Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
If you like visiting aquariums this is the place for you. They have tons of marine life to see: dolphins, tortoises, sharks, sting rays, alligators, and more!
They have a touch tank where you can pet hermit crabs and hold starfish. And if you want you can pay and sign up to help with the animals or swim with the dolphins and sting rays.
We also enjoyed watching the dolphin show! Since it is a smaller facility you are able to get a close seat for the shows. They offer shows throughout the day so you could spend all day there if you wanted to.
They had an obstacle course area for the kids to play plus a sandbox area (perfect for toddlers). Theres is also a snack stand where you could get popcorn, drinks, and much more. I loved that it was right on the water so as you were walking around you were able to look out over the ocean as well.
The Gulfarium is located on Okaloosa Island just outside Destin. It is part of Destin’s Fort Walton Beach area and well worth a visit.
Dolphin Sunset Cruise
You see all the advertisements for the dolphin tour and cruises and my first thought is always: how are they going to guarantee you see a dolphin?
I don’t believe it. I was wrong. We saw so many dolphins! It was crazy!!!
Some of them were playing together in the waves while others swam right next to the boat. It was a really cool experience. Again I wasn’t sure about bringing kids on another boat tour, this time it was for 2 hours.
We came prepared: lots of snacks, treats, and drinks. You can bring all your own stuff on the boat, including alcohol. Plus they have a snack bar if you want to buy anything.
While on the boat they had food we could feed the seagulls. The seagulls took chips right out of your hand! They also have a glass bottom, but to be honest we never really saw much through it.
The highlight for the kids was getting a chance to drive the boat! We saw a ton of dolphins and a beautiful sunset. The kids had a lot of fun and since we had the snacks everyone was great the whole time. Another one to add to the list and you can buy your tickets for the Dolphin Cruise now so you are all ready to go.
Pontoon Boat Rental with Destin X Watersports
How have we been to Destin so many times and never rented a Pontoon or visited Crab Island?!!! This is now on the top of our must do list when you visit.
When you rent the pontoon at the Destin harbor ask the people getting your boat ready how to find Crab Island. Then take a nice boat trip around the bay for a few minutes before finding a place to put your anchor down at Crab Island.
What is Crab Island?
It is a sandbar in choctawhatchee bay that has floating restaurants or what I like to call Food Boats – like Food Trucks but on water. The water level is about waste high for adults and after putting an anchor down on your pontoon you can hang out in the boat or spend hours jumping off the boat into the beautiful clear water.
Before walking over the Food Boats to get some drinks and food! Be prepared it is usually really busy and I am sure can get wild. But with kids go early in the day and it will be fun for everyone.
Recommended things to bring:
- Snorkel Gear
- Paddle Board
- A cooler full of food
Catamaran Sailing Trip With Sailing Moby
If you being the captain of the pontoon doesn’t sound fun then leave the driving to the Sailing Moby team and bring your family (max of 6 people) onto their sailboat. Then sit back, relax and let them take care of everything on your boat ride!
What I loved about their boat is they have an inside area. So if you have little ones that need to take a nap or get out of the sun there is a perfect place for this.
They will take you to Crab Island to just hang out there if you would like. Or they have some other great recommendations on places to go based on the weather and what your crew would like to do.
For us we opted to sail to a couple islands where the kids got out to snorkel by the beach and then were able to jump off the boat – their favorite part of the trip!
Recommended things to bring:
- Snorkel Gear (they do provide it – so if you are OK with that you can use theirs)
- Sand Toys
- Beach Toys
- Food – you are welcome to bring a cooler on board
- Bathing Suits – just wear these – it will make it easier
They also have a bathroom on the boat which is super helpful when you travel with kids or plan to have a couple beverages on your trip.
Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone 4D Movie Experience
Looking to get out of the sun and away from the beach and water then head to Wild Willies where you can play arcade games, see a 4D movie, play laser tag. Then head outside for a mini golf course and a ropes course. So many fun activities!!
If you have never gone parasailing we highly recommend it. All of our kids love it and it is another great way to get a different view on the beach and ocean. It can also be a great couples activity to do.
With how clear the water is in Destin I bet there is a good chance you could see some bottlenose dolphins or sting rays in the deep waters while you are up there!
You can rent 1 or 2 seater kayaks to explore the harbor and bay, and even paddle yourself out to Crab Island, if you’re up for it! Other renters have even seen dolphins and other wildlife while kayaking the area. This is a great activity to burn some extra energy while enjoying the great views and wildlife!
Smile n Wave Sailing Adventures
Take a private catamaran adventure on the Smile n Wave! Captain Pam will take you out to the best spots to look for dolphins, go swimming, out in the Gulf, visit Crab Island and more. Just talk to her and see what she recommends!
Her boat is great for families as it has a bathroom below deck. Along with an area where you can get inside with your kids for a minute if you need to.
She had awesome chairs on the boat that we could sit in and a couple net areas out over the water you could hang out in. She was also totally fine with the kids walking around and switching up where they were sitting while we are sailing.
You can bring your own food and drink along and Captain Pam offers you a cooler if you don’t have one.
We saw a bunch of dolphins and just enjoyed being out on the water when we did our 2 hour trip! Captain Pam was super nice and made all of us feel really comfortable on our trip. When you are in Destin you will want to do this!