Free Things To Do In Destin, Florida

There are plenty of free things to do in Destin Florida. We have visited over 10 times, and there have been times we have spent barely any money on our trip. Of course, there are also many cool things to do in Destin that cost money. But if you are looking for a budget-friendly trip, it is possible in Destin.

Kids playing on the beach the best free thing to do in Destin Florida

A high-level look at the Free Things To Do In Destin:

  • The Beach
  • Shopping
  • Destin Commons
    • Murals
    • Lucky Climber
    • Playground
    • Splash Pad
  • Village of Baytowne Wharf
    • Outdoor Movie Night
    • Free Concerts
    • Fireworks
    • Free Shows
  • HarborWalk Village
    • Free concerts
    • Holiday events
  • Sunset
  • Walking
  • Hiking

The Beach

Playing volleyball on a makeshift course on the beach in Destin

Visiting the public beach in Destin is free and is the best free thing to do in Destin. Head to one of the local stores (Winn-Dixie, The Fresh Market, Target, Walmart) buy a disposable cooler or cooler bag and stock up on lunch and snacks.

Grab your beach towel and beach toys (if you don’t have any stop at one of the many beach supply stores or Walmart to grab a few things) and head to the beach.

Playing Soccer on the beach in Destin. One of the best free things to do in Destin

The beaches in Destin are beautiful. They are also wide, which means there is plenty of room to play a game of football or soccer. The last time we were there, we found two poles – they must have been from a former pier? We put a rope across it and used it as a volleyball net!

You can’t go wrong with planning multiple beach days on your trip to Destin.

Save Money: Don’t spring for the beach chair and umbrella rentals—you don’t need them! If you don’t have chairs, it would be cheaper to buy some from Walmart to use for the week. The same thing about the umbrella!

Destin Commons

This outdoor mall in Crystal Beach makes shopping so much more enjoyable than having to be inside, walking from store to store. At Christmas, they have an awesome tree and holiday display.

There are a lot of great stores and restaurants, so you can eat, shop, play, and/or people-watch!

  • Murals – Take a walk around the Destin Commons, looking for all of the fun murals! They are perfect for recording a TikTok video in front of or taking an Instagram-worthy picture. If you are planning a road trip you can also print out coloring pages of the murals to color on your trip. Click here to check out all the murals you can find.
  • Lucky Climber – Let your kids climb in the immersive playgroud/jungle gym.
  • Outdoor Play Area – Let the kids run and play in the outdoor play area.
  • Splash Pad – Kids and adults (come on you know you want to) can enjoy the splash pad at the Commons!

Save Money: Be sure not to get pulled into buying anything. I know it’s easier said than done! But if you are looking to do a budget trip window shopping can still be fun.

Village of Baytowne Wharf

Village of Baytowne Wharf is a great area for dining, shopping and nightlife. Plus a lot of activities and festivals go on here.

Another great area where you can go and walk around for free. Plus the village is not on the beach so if you are looking to get away from the sand and surf for a while this is a great place to go.

  • Free Concert Series – They host various free concerts throughout the year, normally on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. Check their site for details.
  • Outdoor Movie Night – Another free event hosted at the Village of Baytowne Wharf is a free outdoor Movie night. It is normally on Monday nights at 7 p.m., so grab your lawn chair or a blanket and head out to watch a movie under the stars.
  • Fireworks – On Tuesday night, from 6:30-8:30, a DJ is on-site with singing and dancing, and at 8:30, a fireworks show takes place over the Lagoon.
  • More Free Shows – Something free is always going on at the Wharf! From Scallywag Sunday (music, magic and mayhem with a pirate and magic show), Fly Guy – putting on a fly-board show and multiple seasonal activities.

Click here to learn more about what is currently being offered at the Wharf.

HarborWalk Village

Harbor Walk Village in Destin has a lot of free things

The HarborWalk Village is loaded with restaurants and shops and is the place from which a lot of the water activities in Destin (pirate cruise, dolphin cruise, pontoon rental) take off. They also have various activities available at the Destin Harbor Boardwalk.

  • Free Concerts – Weekly free concerts are offered during the main season.
  • Holiday Events – from St Patrick’s Day to Easter and the 4th of July, there are always holiday events going on at HarborWalk Village.

Save Money: Don’t park in the lot. Instead, walk to the HarborWalk Village from your hotel/vacation rental to save money on parking.

Related: 8 Fun And Exciting Destin Fishing Charters


Sunset in Destin a great free thing to do in Destin

Even though it is free a Sunset in Destin is going to be one of the best things you do while you are here. So good that we recommend making it a priority each night you are there.

The other good thing about sunset is the lighting. If you are looking to get some fun family pictures while you are in Destin Sunset is the perfect time to do it!

Related: Florida Road Trip: 31 Amazing Places You Won’t Want To Miss


I had to include this one on here since Craig and I have taken so many nice long walks in Destin. There are large sidewalks to walk on, boardwalks or the beach. We would normally start by walking on the sidewalk and end by walking along the beach on our way back.

Related: 12 Best VRBO Destin Florida Locations You Will Love


There is even some Hiking to do not far from Destin!

Hiking in Florida! Not quite the same as hiking to the top of a mountain in Yellowstone or the Appalachian mountains but it was still a fun hike.

In Florida’s Emerald Coast you can find nature trails and hike at the following parks: Henderson Beach State Park, James Lee County State Park or John Beasley Beach Park. Or you can also just go for a nice walk on the beach.

Pool Day

Pick a resort or a vacation rental with a good pool and plan for some fun pool days! It is very common for vacation rentals to have pools in Destin and some even have hot tubs. We always recommend Zula Life – a heated pool and hot tub!

Related: 12 Best VRBO Destin Florida Locations You Will Love

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There are so many great free things to do in Destin Florida! Come check out our list and make your Destin vacation a success without spending a ton of money!


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