** Updated for Thanksgiving 2021 **
Hints of fall are scattered throughout the Florida Panhandle, and we couldn’t be happier. As everyone gears up for the holidays, we lay our eyes on Thanksgiving – a holiday full of family and friends, good food (sometimes way too much!), and fall festivities. Spending the holidays along Florida’s Emerald Coast is a family tradition for many. Learn about where to eat Thanksgiving dinner, what to wear, and everything there is to do during the week so you can plan out your perfect beach escape.
Thanksgiving Day – an annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year.
Where to eat Thanksgiving dinner in Destin/30A
790 on the Gulf | Destin, Florida
790 on the Gulf is a waterfront restaurant located along Old 98 in Destin. They are still cooking up the menu, so we’ll post more details once they’re available!
Beach Walk Café | Destin, Florida
For a classy, unique dining experience, consider making reservations (required) with Beach Walk Café at Henderson Park Inn. They’ll be serving up mouthwatering plates from 12 – 5 pm. From a green goddess Caesar salad, bourbon honey glazed ham, Southern cornbread turkey dressing, and a wonderful selection of other delicious eats, this is a meal you won’t forget! Please note that everyone in the party must be at least 13 years of age. Take a gander at Beach Walk Café’s Thanksgiving menu!
Blue Mountain Bakery | 30A, Florida
We are excited about what Blue Mountain Bakery has to offer this Thanksgiving holiday! Pre-order a homemade meal that’s packed perfectly for you to reheat on the big day. Follow the instructions provided, and you’ll eat like Kings and Queens without all the stress. This menu is amazing, and they also have vegan options available. Check out Blue Mountain Bakery’s Thanksgiving menu
Brotula’s | Destin, Florida
Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer, located waterfront on the Destin harbor, is a local favorite. They’ll be serving up their 6th annual Thanksgiving feast, all day long, from 11 am until 7 pm. Reservations are highly recommended. Check out their Brotula’s Thanksgiving Menu
Cuvee 30A | 30A, Florida
We’re patiently waiting to see what fabulous dishes Tim Creehan serves up at Cuvee 30A this year!
Harbor Docks | Destin, Florida
Give back to the local community at Harbordocks Thanksgiving drive up feast. From 11 – 5, they’ll be serving free traditional Thanksgiving meals to-go. Donations are accepted which benefit both Okaloosa Habitat for Humanity and Destin Harvest. Harbordocks is proud to offer this amazing community event for the 27th year. Check out Harbor Docks Give Thanks event
Kenny D’s | Miramar Beach, Florida
Take all the hassles off your shoulder this holiday season, and let Kenny D’s cook for you! They take advance reservations on their oh-so-famous and oh-so-scrumptious Cajun fried turkeys. Or, turn it into a meal with green beach casserole, yams, rice & gravy, dinner rolls, and some pumpkin pie! You won’t be disappointed with Kenny D’s Thanksgiving fried turkeys!
Marina Cafe | Destin, Florida
Marina Cafe normally has a Thanksgiving buffet – more info coming as soon as they drop their 2021 menu!
Old Florida Fish House | 30A, Florida
Experience a tasty meal Old Florida Fish House’s Turkey Day Buffet from 11am – 6pm. The roasted turkey is absolutely scrumptious and pairs well with the brown sugar and fall spice candied ham. Prime rib is the local’s favorite, or tease those tastebuds with some salmon or shrimp. Check out Old Florida Fish House’s Thanksgiving menu
Solaris Dinner Cruise | Sandestin, Florida
Spend Thanksgiving on the water, cruising through the beautiful Choctawhatchee Bay with SunQuest Cruises. You’ll enjoy a fabulous Thanksgiving lunch or dinner buffet aboard the 125 foot Solaris Yacht. As the drinks begin flowing, feel free to explore the three decks, and savor carved meats, fresh veggies, and delectable desserts. The cruise is family-friendly, however children must be supervised. Call ahead for reservations. Check out the Solaris Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise
Stinky’s Fish Camp | 30A, Florida
Savor an amazing meal at one of 30A’s most iconic restaurants, Stinky’s Fish Camp. It’s the only day of the year where you can make reservations here, and in fact, they highly encourage them as they fill up quickly! A special Thanksgiving menu is served from 11am – 7pm on Thanksgiving Day – give Stinky’s a call to save your seat!
What to do Thanksgiving week in Destin/30A
Explore a state park or forest
After stuffing yourself with good food, go exploring the trails of a state park or forest in Destin or 30A. Our top favorites are the Topsail hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, the Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, and the Washington State Forest in 30A. Depending on the park, you can enjoy walking/hiking trails, go cycling, or even rent a kayak for water exploration. These experiences are an inexpensive way to spend quality time with the family and allow you all to connect with Mother Nature. We would suggest checking with each park first on activities available, and if you need to rent a bicycle or kayak directly, check out our friends at Rent Gear Here. For those looking for the ultimate adventure, inquire with Jeep 30A to learn about their off-roading forest tours!
Schedule family beach portraits
Family portraits are great to schedule in the fall when tourism slows. The beaches aren’t as busy, so you tend to have more opportunities to capture those stunning family memories. Remember, family photos should be fun and candid. Don’t stress, and just be yourselves! We love fun, vibrant colors so think about mixing it up from the normal all white ensembles. Ashley Nichole Photography and Savannah Rio Photography both do amazing jobs at making you feel comfortable and capturing your authentic smiles. Ashley shot our wedding, and Savannah has done both family portraits for our family as well as professional headshots.
Run a race
30A’s most famous Thanksgiving Day races are back. Join the crowd for a 10K, 5K or 1 mile run where proceeds are donated to local charities. You must register before the event as there is no same-day registration. This is a family-fun event, ideal for runners and walkers, young and wise(r). Learn more about the 30A Thanksgiving race before it’s too late!
Build a sand castle
Sand castles are such a fun and exciting way to spend time with your family or friends on the beach. Make unique memories and build a design you’ll be proud of. Beach Sand Sculptures and Sandcastle Rockstars offer lessons and service to all areas between Destin and 30A. The possibilities are endless, whether you make a sand turkey sculpture or create your dream castle.
Host a beach bonfire
Beach bonfires are a unique and fun way to spend an evening under the stars. There are many local service providers to choose from, but our favorites are Salty Girls Beach Setups, The Bonfire Guy and Light Me Up beach bonfires. Services range depending on your party size and can include various offerings like permit-pulling, setup and clean up, smores, beach chairs and tables, speakers, tiki torches, and much more. Grab a blanket, and curl up along the beaches of South Walton in this cool experience!
What the weather is like Thanksgiving week in Destin/30A
The weather is absolutely beautiful in November here in the Florida Panhandle. The days can be warm as the beaches heat up with the bright Florida sun. Evenings tend to cool off as the sun sets. We would suggest packing a few long sleeve shirts and a hoodie or jacket, along with your swimsuits and sunscreen.