Let’s face it. Destin vacation weather expectation = 100% sunny with a side of a sugar white sands and emerald green waters. But in reality, the winter in Destin brings cooler temperatures (while still very mild compared to many states), and an array of unique activities and events. Whether you’re in Destin in December, welcoming the New Year in January, or find yourself sitting in your Destin, Florida, condo on a rainy day, winter in Destin, Florida, doesn’t disappoint, offering plenty of fun for all ages, any day of the year.
Winter Weather in Destin
One of the best aspects of the Destin climate is that you can visit anytime and enjoy a great experience with weather that’s likely better than the weather at home. In the winter, visitors prefer the less-crowded season filled with mild and beautiful days.
Destin enjoys an average of 226 sunny days each year, and the lowest monthly average temperature falls in January at 45 degrees. Although it can get chilly in the heart of winter, there are still many beautiful days to be spent at the beach – you just might need a light jacket.
If the beach isn’t your ideal Destin winter activity, there are plenty of other things to do in Destin in the winter.
Winter Things to do in Destin, Florida
If you’re checking out Destin, Florida vacation rentals for the winter months, you’ll find there are many days with mild weather still plenty warm to stick your toes in the sand, just maybe not in the water. But if you’re looking to explore all that’s offered in Destin in December and the winter months, here’s a list of activities, attractions, and delicious eats to fill a fun and vibrant vacation itinerary.
Dining in Destin
No matter your meal preference, Destin restaurants don’t disappoint. Dining with a view? The Destin locals’ favorite spots? You’ve got to eat, so soak in the beauty of Destin, the local flair, or delectable bites from one of the famous chefs that call Destin home at one of the fine dining restaurants.
Fix your eyes on your next feast with a view of water at Harbor Docks, Boshamps Oyster House, Boathouse Oyster Bar, Dewey Destin’s Seafood, Royal Palm Grille and Beach Bar, Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer, or 790 on the Gulf. These are some of the top Destin restaurants with local owners that offer some of the best seafood and diverse menus in the area. When the temperature drops, you can dine inside while still enjoying a stunning water view.
If you’re looking for fine dining in Destin or possibly to celebrate a winter holiday with family and friends, Cuvee Kitchen + Wine Bar, Tuscany Italian Bistro, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, Bijoux, and Marlin Grill top the list.
Fun and funky must-try restaurants include Bric a Brac, Fudpucker’s, La Paz Restaurante and Cantina, The Crab Trap, The Back Porch, Pepito’s Mexican Restaurant, and AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar,
Craving pizza or looking to catch your team’s football game or watch a bowl game while visiting Destin, Florida in December and other winter months? Stop by Landshark’s Pizza for tasty pizza, wings, and more while catching your game. Tailfins Ale House and Oyster Bar offers gorgeous harbor views and tons of tv’s to cheer your team on. Other great Destin pizza places include Pizza by the Sea, La Famiglia, Merlin’s Pizza, PJ’s Pizza, Pasta and Ice Cream, and Mimmo’s Ristorante Italiano.
Looking for vegan or vegetarian dining options in Destin? There are many restaurants offering vegan and vegetarian options and menus.
Destin Winter Attractions and Unique Experiences
When the weather drops in the colder winter months, check out one of these fun and unique Destin, Florida attractions.
Try a Unique Experience
- Gator Beach at Fudpucker’s – see over 100 live gators up close and personal
- Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park – marine wildlife exhibits, shows, and experiences
- The Track Family Fun Park – thrill rides, arcades, mini golf, and fun for the whole family
- Escapology – escape room located at The Market Shops
- Escape Zone 60 – escape room in Miramar Beach
Enjoy Fun and Games at Arcades or Mini Golf
- Rainforest Blacklight Golf – 18-hole indoor mini-golf and arcade in Miramar Beach
- Blast Arcade and Laser Maze – located in The Village of Baytowne Wharf
- Thrills Laser Tag and Arcade – located at the entrance of Seascape Resort
Catch the Latest Movies
- Boulevard 10 – movie theater at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin
- AMC Destin Commons 14 – movie theater at Destin Commons
Challenge Your Friends or Family to a Game of Bowling
- Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl – themed bowling alley at Destin Commons
- Hurricane Lanes – bowling alley in Destin
Fish from a Pier
- Okaloosa County Fishing Pier
- Navarre Beach Fishing Pier
Shopping in Destin
There’s no doubt about it. Destin shopping offers an array of options from big name brands to unique local boutiques. Destin Commons is more than a mall – it’s an outdoor lifestyle center offering shopping, fun, and more for the whole family! Silver Sands Premium Outlets is home to over 100 designer and name-brand outlet stores. City Market offers upscale lifestyle shopping. The Market Shops at Sandestin invites visitors to ‘shop like the locals.’ Shop 100’s of your favorite national brands, local boutiques, and upscale specialty shops at Grand Boulevard. No matter what you’ve been eyeing or what the latest trends are, you’re sure to find it when shopping in Destin.
No matter the time of year, Golf enthusiasts can get their game on at one of Destin’s award-winning golf clubs like one of Sandestin’s four courses (The Links, Raven, Baytowne, or Burnt Pine), Kelly Plantation, Regatta Bay, or Emerald Bay.
Events and Live Music
There’s likely always events or live music happening in Destin. Throughout the year, places like HarborWalk Village, Destin Commons, The Market Shops, and many restaurants offer live music, seasonal events, food and wine festivals, and more.
Closed for the Season
Due to the colder temperatures and smaller crowds, visitors will find a few things closed for the season. Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park closes for the winter season, as well as a few local restaurants. But for the most part, the mild temperatures allow local businesses to welcome visitors year-round!
No Matter the Temperature, Destin in the Winter is Plenty of Fun in the Sun
If you’re looking for your next Destin, Florida vacation rental, check out Sterling Sands or Sterling Shores to put you in the heart of Destin’s beauty, activities, stunning beaches, upscale shops, and delectable cuisine. Condo-World offers a variety of Destin rentals to put you just steps from the fun at The Track, minutes from Destin shopping, restaurants, and attractions, and close to the beautiful beach! Your gulf-front winter vacation is guaranteed to be as inspiring as it is luxurious.