You’re in Destin, Florida, and it’s time to get you on a boat! We quickly found out that being on the water is one of the most relaxing and invigorating experiences we love. With the turquoise waters surrounding us, the warm sea breeze kissing your cheek, and a splish, splash of a nearby dolphin, it’s easy to see why boating is one of the top-ranked activities in the Florida Panhandle.
Boat – a small vessel propelled on water by oars, sails, or an engine.
Solaris SunQuest Cruise – This is the area’s only dinner cruise where you can experience a wonderful meal prepared for you on the boat, and take in the gorgeous sunset over the Choctawhatchee Bay. Based in Sandestin, the Solaris is a well-known wedding venue. They normally run trips on major holidays for extravagant cruises you don’t want to miss. Dine, dance, and cruise in style!
Dolphin & Sunset cruises
Buccaneer Pirate Cruise – Come have a swashbucklin’ good time with your mateys at Destin’s only pirate cruise! Filled with adventure, a sword fight, and a journey for lost treasures, you’ll love this interactive boat cruise. For those looking for a tamer time, hit the high deck and enjoy an adult libation while looking for dolphins. And for those of you with kids, this will top your must-do list here in Destin, Florida.
Cattywampus – For those of you travelling from the Fort Walton Beach area, you should check out Okaloosa Island’s Cattywampus tours. Their daytime swim and snorkel excursions are so much fun; in the evenings they run their chill-vibed sunset cruises. Grab your snacks and cooler, and enjoy a fun-filled day on the water with this awesome crew! You can even make this a romantic cruise and rent the boat for just your entire family ($$).
Cruisin’ Tikis – One of the newest additions to the Destin harbor are my favorite little boats, the Cruisin’ Tikis! They offer a 1.5 hour sunset cruise nightly, a harbor tour, and even a day time 3 hour Crab Island sandbar adventure. They’re loads of fun and max out at 6 seats, so it’s the perfect way to coastal distance and have your space!
Destin Snorkel – You’ll enjoy these open-air boats that allow that sea breeze to brush past you. During the cruise, they serve complimentary bottled water, and for guests over 21, you can even bring your own cooler with adult drinks (no glass). The 90-minite tour starts with a cruise of the Destin Harbor where you can see the fishing fleet and some of our favorite restaurants (like Harbordocks and Boshamps). Head out into the Gulf for some dolphin spotting, and relax with a gorgeous sunset over the Choctawhatchee Bay.
Southern Star – See flipper from this double-decker, glass bottom boat along the clear waters in Destin, Florida. Pop into the shade, or relax in the AC, and grab a snack or beverage while you pass by the gorgeous scenery around you. This is a family-friendly boat that’s sure to impress guests of all ages.
Every Thursday from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, Destin’s Harborwalk Village hosts a fireworks show that’s a real crowd-pleaser. The following boat cruises are already listed above/below and also offer special fireworks cruises during the summer!
Daniel Webster Clements – Step aboard the 74 foot custom-built schooner that’s a sure beauty! This is one of my favorite date night experiences, while it’s also kid-friendly as well. They offer everything from daytime trips, swim and sail cruises, and even outings for the sunset or fireworks show along the Destin harbor.
Smile N’ Wave – This is one of my most favorite things to do in Destin, Florida, hands down. Captain Pam is a nautical badA (sorry for the wording but nothing less than this will encompass her awesomeness). The thing guests love most about her excursions is that they are all tailored to the special experience each group wishes to have. It’s a smaller boat than the big tour boats, creating a more personal experience. She books up fast, and there’s seriously no cooler boat to be on in Destin. Go sailing, snorkeling, swimming, and live your best life!
Destin Snorkel – Experience the fun of shelling and shallow-water snorkeling in the bay waters where you can search for shells and even partake in a famous hermit crab race! Be sure to wear your swimsuits, bring a towel and sunscreen, and bring a bucket for your cool treasures to take home (as long as they aren’t alive). They also have snorkeling trips and SNUBA where you can get a beginner’s experience diving (it’s seriously such a cool experience!!)
Destin Yachting – The Happy Hour 63 foot private yacht offers clients an upscale, comfortable time where you can truly kick back and relax with family and friends. Located at the Sandestin Marina, it’s an easy drive whether you’re staying in Destin, Miramar Beach, or even 30A. Their cruises can be custom-tailored to fit your needs, from private chefs, floats for Crab Island, and other awesome amenities, you can truly make this a one-of-a-kind adventure.
Holloway Yacht Charters – Based out of the Destin Harbor, this luxury yacht experience is all the rave. Choose from a half-day, full-day or sunset charter, where your Captain lets you explore the local waterways in style for up to 10 guests. Different alcohol and food packages can be catered to fit your needs, making this a dreamy, relaxing day on the water.
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
— William Arthur Ward
Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly boating experience, or want to plan a more romantic night on the water, there’s plenty of options from which to choose. And, if you can’t decide, choose them all!
Bringing the kids with you? Check out our list of our top picks for kid’s activities in the area — all kid approved of course!
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