters is one of the oldest fleets on the harbor and has some of the most experienced captains at the helm.

Best Tip – For those of you that rarely go fishing, it is suggested you take a motion relief medicine called “bonine”.  Unlike its counterpart, dramamine, bonine is a non-drowsy relief medicine so you don’t sleep through your fishing trip!

1. Visit the Beach! – This should be a no-brainer in our count down!  Millions of people visit the emerald coast each year for our sugar white beaches.  Take a swim in the crystal clear waters or relax on a beach chair and soak up some sun.  There is much to enjoy on Destin’s beaches and that best part is… It’s FREE!

Best Tip – Never underestimate the sun.  Always use sun tan lotion to avoid sunburn.  The white sand of Destin’s beaches is used as a reflector, which can raise the risk of sunburn regardless of the temperature.

Some other activities that didn’t make our list, but our worth checking out are Sailing Charters, Laser Tag, Pontoon Rentals, Jet Ski Rentals, Kiteboarding, Surf Lessons and Golfing

There you have it folks, the best of 2010 in Destin, Florida.  Go to to view all the different Destin attractions.  Book online or call 850-424-5125 for reservation assistance.

The author of this article is Greg Fisher, Co-founder of TripShock!.  You can visit his site at
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