Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and filled with natural wonders, Destin, Florida is an ideal destination for those seeking a breathtaking getaway. Whether you’re a snowbird in town for a few months, a vacationer on a long weekend trip or a retiree living in Destin, you’ll find a variety of suitable activities within the city. You’ve booked a ticket to Destin’s convenient local airport, picked one of the city’s seasonal rental offerings and packed your bags for the sunny white beaches and mild temperatures. All that’s left to do is explore the city! Here are a few senior-friendly activities for Destin sightseers.
FIRST, BOOK YOUR TRIP TO DESTIN!
Best Activities For Seniors Visiting Destin
Destin, which originally began as a small coastal fishing town, transformed into a prime location for tourists looking to fish and relax in the sun and is now known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” Those with a passion for fishing can visit the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo, the ultimate fishing competition for anglers where over 30,000 fishers of all ages compete for cash and other prizes. Another Destin favorite is the annual seafood festival, where nearly 70,000 guests can listen to live music, play games and eat fresh fish, which is an excellent source of omega-3s for heart health and longevity.
2. HarborWalk Village
Built for visitors looking for a Destin adventure, HarborWalk Village is home to restaurants, shops and activities, along with live magic shows and music. HarborWalk offers several family-friendly excursions, including boat rentals and dolphin cruises, in addition to water sports and weekly fireworks shows. Family members of all ages can enjoy holiday parades, while those who prefer a relaxing walk can simply take in the waterfront views.
3. Destin-Emerald Coast Senior Games
Each year, the city of Destin holds an Olympic-style competition for active men and women ages 50 and over called the Seniors Games. Events include billiards, croquet, golf, tennis, shuffleboard and a 5k road race, among others. Participating in the games is a great way to meet other active adults and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but for the more competitive folks, it’s also a way to qualify for the Florida Senior Games in Clearwater. Start practicing now for next February’s games!
4. Arts and Culture
Northwest Florida State College’s Mattie Kelly Arts Center is typically abuzz with special events and productions for visitors of all ages. From national Broadway tours to student-run plays and art exhibitions, Mattie Kelly is a premier destination for all arts enthusiasts. If you consider yourself an artist, participate in the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s annual Festival of the Arts, and you could walk away with a cash prize for your work. Spectators are also welcome at the yearly festival, which brings together spectacular local talent along with music, food and activities.
5. Panhandle Opry
Longtime Destin residents can’t emphasize enough how much they cherish the Panhandle Opry, which prides itself on being the “cleanest country music show in Northwest Florida.” Head inland to the town of Mossy Head to find out why locals have loved this country music staple since 1979. The opry, which takes place on the first and third Saturday of each month, offers high quality country music and entertainment appropriate for all family members, so feel free to bring the grandkids. Seniors and children are both eligible for a discount.
6. Lifelong Learning Classes
The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) is intended for seniors who believe that learning never ends. Located in Fort Walton Beach, the CLL offers classes on subjects ranging from genealogy to acrylic painting to basic computing with Microsoft Windows. Join the Computer Club if you’d like to know more about the constant evolution of technology, or stay active with other outdoors enthusiasts as a member of the Adventure Club.
This article was written by Caitlin Klask.