| February 1st, 2024 | No comments

Looking for things to do in Destin when it rains?

Most people head to Destin hoping for a wild and wonderful beach vacation. Sunshine, sand, and surf – what more could you want?

But the weather along Florida’s “Pan Handle” coastline can be somewhat unpredictable, so you should be prepared for all scenarios. Having some activities in your back pocket for when it rains is always a good idea. We realize, though, that you may not have considered any indoor ideas for your beach trip, so maybe you’re at a loss.

Things to Do in Destin When it Rains

Not to worry! That’s why we came up with a list for you of the best things to do in Destin when it rains. Let’s get into it. 

1. Sample local beer or wine in Destin

For those looking to wait out the rain with a drink in hand, there’s no better time to sample the local beer and wine. Destin has several establishments for craft beer, wine tastings, and even locally-made spirits. 

First, head to Idyll Hounds Brewing Company in Santa Rosa Beach. Famous for local favorites such as their Palapa Pale Ale and their Rosemary Saison, there’s something on tap for every type of beer lover here. 

When you’re ready to move on to something a little stronger, right next door to Idyll Hounds is Distillery 98. They’re most famous for their vodka, which is naturally infused with unique flavors, but all their spirits are made from locally sourced ingredients. You can also enjoy some of their signature cocktails, such as Kap’s Revenge if you’d prefer a mixed drink to a straight glass.

Wine lovers will be happy to hear that Emerald Coast Wine Cellars in Miramar Beach hosts free daily wine tastings. Specializing in local Muscadine wines but also boasting seasonals, whites, and reds, this is the perfect place not only to taste samples but also to shop for souvenirs. They have a gift shop that sells wine accessories, clothes, and more. 

2. Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone

If you’re looking for something fun to do for all ages, Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone is the place to visit. The complex boasts a 16,000-square-foot indoor arcade, laser tag, two mini golf courses, virtual reality sets, and more. You’ll also enjoy the 4D cinema experience onsite. 

When you get hungry, you can head to Salvati’s Pizza Factory for a meal or Yogo Mogo’s for a refreshing frozen yogurt snack. If the weather clears up during your time at Wild Willy’s, head to the outdoor portion of their complex. You’ll have a chance to conquer the 60-foot ropes course, go go-karting, or ride the bumper boats.

3. Destin History & Fishing Museum

For history buffs looking for a way to experience the water without actually being in it, head to the Destin History & Fishing Museum. You may not know this, but Destin started as a small fishing village before growing into the prime tourist destination that it is today. At the museum, you’ll see fishing rods and reels of old, including Ernest Hemingway’s own Penn Reel

The main attraction, though, is the 100-foot wall depicting the floor of the Gulf of Mexico displaying award-winning fish that were caught in the city. You’ll also enjoy historical architecture and vintage photos of what the village used to look like. If you’re at all interested in Destin’s background, this is the place to check out.

4. Rainforest Blacklight Mini Golf & Arcade

One of Destin’s newest attractions, Rainforest Blacklight Mini Golf & Arcade puts a unique twist on the traditional game. Try your hand at this vibrant 18-hole putt putt course. Everyone in your group will enjoy the challenge while you make your way through the glow-in-the-dark rainforest-themed course.

Once you finish your game of golf, head to the arcade to find dozens of coin-operated machines, including multiplayer shooting games. Not much of a traditional arcade game fan? Then head to the high-energy area where you can compete in the Dodgeball Arena or play criss-cross basketball. 

5. Rock Out Climbing Gym

indoor rock climbing gym in Destin, Florida

Looking to sweat a bit and keep that beach body in shape for when the rain stops? Head to Rock Out Climbing Gym for a little bouldering. It’s worth noting, however, that this is exclusively a bouldering gym, which means no ropes or belaying for those afraid of heights. 

The 16-foot wall offers a wide range of routes and terrain suitable for all levels. Whether this is your first time or you’re a seasoned pro, Rock Out Climbing Gym is the perfect place to challenge yourself. You’re also likely to meet other boulderers who are also trying to escape the rain.

6. Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl

Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl located inside Destin Commons is your one-stop shop for fun. Come for dinner at the restaurant and full bar that’s presided over by a saltwater aquarium, but stay for the attractions. Uncle Buck’s features 16 underwater-themed bowling lanes as well as a full arcade onsite. 

The most memorable thing about your trip to Uncle Buck’s, though, will most definitely be their superb seafood. Not a seafood fan? Not to worry – there are plenty of menu items worth trying otherwise, including their cajun alfredo. 

7. Urban Air Trampoline Park

Another adrenaline-filled activity, your whole group will enjoy a few hours of jumping on the trampolines and exploring the bouncy obstacle courses. This facility has recently been voted among the Best Trampoline Parks and the Best Gym in America for Kids by Shape Magazine.

Once you’re done on the dozens of trampolines, check out the indoor skydiving experience or try your hand at racing go karts. After a few hours of active fun, kick back and enjoy a refreshing soda, beer, or seltzer before you go. 

8. Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill

Fudpucker’s is the perfect place to grab a delicious meal, but that’s not all. Along with award-winning American cuisine and a full bar, Fudpucker’s is home to dozens of live alligators. The alligator exhibits are completely free, and you even have the opportunity to feed them and have your photo taken if you dare. 

Once you’re done eating and you’ve played with the alligators, there’s still more to do. Shop for souvenirs, play a few games in the arcade, and write your names on the walls for a memorable experience. 

9. Shop at Destin Commons

If shopping is one of your favorite things to do on vacation, then Destin Commons is your spot. This facility is home to a variety of shops and restaurants, from national and international chains to local boutiques. You can also enjoy the 9 locally-painted murals situated throughout the mall while you shop. 

Destin Commons is also home to a movie theater, several restaurants, bowling, kid-friendly free events, and more. No matter how long the rain lasts, there’s always something to do at Destin Commons.

10. Indian Temple Mound

If you’re at all interested in history and archaeology, head to Indian Temple Mound at Fort Walton Beach. First examined by the Smithsonian Institution in 1883 and excavated 9 times since Indian Temple Mound is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

You’ll have an opportunity to learn about the history of the area, but that’s not all. Offering several interactive displays, you’ll also be able to use a grinding stone to grind corn or learn how the ancient people made stone tools. This site will provide you with a unique experience that most people miss out on when they visit Destin, so be sure to check it out.

11. Make your own souvenir at the Shard Shop

The Shard Shop is a unique activity that your entire group will enjoy – and the best part is that you get to take home your own souvenir. The Shard Shop hosts daily workshops during which visitors can make a piece of art out of colorful shards of broken glass. If you’re visiting with the little ones, though, they’ll be using vibrant pieces of plastic. 

To make your souvenir even more personalized, you’re welcome to bring seashells you’ve found on the beach or other keepsakes you’d like to incorporate into your piece. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind way to spend your day and a souvenir you’ll cherish forever, the Shard Shop is your best bet.

12. Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium

One of the most bizarre attractions in the Destin area, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium will keep everyone busy for the entire day. You’ll marvel at over 600 odd artifacts and interactive exhibits such as a shrunken head, animal anomalies, pop culture collectibles, and more. Some of the most popular exhibits include the Fiji Mermaid and the Cathedrals of the Sea

When you’re done exploring the exhibits, head to the mirror maze, challenge your friends to a game at the laserace, or check out the 7D moving theater. 

13. Escape Rooms

Escape rooms have become increasingly popular across the country, and new ones are popping up in Destin all the time. If you’re looking for a fun and challenging way to escape the rain, this is your best bet. 

One of the most popular escape rooms in Destin is Escapology, where you can find rooms and experiences designed for all levels. You can expect to search for clues, solve riddles, and pick locks to find your way out. Another good choice is the Gulf Coast Escape Room where you can choose between different themes including an eerie dollhouse and a zombie apocalypse.

14. Axe Throwing

Axe throwing is a great way to relieve stress and have fun at the same time. Try your hand at ax throwing at the Gulf Coast Axe House for a day of high-adrenaline fun. No prior experience is needed – the coaches and staff are there to teach you the ropes. 

This experience is BYOB, so feel free to bring your own beer or wine but no liquor is allowed. Pizza and wings are available for purchase onsite. And just remember that ax throwing is an experience reserved for those 13 and up. 

As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Destin when it rains. We know you were looking forward to the beach, but a rainy day in Destin doesn’t need to be wasted. Whether you want to play with alligators, get creative, or go on a high-energy indoor adventure, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for. Happy travels and stay dry! 

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Brittany Muldoon

Written by Brittany Muldoon

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Brittany had brief stints in North Carolina and North Dakota before moving to Prague, CZ, where she's been living for the past 7 years. Having traveled most of Europe over the past decade, she loves sharing her experiences through her writing and photography. She's recently started dipping her toes into solo travel and hopes to explore more of Portugal and the Nordic countries in the coming months.

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