** 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/Ft Walton Beach
AJ’s on the Bayou | Ft Walton Beach, Florida
Join the friendship and feast at AJ’s on the Bayou this year! From 11am – 4pm, they’ll be serving up your classic Thanksgiving meal, and at no cost to you! Yep! You heard us right! Donations are strongly encouraged by those who are able and will benefit the Kids on the Coast Foundation. What cooler way to celebrate family and friends and give back to the local community! Read more about AJ’s on the Bayou Thanksgiving Day Feast!
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!
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
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
Marina Cafe | Destin, Florida
You’re going to love this Thanksgiving Buffet along the Destin harbor! From roasted turkey, beef brisket, fish options, and maple glazed ham, you’ll have plenty to choose from. The savor sides are to die for, and make sure to save room for some pecan pie, pumpkin cheesecake, or a bananas foster bread pudding! Buffet runs from 11am – 7pm. Adults are $54 | Children are $24 | Kiddos under 5 are FREE! See Marina Cafe’s Thanksgiving Buffet menu here
Rhumcay Island Grille | Destin, Florida
Look no further than Rhumcay’s, located waterfront along the Destin Harborwalk Village. They’ll be serving up a traditional Thanksgiving feast with all the fixings, from 11am – 9pm. Price is $35/person and advanced reservations are highly recommended. Enjoy dinner with an amazing view – you may even catch some dolphins playing in the harbor. More details available for Rhumcay Island Grille Thanksgiving dinner
Where to eat Thanksgiving dinner in Miramar Beach
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!
Ocean Club | Miramar Beach, Florida
You are cordially invited to dine and sip at The Ocean Club’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. Reservations are required, and seating opens at noon and lasts until 8pm. This is an excellent restaurant that’s a local favorite, tucked away just outside of the Tops’l Resort in Miramar Beach. The Ocean Club dinner
Royal Palm Grille | Miramar Beach, Florida
Take the stress out of finding a place to dine on Thanksgiving, and join the Royal Palm Grille family. They have an amazing $39 menu where they’ll be dishing up a harvest salad, slow roasted herb crusted turkey, sides, and choice of dessert. No reservations required. Let’s Give Thanks with Royal Palm Grille
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
Where to eat Thanksgiving dinner in 30A
Blue Mountain Bakery | Blue Mountain, 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
Café Thirty-A | Seagrove, Florida
Café Thirty-A does it up right with an excellent feast on Thanks giving Day. They are already sold out for their seated dinner, however they have amazing to-go dinners still available. Pick up is between 11am – 5pm and feeds 6. Check out the Café Thirty-A Thanksgiving take out menu
Cuvee 30A | Rosemary Beach, Florida
**RESERVATIONS ARE FULL – CAN BE ADDED TO WAIT LIST ONLY** Lay your eyes upon Chef Tim Creehan’s scrumptious Louisiana Fried Turkey, and you won’t want to go anywhere else! Don’t worry, he has all the fixings there, too, and some fabulous desserts. Open from 11am – 3pm, Thanksgiving Day, adults will be $89.99 and children under 10 are $49.99. This is one of the hottest places to be in 30A on Thanksgiving Day! Cuvee 30A’s Thanksgiving Day Dinner is at it again!
Destin Ice Market 30A | Inlet Beach, Florida
Order a scrumdidlyumptious Thanksgiving Day meal from Destin Ice Market 30A. You must place your order by November 20th and pick up between 11am – 5:30pm on November 24th. The market is closed Thanksgiving Day. They have options from uncooked turkeys where you can do your magic, to smoked turkeys that are so savory. Choose from lobster mac and cheese, cornbread dressing, garlic mashed taters, and so many other excellent sides. This is an amazing way to relax in your vacation rental and dine with closest friends and family over the holiday! Destin Ice Market 30A Thanksgiving To Go Menu
Great Southern Café | Seaside, Florida
For a gobble good time, head to Seaside’s famous Great Southern Café. This year, they are rockin’ a plated meal which will leave you stuffed and thankful. Advanced reservations are required. Seatings are available between 10am – 4pm. Adults are $39 | Children are $19. Give Great Southern Café a buzz today so you don’t miss out on the pumpkin cheese cake with Chantilly cream and caramel glaze!!
Little’s Lunches & Kitchen 30A| Inlet Beach, Florida
We’re thrilled to share a newer experience with you all! Order ahead of time from Little’s Lunches and Kitchen, and you’ll get a whole Thanksgiving meal prepared. All you have to do is pick it up and heat it up! It cannot get any easier to enjoy the holiday with your family in your vacation rental and still have an amazing meal served. Choose between servings for 4, 6, 8, or 10. Pick turkey, meatloaf, or prime rib. There are a slew of slides to select from, and some amazing desserts to finish the course! You have to check out the Little’s Lunches Thanksgiving menu!
Old Florida Fish House | Seagrove, 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
Stinky’s Fish Camp | Dune Allen, 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 | Miramar Beach | 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 Point 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 Vacayzen or La Dolce Vita. 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. Erica Lambert Lifestyle is a boss babe who has a gorgeous studio in 30A if you don’t want to worry about weather inconveniences – her light and airy studio photos are so dreamy!
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!
Join Boathouse’s Turkey Trot
This is one of our most favorite fall activities! Join us and the Boathouse at the annual Turkey Trot, benefitting Food for Thought. Wear your best Thanksgiving-day outfit for a chance at a Best Dressed Prize. Sip on a bloody mary or a beer, walk, skip, or jump along the harbor at the sponsored stops for some fun holiday obstacles, and join the merriment afterwards for prizes, raffles, and a whole lot of awesomeness.
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 | Miramar Beach | 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.