Is Destin Florida Expensive?

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Destin, Florida, is a popular beach destination known for its white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and world-class fishing. But is Destin Florida expensive?

Yes, Destin can be expensive to visit. The average cost of a vacation to Destin is around $250–268 per day. This includes the cost of accommodation, food, transportation, and activities.

However, there are ways to save money when you visit Destin, Florida. In this blog post, we will not only answer the question, “Is Destin Florida expensive?” but we will also take an in-depth look at everything you need to know before your visit. This will allow you to save money while still enjoying yourself to the fullest.

Is Destin Florida Expensive: How much does it cost to vacation in Destin, Florida?

The cost of a vacation in Destin, Florida can vary greatly depending on the time of year you visit, the length of your stay, and your budget.

Destin, Florida is a quite expensive vacation destination. Budget around $250–268 per day for your vacation in Destin. If you are going alone and planning a week-long trip, you’re looking at around $1650. For a couple, a 7-day trip would cost around $3300, while a week-long adventure for a family of four would cost approximately $6150.

This includes accommodation, flights, food, and activities. These estimates are based on mid-range options, but remember that luxury choices will cost more, while budget-friendly options can help you save.

Factors That Affect How Expensive Your Vacation in Destin, Florida Will Be

Your choices and preferences will affect how much your vacation in Destin will cost. If you are looking to enjoy luxury accommodations, upscale dining, and exclusive activities, then your vacation costs will be higher. On the other hand, choosing affordable hotels and local eateries can help you save money without compromising on enjoyment.

Off-Season Savings: Consider visiting Destin between December and March, the off-season. During this time, flights, hotel rates, and attraction prices drop significantly. This would make your Destin vacation less expensive as there would be fewer crowds and you could take advantage of the reduced prices.

Food and Accommodation Costs: Generally, you would find yourself spending around $50 per day on food at mid-range restaurants. However, there are options available for every budget, including affordable local eateries and high-end dining establishments. Accommodation prices in Destin, Florida range from $85 to $300 per night, with beachfront options being more expensive. If location is not a priority, you can find good hotels in the $120 to $175 range. Consider visiting during the off-season for lower hotel prices, ranging from $90 to $120 per night.

Tips to Reduce Your Expenses During Vacation in Destin, Florida

Follow these tips to make the most of your budget in Destin, Florida:

  1. Visit during the off-season: Travel between December and March for lower prices on airfare, hotels, and attractions. Enjoy a more relaxed vacation experience with fewer crowds.
  2. Book early: Secure your accommodations and flights well in advance to find better deals and save money. Early planning can lead to significant savings on airfare and lodging expenses.
  3. Enjoy free activities: Take advantage of the free attractions in Destin, such as the beautiful beaches, exploring the Destin Harbor boardwalk, or taking a fun drive along Highway 98. These activities provide enjoyment without additional costs.
  4. Consider accommodations away from the beach: Hotels closer to the beach tend to be more expensive. Look for accommodations further inland to find more affordable options that still offer comfort and convenience. You can still visit the beach during the day and return to your budget-friendly accommodation in the evenings.

Why is Destin, FL so popular?

Since we now know that Destin, Florida can be expensive, why is still a popular destination for tourists? Let’s look at some of the reasons why Destin, FL is so popular among tourists.

  1. World-Class Fishing: If you’re into fishing, Destin is the place to be. They call it the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” because there are so many fish just waiting to be caught. Destin offers several opportunities for you to either go deep-sea fishing, charter a boat, or fish from the shore.
  2. Rich History and Cultural Heritage: Destin has a fascinating history as a fishing community, and you can still feel that heritage today. The city has preserved its old-time charm with colonial-style buildings and hotels. Exploring the history of Destin adds a special touch to your vacation and lets you appreciate the local culture.
  3. Pristine Beaches and Crystal-Clear Waters: Destin has some seriously stunning beaches with sand so soft and powdery, it’s like walking on clouds. And the water? It’s so clear and beautiful, you’ll feel like you’re swimming in a giant swimming pool.
  4. Watersports: The stunning beaches here are a playground for all kinds of thrilling watersports. From jet skiing to paddle boarding, kayaking to parasailing, there’s something for everyone. And if you’re feeling daring, try your hand at skimboarding, kiteboarding, or surfing!
  5. Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park: Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park in Destin, Florida is a popular destination for water enthusiasts. With its impressive water flow of 36,000 gallons per minute, it offers an amazing experience for surfers and water lovers of all ages. Since it opened over 25 years ago, Big Kahuna’s has remained the only water park in Destin, making it a unique and cherished attraction in the area.
  6. Harborwalk Village: If you’re the kind of person who loves staying up late, dancing to live music, and having a blast, then Destin’s Harborwalk Village is the place for you! This lively waterfront promenade is the heart of the action, with fantastic restaurants, cool shops, and exciting events happening all the time. You can take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk, enjoy delicious seafood, or catch a live performance.
  7. Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park: This place is a paradise for dolphin and turtle lovers. You can get up close and personal with these amazing creatures through interactive displays. But that’s not all! The Gulfarium offers unique experiences like snorkeling with stingrays and even giving a kiss to a friendly harbor seal. And for parents, the Gulfarium’s Sunset Camp is the perfect opportunity to have a night out while your kids create memories that will last a lifetime.
  8. Variety of Restaurants: When it comes to dining in Destin, Florida, you’re in for a treat! There are a wide variety of fantastic restaurants to choose from, and many of them are right by the sea. Among the most popular seaside restaurants in Destin are Joe’s Crab Shack, Pompano Joe’s, The Back Porch, Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House, and Harbor Docks. These places are known for their delicious seafood dishes and the fantastic dining experiences they provide. If you love fishing but don’t want to cook your catch, Harry T’s offers a special service where they’ll cook up any fresh fish you bring in. How awesome is that?
  9. Visit Crab Island: Crab Island in Destin, Florida is a one-of-a-kind spot that you won’t find anywhere else on the globe. It used to be an island, but over time, it transformed into a sandy spot where hundreds of boats gather each year. This spot has become so popular that it now offers a range of exciting activities and amenities. You can enjoy delicious dining options right on the water, have pizza delivered straight to your boat, and even slide down thrilling water slides. If you’re in the mood for some water sports, you can rent equipment and try paddleboarding, kayaking, or even join in a game of water volleyball.
  10. Visit the Golf Courses: With not one, not two, but four championship golf courses and country clubs, Destin is the place to be for all golf lovers out there. The best part? You can play golf here all year round, thanks to Destin’s mild climate. So whether it’s summer or winter, you can always hit the greens and enjoy your favorite sport. So grab your clubs and get ready to tee off at some of the most popular golf courses in Destin: Kelly Plantation Golf Club, Regatta Bay Golf and Yacht Club, Indian Bayou Golf and Country Club, and Emerald Bay Golf Course.
  11. Take a Dolphin Cruise: Don’t miss out on the ultimate dolphin adventure in Destin. Hop aboard a dolphin cruise and get ready to witness these playful creatures in their natural habitat. It’s an experience that will make your Destin vacation even more memorable and exciting. Get ready to be amazed as you watch dolphins swim, play, and put on a show along the beautiful Emerald Coast. Don’t forget your camera, because you’ll want to capture these incredible moments forever!

So, whether you’re seeking thrilling watersports, vibrant nightlife, or unforgettable family experiences, Destin has it all. Get ready for an incredible vacation that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime!

Is Destin FL Expensive to Live In?

According to the Economic Research Institute, the average salary in Destin FL is $59,650 per year, or $29 per hour, with a median household income of $81,468. The unemployment rate in the neighborhood is 4%.

Using statistics provided by 24/7 Wall St., a single adult in Destin would need around $38,673 per year to take care of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities. This is higher than the annual cost of living in Florida ($36,375) but similar to the national average ($38,433), as reported by 24/7 Wall St.

Housing is one of the most expensive aspects of living in Destin. The median home value is $317,200, significantly higher than the national median value of $204,900. Renting is a more affordable alternative, but it can still cost up to $1,404 per month.

Food expenses in Destin are also on the higher side. On average, a single adult spends $3,458 annually on food, while a family of four spends $9,987. In comparison, the average annual food expenditures in Florida and the U.S. are slightly lower.

Transportation costs in Destin are higher than the national average. The average annual transportation cost for a single person in Destin is $9,773, compared to the national average of $9,760.

However, the cost of healthcare in Destin is slightly lower than in Florida and nationwide. The average healthcare costs in Destin are $4,010, compared to $4,213 in Florida and $4,266 nationwide.

Overall, the cost of living in Destin is 8% higher than the national average. But don’t worry, there are ways to save money, such as living in a smaller home, cooking at home, and taking advantage of free or low-cost activities.

Why is Destin Expensive to Live In?

Destin is a wonderful place to live if you’re seeking a beautiful beach town with plenty to offer. Just keep in mind that it can be quite expensive before making a decision to move there.

Several factors contribute to the high cost of living in Destin. Some of them include:

  • High demand: Destin is a popular tourist destination, which drives up the demand for housing, food, and other goods and services.
  • Limited supply: Destin is a relatively small town, so there is a limited supply of housing and other amenities. This also contributes to the high cost of living.
  • Seasonal fluctuations: The cost of living in Destin can fluctuate significantly depending on the time of year. During the peak tourist season (the summer months), prices can be much higher than during the off-season.
  • Convenience factor: Destin is a very convenient place to live, with easy access to shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. This convenience factor also contributes to the high cost of living.

What is the best time of the year to go to Destin Florida?

After answering the question, “Is Destin Florida expensive?” The next thing everyone wants to know is, “When is the best time to visit Destin, Florida?”

If you’re looking for warm weather, clear skies, and pleasant temperatures, the best time to visit Destin is in April and May. During these months, you can expect temperatures in the mid-70s to 80s, which is perfect for a beach vacation. Going earlier than that might mean cooler weather and cold water, while a summer trip will bring more people and higher prices. Late summer and early fall can be hot and rainy, with temperatures reaching the high 80s. Winter temperatures range from the low 40s to the 60s, and although some people visit during this time for lower prices, they miss out on the best activities.

During April and May, you can enjoy great deals on hotels that are leftover from the winter season. The weather is fantastic, with water temperatures in the pleasant 70s and daytime temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to 80s.

If you’re looking for a more vibrant and energetic experience, plan your visit to Destin from June to August, which is the peak season. During this time, the beaches will be lively with lots of people, the restaurants will offer delicious seafood, and you can enjoy long hours of sunshine. However, it’s important to note that hotel rates, flight prices, and attraction fees tend to be higher during this period.

From September to November, early fall in Destin offers pleasant temperatures ranging from the 70s to the 80s during the day and the 40s to the 60s at night. However, it’s important to note that there is a chance of rain due to the North Atlantic hurricane season in September and October. By November, the wet season comes to an end, but temperatures start to drop. If you come across a good hotel deal, it might be worth considering a visit during this time. And if you’re a fishing enthusiast, make sure to sign up early for the annual fishing rodeo.

During the winter season, from December to March, temperatures in Destin are lower, with highs in the low 60s and lows in the 40s. While it may not be the best time for beach activities, it’s a great opportunity to find excellent deals on hotels and resorts.

Is Destin Florida a nice place to vacation?

If you’re wondering if Destin, Florida is a nice place to go on vacation, well, let me tell you, it’s totally awesome! Here’s why:

The beaches in Destin are out of this world. Seriously, they’re like something out of a dream. The sand is super white and soft, and speaking of the water, it’s so clear you can practically see right through it. That makes it perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Many tourists ask the question, “What is so special about Destin, Florida?” The short answer is that Destin isn’t just about the beach. There are tons of other things to do, too. You can go golfing, do some shopping, try kayaking, or even go parasailing. And if you’re into attractions, there are plenty of those too.

For those planning a family vacation, Destin is totally kid-friendly. There are playgrounds, water parks, and splash pads galore. Your little ones will have a blast!

But Destin is also a super romantic spot. Imagine staying in a cozy bed and breakfast or a fancy hotel with breathtaking views of the Gulf Coast. It’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway.

When it comes to accommodations, Destin has you covered. There are tons of hotels and resorts to choose from, with prices that vary depending on the time of year and what you’re looking for.

Cheap Places to Stay in Destin, Florida

  1. Wingate by Wyndham Destin

Address: 117 Palm Street, Destin, FL 32541, United States

Phone: +1 850-502-8968

Price: $100 per night

Wingate by Wyndham Destin is one of the best cheap places you can stay in Destin, Florida. This hotel is located near Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park and Destin Beach, so there are plenty of fun activities nearby that you can enjoy. Enjoy the complimentary breakfast offered and stay active at the gym. Relax in the outdoor pool or hot tub and stay connected with free Wi-Fi. The 94 rooms in this hotel are equipped with all the amenities you need, including TVs, refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee and tea makers.

  1. La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Miramar Beach- Destin

Address: 12839 US-98, Miramar Beach, FL 32550, United States

Phone: +1 850-279-6500

Price: $98 per night

If you are looking for budget hotels in Destin, Florida, La Quinta Inn & Suites is another great choice. Here, you can enjoy a free breakfast buffet, relax by the firepit, and take advantage of the laundry facilities. For those that want to stay fit, there is a 24-hour gym, and the hotel also boasts an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, and a shared lounge. Each air-conditioned room is equipped with a flat-screen TV, private bathroom, desk, and free Wi-Fi.

  1. Comfort Inn Miramar Beach- Destin

Address: 12282 Emerald Coast Parkaway West, Miramar Beach, FL 32550, United States

Phone: +1 850-353-7920

Price: $85 per night

Comfort Inn Miramar Beach is a 2-star hotel located in Destin with 72 air-conditioned rooms that each have their own private bathrooms with tubs or showers and free Wi-Fi. It is situated 2.8 km from James Lee Park Public Beach and 20 km from Fort Walton Beach Park. The hotel provides a continental breakfast and amenities such as free self-parking, a vending machine, an elevator, and a 24-hour front desk. The property is non-smoking and located 1.5 kilometers from Miramar Beach.

  1. Hampton Inn & Suites Destin

Address: 1625 Scenic Highway East, Destin, FL 32541, United States

Phone: +1 850-645-2677

Price: $129 per night

The Hampton Inn & Suites Destin has everything you need for a comfortable stay. Enjoy the outdoor pool and children’s pool, relax on the sun loungers, and stay connected with free Wi-Fi. Other perks include a grocery store on-site, self-parking, and a 24-hour business center. The rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs, refrigerators, and microwaves. Start your day with a hot breakfast buffet, and feel free to ask the friendly staff for assistance.

  1. Best Western Sugar Sands Inn & Suites

Address: 4415 Commons Drive East, Destin, FL 32541, United States

Phone: +1 850-650-9191

Price: $99 per night

For those that are visiting Destin, Florida, on a budget, one of the cheap hotels you can stay at during your vacation is the Best Western Sugar Sands Inn & Suites. Each room includes a microwave, refrigerator, coffee machine, flat-screen TV with HBO, and a private bathroom with a hairdryer. Some rooms even have a separate seating area with a sofa. The hotel also provides a business center, arcade games room, fitness room, 24-hour reception, laundry facilities, and vending machines. Guests can enjoy a free breakfast buffet, access to a gym, free in-room Wi-Fi, and a 24-hour business center.

Why are These Places Cheap to Stay in Destin FL?

There are a few reasons why these places in Destin, Florida are cheap.

  • They are located in less popular areas: While Destin itself is a popular tourist destination, these hotels are situated in areas that are still close to the beach and other attractions, but without the high price tag.
  • These hotels may not offer the same level of luxury as some of the more expensive options in Destin: They might not have fancy amenities like a fitness center or a spa, but they do provide basic amenities like free Wi-Fi and an outdoor pool.

If you’re looking for an affordable place to stay in Destin, I suggest considering these options. You can still have a fantastic vacation without breaking the bank. To save even more money, look for hotels that offer free breakfast and consider staying in a less popular area.


To wrap things up, Destin, Florida can be a bit pricey, but fear not! There are ways to make your trip more wallet-friendly. So, is Destin Florida expensive? Well, it can be, but don’t let that scare you away.

When it comes to accommodations and dining, opt for budget-friendly options. Look for affordable hotels, or even consider renting a vacation home with friends or family to split the bill.

Now, here’s the fun part! Destin offers a bunch of free activities that won’t cost you a dime. Take a stroll along the stunning beaches, explore nature trails, or have a picnic in one of the beautiful parks.

So, whether Destin, Florida is expensive or not really depends on the choices you make and your budget. With a little planning and some great decision-making, you can have an amazing time without emptying your wallet.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Some Of your questions that were not answered in the post
The cost of a vacation in Destin, Florida is around $250–268 per day, depending on your budget and travel style.
The cheapest month to go to Destin is November–February (winter months). However, these months are not ideal for outdoor activities, as the weather can be quite chilly.
Destin is not an expensive place to live, especially compared to other beach destinations in Florida.
The best days to go to Destin are weekdays, especially during the shoulder seasons (April–May and September–October).
Yes, Marathon, Florida is worth visiting for families. It has beautiful beaches, clear water, and many family-friendly activities.

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