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Looking for a guide to visiting the Destin Harbor Boardwalk as well as a list of the best things to do there?
Located along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico, the Destin Harbor Boardwalk is the best way to experience the emerald-green waters of Destin, Florida
Providing access to waterfront bars and restaurants, boat tours, watersport rentals, and dozens of charter fishing options, Destin Harbor Boardwalk is packed to the brim with fun things to do!
The following article contains a complete guide for visiting Destin Harbor Boardwalk, as well as lists everything there is to do there!
What is the Destin Harbor Boardwalk?
The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is a classic wooden walking path (a.k.a. boardwalk) that extends from William T. Marler Bridge to Destin Yacht Club West.
Completed in 2012, the Destin Harbor Boardwalk is 0.8 miles long. It is enhanced by beautiful landscaping, lighting, and places to sit.
The boardwalk follows the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico on the west end of Destin, as shown on the map below.
The Destin Harbor Boardwalk was created to provide easy access to local fishing charter boats, waterfront restaurants, and a multitude of family-friendly activities.
It’s also home to Destin HarborWalk Village, which is by far, one of the best things to do in Destin.
Harborwalk Village is a designated hub of restaurants, shops, attractions, and entertainment (plus, weekly fireworks and parades in the summer) located on the Boardwalk.
A must-do for anyone visiting or vacationing in Destin, Florida, you can spend anywhere from 1 hour to one full day exploring all of the things to do at Destin Harbor Boardwalk and HarborWalk Village.
*Going to Destin? Check out our complete Florida vacation packing list that includes our Florida faves!
Destin Harbor Boardwalk FAQs
- Entrance fee: There is no fee to enter and walk the Destin Harbor Boardwalk or HarborWalk Village. There are, however, fees for the various activities and attractions found here.
- Parking: There are several places to park to access the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, most of which require a fee.
The City of Destin, for instance, charges a $5.00 flat fee for its public parking lots in the Destin Harbor District which includes the Zerbe Street parking lot, and the Marler Street parking lot.
In addition, there are a number of private parking options within walking distance of the Destin Harbor Boardwalk that also charge a fee.
For a flat fee of $20, we find the Destin HarborWalk Village parking lot (34 Harbor Boulevard) to be the most convenient. Spots are only available on a first-come, first-served basis, however, and can fill up fast.
- Food: There are multiple places to eat, drink, and snack on the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. Most of them do NOT accept reservations (call to verify). Options range from food trucks to casual and refined dining.
- Seasonality: Despite the weather, the Destin Harbor Boardwalk has things to do both indoors and outdoors.
- Dress code: There is no dress code when visiting the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. It is extremely casual here and you will fit in whether you’re wearing a T-shirt and shorts, or a swimsuit and cover-up.
As mentioned, there are several activities and entertainment options on the Boardwalk that are only available seasonally.
This includes fireworks, parades, and live outdoor entertainment that is only held during the months of May through August.
Regardless, the Boardwalk is a great place to visit anytime as there are dozens of other things to do year-round.
A list of Destin Harbor Boardwalk’s special events and when they’re held can be found here.
Oh, and psst…we love Destin, FL so much that we’ve written several other posts to help you plan your trip!
- The 33 Best Things to do in Destin, Florida While on Vacation
- 13 Best Places to Eat Breakfast in Destin, FL
- A Guide to The 8 Best Destin, Florida Beaches
- Things to Do on 30A for Endless Florida Fun!
- How to Stay Cool in the Florida Heat While on Vacation
Best Things to Do at Destin Harbor Boardwalk
If you’re looking for a fantastic place for a family vacation, it’s no wonder you’re considering Destin, Florida!
Along with Destin’s gorgeous white-sand beaches, Destin is known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”. It is also home to the world’s largest charter fishing fleet!
Whether you’re fishing, swimming, or enjoying Destin’s endless array of activities and attractions, there is something to do for everyone in Destin.
Here’s a look at the best things to do at Destin Harbor Boardwalk that can be enjoyed by both visitors and locals of all ages.
1. Enjoy Amazing Waterfront Dining
Where there is great fishing, there are great seafood restaurants, and Destin Harbor Boardwalk is no exception.
The Destin Harbor is home to some of the best restaurants we’ve ever experienced while on vacation. (The only problem is that there are so many that you won’t be able to experience them all in one trip!)
Not only will you find an array of cuisine (including seafood!) that is fresh, local, and delicious, but each restaurant has its own unique decor and ambiance – all with amazing views of the ocean, as well as the nightly sunset.
Due to their great food, impressive location, and family-friendly oceanfront atmosphere, the Destin Boardwalk restaurants are extremely popular.
Long waits accumulate during peak tourist seasons, so do plan your meal time accordingly. Also, make reservations well in advance (if available).
Destin Harbor Boardwalk restaurants include:
In order from west to east:
- Harry T’s Lighthouse
- Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville
- AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar
- Dewey Destin’s Harborside Restaurant
- Brotula’s Seafood and Steamer
- Boathouse Oyster Bar
2. Go Fishing!
Being home to the largest (and ‘luckiest’!) charter fishing fleet in the country, there are literally dozens of opportunities to go fishing in Destin!
As a visitor, you just need to decide the type of fishing experience you’re most interested in booking.
Destin charter fishing options departing from the Destin Harbor Boardwalk include in-shore, near-shore, and deep-sea fishing for Grouper, Snapper, King Mackerel, sharks, and more!
There are options for half-day, full-day, and overnight fishing chargers, and the number of people that join the trip depends on whether or not you book a small or large vessel.
Though the fees vary based on the charter, you can expect to pay about $220 to $250 per hour for up to 4 people.
One of the best things about Destin Harbor fishing charters is that the fish get brought back to the docks and put on display, allowing everyone to witness the catch of the day.
3. Browse HarborWalk Village
HarborWalk Village is a condensed area of restaurants, shops, attractions, and seasonal events including parades and fireworks.
Businesses located within HarborWalk Village include America’s Fun Spots, Cubby Caboose (train rides for kids), Gulf Coast Axe House, HarborWalk Adventures, Aloha Surf Swimwear, Destin Nation Beach Gear, and Life is Good.
Boogie Water Sports, Destin Snorkel, HarborWalk Marina, and HarborWalk Theater are also located within the Village.
Everywhere you turn there are fun souvenirs and snacks to buy as well!
Be sure to check out The Fudgery, Tiki Time Destin (for Dole Whip!), and Spun Fun Cotton Candy.
Destin Harbor Boardwalk and HarborWalk Village are often referred to interchangeably. In reality, however, HarborWalk Village is found ‘along’ the boardwalk and isn’t ‘the’ boardwalk. It is, however, the main hub of activities and why they’re referred to as the same thing.
4. Check out HarborWalk Adventures
Located within Destin HarborWalk Village along the boardwalk is a business called HarborWalk Adventures.
HarborWalk Adventures offers several exciting attractions including a giant rock climbing wall, bungee trampolines, aqua spheres, a free-fall attraction, and Destin’s longest and tallest dual zip line.
This dual zip line attraction spans 1,000 feet round-trip between two steel towers that overlook the Destin Harbor.
it is an experience like no other and is fun for both kids and adults!
Tickets for zip lining and other Harborwalk Adventures activities can be purchased online in advance, or at a ticket booth onsite.
For the best rate, purchase a combo package if you’re looking to do more than one of their many activities.
5. Listen to Live Music
There are multiple opportunities to listen to live music at the Main Stage in HarborWalk Village!
With both summer and winter concert series and weekly events called Rock the Docks, Silent Disco Party, and All-American Thursdays, the music here is often accompanied by fire-spinning shows or other live entertainment.
Be sure to check out the HarborWalk calendar of events to check what live music is available and when.
6. Go Parasailing
Parasailing is an unforgettable way to experience the aerial views of Destin’s emerald-green ocean and miles of white sand beach!
Though there are a few other places to go parasailing in Destin, Destin X Parasailing and Boogie Watersports parasailing experiences depart right from Destin Harbor.
If you’ve never been parasailing before, keep in mind that absolutely no prior experience is needed.
Also, parasailing provides a sensation of floating vs. flying, you do not need to know how to swim and do not have to get wet unless desired.
Being that most parasail companies require that parasailers are at least 6 years old and weigh between 50-250 pounds, this is a great activity for families with older children and teens.
7. Take a Boat Cruise
Destin Harbor Boardwalk is home to multiple excursion companies offering a large variety of captained boat cruises.
Options for Destin boat cruises departing from Destin Harbor include:
- Dolphin Cruises
- Glass Bottom boat cruises
- The Buccaneer Pirate Cruise
- Sea Blaster rides (73 ft., 100-passenger speedboat)
8. Watersport Rentals
Destin Harbor Boardwalk is also home to several watersport rental companies for those looking to enjoy the ocean on their own.
Options for Destin watersport rentals that originate at Destin Harbor include:
- Jet skis
9. Enjoy Indoor Activities
If you’re looking for fun things to do indoors in Destin, look no further than Destin HarborWalk Village.
The Destin Harbor is home to several things to do on a rainy day in Destin, or when you need a break from the heat.
America’s Fun Spots is home to a mirror maze and video games, and there’s the Gulf Coast Axe Throwing House, Gulf Coast Escape Room, and Harbor Mini Golf.
Our favorite things to do indoors at Destin HarborWalk Village are The Vault: Lazer Maze, Ultimate 7D virtual rides, and HarborWalk Theater which features comedy, magic, and hypnosis.
10. Watch the Fireworks
If you’re visiting the Destin Harbor Boardwalk at night, be sure to catch the weekly fireworks show!
HarborWalk Village hosts the Destin Harbor Summer Fireworks Shows every Thursday at 9:00 PM from Memorial Day through mid-August.
Fireworks shows are also held on holiday weekends and during other special events including the 4th of July, Halloween, New Year’s Eve, and the Destin Harbor Lighted Boat Parade and Destin Fishing Rodeo.
Conclusion: Destin Harbor Boardwalk
And that concludes our guide to the Destin Harbor Boardwalk!
We hope you get a chance to enjoy Destin’s stunning beaches, waterfront dining, live music, and other family-friendly attractions.
While it may be hard to squeeze all of these Boardwalk activities into your trip, pick the ones that you and your kids will love best.
*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*