Fun Things to Do By the Beach this May

Top May Activities in Destin & 30A: Beach Events & Family Fun

Posted on 5/7/2024

Welcome to May at the beach! If you're planning a visit to the beautiful shores of Destin and the Scenic 30A, you're in for a treat. Many guests of Ocean Reef Resorts find that May is the perfect time for a family vacation, thanks to the enjoyable weather and lighter crowds. While the popular spring breaks draw many visitors earlier in the season, the period after Easter and before Memorial Day offers a peaceful retreat. This quieter window before the bustling summer season allows you to take advantage of lower rental rates and have more space to enjoy everything from our sparkling beaches to exciting local events. 

Here’s a peek at what awaits you on the sugary shores of Destin and 30A this May.

Concerts in the Village

Ocean Reef Resorts proudly sponsors a fantastic outdoor concert series on the Matie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) grounds, conveniently located at 4323 Commons Drive West, just 1.5 miles away from Destin Commons. The MKAF has promoted arts and culture in the Destin area since 1995. They work with schools and have engaged over 400,000 students in a dynamic ArtsReach program serving K-12 students, at-risk youth, those with disabilities, and military families. Tickets may be obtained at

A number of Tribute Bands will perform every Thursday evening starting at 7:00 pm, and here is a brief look at each one.

Rumours ATL: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute

On Thursday, May 9th, the famous Rumours ATL band will be performing their amazing tribute to Fleetwood Mac through fun, infectious songs. This group contributes energizing performances of all your favorite Fleetwood Mac songs with artistic details that engage concertgoers to dance! Their shows often sell out, so get your tickets right away or $20 to $25. The concert grounds open at 6:00 p.m.

Gotta Groove Band

On Thursday, May 16th, the "Gotta Groove Band" will perform a tribute to the "groovy" era of golden Baby Boomer music. This popular band from Land O' Lakes, Florida, plays "oldies but goodies" as well as new hybrid offshoots featuring their own musical arrangements. Tickets are $20 to $25 in advance, which saves $5 at the door. The concert grounds open at 6:00 p.m.

Mitch Malloy

On Thursday, May 23rd, famed artist Mitch Malloy is performing his own fine repertoire of music. This golden-haired award-winning songwriter and music studio veteran navigated the scene starting in the 1980's. His impressive songs like "Anything at All" and "Our Love Will Never Die" hit the top of the charts. He turned down an offer from Van Halen to become his lead singer in the 1990s but became the lead vocalist in Great White from 2018 to 2022. Tickets are $30 to $35 in advance, and this will probably sell out quickly. The concert grounds open at 6:00 p.m.

Haley Reinhart

On Thursday, May 30th, the lovely, stylish singer and songwriter Haley Reinhart will be performing timeless songs that transcend all decades. This lady won American Idol to begin a decade-long, award-winning, chart-topping career. Her music covers many genres, including pop, rock, and light jazz. The multi-faceted artistry shines with platinum hits and impressive, diverse collaborations with other artists. Her musical genius and persona always joyfully resonate with her audience. Tickets are $30 to $35 in advance and $5 more if available at the door. The concert grounds open at 6:00 p.m.

Emerald Coast Exotic Cars Exotic Auto Expo

Destin, Miramar Beach, and the coastal communities along Scenic 30A are renowned gathering spots for exotic car enthusiasts. This year, the prestigious 2024 Emerald Coast Exotic Car Show will take place, featuring over 150 stunning vehicles from around the world. Join the excitement on Saturday, May 18th, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the rooftop parking deck of the luxurious Palms of Destin Resort, located at 4201 Indian Bayou Trail, right across from Henderson State Beach Park. The highlight comes at 7:00 p.m. when all the engines rev in unison. Secure your advance tickets for $10 for adults (free for children under 6); $15 on the day of the event. For an enhanced experience, VIP tickets are available for $60, offering gourmet hors d'oeuvres and non-alcoholic drinks. Don't miss this spectacular showcase of exotic cars!

Digital Graffiti

On the evenings of Friday, May 17th, and Saturday, May 18th, the annual internationally famed 17th Digital Graffiti celebration is being held in the enchanting coastal village of Alys Beach. This glitzy, dazzling event occurs after dark from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. The white Greek Isle-like setting of Alys Beach provides a perfect canvas for this vibrant, captivating art. The bright exteriors of the alabaster village buildings perfectly reflect a brilliant luminescence from millions of computerized digital points of light. Select artists from around the world are chosen to display their masterpiece designs with computer-generated projections of 3D-type fantasy. The vibrant Disneyesque imagery ranges from spinning carnival light abstracts to enchanting ethereal settings. This year's artists are from Australia, China, France, Indonesia, Korea, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, Ukraine and the United States.  VIP Tickets for an adult evening of entertainment on Friday, May 17th at 8:00 p.m. are $200 each. This includes the two-hour village tour experience, favorite drinks, and gourmet fare from local chefs. On May 18th, Saturday evening, from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m., the adult tour tickets are $60 each, and tickets for children are $25 each.  Tickets are available at

Baytowne Wharf Events

The world-class Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort will be hosting fabulous festivals, free outdoor concerts, unique family amusements, and vibrant firework celebrations. They are being held in the captivating Village of Baytowne Wharf, which was inspired by the charming architecture found in the French Quarter of New Orleans. These include the Taco & Tequila Festival on Saturday, May 11th, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and a lavish Bubbly Baytowne Festival on Thursday, May 16th, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The Events Plaza stage on the village green has concerts every Wednesday night from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. with a wide variety of performing musicians. "Booming Tuesdays" is held each week at 9:15 p.m. on May 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th with an extravagant fireworks celebration accompanied by festive synchronized music. On Memorial Day weekend, the Forest Williams Band plays in concert on Saturday, May 25th, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. On Sunday, May 26th, The High Aces will play from 6:00m to 9:00 p.m., followed by a vibrant fireworks extravaganza.

Crab Island

It goes without saying that the famous Crab Island boat party will be in full swing. This glorified place used to be an island known as an abundant habitat for net crabs near the Destin Bridge. In recent years, it became a submerged sandbar with crystalline white sand in shallow swimming pools. Clear waters attract a party. Frolicking people arrive on fleets of boats, yachts, pontoons, kayaks, jet skis, and paddleboards to party together with picnic provisions. Our Ocean Reef Resorts guests receive discounts for pontoon boat rentals and other delights, so you can join the boat party, too.

Blessing of the Fleet

The 64th Blessing of the Fleet occurs on Thursday, May 9th, at 5:15 p.m. This is quite an event and sacred to Destin's history since it is now home to the largest private charter fishing fleet in all of North America. There will be lots of waterfront restaurants and lively bars celebrating the blessing with special dinners. Free concerts will be held on Saturday, May 25th, and Sunday, May 26th, starting at 7:00 p.m. On Saturday, an amazing vintage air show will be performed across the skies over the village at 6:40 p.m. The concert on Sunday night, May 26th, will have a grand finale fireworks show over the harbor starting at 9:15 p.m.

Lionfish & Libations Festival

The exotic Lionfish & Libations Festival will be held on the HarborWalk Village docks on Friday May 17th thru Sunday  May 19th with Final Weigh-in Awards on the 19th. Adventurous anglers participate in this contest for cash prizes. Guests may take part in samplings of tasty treats, local brews, craft beers and seltzers while enjoying live music. There will also be art vendors, Lionfish demonstrations and the Lionfish Tournament prize weigh-ins.

Your Destin & 30A May Getaway

Ocean Reef Resorts is delighted to offer exquisite vacation rentals near all the festive activities in Destin, Miramar Beach, and along Scenic 30A. Don't miss the opportunity to experience this marvelous time of year—book your stay now! Explore our acclaimed website for detailed property descriptions, vivid images, and aerial views and to check availability at lower seasonal rates. Secure your perfect spot today and start looking forward to creating treasured family traditions. We can't wait to welcome you. Enjoy your May getaway!

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