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Located on Florida’s Panhandle and pristine Emerald Coast, Destin is a beautiful area with an abundance of family-friendly activities on offer. Once considered a sleepy fishing village, soaking in the breathtaking views of Destin’s sugar-white beaches and swimming in the turquoise waters is a top priority when visiting this Emerald Coast gem. You can also enjoy thrills at the action-packed Big Kahuna’s water park (one of the top water parks in Florida), taste the delights of seafood-heavy local cuisine, and explore the historic sites at Fort Pickens.
Nature lovers will find a range of opportunities to explore some of Florida’s pristine natural beauty at Henderson State Park, Grayton Beach State Park, and along the Gulf Islands National Seashore. To truly appreciate Destin’s charm, discover some of the best beachfront hotels in Destin and nearby areas where visitors can relax and unwind in this postcard-worthy vacation destination.
Henderson Park Inn
Consistently ranking as one of the best hotels in Florida’s Panhandle, Henderson Park Inn has an impressive reputation and an even more impressive list of all-inclusive luxury amenities. A charming adults-only inn, guests will find an unbeatable beachfront location and stunning views of the Emerald Coast. Boasting spacious suites with oceanfront terraces, fireplaces, and whirlpool tubs, Henderson Park provides an idyllic and peaceful stay with easy access to all that Destin has to offer, including the oasis that is Henderson State Park, which boasts one of the best beaches in Florida. Greeted with fresh fruit, wine, and chocolates upon check-in, visitors looking for a romantic private getaway will be in heaven.
Hidden Dunes Beach & Tennis Resort
Nestled on the Gulf of Mexico and the sugar-white shores, Hidden Dunes Beach & Tennis Resort provides a spacious private beach for guests to enjoy. Active travelers can whack tennis balls on one of the six clay courts or unwind at the sparkling pool or relaxing hot tub. Other amenities include gas grills, a basketball court, and a seasonal complimentary tram service. The family-friendly rooms are equipped with full kitchens, washers and dryers, and range from cozy one-bedroom cottages to two-bedroom condominiums and four-bedroom villas. Offering easy access to top restaurant attractions on the main road, it still maintains a sense of peace and quiet that is suitable for all types of travelers.
The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa
Located on a gorgeous white sands beach, The Henderson boasts bright and airy rooms and suites with sweeping panoramic and sunset views of the Gulf of Mexico. With coastal-inspired hues, rooms feature luxury bedding, minibars, and private balconies. For the ultimate relaxation, stay in a Spa Guest Room for a claw foot soaking tub and private spa elevator, then book a pampering body treatment at the spa. You can also hang out poolside or visit the private beach for limitless water-based activities. When hunger pangs it, dine on freshly caught seafood at the on-site restaurant.
Fairfield Inn & Suites Destin
Less than five minutes from the gorgeous shoreline Henderson Beach State Park, Fairfield Inn & Suites Destin is a budget-friendly hotel with spacious and modern rooms that are colorfully decorated in a tropical Florida style. Family-friendly with attentive customer service, guests will find both indoor and outdoor pools, access to a 24-hour convenience store market, and hot breakfast choices in addition to a convenient location to many of Destin’s popular restaurants, bars, water attractions, and deep-sea fishing charters.
Pelican Beach Resort
You’re getting a prime location right on the beach by booking a stay at Pelican Beach. That, in turn, means a first-hand window and balcony panoramas encompassing endless Gulf of Mexico emerald perfection. Add the fully equipped kitchens in modern apartment-like rooms, a zero-entry scenic outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness center on-site, and you have it. The quintessential Destin oceanside stay that will work great for families. Pelican Beach Resort by Tufan is the accommodation that offers all that, so don’t miss a chance to book your own ocean-facing suite and enjoy your perfect Florida escape in style.
An affordable accommodation that is also oceanfront is a great find in Destin. Beachside Inn gives you a solid three-star stay in a quiet neighborhood. The ocean is king here, though. The public beach is just across the street and you’ll be enjoying the gentle breeze along with water activities in no time. This property has been recently renovated so it’s new, clean, and comfortable. Guests loved the small-town ambiance, the outdoor pool area, and the hospitality of the staff. Every room at Beachside Inn comes with a kitchenette as well as a mini-fridge, microwave, toaster, and one-cup coffee maker. There’s free Wi-Fi and Netflix on 48″ Smart TVs.
Hampton Inn & Suites Destin
This is a top choice if you’re looking for a solid chain hotel that is located on the beach. Hampton Inn & Suites offers well-appointed rooms, a beautiful outdoor pool area, and magical ocean views from the suites. The WiFi, self-parking, and hot breakfast come free, a great plus and a way to save a bit on your next family visit to Destin. Talking about the breakfast, many reviewers praised it and loved the free hot coffee and cocoa offered in the lobby. The public sandy beach is just across the road, so you’re getting a chance to effortlessly profit from Destin’s stunning Gulf location. And your pets can come too, Hampton Inn & Suites allows them to stay for a fee. Families will enjoy a boutique The Track amusement park just across the road from the hotel featuring go-karts, arcades, and a tiny Ferris Wheel. Soak in the fresh air on the walking trails of Henderson Beach State Park nearby, offering an unfiltered outdoor Florida experience.
One of the best oceanside hotels in Destin and a perfect choice for condo accommodation, Sterling Shores provides luxury and comfort next to the beach. The gamechanger here is a fully equipped kitchen area that allows you to be flexible and provides extra convenience on a Destin holiday. Ideal both for a family vacation or a romantic ocean getaway, the suites come with water vistas and premium furnishings. Opt for the one with a balcony and enjoy the magnificent Destin sunsets with a glass of wine in hand from the comfort of your suite. For shopping, there is Walmart Supercenter located in the vicinity as well as the Emerald Coast Center mall. And while here you can’t miss a chance to meet face-to-face with iconic Florida alligators, Gator Beach gives you such an opportunity.
Home2 Suites by Hilton Destin
Although technically not right at the beach, Home2 Suites is just a short walk away, so you’ve got comfortable access. We’re including it in the list because it’s a value choice for your Destin vacation that offers well-designed suites at an affordable price. In-suite kitchens will come in handy for making your own food, the free hot breakfast is a welcoming addition, and pet-friendliness is a cool perk if you’re coming with fluffy companions. Home2 Suites is that contemporary, safe, and clean mid-range accommodation near the beach that gives you a hassle-free sojourn in a convenient setting.
Fort Walton Beach
Four Points by Sheraton Destin – Fort Walton Beach
Just steps from the picturesque beaches of the Emerald Coast, Four Points by Sheraton offers easy access to a pristine piece of Fort Walton Beach. Other alluring amenities include a Kid’s Club, refreshing beachfront pools, and a splash pad for little ones. The ocean-inspired rooms are spacious with flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges, while upgraded rooms and suites add private balconies with stunning ocean views. Start your day out at the beach or at nearby Okaloosa Island, then enjoy ocean views and tropical cocktails at Upper Deck Beachside Bar & Grill.
Wyndham Garden Fort Walton Beach
Unwind under the swaying palm trees as you soak in the breathtaking views of the turquoise waters of the Emerald Coast at the Wyndham Garden Fort Walton Beach. An affordable accommodation choice that is perfect for families, couples, and business travelers, the hotel offers a long list of amenities to provide guests with a comfortable stay. Here guests will find perks such as outdoor pools, a hot tub, a poolside bar and grill, children’s activities, and complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas. Enjoy easy access to water activities like parasailing, snorkeling, and scuba diving, sign up for paddleboard lessons or kick back and watch poolside movies.
The Island Ft Walton Destin by Hotel RL
While The Island Ft Walton Destin by Hotel RL in Fort Walton Beach is a historic property dating back to 1966, this beachfront resort near Destin is better than ever. Along with 600 feet of gorgeous beachfront, you’ll have access to two on-site pools, a poolside bar, and an on-site restaurant. For the best views, choose one of the rooms or suites with balconies that offer Gulf-front views. When you’re ready to explore Okaloosa Island, golf, shopping and dining are just moments away.
Hilton Garden Inn Fort Walton Beach
Book a stay at Hilton Garden Inn Fort Walton Beach for the ultimate beach getaway. Facing the beach, the Okaloosa Island hotel boasts an enclosed courtyard with fire pits and a large pool deck as well as a sparkling outdoor pool with a lazy river overlooking the Gulf. When you want to dig your toes in the sand, rent beach chairs to soak up the sun along the shore. Afterward, fuel up at the full-service restaurant or sip cold drinks at the Beachfront Tiki Bar. Gulf-view rooms feature private balconies and include mini-fridges, complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and air conditioning.
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
The beach takes the central place at Hilton Sandestin, one of the best family beach hotels in Florida. Located a few miles away from the city center, it’s an oasis of leisure that has everything for you to get a first-class Florida vacation. The spacious rooms and suites sport contemporary designs and come with private balconies. Of course, there will be the sweeping ocean views that make staying here a highly aesthetical, even inspirational affair. It’s also a perfect family-oriented accommodation. Three pools, two whirlpools, and a toddler pool provide ultimate water fun, the beach is easily accessible, and you have an amazing spa with a plethora of treatments. Reviewers loved the on-site Hadashi Sushi Bar serving the best of Japanese food. Another establishment is Barefoot’s Beachside Bar & Grill with superb ocean views and a good selection of cocktails.
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a 2.400-acre destination resort in Miramar Beach. Unlike a hotel, its collection of over 1,000 vacation rentals range from studios to four-bedroom units, homes, villas, and penthouses. You’ll have four resort areas to choose from, including Beachside, Bayside, Lakeside, and the Village – which stretches from the postcard-perfect beach to Choctawhatchee Bay. A stay here means you’ll have access to free bikes, boogie boards, kayaks, tennis, and resort-wide tram service, as well as four championship golf courses and of course, powdery, white-sand beaches.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Destin – Miramar Beach
An all-suite hotel with a beautifully designed interior, Embassy Suites by Hilton is an ideal accommodation choice to soak in the Gulf’s pristine white Miramar beach. Guests can enjoy private beach access and boardwalk in addition to spacious and modern furnished suites. Activities are in abundance near the hotel, as guests will find world-class golf courses, deep-sea fishing, and a range of other attractions for travelers, such as Big Kahuna’s Water Park and the Silver Sands Shopping Outlet. The hotel also has an award-winning chef in its health-conscious Calypso Cafe and a made-to-order breakfast service.
Santa Rosa Beach
While WaterColor Inn is highly rated as one of Florida’s best hotels for couples, it is a fantastic getaway for all types of travelers. Combining luxury with a cozy ambiance, WaterColor Inn is a visually appealing resort with elegant rooms facing a private stretch of the sugary white beach. You are spoiled for choice in daily activities, with opportunities to kayak the coastal dune lakes or bike the trails in the lush pine forest, then kick back on the sand, indulge in locally sourced cuisine at the on-site restaurant or visit the spa. With emerald-green water views on private terraces and spacious rooms, the WaterColor Inn is the ultimate beach retreat.