The ‘Crown Jewel of the Emerald Coast’
and the ‘World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.’
Destin is the backdrop for the Gulf of Mexico framed with beautiful snow-white sand beaches. The sand is made of pure Appalachian quartz which gives the waters their trademark emerald-green color as it reflects sunlight through the surf.
Whether you are looking for long stretches of undeveloped beaches or beaches dotted with condos, restaurants and bars, you can find it all here in Destin. What once was a sleepy little fishing village has become a world-class destination for travelers looking to make memories.
Shortly after arriving in Destin, you will see it’s a perfect beach town—laid-back and just right for relaxing with your family. It is different from other beach towns in Florida such as Miami or Clearwatater where the road that borders the beach is a hub of restaurants and bars. With 13 beach access points there are plenty of places to enjoy the water, but much of Destin’s beaches are private or reserved for guests of adjacent vacation rentals or hotels. Our suggestion is to pick the area of beach you like and then find accommodations nearby. Check our “where to stay” page for more info.
The best time to visit Destin is during April and May when the water is warm, the sun is shining and the temperatures are comfortable. Earlier in the year, the water is cooler and the weather is a bit chilly. However, our philosophy is “any day at the beach is better than a day in the office.” If the only time you can visit is during the summer, you will experience larger crowds and peak prices. Another good time to visit is late summer and early fall. If you choose to visit during the winter off-season, many of the area’s top activities are closed. Be sure to double-check your “must do activities” before you make non-refundable deposits on accommodations.
For fewer crowds, better prices, and great temperatures, April and May are going to be your best months to visit Destin.
If you visit any earlier, you risk cooler weather and chilly water. During the summer months, you will experience more crowds and peak prices on accommodations and activities. Although you might consider late summer and early fall, the temperatures can still be hot and humid accompanied by rain. Average highs reach the high 80s in summer, while winter temps fluctuate between the low 40s and 60s. Some travelers do visit in the winter off-season when rates drop, but they miss out on the area’s top activities.
This time-period is the best time to capitalize on lower hotel rates left over from winter and still be able to enjoy the great weather. The water temperature will be in the 70s by April and continue to rise through May. You can expect the daytime temperature to average somewhere around the mid-70s to 80s.
This is peak season for Destin. The beaches will be quite populated with people, you will have wait times in the restaurants, and reservations are required for almost every activity. Unfortunately, hotels take advantage of this phenomenal environment and hike up the rates.
Fall on the Emerald Coast brings some ideal temperatures (highs in the 70s to 80s, lows in the 40s to 60s); however, it can also bring some rain during September and October. The wet season usually ends by November and you will see a steep drop in the temperature (the 60s become the high). Still, this is not a bad time of year to visit to avoid the crowds and the heat. If you find a reasonable hotel deal, it might be worth taking a chance on this time of year.
Temperatures in the winter are much cooler with average highs in the low 60s and lows in the 40s. Still, the only snow Destin has will be the beautiful snowy white sand beach; you’ll just have to bundle up pretty good. For this reason, hotels and resorts offer enticing bargains. If you don’t mind golfing in a sweater, this might be the perfect time for you.
|61°F 16°C||63°F 17°C||68°F 20°C||74°F 23°C||82°F 28°C||87°F 31°C|
|45°F 7°C||47°F 8°C||53°F 12°C||60°F 16°C||68°F 20°C||75°F 24°C|
|89°F 32°C||89°F 32°C||86°F 30°C||79°F 26°C||70°F 21°C||62°F 17°C|
|77°F 25°C||76°F 24°C||72°F 22°C||63°F 17°C||54°F 12°C||47°F 8°C|
Average Water Temperatures
Photo Credit for Kids Running to Beach: