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Hey, we get it. Sometimes, you need a break from the emerald blue water, the powdery white sand, and the cool gulf breeze on Destin beaches. Maybe, a break from the beach is what you need to recharge in the middle of your Destin family vacation. So if you need a break, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for our 5 best Destin day trips.
Located 25 minutes from Destin, is the first of 5 Destin day trips. The famously beautiful 30A. Here, you’ll find incredible beach towns of Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach, and Seaside, just to name a few. If you have ever seen “The Truman Show,” then Seaside might look familiar as it was the backdrop for the famous Jim Carrey film. We could go on and on about all these amazing beach communities but, they have to be seen to be believed. Read more about our favorite Alys Beach here!
If you want the perfect day on 30A, you’ll have to rent bikes and explore the Timpoochee Trail, an 18.6-mile pedestrian path that parallels the coast. This is definitely one of our favorite activities to take in the famous beach communities and make some pitstops along the way. Stop by Bad Ass Coffee to get some fuel for your ride or Blue Mountain Beach Creamery if ice cream is more your speed. There is no shortage of shopping along your route. And, multiple awesome bookstores, such as Sundog Books in Seaside or The Hidden Lantern Bookstore in Rosemary.
There are so many great dining options along 30A, such as the food trucks in Seaside, Bud & Alley’s (rooftop bar), Great Southern Cafe, and Pescado (rooftop restaurant) to name a few. For the beer lovers, Grayton Beer Brewpub is fantastic. If you drink too much beer, or love 30A so much that you want to stay, check out The Pearl, The Pointe, or Watercolor Inn.
Florida is home to more freshwater springs than anywhere in the world. Fortunately, there are multiple springs within an hour’s drive from Destin! So, if you want to get outside but change up your environment, the springs are the place for you. We have written blog posts on our favorites: Morrison Springs, Ponce De Leon Springs, and Vortex Springs. Trust me, you will definitely want to visit these. And, they are all located close to each other, so you could see them all! Also, do not forget your snorkeling gear!
Pensacola is the “city” on the Emerald Coast. It boasts numerous activities. If history is your thing, check out the National Naval Aviation Museum or walk through Historic Pensacola Village. Rent or bring a bike, and explore the Gulf Islands National Seashore and Fort Pickens. Shop on Palafox street. Eat pizza at Sky Pizza Pie. Dance the night away at Seville Quarter. Watch a Pensacola Blue Wahoos game. Buy some fresh seafood at Joe Patti’s. If you can, time your trip to see the epic Blue Angels fly over Pensacola Beach.
Blackwater River State Park
Blackwater River State Park is an hour drive from Destin, Florida, and is the “Canoe Capital of Florida”. A favorite destination for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, fishing, swimming, and camping. The beautiful dark tannic water contrasts with the white sandbars. We love hiking the Florida Trail, Juniper Creek, and exploring the red rocks and beautiful views. But, there are numerous other trails to explore the 600 acres of undisturbed natural beauty. There are multiple rental outfitters that can set you up with tubes or canoes. If you decide to stay the night, there are tent and RV sites as well as cabins at Blackwater Joe’s. The beach and Black Water River State Park are the perfect places to try out this awesome travel telescoping fishing rod!
Fairhope and Magnolia Springs, AL
Located two hours from Destin are two must-visit Alabama Coastal Towns: Magnolia Springs and Fairhope. Magnolia Springs is a tiny, charming town where the mail is delivered by boat. Enjoy driving along Oak Street to see beautiful southern homes with idyllic oak and magnolia trees lining the street. You have to stop and eat at Jesse’s Restaurant. It is amazing! Then take some time to wander along the river.
Fairhope is a beautiful coastal town that actually inspired the design of Seaside on 30A! We loved wandering the streets around the French Quarter. Browsing books and drinking beer at the Page and Palette Bookstore, and enjoying an afternoon warm brew from Mr. Gene’s Beans Coffee & Sweets. You cannot miss the sunset from Fairhope Pier to cap off an absolutely amazing day trip from Destin. If you decide you need more time in this awesome coastal town stay at Grand Hotel Resort & Spa, Key West Inn, or Holiday Inn Express Fairhope!
We hope you enjoy your time visiting Destin and that you will share your adventures with us. But, if you need a break from the beach, these 5 Destin day trips do not disappoint. If you need some recommendations for what to do in Destin, click here!!
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey is the perfect summer read. Seriously, this book made me feel all the emotions from laughing out loud to tearing up. Alright, alright, alright.