The Destin area is known for its beautiful scenic drives along coastline roads. With breathtaking views of Emerald Coast beaches, vibrant sunsets painting the sky and the salty sea air, a drive in this region offers a one-of-a-kind experience.
Whether you prefer driving during daytime or nighttime hours, the scenery never disappoints. Not only is there a variety of sights to observe but also plenty of little towns off the beaten path to explore. A frequent tourist spot is 30A where unique crystal blue-green waters meet with ivory-white sand as far as the eye can see. No matter how far you intend on driving along the miles of coastline highways, your Destin journey will always be one worth remembering!
Overview Scenic Drive In Destin
Scenic Drive in Destin is a beautiful coastal drive in the city of Destin, Florida. It boasts amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as its fantastic white sand beaches and spectacular sunsets. Drivers have access to over 3 miles of breathtaking coastline with picturesque looks at bayous and wetlands native to this region.
Along the way, you’ll find quaint fishing villages, exciting nightlife spots, golf courses, and other attractions for your enjoyment. As you’ll experience on your scenic drive down the coast, there are plenty of outdoor activities to partake in, ranging from swimming to snorkeling, surfing to paddle boarding, and much more. Whether you’re a local or visitor alike, Scenic Drive in Destin is a must-see experience that will give you some truly unforgettable memories.
Popular List of Scenic Drive In Destin
Destin is a popular destination for both local and international travelers. Popular scenic drives in Destin include Mid-Bay Bridge, Okaloosa Island, Scenic Highway 98, Henderson Beach State Park Road, and Miller’s Bayou Cyclist Path. Most of these roads offer adventurous drivers newfound sights around every corner as they cruise through sugar-white beaches with their salty air, historic lighthouses, coastal state parks and more.
1. Scenic Gulf Drive
Scenic Gulf Drive lies at the heart of Destin and no trip to this Gulf Coast town would be complete without taking a drive down this stretch of paradise. With its emerald waters, white sand beaches and breathtaking views, you can experience something new with each trip back!
Home to some of Florida’s finest restaurants, beach parks, resorts and shopping areas, Scenic Gulf Drive offers endless possibilities for adventure and exploration. Since it is a scenic loop road off Highway 98, it makes a great day trip or romantic getaway destination.
All year round you can witness beauty like dolphins playing in the surf, magnificent treasures like sunrises and sunsets or just relax on one of many pristine white sand beaches.
2. Florida Scenic Highway 30A
The stunning Florida Scenic Highway 30A is a popular tourist route in the beautiful coastal city of Destin. Spanning 18 miles, this amazing roadway snakes along some of the best beaches and most postcard-worthy resort communities in Florida.
As you drive along the bridges, dunes, unique beachfront homes, pastel-colored cottages and incredible local restaurants, you will be mesmerized by the wonderful scenery that surrounds every mile. Thanks to its breathtaking waterfront vistas framed by swaying tall pines and grand beach dunes, visitors are often left speechless as they take in the sights of this special highway.
3. Mid-Bay Bridge Toll Plaza
Nestled between the Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico is the Mid-Bay Bridge Toll Plaza in Destin, Florida. It’s a nature-lover’s paradise with stunning vistas of aquamarine waters, lovely sand beaches and an abundance of boat-filled waterways.
The experience takes you on an enchanting drive through sparkling blue lagoons and shimmering white stretches of undisturbed beach before arriving at the toll plaza – giving its visitors an array of breathtaking landscapes as they make their way to their destination.
Ideal for a day trip or weekend getaway, exploring the beauty surrounding Mid-Bay Bridge gives travelers a sense of peace, relaxation and tranquility, whether they choose to drive or simply marvel from afar.
4. Choctawhatchee Bay Scenic Drive
The Choctawhatchee Bay Scenic Drive in Destin offers stunning views of the emerald green waters, sandy beaches and cypress-lined shoreline. This scenic drive winds around the bay for about 26 miles and passes by some of the oldest fishing villages and towns scattered along the coastline.
Here you can catch a glimpse of incredible wildlife including manatees, bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles and all kinds of birds. With more than seven public access areas along the route, you can explore lush nature trails that wind through pine flatwoods or follow roads lined with giant moss-draped oaks and magnolias.
Along with its spectacular beauty, Choctawhatchee Bay Scenic Drive is also rich with history and culture; it’s a great opportunity to learn more about early settlement days in Northwest Florida. Clear nights offer unparalleled opportunities to take in stunning sunsets over breathtaking landscapes.
5. Henderson Beach State Park Scenic Drive
Henderson Beach State Park Scenic Drive in Destin is the perfect way to enjoy a day in the state of Florida. Featuring stunning views along this coastal stretch of Highway 98, Henderson Beach State Park Scenic Drive brings travelers through a winding road full of beachfront scenery and beautiful greenery.
Visitors will have the opportunity to see some unique landscapes, from large sand dunes to peaceful lagoons inlaid with serene backwaters. This drive also provides a chance to take breathtaking photographs from every corner as drivers pass by white sand beaches, crashing waves on crystal-clear shores and twisting palm trees near beach access points.
6. Marler Bridge to the East Pass Scenic Drive
There are many incredible sights to be seen in Northwest Florida’s Destin, and taking the scenic drive from Marler Bridge to the East Pass is one of the best ways to experience them. The trip, complete with beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico coastline, starts out at Marler Bridge and meanders around the town’s colorful harbor passing by famous restaurants like Harborwalk Village, before transforming into smooth highways that take you along pristine sandy shores.
From there you can admire the island-like land masses and boats dotting an array of aqua shades, as well as the retired military ships docked at Navarre Beach. Soon enough, you’ll venture out onto John Beasley Park which offers stunning views across the Santa Rosa Island preserve.
7. McWilliams Road Scenic Drive
McWilliams Road Scenic Drive, located in beautiful Destin is a great way to take in the magnificent views of the Emerald Coast. Although it runs just two miles, this trip offers seemingly endless splendor!
Along this drive you can spot dolphins swimming close to shore and enjoy the breathtaking view of pure white sand stretching for miles. This idyllic journey takes you over bridges and past buildings that will leave your jaw dropping in amazement. You’ll be surrounded by a clear blue sky, lush palm trees and tremendous amounts of natural beauty along its route.
8. Gulf of Mexico Drive
Exploring Destin is a wonderful experience that includes the Gulf of Mexico Drive. A spectacular highway winding along the coastline, this scenic drive offers breathtaking views of the Gulf and is great for sightseeing.
Starting at Cleopatra Beach, the drive provides stunning sunrises and sunsets that are sure to inspire the viewer. The abundance of wildlife in the area can also be enjoyed as dolphins, ospreys, pelicans, and eagles can be seen swimming or flying in their natural habitats.
For those looking to really take in all this coastal enclave has to offer, there are plenty of stops along the drive that provide perfect spots to enjoy lunch or just take a stroll on the beach.
9. Crystal Beach Drive
Crystal Beach Drive in Destin offers a stunning journey along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Starting at Henderson State Park, this drive takes travelers on a winding road through vibrant greenery and postcard-perfect beaches. Onlookers can also spot some of Florida’s signature wildlife in their natural habitat such as herons and dolphins.
Every curve in the road will offer hints of crystal blue waters, swaying palms and gentle breezes. Once passengers arrive on the other side of the drive they will have traveled nearly 10 miles with remarkable vistas throughout the entire route. This breathtaking drive is a popular destination for visitors looking for an unforgettable panoramic view of white sandy beaches.
Tips for Enjoying the Drive
To make the experience as enjoyable as possible, it’s important to plan ahead and take necessary precautions during your journey. First, research the areas you plan to explore and check for any travel restrictions or road closures before you begin.
Then, decide the route you’d like to take and any potential stops you might make along the way. If possible, choose a day with good weather and bring a jacket if there is a chance of rain or cool temperatures.
A. Best Time to Visit
The best time of year for such a trip is spring, when the weather tends to be just right. Temperatures will be warm but not too hot, so you can keep your car windows down and enjoy the gentle breeze without worrying about getting too sweaty yourself. Plus, with slightly cooler temperatures comes clearer skies – perfect for taking in all of the breathtaking views that this coastal town has to offer!
B. Preparing for the Drive
Before taking a scenic drive in Destin there are some preparations that should be made prior to the journey. First and foremost finding directions, as well as studying up on local terrain to be aware of any potential hazards is key. Sometimes, paper maps are better than online navigation due to their more detailed nature when wanting to explore rural areas.
Additionally, packing safety items such as a tire jack, spare tire, first aid kit, jumper cables and a flashlight will ensure that any unpredictable event won’t spell disaster. Also, it is worthwhile going over the car’s vitals by checking the oil pressure, engine fluid levels and tire pressure as a precaution before setting out.
C. Must-Have Supplies
Before you head out, make sure you have all the necessary supplies to ensure an enjoyable and safe trip. A full tank of gas, a map or GPS system, sunglasses (for your drive in Florida sunshine), a first aid kit, a bag of snacks for any unexpected delays, and an extra jug of water should always be brought with you.
Depending on how far away your destination may be, having a couple extra items like sunscreen, insect repellent, umbrellas, blankets and chairs might be necessary. Make sure to grab all the supplies listed above before hitting the road! It could make all the difference between having a fun-filled day or one potentially wasted due to a lack of preparation!
D. Road Conditions
Generally speaking, most roads are in good condition year-round with minimal potholes; however, depending on recent weather patterns some parts may be more susceptible to deterioration. Additionally, because Destin is such a popular tourist destination, there can sometimes be a lot of traffic to navigate around, so it pays to be aware of potential construction projects and busy times if you want to get around quickly. All in all, though, Destin’s roads provide an enjoyable journey for any level of driver.
All in all, a scenic drive in Destin is the perfect way to get an intimate look at some of the most spectacular views that Florida has to offer. Whether you’re coming for its white sandy beaches or miles of golf courses, resting atop high rising bluffs or following along the winding shoreline, driving through Destin is an experience no person soon forgets. With beautiful landscapes and terrains from both inland and out to sea, Destin’s scenic drive ensures anyone can find something admirable in nature’s beauty no matter where they turn their gaze.