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Headed to Destin in July - Looking for Advice and Tips

Bennie

Jetboaters Captain
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I personally can't talk for that body of water. We boat primarily west of there, near Orange Beach, AL. Our water can get choppy depending on traffic and increased winds. Also need to be mindful of currents. For the most part though the bays are pretty easy.

Download and utilize a good boating weather app. Personally I trust Magic Seaweed and Windfinder Pro in addition to your local weather forecast.
 

Wesley Cobb

Active Member
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2017
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I live in Fort Walton Beach. I think there is enough on here about getting to Pensacola (it is a long way in boat) and the airshow so I will not pile on. However, I will add some other points:

(1) if you are bringing a tube and planning on being near Crab Island, head northwest into Cinco Bayou (AJs on the Bayou) for some good calm water for tubing,
(2) the Destin Harbor gets really busy and crowded during the summer so be mindful and alert and realize there is VERY limited public docking available at the restaurants -- Dewey Destins just east of Crab Island has a public dock and decent food,
(3) Sheriff/CG have been active and present so be alert and watch the consumption; be very mindful of the extensive no wake areas,
(4) Hurlburt flies just about every week day but usually most of the flying is later in the afternoon,
(5) tieing up at The Gulf is pretty easy but it is not in a no wake zone and can get rough but the food is amazing; tieing up stern in is best
(6) Crab Island can get loud and very crowded at times in the summer so, I like to venture off to the west and anchor in the shallows along the island -- same concept as Crab Island but not as crowded all though it does get rough at times depending on how many boats are transitioning the area (my profile picture is from this shallow area)

Good non-boating stuff: The Track (go carts), Big Kahunas (water slides), Destin Commons (shopping and food), Jackacudas (Harbor Walk, Destin)
Food (can't eat in the camper all the time!): The Gulf (FWB), The Craft Bar (Destin), Half-Shell Oyster House (Destin), World of Beer (Destin -- Beer, DUH!), Boshamps (second best sunset in Destin), Margaritaville (best sunset in Destin), AJ's on the Bayou (best sunset in FWB)

Hope this helps! Safe travels and enjoy the beautiful Gulf Coast!
 

Jameson Clark

Jet Boat Addict
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Duncan, SC
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2017
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Man, y'all have been a wealth of info! I truly appreciate it!

I love to take "boating vacations." I have taken a boat to the Keys twice and down to the SC coast a few times. Went to the NC Outer Banks last year and didn't take a boat. Really looking forward to all the stuff to do and see in Destin!
 

James R Whitten

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2017
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I'm gonna be out there from the 7th to the 11th. I got a condo on the board walk. Maybe I'll see you out there.
 

Dixie Highway

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We’ll be down there June 29-July 5th, we stay in Navarre at the in-laws but we’ll be in Destin at least 1 day for sure.
 

Rylee44

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Tulsa, OK
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We loved boating over to the Crab Shack at Fort Walton for dinner, don't miss it!
 

Beachbummer

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I'm in Destin until Wednesday, but did not bring the boat. Any tips for the most reasonably priced rental that will not disassemble underway???
 

Betik

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I'm in Destin until Wednesday, but did not bring the boat. Any tips for the most reasonably priced rental that will not disassemble underway???
Would a jet ski do?If so text me at+14695000812
I am leaving from Mobile Alabama in a couple of hours and heading towards Panama City Beach. As long as you have something to tow with I can drop it on my way there and pick up on Tuesday evening.

It is a 2015 v1 with 19.9 hours on it, so I am fairly positive it will take a lot of effort to sink it. LOL
 

Beachbummer

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Ah, thanks for the offer, it's too generous. We are in a large group and it's not quite what we need, but again thank you so much for the offer
 

Tiger J

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I have done it a couple of times. If you are looking to dock at the Emerald Grand Boardwalk, there are usually 2 or 3 non reserved docks in front of the Crab Island Cantina and 2 or 3 spots in front of Harry T's(Also, Dog friendly).

Cruising around in the bay is one of the best things to do. LuLus is a good spot... maybe even ride down to Ft. Walton and check out "The Resort" for lunch.

Alot of people anchor by the jetties that open to the gulf, then you can hop up onto the beach if you are looking to get off of the water for a little while. You will see chair and umbrella service there, but it is considered a public beach. This is where the Seablaster and other Snorkeling Groups come to snorkel. The Big Pirate ship passes right there too.
 

Jameson Clark

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Thanks for all the info guys. Headed down in 2 weeks from today!!
 

Jameson Clark

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Days away now!!! Getting excited for sure!

My brother actually just got back from there a couple weeks ago and he took his boat as well. He stayed up in Niceville area but did make sure to tell me he was a bit surprised at how rough the bay got when he was headed down to Destin or Crab Island. Nothing mine or his boat can't handle, just bad enough to make it a pretty slow (15-20mph) trip. Since I am staying at Live Oak landing and have to boat all the way across the bay, are there any good boat landings inside that circle area? Keeping in mind ease of getting to it from Live Oak as well? We plan to boat there since that is half the fun, but would like to have a backup plan in case of a windy day on the bay.

Thanks again for all the other info y'all helped with. We did end up extending our stay one day so that we can go watch the air show on Saturday. Anymore last minute tips or ideas... throw them at me!
Destin.png
 

Bennie

Jetboaters Captain
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I personally like to use two specific apps to assist with weather/ seas forecasts.
Magic seaweed
Wind finder pro

Both are pretty useful and provide some pretty good info.
 

Dixie Highway

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We boated the ICW today from Navarre to Destin and back. Beautiful trip, beautiful weather. Plan on going Navarre to Pensacola tomorrow or Thursday.
 

Jameson Clark

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We boated the ICW today from Navarre to Destin and back. Beautiful trip, beautiful weather. Plan on going Navarre to Pensacola tomorrow or Thursday.
Can't wait to get down there Saturday!
 

James R Whitten

Jet Boat Lover
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I'm headed that way Sunday. I'll be out at crab island with my scarab. Staying at the emerald grande.
 

Jameson Clark

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Bennie

Jetboaters Captain
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@Jameson Clark

Don't know how much you've been watching our weather, or are familiar with the pan handle area but....

Pro tip: Buy a windshield car shade!
It makes a huge difference. And if you have a remote start use the hell out if it.

We're breaking temp records down here. Hope you have a safe trip down here! See y'all soon
 
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