With a west-facing view over the Gulf of Mexico, Destin, Florida is home to many gorgeous sunsets throughout the year.
Here are 10 of the best places to watch a sunset in the area:
AJ’s Water Adventures: Dolphin Tours and Sunset Cruises
Of all the possible locations to watch a sunset, the very best one is aboard a boat that’s out on the water. Charter with AJ’s Water Adventures for a Sunset Cruise, and you’ll have a tour of the area’s waterways as the sun descends in the sky. Sit back, and enjoy the peacefulness of sailing as the day winds down.
Sea Blaster’s Sunset/Dolphin Cruise
For a slightly more adventurous experience, book Sea Blaster’s Sunset/Dolphin Cruise. The company’s two boats each seat more than 100 passengers, so this isn’t the most private and romantic sunset cruise. It is an affordable way to get out on the water at dusk, though, and you’ll almost certainly see some dolphins. The boats have been specifically designed for sunset watching, so you’ll get good views of the porpoises even with a lot of people on board.
Gulfside Beach, of course, affords the most expansive views of the sunset.
It’s only during the off-season that you can watch the sun go down over the Gulf of Mexico from here, though. During June through August, the sun actually sets over the tip of the Peninsula — and buildings will obstruct your view if you stand on the Gulf Beach.
However, if you’re here from October to March, any place along Gulfside Beach will be the best place to watch from land. Head onto one of the hotel’s private beaches along the Gulf if you have legal access, or go to Henderson Beach State Park if you can’t get onto a privately owned portion of the shore.
Clement Taylor Park
Clement Taylor Park has beautiful views of the sunset year-round, but they’re especially prime during the peak summer travel season. From June through August, the shoreline here is probably the best place to watch the sun go down. A public pier lets you walk out over the water some, and a private pier next to the park serves as an excellent subject for sunset photos.
Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant
Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant is a local favorite for shellfish and fish, thanks to its great entrees and laid-back beach atmosphere. It’s also a great place to watch the sunset as you chow down or sip a cold one.
If you’re going specifically for sunset watching, make sure you head to the original Dewey Destin that’s on the end of the Peninsula. There’s a second location in Destin Harbor that doesn’t offer the same views of open water.
Norriego Point is a white sand peninsula that stretches out between the East Pass and Destin Harbor. From this vantage point, the sun sets behind the Destin Bridge. The view isn’t quite as impressive as some of the other watching locales, but it’s still a good place to watch. The point is also a little quieter than some of the more well-known and easily accessible locations listed.
Another out-of-the-way location, Jetty Beach has the same white sand as Norriego Point and isn’t too far from the point itself. This viewing spot is even more secluded, though, as you not only have to drive along some less-known roads but then must walk 300 yards to get to the shoreline. Once you arrive, you’ll have an expansive view of the beach, Destin Bridge, and East Pass waters.
As an added bonus, dolphins and sea turtles are known to frequent the Destin Jetties. Arrive when there’s still a decent amount of daylight, so you can check the water for any swimming creatures.
Destin Harbor Boardwalk
Destin Harbor Boardwalk doesn’t have the absolute best sunset views, but you can see the sun go down at certain times of the year from here. What the boardwalk does have is plenty of eateries and shops that you can explore as you keep an eye on the evening sky. If you’d like to multitask while watching the sky’s colors change, this may offer the combination of peaceful dusk and hip nightlight that you’re looking for.
Fort Walton Beach
After you’ve thoroughly explored Destin, make the short drive to Fort Walton Beach. Another beautiful sandy beach that offers views over the water, the atmosphere here is a little less touristy but the views are just like you’ll find in Destin. Heading across Okaloosa Island, you’ll also have views of both the Gulf and Choctawhatchee Bay on your way there and back.
Tiki Bar at Henderson Park Inn
If you’d like to sip a cocktail as you watch the sun descend, the Tiki Bar at Henderson Park Inn serves up a variety of mixed drinks right along the shore. Will you go for something that matches the red, orange, and purple hues of the night sky, or would you prefer something with a more complementary color?
Every clear night in Destin there’s a beautiful sunset if you know where to watch from. Try a few of these locations, and you’ll end each day with a picturesque viewing of a lovely time of day.