Ocean Reef Resorts has an outstanding reputation for providing fine vacation rentals in Destin, Miramar Beach, and along Scenic 30A in South Walton. We offer “freebies” through our complimentary Reef Rewards program that include golf, dolphin cruises, snorkeling, champagne and many other pleasures. In addition to what we offer, Destin boasts many other free things to do. Here are our favorite five!
1. Free Destin Concerts
Everyone loves music and what better place to enjoy such performances than at an outdoor amphitheater or village green in this part of paradise called The Emerald Coast? Music abounds here throughout the year but especially during fun seasonal festivals that are open to the public. These festive concerts occur throughout the area from Destin to Miramar Beach and along Scenic 30A. All kinds of music is performed including classic rock, beach tunes, reggae, contemporary jazz, New Orleans styled jazz, bluegrass, pop and country. Events are held on grassy greens or outdoor amphitheaters. Friends and families usually spread out blankets or set up their chairs to get ready for the lyrical fun. They often bring a picnic basket filled with goodies and favorite adult beverages to enjoy as well. Such events are on-going at places like Harborwalk Village in Destin and at the Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin. Other free concerts are held for seasonal holidays at outdoor amphitheaters or right on the lawn at Santa Rosa Beach, Watercolor, Seaside, Alys Beach and Rosemary Beach. Harborwalk and Baytowne Wharf look like they have been around for over 100 years but are actually perfectly planned picturesque pedestrian friendly villages that were created after the new millennium. These charming Disneyesque villages were inspired by the New Orleans French Quarter. Harborwalk Village has a magnificent setting right in the heart of Destin. It sits beside the glowing green harbor at the Destin marina complete with a huge amount of charter fishing boats. There are waterfront restaurants with lively bars that have live music for patrons almost every day. During special events multiple stages are set up all along the harbor’s walk. One of the regular occurring concerts called “Rock the Docks” occurs every Saturday at 7pm during the summer. Baytowne Wharf is located within the exclusively gated Sandestin Resort in Miramar Beach. It straddles a lovely lagoon beside the beautiful bay. It also features a wide array of restaurants, bars, specialty shops and family amusements. This is open to the public with a special guest pass provided when you enter the bayside entrance. Seasonal music concerts are performed here every Wednesday night at the Events Plaza from 7 to 9pm. Seaside has concerts on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 pm throughout the summer with a final free concert on Saturday September 3rd. Watercolor schedules its concerts on Mondays through mid August from 6 to 8 pm. Rosemary Beach also has their concerts on Mondays from 6 to 8 pm.
2. Free Destin Movie Nights
You and your family may experience a unique wonderful evening watching a movie under the starry skies at Baytowne Wharf on Sunday evenings at 8pm throughout the summer. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets for comfort to enjoy these movies for the kids. Watercolor has movies for kids at sunset in the park on Thursday and Saturday evenings throughout the summer while Rosemary Beach has outdoor movies on Thursday nights. The Hub at Prominence on 30A has summertime family movie nights on Wednesday evenings. A Kid’s Activities Theater is presented at the Seaside Amphitheater every Friday night at 8pm from June throughout the entire months of July, August and September and on the Friday night after Thanksgiving.
3. Free Destin Fireworks
Get ready to Ooooh and Ahhhh during the festive free firework displays that light up the skies of Harborwalk Village, Baytowne Wharf and the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier in nearby Ft. Walton Beach on a weekly basis during the summer season. The vivid free weekly pyrotechnic displays that occur throughout the summer are on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. They are at separate locations on different nights so you may enjoy seeing them on three consecutive nights! Fireworks begin at 9:15 pm in Baytowne Wharf over the lagoon on every “Boomin’ Tuesday”. Harborwalk Village hosts its “Red White and Blue” firework celebration over the harbor every Thursday evening at 9 pm throughout the summer until Labor Day Weekend. The Okaloosa Island Pier shoots off fireworks every Wednesday evening at 9 pm. Spectacular aerial displays are held at all of these locations for Memorial Day, Independence Day and New Years Eve along with the Scenic 30A coastal villages of Santa Rosa Beach, Seaside and Rosemary Beach.
4. Free Destin Hiking & Biking Trails
South Walton County has almost 14,000 acres in the Pt. Washington State Forest with hiking trails that meander through wooded areas along Scenic Highway 30A and the gorgeous gulf. These trails pass by precious coastal dune lakes, creeks and marshlands. Here you will find lush thickets of lustrous magnolia trees, live oaks, palmettos, rosemary bushes, colorful wildflowers and abundant pine. Wild life includes deer, raccoons, fox, eagles, falcons, ducks, egrets and Great Blue Herons. You may access three amazing state parks for your hike including Topsail with towering 25 foot dunes, award winning Grayton Beach and forested Deer Lake which is named for the doe that sometimes eat the Sea Oats along the shore. An elevated walkway leads across the forest at Deer Park and Topsail where you may also enjoy long serene walks along the beach. For biking, the wide paved Timpoochie Trail extends eighteen miles along Scenic 30A from Dune Allen to Rosemary Beach. This sensational bike path goes past coastal forests through picturesque villages including Dune Allen Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Grayton Beach, Watercolor, Seaside, Seagrove Beach, Watersound, Alys Beach, Seacrest and Rosemary Beach. These villages provide unique rest stops since you may explore lots of restaurants, cafes, outdoor bars, boutiques, art galleries and specialty shops along the way.
5. Destin's Free Beautiful Beach
It almost goes without saying that the “star of the show” is the spectacular sugary shore that hugs the coast. These beautiful beaches are made from white quartz crystal pushed down from the Appalachians during the last Ice Age. The pure crystalline quartz was naturally ground down into powdery form through over ten thousand years of tidal wave action. The shimmering bright beaches are considered among the whitest in the world and they have earned a “Blue Wave” Award designating them as the nation’s best for pristine beauty. The reflection of sunlight from the sugar white sand causes the gulf waters to glow in a luminescent emerald green color which is unique and dazzling. Miles of state beach parks and abundant access provides the public with multiple points for the free pursuit of pleasure.
Make your plans now to experience these free fabulous Destin things to do and don’t forget to check out our complimentary Reef Rewards as an added wonderful perk for our guests.