Can You Have Tents On The Beach In Destin

Located along the upper portion of the Florida panhandle, the picturesque city of Destin sits pretty along the clear and vibrant shores of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s been called many things over the years, from one of the “Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in America" to the “Best Family Beach” and even “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” With an average year-round water temperature of 74 degrees, Destin has no trouble attracting a wide variety of visitors and tourists to its sandy shores.

In fact, Destin is the ideal city to explore on your next RV road trip. There’s plenty of great options for RV rentals in Destin, with more cropping up each year. Top-notch parks and campgrounds in the region welcome RVers with gorgeous scenery, free WiFi, clean and modern showers and laundry facilities, and friendly staff. Check out all the exciting and relaxing things to do in Destin and start planning your next much-deserved vacation.

Popular RV Destinations in Destin

Crab Island

Crab Island is fast becoming one of the most famous attractions in Destin. It’s been featured on "Good Morning America" and HGTV, bumping up its status as the happening spot in Destin. The clear, vibrant, and shallow emerald green waters, floating bars, and fun obstacle courses have made it a coveted stop for visitors of all ages. 

Crab Island isn’t so much an island as it is a large sandbar with surrounding water depths of 1-4 feet. People congregate here on their boats to spend the day relaxing and having fun in the sun, listening to music, swimming, and enjoying lots of delicious food and cold drinks. Since the current is too strong to swim, you can rent a pontoon boat, take a jet ski, kayak, or take the convenient shuttle to get to all the fun.


The city of Destin boasts over eight world-class golf courses that golfers of all ages will find fun and challenging. Choose from smaller nine-hole courses, like The Golf Garden or Indian Bayou Golf Club, or spend some serious time outside at one of the stunning and highly regarded 18-hole courses, like Emerald Bay Golf Course or Kelly Plantation Golf Club.

Many of the clubs offer afternoon discounts for the more budget-conscious player, but with such a wide variety of courses in a close area, there’s certainly an option for almost any budget. Lessons with pros, equipment rentals, delicious restaurants with gorgeous views, and plenty of stunning water features and interesting wildlife make Destin’s golf courses a must-see attraction.


Destin is famous for its lush and lucrative fishing grounds, drawing thousands of eager anglers each year. Whether it’s simple surf fishing or pier fishing that allows you to leisurely enjoy the beach and the balmy weather while patiently waiting for a fish to jump on your line, or you want a more energetic experience, like kayak fishing, or deep-sea fishing, there’s something for everyone, professional or novice.

Fishing charters abound in Destin, which is often referred to as the luckiest fishing village in the world. With more fishing charters available than anywhere else in Florida, it’s easy to hop aboard a small, private charter or book a larger charter that can cater to up to 45 people to search for marlin, grouper, blackfin tuna, snapper, redfish, cobia, triggerfish, and even sharks in some areas. 


Snorkeling is a popular, easy, and budget-friendly activity in Destin. The city has tons of great places that are bursting with vibrant coral and active sea life that make it one of the most well-known cities in Florida for excellent snorkeling. The twin jetties of Destin are a hugely popular spot with easy access and beautiful aesthetics.

Okaloosa County proudly offers a wide variety of artificial reefs that provide the perfect setting for diving, fishing, and snorkeling. There are literally dozens of locations to choose from, with something different to see at each one, whether it’s large shipwrecks or artistically designed modules. With plenty of charter fleets to transport you to the reefs, you’re guaranteed a rewarding and informative snorkeling experience unlike any other.

HarborWalk Village

HarborWalk Village is a fun and lively shopping, food, and entertainment Mecca filled with delicious restaurants that offer every cuisine imaginable, unique and fun retail boutiques, and activities that the whole family will enjoy. Perched on the edge of Destin Harbor, HarborWalk Village offers plenty of nightlife and live music for a special night out with a special someone.

Kids will love checking out the whimsical Mirror Maze, the Destin Zipline, the larger-than-life 7D Interactive Movie Ride, or the goofy Critter Gorge Shooting Range. This is also the perfect spot to book your high-seas pirate adventure aboard the Buccaneer Pirate Ship, or book an exciting dolphin cruise or scuba diving charter. 

Emerald Coast Science Center

Families love the interactive exploration of all things science, art, technology, and engineering at the Emerald Coast Science Center. This modern and spacious building features a collection of birds, small mammals, and reptiles all named after famous scientists. There’s Marie and Pierre, the sugar gliders, and Monica, the citron cockatoo for starters.

There’s informative and educational exhibits on the Emerald Coast’s regional environment and ecosystem, as well as the high-tech planetarium. You can also check out the innovative SMALLab that uses cameras with motion sensors to capture and track your body’s movements in order to play games and solve puzzles with your crew. 

Events and Entertainment in Destin

Sandestin Wine Festival

Who doesn’t want to combine wine, food, live entertainment, and beaches? Held each Spring, the Sandestin Wine Festival is a four-day event that combines all of those aspects into what has been named the “Best Annual Event” by Destin Magazine. The festival is held at the popular and pretty Baytowne Wharf.

Attendees can learn all about the nuances and subtleties of different wine varietals by tasting a comprehensive selection of samples, meeting well-known winemakers and aficionados, or talking to many of the local vendors that are on hand to help you fill up your wine cellar. Experience wine tastings, dinners with specific wine pairings, live music, and multiple appearances by famous chefs and sommeliers. There’s even a well-stocked retail tent so that you can immediately purchase some of your favorite selections to take home. This event is rain or shine, so be prepared for whatever weather comes your way.

Smoke on the Coast BBQ Festival

Traditionally held near Independence Day, the Smoke on the Coast BBQ Festival takes place for one day at the Destin Commons. With $1 samples of barbecued deliciousness prepared by local restaurants, you can fill your tummy and satisfy your tastebuds with a wide variety of unique and innovative BBQ creations. The much anticipated and lively BBQ competition goes on from 5:30-10:00, with a large and patriotic fireworks display that starts at 9:30.

Your whole family will love the live music, friendly vibe, face painting, and festive fireworks display that marks Independence Day in Florida on a scale that few other celebrations can compete with. 

Baytowne Beer Fest

Held each Fall at the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, the Baytowne Beer Fest is the largest beer festival on the Emerald Coast. The main event is held on a Saturday and features more than 200 international and domestic craft beers for you to sample to your heart’s content. Brewery representatives are on hand giving you plenty of opportunities to learn about the different types of beer, from IPAs to lagers to ales and more. 

Of course, there will be plenty of live music, because what would a beer festival be without a band? A portion of the proceeds from this fun and busy event go to great local charities, like the  Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center and the Emerald Coast & Sandestin Foundation for Kids.

Destin Seafood Festival

Over 60,000 people flock to the Emerald Coast to take part in the Destin Seafood Festival each October. With free admission and over 110 food and vendors, as well as plenty of local restaurants participating, there is something to satisfy every palate at this event which celebrates Destin’s abundant and active fishing culture. In fact, this event, which is one of Destin’s most revered traditions, kicks off the Destin Fishing Rodeo, which runs until the end of October.

Held annually since 1978, the 3-day Seafood Festival spans nearly two miles along the Destin HarborWalk and is a symbiotic mash-up of amazingly fresh seafood, great live music from all over the country, and inspiring exhibitions of local arts and crafts. Oh, and let’s not forget the stellar fireworks display that rounds out the event in proper Destin fashion.

Destin Harbor Boat Parade

Being the quintessential fishing town that it is, Destin hosts one of the most festive and whimsical events of the holiday season, the Destin Harbor Boat Parade. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting the city near Christmas, the boat parade happens in mid-December in Destin Harbor. Since there are such a plethora of boats in and around Destin, the city is proud to have one of the largest and most elaborate boat parades in the country.

The day includes plenty of music and entertainment, with lots of local specials run by the many harborside restaurants that also offer prime viewing locations for the parade. It’s fun and often hilarious to see how people decorate their boats, and their crews, all trying to outdo each other for the best-decorated vessel. As you can probably predict by now, the boat parade culminates in what else, but a glorious fireworks display.


Q: What are RV rentals?

RV rentals work much like any other vehicle rentals. You pay a daily or weekly rate. You can expect these rates to fluctuate based on the time of year and the geographic location that you're renting. Naturally, rates tend to increase during peak season. You can get an RV for a certain period and enjoy all its benefits while traveling without the hassles and large cost of owning your RV. It’s also a great way to try out some different RV models if you’re considering purchasing your own.

Q: How much are RV rentals?

RV rentals in Destin can range between $75 and $150 per night for most small to moderately sized trailers and campervans. Larger RVs and travel trailers can cost from $100 to $250 per night, depending on the season and the RV’s year, make, and model. Some companies offer a discount if you rent for longer than a week.

Q: Do I need to be a certain age to rent an RV in Destin?

While most states require you to be at least 25 years old to rent an RV, the legal age to rent one in Florida is 21. This may not be the policy of your RV rental agency, however. Most companies require you to be at least 25 to rent.

Q: Do I need insurance when I rent an RV?

Yes, you'll need insurance to rent an RV in Destin. It's meant to cover the vehicle in case of an accident and is mandatory in most states. Most rental companies will have RV-specific insurance that you can purchase.

Q: Do I need to return my rental RV with a full tank?

This policy varies among rental agencies, but most RV rental facilities in Destin will expect you to return the vehicle with a full tank of gas. At the very least, the fuel should be at the same level as when you picked up the vehicle. 

Q: Are RVs pet-friendly in Destin?

Many RV and camper rentals in Destin are pet-friendly, and there are even vehicles specially designed for accommodating animals. Still, it’s important to double-check the policy with your chosen rental agency before renting a particular vehicle.

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