What is there to do in Destin, Florida? Whether you and your family are headed for a weekend trip or a week-long vacation, there are so many things to do along Florida’s Emerald Coast.
From the bustling Destin Harbor Boardwalk to the peaceful Henderson Beach State Park with its sugar-white sand, the gorgeous sandbar-like Crab Island to the mouthwatering seafood restaurants on every corner, making the trip to Destin won’t leave you disappointed.
But if you’re really looking for something exciting for the whole family, visiting Crab Island will check the boxes for everyone.
Both peaceful and exciting, boasting incredible views with a fast and a slow pace alike, hopping on a guided tour of Crab Island by Destiny Water Adventures will give you the entertaining and wholesome vacation you’re looking for.
Why Crab Island?
Crab Island is actually not an island. In fact, it’s a beach or ‘spoil island’ that was created by the dredging of sand along the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay. Or, as we locals call it, an ‘underwater sandbar’ located on the north side of the Destin (Marler) Bridge.
Known for its incredibly blue water ranging between only 1-4 feet deep, people love to take out a boat, anchor along the sand, and spend the day enjoying the waves.
Whether you have young or older children, this beach is perfect because of the shallow water and the ability to anchor anywhere.
How To Get To Crab Island?
A common question for visitors is this: “How do I actually get to Crab Island?” There is no safe way to swim to Crab Island, and high tide can be especially dangerous. Renting a pontoon boat makes the most sense, especially if you’re looking to spend time there with your family. Some people refer to this as taking a Crab Island water taxi, but as with all “rides,” choosing the best one counts.
You can take a Crab Island shuttle boat service, just know that you’ll have a public “bus-like” experience with more people than just your friends and family aboard.
If you have a family or large group, we recommend taking a guided pontoon boat tour to get to Crab Island in comfort, shade, and style. All captains are required by law to accompany their passengers throughout the duration of the rental, so you won’t have to worry about safety or getting lost while spending the day with your loved ones.
You can simply kick back, relax, and enjoy your trip.
See this post on the benefits of booking a hotel vs an Airbnb in Destin FL.
What Is There To Do In Crab Island?
If you’re looking for a fun-filled time at Crab Island, here is your ultimate guide!
Outside of enjoying the gorgeous views, hot Florida sun, and quality time with your family, Crab Island also offers restaurants, sight-seeing of marine life, water sports and inflatables, and, of course, pontoon boat rentals so that you can cruise and relax with those you care about the most.
Here are some things you can do in Crab Island:
- You can take a shuttle boat to and from the island for a 3-hour guided trip.
- You can visit one of the floating restaurants for a family meal. There are boat-accessible restaurants located around the island. (Just be sure to check that your desired place is open, kid-friendly, as vendors are not always available or open year-round.)
- You can visit the Gulf Islands National Seashore, which is a national park with various activities. Make sure you look into this ahead of time, as it can be closed for repairs, pandemics, large ships, etc.
- The Crab Island waterpark is unfortunately closed, but you can find a cool Crab Island tour (which has inflatables!) instead.
- Visitors with older kids love to rent a kayak or paddleboard, so keep this as an idea if your kids can manage.
- And, of course, you can rent a boat or jet ski to enjoy the emerald green waters and even see some dolphins!
Crab Island Boat Rental
Pontoon boats are the most popular way to go on a Crab Island excursion.
In fact, many people refer to this area as the “Pontoon Capital of the Word.” For a family-friendly day, a pontoon boat rental is an excellent choice because the slow speeds offer the opportunity to relax, enjoy the views, and have conversations with your loved ones.
First, choose between two options 10-person pontoon boat or a 12-person pontoon boat. Our pontoon rentals come equipped with everything you need for the day, including coolers, Bluetooth stereo, and safety gear.
At Destiny Water Adventures, we offer two options: pontoon rental (for 10 or 12 passengers) and jet ski rentals.
Click here to rent a pontoon tour!
Crab Island Jet Ski Rental
If you’re looking to add a little more excitement to your family’s day trip, you may consider renting a jet ski.
While pontoon boats offer a comfortable and relaxed experience, jet skis are a great option if you’re looking for a faster pace. Whether you’re a jet ski veteran or this is your first time, our expert guides will help you find the no-wake zones, the best sight-seeing areas, and stay safe while having tons of fun.
We offer two different jet ski tours:
- Crab Island Guided Jet Ski Tour: A 1-hour guided trip to the island
- Crab Island + Dolphin Jet Ski Tour: A 1.5-hour tour that includes sightseeing of the island, Destin Harbor, and the Destin east pass (what locals call “the Dolphin playground”).
Click here to book a jet ski tour!
Crab Island Cancellation & Weather Policy
For the safety of our guests, Destiny Water Adventures does not operate in unsafe weather conditions, but light rain is not a deterrent. Before the rental or guided tour, the Captain will assess the weather and communicate with the guest. In extreme weather conditions, your tour may be postponed or canceled.
If a trip is canceled by Destiny Water Adventures for any reason, every effort will be made to reschedule the trip during your stay. If you are unable to reschedule, you will have the option of either receiving a voucher for a future trip or a full refund.
However, every effort will be made to run tours as scheduled. We understand that life happens, so we offer a 48-hour cancellation policy. Outside of the 48-hour period, or a no-show, are charged in full. Should Destiny have to amend or alter your tour due to extraneous circumstances, tickets remain non-refundable on tours taken.
Read Terms and Conditions + Common Sense HERE.
How do you get to Crab Island?
Crab Islanded is located on the north side of the Destin Bridge. You can access it via boat or jet ski, and you’ll find that it’s a quick trip from Ft. Walton Beach. Heads up! The traffic in Destin can be rough, so plan accordingly.
Is Crab Island Kid Friendly & Family-Friendly?
Yes, Crab Island is kid friendly! There are parties and times of the year that get a little crazier than others (like Spring Break), but Crab Island is extremely family-friendly. If you and your family want to avoid the party scene, you can anchor your boat in a different area and enjoy more kid-friendly activities (water sports, inflatables, sightseeing, tossing a football, etc).
It’s also a good idea to plan your day trip on a weekday (avoiding Saturday and Sunday to lessen the crowds!) or on an off time of the year. Holidays tend to be a bit busier but offer a fun time when you find your little ‘nook’ of the sandbar.
When is the best time to visit Crab Island?
Although Crab Island boasts beautiful views and is technically open year-round, it’s more of a seasonal destination. You’ll have the best (and warmest!) experience during the spring and summer months (March/April through October). However, it all depends on what you’re looking for. More populated times are holidays, and visiting on a weekday will be far less crowded than a weekend.
Do you offer Destin Boat Rentals or Crab Island Excursions?
We offer both! Although our Crab Island tours are popular, we also offer the opportunity for Destin vacation boat rentals for all of the greater Destin area (for no extra charge!). Just let us know what you’re interested in and we can make it happen.
Other Places to Visit In Destin Florida
Outside of Crab Island, there are many amazing places to visit in Destin Fl.
- Henderson Beach State Park: One of the most beautiful places in Destin, locals love Henderson Beach State Park because it’s a perfect mix of nature and recreation. (You can also camp there!)
- Destin Harbor Boardwalk: This is a great sight-seeing walk for the whole family. There are shops, restaurants, and frequent events, like the yearly Destin Seafood Festival.
- Gator Beach: “The World’s Greatest Alligator Park” is a great place for family-friendly fun! Gator Beach is filled with wildlife and opportunities to touch, learn, and enjoy a real Florida experience.
- Okaloosa Island: Located between the cities of Destin and Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island and the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier is the best places to see wildlife, eat, relax, and, of course, fish!
See this post for our full list of the best beaches in Destin, Florida.
You can visit any of these places (including Crab Island, of course!) in a guided boat tour of the greater Destin, Florida area. To learn more or to reserve your pontoon today, book online.