Scenic Drives To Take Near Destin, FL
Destin, Florida, is rich in natural beauty. Whether you’re a native, transplant, or tourist, taking a scenic drive and admiring the coastal splendor of the area is the perfect way to spend a day. To help you plan your drive, we’ve compiled this list of the best scenic drives to take near Destin. Use this list to choose a destination, plan your day, and make cherished memories with your friends and family while basking in gorgeous sights and participating in fun activities.
Grayton Beach State Park
There’s something for everyone at Grayton Beach State Park. Find delightful views of the water while soaking in the sun and indulging in cool gulf breezes when you visit this nationally ranked park. Grayton Beach State Park features nearly 2,000 acres of nature to explore. The park offers plentiful amenities for visitors, so grab your friends and take a drive through the park or pack a bag and make a day of the outing.
The park offers gorgeous beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, 4 miles of foot trails through coastal forests, and campgrounds with cabins for visitors who want to extend their stay overnight or for the weekend. For those who prefer to skip the beach, you can visit Western Lake, which has fishing and paddling. Visiting the park only costs $5 per vehicle, and the park is open all year long from 8 a.m. to sundown.
Location: 357 Main Park Road, Santa Rosa Beach, FL.
Navarre Beach Marine Park
Experience sugar-fine white sands and stunning views of emerald Gulf Coast waters when you visit Navarre Beach Marine Park. The park occupies approximately 150 acres, making it an exceptional option for visitors looking to take a drive through one of Destin’s most beautiful locales. Enjoy the views from the comfort of your climate-controlled vehicle, or make a stop to check out the park amenities.
For example, this park features a science station and a sea turtle conservatory, which are both open to the public. At the science station, you can learn about marine life and take part in hands-on activities, like touch tanks. Guests can even schedule a private tour in advance to get an even more engaging, up-close experience. At the sea turtle conservatory, you can meet Sweet Pea, the resident green sea turtle, while learning about how to conserve and protect local sea life. Adventurous visitors may enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving at the park’s artificial reef.
It costs $5 per vehicle to enter the park. The park is open 24/7, so stop by anytime.
Location: 8543 Navarre Pkwy, Navarre, FL.
Perdido Key State Park
Take a drive to the beach and visit Perdido Key State Park. This quiet park features pristine beaches and rolling dunes, along with wildlife to enjoy. Perdido Key State Park is home to several endangered or threatened animal species, including sea turtles and the Perdido Key beach mouse. It’s also home to a variety of shorebirds, so it’s the ideal place to visit for bird watchers.
You can ride along the beach and take in the views from your vehicle, or you can park and spend a day on the beach. There are covered picnic tables with beach views, so bring your lunch and invite your friends and family. Stroll along the boardwalk, or challenge yourself with one of the more adventurous activities this park has to offer. Perdido Key State Park is a popular spot to go surf fishing, and anglers frequently catch redfish, pompano, whiting, and flounder here. Other activities include:
- Walking and running.
Note that this state park doesn’t offer camping. It costs $3 per vehicle to enter the park. The park is open 365 days a year between 8 a.m. and sunset.
Location: 15301 Perdido Key Drive, Pensacola, FL.
Pensacola to DeFuniak Springs on US-90
Not looking to visit a state park? We’ve got you covered. Take a ride on US-90 from Pensacola to DeFuniak Springs to enjoy scenic views through quaint countryside towns while admiring the stunning sights of Escambia Bay. This trip is about 80 miles, and there are lots of things to see and do along the way. For example, stop to visit the National Naval Aviation Museum, which features over 150 restored aircraft and 4,000 military aviation artifacts. The museum is free to visit and even has hands-on attractions for visitors to enjoy.
Besides the museum and views of the natural landscape, this drive is a great way to experience some of the unique architecture of the area. DeFuniak Springs was home to the southern headquarters of the Chautauqua movement more than a century ago. You can see many preserved Victorian buildings in the area, which is a great way to get acquainted with the local history. Along the way, you can even stop at Chautauqua Vineyards for wine tasting or to pick up a Florida-themed gift basket as a souvenir.
Pensacola to Seaside on US-98
This route takes you from Grayton Beach to Pensacola. It winds through Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Gulf Breeze, with plenty of breathtaking ocean views for you and your guests to admire. Along this route, we recommend you explore some of the charming local towns. There are many scenic stops to make along Country Road 30 and 30A, which parallel US-98. We especially recommend stopping in Seaside.
Seaside is a beautiful resort town designed for walkability. When you’re tired of riding and ready to stretch your legs, stop here for lunch or dinner and take a walk on the beach, through a lush garden, among charming cottages, or between the locally owned artisan shops. With lots to do, see, and eat, it’s worth making a stop to spend an afternoon or romantic evening in Seaside.
These are five of our favorite scenic drives to take near Destin. We’re proud of the natural beauty of our hometown, and we hope you’ll take your friends and family out to enjoy the area regardless of whether you’re a resident or a visitor. Did we miss your favorite scenic drive? Let us know by contacting us at Allen Turner Chevrolet today.