The Emerald Coast: a family vacation your kids will love

Spring is a beautiful time of year along the Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast and a perfect time to take the whole family out to explore.  Everyone loves putting their toes in the sugar-white sand but there is much more to enjoy beyond the beach for families visiting Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island.

The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park on Okaloosa Island is a must-see attraction that will bring a smile to visitors of all ages.   A general admission ticket gains you first hand access to exhibit shows, training demonstrations, and more!  A day spent at the Gulfarium will be educational and fun.  Penguins, sea lions, dolphins, and sea otters are just a few of the animals you’ll be able to see first-hand.  Interested in an up-close experience?  The Gulfarium has the perfect solution with their amazing animal encounter packages.  Discover Dolphins is a favorite choice where guests meet the Gulfarium’s Atlantic bottlenose dolphin family in a hands-on dockside encounter.  Visit their website for more information on booking and take a moment to learn about the Gulfarium’s rescue and rehabilitation efforts with their C.A.R.E. Center program.

Another great family-fun spot is The Track in Destin.  The kids in your group won’t be disappointed with go-carts, bumper rides, arcade, and Surfin’ Safari miniature golf!  Is there a thrill seeker in your group?  Then don’t miss the opportunity to ride Hurricane 360 which swings riders about 40 feet in the air while spinning in a full 360 degrees or the Sky Flyer which captures the thrill of skydiving in the safety of a harnessed suit.   Younger children won’t be left out with The Track’s selection of kiddie rides such as a ferris wheel, carousel, and rookie carts.

The Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast boasts a plethora of delightful dining options and here are two restaurants that the whole family can get excited about.  Lucy Buffet’s LuLu’s is all about fun!  Fabulous food, a beach for the kids, and music make LuLu’s the ultimate family friendly dining spot.  Take a paddleboard for a spin right at LuLu’s with rentals and guided tours with Paddle Tribe Company.

Another family fan favorite in Destin is Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill with, “Food, Fun, & Alligators!”   Yes, that’s right, alligators!  Enjoy a delicious meal and check our Gator Beach with free admission for restaurant patrons.  Gator Beach gives you the chance to see over 100 live alligators in an up-close educational environment and a gator photo makes a perfect take home souvenir!

The Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast is the perfect destination to come relax, unwind, and create unforgettable family memories year after year.   Discover all that Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island has to offer for your family vacation….your kids will thank you!


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Events in Destin-Fort Walton Beach

It’s always the best time of the year to visit Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Mild temperatures and warm gulf waters make the area enjoyable no matter the season. And with a running lineup of exciting local events and festivals, there’s always something to do in Destin-Fort Walton Beach!

Wheel of Fortune Live!

December 13, 2023

Wheel of Fortune Live!

This season has turned out to be one of the…

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Wild Christmas at the Zoo

December 16, 2023 - December 23, 2023

Wild Christmas at the Zoo

Experience a Wild Christmas at Emerald Coast Zoo. It is…

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Okaloosa Island New Year’s Eve Fireworks Celebration

December 31, 2023

Okaloosa Island New Year’s Eve Fireworks Celebration

Enjoy all your favorite foods from Rockin Tacos, The Crab…

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