Listen Like A Local In Destin, FL
You might know Destin, FL for its white sand beaches, world-class seafood, and emerald-green Gulf waters. But, one of the reasons locals love living “local” in Destin is the rockin’ local tunes.
This small, but mighty musical arena is home to a plethora and variety of local musical talent, many say, because the band members enjoy performing at the beach! Well, wouldn’t you? And, if they’re having fun, locals and visitors are, too!
Here you can take in the aesthetically beautiful coastal sunsets, then round out your day with live music and a cold drink at a local grill or bar. Afternoon or evening, it’s easy to find the locals’ favorite live music scene near scenic Destin condos or Destin beach homes. Most are in close proximity to the Destin Harbor and music venues. Rock, reggae, blues, country and practically every genre of popular music can be enjoyed at most any time of the year. Most are family-friendly providing much needed and desired soul-soothing music with breathtaking scenery overlooking the Gulf or the Bay, local coastal style. And all ages are welcome!
Below are some of the locals’ favorite bands and performers and their live music in Destin, FL, hot spots. So, when you’re planning your itinerary, don’t miss these magical experiences that add musical flavor to your trip!
Forrest Williams at Graffiti’s and the Funky Blues Shack
Funky Blues Shack is host to some of the locals’ favorite music artists and bands year-round. The entire place is designed for a festive ambiance with its colored lights and glass balls hanging overhead. Walls have scattered funky artwork and a lot of character. On the menu is seafood, pasta and pizza with a full bar and plenty of dance space after your meal. The casual atmosphere is perfect for families, groups or couples. Bands including I’magene, Post Pluto, Donny Sundal & Boukou Groove and the area’s own Forrest Williams Band play here regularly. Forrest Williams Band is an award-winning favorite among locals and visitors alike with its southern rock, country and blues and incorporates acoustic guitar and the harmonica. Forrest Williams plays all around town, but frequents Funky’s. At any given time, you’ll hear the band crank out older favorites such as “Sweet Melissa” or Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Runnin as well as songs from the second all original studio aslbum “Gonna Take Love.” Now as one of Destin’s own, Forresst Williams grew up in the hills of Arkansas, beginning guitar at age 14. He listened to Rock, Blues, Country, and Folk music from the 60’s up to present day, which has influenced his songwriting. Forrest Williams is currently working on his third studio album, which will take him back to his roots of good ole Country music. Located at 34902 Emerald Coast Pkwy.
Boukou Groove at Boshamps
With a delightful Destin Harbor water view out back and a multi-level deck, this place is always a favorite for the amazing oysters as well as all live music. Boshamps is also a favorite hot spot for Boukou Groove, a lively band with a New Orleans, funk, soul, jazz sound. Founders, guitarist Derwin “Big D” Perkins and singer, keyboardist, Moog Bass player Donnie Sundal, delight listeners with New Orleans Funk and Soulful R&B interconnected with a jam band twist. The releases of “A lil’ Boukou in Your Cup” and “Let The Groove Ride” placed the Destin locals’ favorite band on the map to now play at venues and festivals throughout the globe. A colorful, funky sound from Boukou Groove is what you’ll hear. So get your groove on and your funky fave is only a short rhythm and soul away. Another local favorite, the band I’magene performs live many sunny Sunday afternoons perched on the outdoor deck. With I’magene’s violinist and amazing vocalist, along with the unique view of boats docked and moving, you will be taken to another level with your senses. Located at 414 Harbor Blvd.
Heritage Band at Tailfins
Want a super-amazing view of the Harbor and live tunes, too? Tailfins delivers. Locals say it’s one of the best views on the Destin Harbor with three levels overlooking the Destin Boardwalk and water. It’s a casual atmosphere, bar, live music venue with scrumptious local fare and live music on the top deck with full bar. This gorgeous location is a favorite venue for a local favorite Heritage Band-a perfect fit for the beach with its surf-style, Hip-Hop, Reggae Style. The Destin-based band is big sound and positive and now travels throughout the United States with its own albums and popular original music. They say they’re “simply a group of guys who just want to play music,” delivering a message of good vibes, positivity and love. But even though they’re on the road now a good bit, they always find time for their home-base in Destin to stop and play music they believe truly makes a difference in the quality of life for others.” A holiday with Heritage at Crab Island is not to be missed also. Locals and visitors like to catch them as much as possible on the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, also the title of one of their albums, “Heritage Live on the Boardwalk.” Other local and from all-over bands performing at Tailfins include Get Sideways, Velcro Pygmies, Jump School and Just Cauz to name a few.
Located at the foot of the Mid-Bay Bridge, LuLu’s Destin is a great spot to enjoy live music most nights. And why not? Lulu’s own brother, Jimmy Buffett, is one of the most popular coastal singer/songwriters around. Locals and visitors are fans of Jimmy’s little sister’s Caribbean-style fare as well as the tunes, which mostly have a good island vibe. Maybe that’s why you can hear Boukou Groove a lot on summer Sunday afternoons at Lulu’s, whether you arrive by car or come by boat! Sunsets here are amazing over the Choctawhatchee Bay and combine perfectly with the character and fun of Boukou Groove! Located at 4607 Legendary Marina Drive.
There are a variety of other fun, fantastic and fine venues that play up a variety of creative and welcoming tunes from local and traveling bands and performers in Destin. Below are just a few that will add delightful flare for the entire family:
Destin locals LOVE the sushi at Harbor Docks on the Destin Harbor, which happens to be one of the best venues for live music also. Originally one of the only restaurants in town, Harbor Docks has been in business almost 40 years! A strong local following has been partially responsible, but locals and visitors alike are motivated to go back time and time again because of the Gulf-to-table seafood and sides made from scratch, continued family-friendly and fun entertainment, and the owners’ involvement in the community. There is a main stage outside which offers a mini arena feel. Homegrown local musician and owner of Driftwood Guitars, Chris Alvarado, is a favorite here. Located at 538 Harbor Blvd.
The very name offers a delightful surprise with its retro, sentimental décor. Bric-a-Brac is designed for live music-from the time you enter the restaurant, the sizzling sounds and the exciting smells overtake you. There are “Wow” Latin nights on Fridays and Saturdays, Hip Hop Night on Saturdays, and European Night on Wednesdays. Coupled with the variety of bands in the main room, this place is a winner most anytime. Locals say the shrimp scampi, Bric a Brac chicken and crab cakes are amazing, too. Located in Shoreline Village Mall.
AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar
A long-time local Destin hub, AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar sports a live band or DJ almost every night of the week during the spring and summer. And there is plenty of outdoor seating right in front of the “gi-nourmous” Jumbo-Tron and stage. Club Bimini, AJ’s venue for live music and night-time drinks, rocks it later in the evening. You can savor not only the beer and oyster specials, but also aesthetic views of the Destin Harbor. This famous Destin Harbor restaurant offers a waterside Tiki Village experience out back. Upstairs, Club Bimini Stage is a popular local venue for top 40 and rock bands. Oh, and bring your dancing shoes as Club Bimini becomes one of the Destin Harbor’s hottest night clubs. A popular local band, Black Eyed Blonde, can usually be found playing at AJ’s. Located at 116 Harbor Blvd.
Pompano Joe’s is Scenic 98’s answer to tropical, fun, beach vibes. During the summer, visitors get to experience what the locals love the rest of the year: Chuck Lawson. Chuck is a master on steel drums which accompanies his voice beautifully and thoughtfully. Music is not what he does; it is simply what he is: energetic, exciting and expressive. Chuck can be found most every Wednesday night at Pompano Joe’s and delights audiences of all ages.
Popular with tourists and a favorite of locals, Fudpucker’s serves good food and live music equally. Amidst the establishment’s graffiti walls, bands play a variety of styles, mostly rock and beach music. A little secret: locals really love the mouth-watering steaks. Fudpucker’s is a great place to unwind with a drink, food and catching the local sound waves. Locations in Destin and just west on Okaloosa Island.
If you’ve been in Destin for any period of time, you most likely know about Hog’s Breath Saloon. Who can forget the smell of melt-in-your-mouth barbecue, the sound of ear-pleasing tunes, and the sight of the welcoming patio bar? Hog’s Breath Saloon gives music lovers the option of two stages, one playing chill acoustic strums, and at night time inside full-band rockin’ melodies; you’ll also hear blues, jazz and island music. Hog’s Breath Saloon is a local hangout for sure, even for the bikers, but visitors love it just as much-it’s simply part of the Destin beach atmosphere and landscape as it has been around for many years. Super laid-back, you can play pool while you listen, hang out at the bar, or enjoy steaks and seafood, including a raw bar.
Club LA is Destin’s answer to a live music venue hosting a variety of musical bands. But it’s favorite is of the rock ‘n roll variety. Popular local Ron Adams can be seen at Club LA a lot, impersonating the King of Rock ‘n Roll, Elvis Presley. You will probably want to check Club LA’s event schedule before your arrival to Destin, as tickets sell out quickly for many of the concerts featuring popular touring acts such as Head Games: a Foreigner Tribute and Departure: a Journey Tribute.
Just west of Destin, the Okaloosa Island Theatre is one of the newest destinations for live entertainment in the area. An intimate theater, it hosts fun and a variety of entertainment and is the exclusive location of the popular MAXIMUM Magic Dinner Theater feat. Noah and Heather Wells and LMFAO Adults-Only Comedy Show. Although primarily a venue for the magic shows, the Okaloosa Island Theater also hosts a variety of guest entertainers all year long.
Just East of Destin in Miramar Beach are more live music venues: The Village Door at Seascape Resort, The Village of Baytowne Wharf, The Market Shops at Sandestin, Grand Boulevard at Sandestin and the Ocean Club all offer various live music offerings during the year. An elegant and upscale experience, the Ocean Club is especially popular with a slightly older crowd and comes with a dress code: resort casual, but please no baseball caps or tank tops. As a local night-time favorite, the Ocean Club usually hosts a talented pianist who will entertain you with a mix of classics and contemporary music, a nice way to dress up and make a night of it!
Plan Your Destin Vacation
Check out Destin Florida Condos and other Destin vacation rentals from Condo-World and plan for your vacation to include local, live music in a plethora of places all close by, or plan ahead and purchase tickets for highlighted concerts and musical acts. You can’t beat the view, the food, and the tunes. You can book near the Destin Harbor at any of our Gulf-front Destin Florida condos or view our selection of Destin vacation rentals online.