Crab Island Visitor's Guide for 2024

Welcome to Crab Island, the ultimate destination for sun, sand, and sea! Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned explorer, our Crab Island Visitor’s Guide for 2024 is your comprehensive companion to make the most out of your stay.

Immerse yourself in the turquoise waters teeming with vibrant marine life as you snorkel, paddleboard, or simply bask in the sun on nearby pristine white sandy beaches. Explore the surrounding natural beauty with a guided kayak tour or search for dolphins at play in the Choctawhatchee Bay.

Crab Island Luxury Adventures
Crab Island Luxury Adventures

As a brand dedicated to providing exceptional experiences, we’ve curated this guide with insider tips, hidden gems, and up-to-date recommendations tailored to suit your preferences. Our brand voice is one of excitement and adventure, and we can’t wait to share the wonders of Crab Island with you.

So pack your sunscreen, unleash your wanderlust, and get ready for an unforgettable vacation at Crab Island, where the sea meets paradise. Let’s make 2024 the year of incredible memories!

Crab Island Luxury Adventures

Getting to Crab Island

Crab Island is located just a short distance off the coast of Destin, Florida. To reach this idyllic destination, you have a few options. If you’re flying in, the closest major airport is Destin/Ft. Walton Beach (VPS)  Airport, which is approximately 30 minutes away from Crab Island by car. From the airport, you can rent a car or take a taxi to reach your accommodation.

If you prefer driving, Destin, Florida is accessible from Highway 98. The drive along this scenic coastal route offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, making the journey part of the adventure. Keep in mind that during peak season, traffic can be heavy, so plan your trip accordingly.

Things to do in Destin, Florida

For those who prefer a more leisurely approach, the most common way to reach Crab Island is by boat. There are several marinas and boat rental services where you can charter a boat or join a guided tour. Cruising along the emerald waters, surrounded by stunning landscapes, is an experience like no other.

No matter how you choose to get there, once you arrive at Crab Island, you’ll be greeted by a paradise that will take your breath away.

Best time to visit Crab Island

Crab Island is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences and what you want to experience. The peak season in Crab Island is during the summer months, from June to August. This is when the weather is at its warmest, and the area comes alive with tourists and beachgoers.

If you enjoy a lively atmosphere and want to take part in the various water activities and events, visiting during the peak season is recommended. However, keep in mind that the sandbar can get crowded during this time, so plan your visit accordingly.

Crab Island Luxury Adventures

For those who prefer a quieter and more peaceful experience, the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are ideal. The weather during these months is still pleasant, with fewer crowds and more affordable prices. You’ll have more space to relax on the nearby beaches and enjoy the serenity of the sandbar.

If you’re a fan of marine life, consider visiting Crab Island during the winter months, from December to February. While the weather may be cooler and the water a bit chilly for swimming, this is the best time for dolphin-watching and spotting other marine creatures. The waters are calmer, and you’ll have a higher chance of witnessing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Regardless of when you choose to visit, Crab Island promises a memorable experience that will leave you longing to return.

Crab Island Luxury Adventures

Things to do at Crab Island

Crab Island offers a plethora of activities and experiences that cater to all interests. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or prefer more laid-back activities, there’s something for everyone at this enchanting paradise.

One of the highlights of Crab Island is the opportunity to snorkel in its crystal-clear waters. Go beneath the surface and discover a vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful fish, coral reefs, and other marine creatures. Don’t worry if you’re new to snorkeling – there are plenty of rental shops that offer equipment and guided tours suitable for all skill levels.

Crab Island Destin, Florida

If you prefer to stay above water, paddleboarding is a popular activity at Crab Island. Glide along the calm turquoise waters, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding area. Stand-up paddleboarding is a great way to explore the area at your own pace and get a workout at the same time.

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, consider renting a kayak and embarking on a guided tour. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings, such as birds, dolphins, and even sea turtles.

Crab Island Luxury Adventures

If you’re visiting with family or friends, chartering a boat is a fantastic way to spend the day at Crab Island. Cruise along the bay, anchor your boat, and enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking on the sandy shores nearby. Private Captained charters are the best way to relax, have fun, and leave the stress of navigating around other boaters to a professional.

Safety tips for visiting Crab Island

While Crab Island is a stunning destination, it’s important to prioritize safety during your visit. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Swim with caution: The water at Crab Island can be deep in some areas, so it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and swim within your capabilities. If you’re not a confident swimmer, consider wearing a life jacket or using flotation devices.
  2. Stay hydrated: The Florida sun can be intense, so make sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. Pack a reusable water bottle and refill it at the various water stations available on the island.
  3. Apply sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by applying sunscreen regularly. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF and reapply every two hours, especially if you’re spending a lot of time in the water.
  4. Stay updated on weather conditions: Check the weather forecast before heading out to Crab Island and be aware of any potential storms or adverse conditions. If there’s a chance of inclement weather, it’s best to reschedule your visit.
  5. Follow boating regulations: If you’re arriving at Crab Island by boat, familiarize yourself with the local boating regulations and adhere to them. Ensure you have the necessary safety equipment on board and operate your vessel responsibly.
  6. Be mindful of wildlife: While exploring the natural beauty of Crab Island, respect the wildlife and their habitats. Do not disturb or feed any marine creatures, and avoid touching or stepping on coral reefs.

By following these safety tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Crab Island.

Crab Island Destin, Florida

What to bring to Crab Island

To make the most of your visit to Crab Island, it’s important to come prepared. Here’s a list of essential items to bring with you:

  1. Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the strong Florida sun by bringing a high SPF sunscreen. Apply generously and reapply throughout the day.
  2. Swimsuit: Pack your favorite swimsuit or swim trunks to fully enjoy the crystal-clear waters of Crab Island.
  3. Waterproof bag: Keep your belongings dry and secure by bringing a waterproof bag. This is especially useful if you’re planning to participate in water activities or have valuables that you want to protect.
  4. Towels: Don’t forget to pack towels for drying off after a swim or lounging on the nearby beaches.
  5. Snorkeling gear: If you have your own snorkeling gear, bring it along for an up-close and personal encounter with the underwater world. If not, you can easily rent gear from the various rental shops on the island.
  6. Water shoes: While the sand at Crab Island is soft and powdery, there may be pebbles or crabs on the bottom of the sandbar. Water shoes can protect your feet and provide better traction when walking on uneven surfaces.
  7. Cash: Some vendors on Crab Island may only accept cash, so it’s a good idea to have some on hand for any purchases or rentals you may need.
  8. Cooler and snacks: Pack a cooler with your favorite snacks and beverages to keep you refreshed throughout the day. While there are food vendors on the island, having your own supplies ensures you have exactly what you want.
  9. Waterproof phone case: Capture stunning photos and videos without worrying about water damage by using a waterproof phone case. This will allow you to document your adventures without any concerns.
  10. First aid kit: It’s always a good idea to have a basic first aid kit with you in case of any minor injuries or ailments.

By packing these essential items, you’ll be well-prepared for a day of fun and relaxation at Crab Island.

Crab Island Destin, Florida

Where to eat near Crab Island

After working up an appetite from all the activities, you’ll find a variety of dining options to satisfy your cravings near Crab Island. From fresh seafood to casual beachside fare, there’s something to please every palate.

  1. The Crab Shack: As the name suggests, The Crab Shack is a must-visit for seafood lovers. Indulge in mouthwatering crab legs, shrimp, oysters, and other seafood delicacies while enjoying stunning waterfront views. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly service make this a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
  2. Dewy Destins: Located at the edge of Crab Island near the Destin marina. This location may be a shack on the water, but it offers the prettiest views of Crab Island and the best seafood in town. At this location, you do not have a server, but rather order at a window, grab a seat, and take in the view. Don’t be alarmed when one of our friendly employees comes hollering your name–they’re just bringing your meal to you!
  3. McGuire’s Irish Pub: You will find a ‘Turn of the Century New York Irish Saloon’ feel in the 500 seats of the Destin Pub.  And if you’d like to enjoy a view of the harbor – step upstairs where another 150 seats await you on The Deck;  a great place to enjoy dinner and enjoy the nightlife with some of the best bands around!
  4. Stewbys: STEWBY’S Seafood Shanty is a small take-out and dine-in seafood restaurant in Fort Walton Beach. STEWBY’S offers the most affordable and freshest local seafood available.

All the seafood is fresh and locally bought. The fish come straight from the docks in Destin and other neighboring counties. The oysters are always freshly shucked from Bon Secour Fisheries in Alabama with an occasional supply from Apalachicola Florida. The shrimp are also from Bon Secour and when available right here from our very own Choctawhatchee Bay.


  1. The Seafood Market: If you’re looking to cook your own seafood feast, stop by The Seafood Market. This local gem offers a wide selection of fresh seafood, including fish, shrimp, and crab. Pick up your favorite ingredients and head back to your accommodation to prepare a delicious meal.

These are just a few of the many dining options available at Crab Island. Whether you’re craving seafood, burgers, or something else entirely, you’re sure to find a restaurant that suits your taste.

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Accommodations near Crab Island

Crab Island is a popular vacation destination, and there are plenty of accommodation options available to suit every budget and preference. Here are a few recommendations for places to stay near Crab Island:

  1. Resorts: If you’re looking for a luxurious experience, consider staying at one of the resorts near Crab Island. These resorts offer a range of amenities, including pools, spas, restaurants, and private beach access. Some popular options include The Henderson, The Palms of Destin, and Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.
  2. Vacation Rentals: For a more home-like experience, vacation rentals are a great choice. There are numerous rental properties available in the area, ranging from cozy beach cottages to spacious waterfront villas. 
  3. Hotels and Motels: If you’re looking for more affordable accommodation options, there are several hotels and motels in the vicinity of Crab Island. These establishments offer comfortable rooms and convenient access to the island and other attractions. Some well-known chains in the area include Hilton, Marriott, and Holiday Inn.
  4. Campgrounds: If you prefer a more adventurous experience, camping is an option at nearby campgrounds. Henderson Beach State Park and Camp Gulf are two popular choices that offer campsites with amenities such as showers, picnic tables, and fire pits. Wake up to the sound of crashing waves and enjoy a true outdoor experience.

When choosing your accommodation, consider factors such as proximity to Crab Island, amenities offered, and your budget. Booking in advance is recommended, especially during the peak season, to ensure you secure your preferred choice.

Big Kahuna's -Slide

Other Attractions Near Crab Island

While Crab Island is a paradise in itself, there are several other attractions in the surrounding area that are worth exploring. Here are a few recommendations for additional places to visit during your stay:

  1. Destin Harbor Boardwalk: Located just a short drive from Crab Island, the Destin Harbor Boardwalk is a vibrant hub of activity. Stroll along the boardwalk and discover an array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Catch a sunset cruise, browse local boutiques, or sample fresh seafood at one of the waterfront eateries.
  2. Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park: If you’re looking for excitement and thrills, head to Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park. This family-friendly attraction offers water slides, lazy rivers, wave pools, and more. Spend a day cooling off and enjoying the various rides and attractions.
  3. Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park: Immerse yourself in the world of marine life at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. Located in nearby Fort Walton Beach, this park features live animal shows, interactive exhibits, and opportunities to meet dolphins, sea lions, and other marine creatures up close.
  4. Henderson Beach State Park: For a change of scenery, visit Henderson Beach State Park. This pristine park offers white sandy beaches, nature trails, and picnic areas. Take a leisurely stroll along the shore, spot wildlife in the dunes, or simply relax and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.
  5. Indian Temple Mound Museum: Learn about the rich history of the area by visiting the Indian Temple Mound Museum in Fort Walton Beach. 


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