Home of amazing Henderson Beach State Park, Primrose Restaurant, Destin Snorkel and fun of activities to do on Memorial Day in Destin. We've compiled some of the best things to do in Destin on this Memorial Day holiday.
Featuring more than a mile of sparkling beach set along the Gulf’s shimmering waters, Henderson Beach State Park is located on Emerald Coast Parkway and is a must-visit attraction on Memorial Day for those who’ve come to Florida for its beaches.
Though the beach is the park’s centerpiece, there is also a nature trail and a playground, as well as showers and restrooms.
The beach is relatively close to a number of restaurants, but many guests choose to pack their own grub and make a day of it. When the sun gets to be too much, there are shaded seating areas that offer a nice respite.
Located on the Henderson Beach Resort, Primrose Restaurant is a favorite option for those who want to treat themselves to a taste of the good life while on vacation during Memorial Day.
The restaurant’s menu changes frequently to account for the seasonal availability of both seafood and produce, and previous guests have stated that everything was prepared professionally and with the freshest ingredients.
The restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner; their menu includes steaks, sushi, and homemade desserts in addition to seafood.
Primrose is a bit pricier and more formal than many area restaurants, but for those looking for something a little special, it’s well worth it.
The warm, clear waters along Florida’s Gulf coast are perfect for snorkeling, and they’re full of a huge variety of colorful marine life that are relatively easy to see up close as part of a guided snorkeling excursion.
Destin Snorkel is one of the area’s most well-respected providers of sea tours. In addition to snorkeling, they offer dolphin watching and sunset cruises that are perennial favorites.
Destin Snorkel tours tend to fill up quickly, especially during peak times, so it’s suggested that reservations are made well in advance of your trip on Memorial Day.
Tours depart from Harbor Walk Village in town.
Miramar Beach is just east of Destin on the long spit of land that separates the Gulf of Mexico from Choctawhatchee Bay, and the Market Shops on Emerald Coast Parkway are some of the area’s swankiest retail shopping destinations on Memorial Day.
The shops include more than individual 15 vendors selling everything from art and jewelry to lingerie and bathing suits.
There are a variety of dining options that include pizza, seafood, and French cuisine. During the cooler fall and winter months, there’s often live entertainment in the afternoons and evenings.
Adults traveling without kids should consider checking out their ever-popular annual Bloody Mary Festival.
Kelly Plantation Golf Club is set along a particularly scenic stretch of land that fronts Choctawhatchee Bay, and it was once home to a large turpentine plantation.
The course’s 18 holes wind their way through bayous, magnolia, and palmetto stands and stunning waterfronts.
Previous players have noted that the course’s greens and fairways were well-manicured and that there was a pleasant mix of pristine natural areas and water and sand hazards that made things both scenic and challenging.
Kelly Plantation is definitely not an inexpensive golf option, but for those looking for a memorable round regardless of the cost, it’s a perfect destination during Memorial Day visit.
Located just a few minutes west of downtown Destin, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is one of those rare vacation destinations that’s engaging, entertaining, and educational on Memorial Day.
The park’s animal inhabitants include gators, snakes, stingrays, and even penguins, and there are a variety of staff-led activities that allow visitors to get up close to many of them.
Keep in mind that general admission doesn’t entitle visitors to all the park’s activities and attractions, so be ready to spend a bit more to see and do some extra things.
The park is open daily, and though it’s not cheap, most visitors find it good value.
Vacations have an annoying way of going through cash like a buzz-saw through a wet log. The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is one of those free area attractions that’s the perfect place to spend a few hours when funds are in short supply on Memorial Day.
The boardwalk stretches along the harbor and is a favorite evening destination for those looking to capture a remarkable Florida sunset.
The area includes a variety of shops and plenty of restaurants as well; many of them offer stunning water views and food and drink deals.
The boardwalk hosts many annual events, including the Destin Seafood Festival and an annual fishing rodeo.
Located on Stahlman Avenue, the Destin History and Fishing Museum is a conveniently located attraction that typically takes no more than an hour of visitor’s valuable time.
Destin on Memorial Day has always been a popular spot for saltwater game fisherman and is home to one of the largest commercial fishing fleets in the Sunshine State as well.
The museum focuses on both commercial and recreational fishing, and the exhibits include fishing equipment, photographs, and first-hand accounts of fisherman from eras past.
There’s a huge display of preserved fish caught over the years too, and some antique rods and reels, some of which once belonged to Ernest Hemingway.
During many previous decades, the waters around Florida, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico were crawling with pirates, rum-runners, and other unsavory characters.
Thankfully, those days are long gone, but it’s still possible to have a blast and experience a bit of the pirate life while visiting Destin during Memorial Day.
Buccaneer Pirate Cruises are interactive activities that are geared toward children, but they usually end up being a big hit with parents too.
The tours are conducted on a 100-foot Coast Guard inspected and approved vessel. While onboard, kids will enjoy mock sword fights, water cannon battles, storytime, and even singing and dancing.
Catamarans are impressive crafts that seem to defy the laws of physics as they glide through the water on just a few narrow hulls.
Cattywampus Catamaran Cruises can accommodate more than 40 guests. Their options include eco and wildlife viewing tours, sunset cruises, and snorkeling and shell collecting adventures.
No matter which option you choose, you’ll likely see dolphins, sea turtles, and a variety of fish and birds, not to mention some of the most amazingly panoramic sea views you’re ever likely to see.
Tours depart from the Miracle Strip Parkway in Fort Walton Beach and typically last a few hours.