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The Best Time to Visit Destin on Vacation

There are many factors to consider when deciding when the best time to visit Destin, Florida is. For some, the most important thing might be visiting while the weather is warm. Others might prefer a relaxing getaway that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, while some might plan their trip based on local events and festivals. No matter what your vacation preference is, we’re shining a spotlight on this popular Florida destination and giving you tips on when to book your Destin rental (FlipKey has over 2300 to choose from!).

When is the best time to visit Destin for nice weather?

The best time to visit Destin is during the spring when temperatures aren't too hot and the humidity is minimal.

Destin is known for its comfortable temperatures all year long.

Situated along the Florida Panhandle in the northwest region of the state, Destin experiences pleasant weather year-round. Temperatures rarely dip below 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime and with approximately 340 days of sunshine, there’s really no bad time to visit this part of Florida. Every year, the summer months typically top out at 90 degrees, while winter lows hover in the 60s. Similarly, the emerald green Gulf waters that lap the shores of this city remain warm enough to swim in for the majority of the year, especially if you don a wetsuit during the winter. Expect water temperatures to reach a high of 84 degrees during the summer and a low of 64 degrees during the winter. 

Winter in Destin

Winter is the best time to visit Destin if you’re a traveler in search of abundant sunshine, but don’t require temperatures that are hot enough to warrant days spent at the beach. Snowbirds typically flock to this destination from December through March to escape frigid temperatures up north and to get their daily dose of Vitamin D. Like most places in Florida, Destin enjoys abundant sunshine all year long, which is a welcome change for travelers visiting from colder parts of the country that are washed out by snow and grey clouds during this time of year. Expect temperatures that fluctuate between highs in the mid-60s during the day and lows that drop into the 40s at night. Water temperatures dip into the 60s during the winter but remain comfortable for surfing if you wear a wetsuit.

Suggested winter rental: Crystal Plantation

The perfect vacation rental in Destin to book for a winter getaway.

The perfect vacation rental in Destin to book for a winter getaway.

Planning your trip to Destin during the winter months takes the pressure off feeling like you need to book a beachfront vacation rental. Since you can be a bit more flexible with your location, rent the Crystal Plantation just a half mile walk from Crystal Sands Beach. This Destin vacation rental has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and loads of amenities that ensure a comfortable stay. It’s also less than a five-minute drive to Destin Commons, an open-air shopping center with a variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment. Being in close proximity to local shops and eateries during a winter vacation in Destin is ideal since you won’t be spending every free moment at the beach.

Spring in Destin

If you ask locals when the best time to visit Destin is, they will tell you to book a vacation rental during the months of April and May. This time of year brings warm waters, comfortable daytime temperatures that range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s and abundant sunshine. The lack of humidity and the beautiful magnolias and azaleas that bloom during April and May also appeal to vacationers during this season. Plan your trip during these months before the stifling summer heat has settled in and the summer crowds invade the city.

Suggested spring rental: Pink Lemonade

The Pink Lemonade house is an ideal place to stay during the spring.

The Pink Lemonade house is an ideal place to stay during the spring.

You couldn’t ask for a better location when you book the Pink Lemonade vacation home. It is situated just two blocks away from Crystal Sands Beach, which is known for its fine white sand and clear waters. If you prefer not to get sandy, this rental is also just steps away from the neighborhood’s community pool. Visitors can enjoy a bright open layout throughout the home, making it a comfortable place to relax after a busy day in Destin. Highlights of the home include a recently renovated master bathroom and an outdoor fire pit area.

Summer in Destin

Renting a home in Destin from June through August ensures that your vacation will be packed with lots of beach time. Daytime temperatures soar into the upper-80s and low-90s and the sun kisses beachgoers lounging along the water’s edge. It must be mentioned that the emerald green waters of the gulf approach bathtub-warm temperatures in the mid-80s, making it difficult to escape the heat sometimes. Visiting Destin during the summer will put you among the peak temperatures as well as peak crowds.

Suggested summer rental: Castle in the Dunes

Convenient beach access and a private pool makes this Destin rental an ideal summer rental.

Convenient beach access and a private pool make this Destin rental an ideal summer rental.

Search for vacation rentals in Destin that are within walking distance to the beach if you’re planning a trip during the summer. The Castle in the Dunes a great option because it’s only steps away from the sugary sands of the beach, making it easy to get to the beach for a quick dip before the crowds arrive for the day. This home also has a spectacular private pool and hot tub, so you never have to leave your rental if you don’t want to. It boasts custom waterfalls, a swim up bar and ample sunbathing areas, so you’ll feel like you’re at a high-end resort even though you have the entire place to yourself. Inside, guests will find three levels of luxury, including seven spacious bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, and an awesome media room.

Fall in Destin

Fall in Destin is ideal for vacationers looking to spend lots of time in the water because the Gulf of Mexico remains comfortably warm well into October and November. Coupled with cooler air temperatures in the low-80s, going for a swim can feel quite refreshing on a sunny fall day in Destin. Humidity is also nearly non-existent during this time of year. Keep in mind that if you do plan a fall getaway here, you run the risk of experiencing the occasional rainstorms. Destin’s wet season doesn’t end until November, so make sure to pack an umbrella and a good book in case rainy weather puts a damper on some of your plans.

Suggested fall rental: Upscale 3 bed Emerald Grande Destin Harbor

Stay near the Destin Harbor Boardwalk for a fun vacation during the fall, which is considered the best time to visit Destin by many.

Stay near the Destin Harbor Boardwalk for a fun fall vacation.

Many world-class restaurants and family-friendly attractions are right outside your door when you stay at this waterfront condo rental within the Emerald Grande in Destin. Booking a rental within a larger resort is ideal for a stay during Destin’s rainy months because you’ll have access to more amenities. Spend time exercising at the on-site fitness center or splurge on a luxurious spa treatment within the complex. Although some of these amenities might cost an additional fee, they’re worth the added cost for their ease and convenience when it’s raining outside.

When is the best time to visit Destin based on rental prices?

Vacation rental rates are at their highest during the summer months in Destin. This time of year is considered peak season because the great weather is nearly guaranteed and vacationers pay a premium to be able to take advantage of warm, sunny days by the beach. Booking a rental for one week during this time of year can come with a hefty price tag of more than $1400.

If your vacation plans are flexible and you’re looking to experience Florida without breaking the bank then the best time to visit Destin is during the spring or fall. Renting a home during these shoulder season months means you’re likely to be able to afford an oceanfront rental and still save money. Weekly rental prices drop bout 13% during off-peak months, which means you can pocket as much as $200 in savings. Booking during the shoulder is also a great way to ensure that you have some extra spending money that can be put towards snorkeling and scuba excursions off the coast or a memorable deep sea fishing outing.

When is the best time to visit Destin to attend local events?

Destin can be seen from above along Florida Panhandle.

Destin can be seen from above along Florida Panhandle.

What was once a sleepy fishing village is today one of the most popular vacation spots along the Florida Panhandle and here is never a dull moment here! Events and festivals take place year-round but the best time to visit Destin for events is in the fall.

The Destin Seafood Festival is one of the city’s most prominent events and it kicks off the month of October. The festival takes place along the boardwalk, is free to the public and appeals to all foodies. Visitors can enjoy live music on multiple stages and some of the best freshly caught seafood from local restaurants at this event.

October is also a popular month for anglers because the Destin Fishing Rodeo draws people from all over the country. It’s a month-long event, and prizes are offered for the largest fish caught. The only criteria are that you must cast your fishing line from a registered boat and weigh your catch at the end of the day.

In November, try samples of delectable barbecue and local brews during the Blues, Brews and BBQ event. It’s a spirited affair and with fun BBQ competitions among eateries in the area. Make sure to try some of the local seafood prepared BBQ-style.

If you can’t make it to Destin during the fall, there are still great events to look forward to. Check out Burning Up The Beaches in May to see a collection of classic cars take over the city. The car show takes places at Destin Commons and is fun for all. Similarly, the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival in June offers entertainment for visitors of all ages. Whether you attend an event or you make your own merriment, you’ll quickly see why Destin is one of the most popular vacation spots on the Emerald Coast.