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Crab Island

One of Destin’s Top Attractions

people floating on a mat at Crab Island Destin Florida

What is Crab Island

Crab Island is one of the highest-rated attractions in Destin. It is the focal point of many aerial photographs of the area. It has been featured on many TV shows such as HGTV and Good Morning America. Crab Island is more than likely the main reason Boating Magazine named Destin one of the ‘Top 10 Places to Live and Boat’ in the United States in 2020.

Crab Island is actually not an island at all. It’s a sandbar out in the middle of the bay with lots of boats, and people playing in the water which ranges from 2′ to 10′ feet deep and is waist-level in many areas depending on the tide.
See the tide chart.

What is there to do on Crab Island?

There are various things to do while visiting Crab Island for a day: snorkel, relax on the boat, swim, play volleyball, hunt for crabs, or walk around and sightsee as you meet other boaters.  Think of it as the largest swimming pool you have ever been in with a chance to see marine life such as dolphins, fish, and turtles. 

At one time, there was an inflatable water park and several floating food vendors. Ordinances have been passed that require all watercraft to dock at night. That means there are no stationary structures at Crab Island. Nearly all of the vendors are gone. The only ones you will see are usually small boats that roam around the sandbar selling peanuts, ice cream, or frozen drinks. In other words, bring your own food, beverages, and entertainment while visiting the sandbar.

Pontoon Boat at Crab Island

How Do I get to Crab Island?

There are several options for reaching Crab Island that include, shuttles and tours, or renting jet skis/waverunners, kayaks, or pontoon boats. 

The most popular way to get to Crab Island is by Pontoon Boat. There are several charter companies that offer the services of a licensed captain. This is STRONGLY recommended. There are far too many opportunities to ruin a perfectly good vacation. Relax and let a professional handle the stress for you.

Safety Tip:

The strong tidal currents and heavy boat activity simply make it too dangerous to swim out from the marina or harbor. Renting a kayak to reach Crab Island is recommended only for experienced kayakers due to the current. It goes without saying, but we will anyway. Do NOT jump from the bridge to reach the sandbar.

If you rent a boat, you will need to bring your own beverages and snacks (alcohol is ok), floaties, water toys, and everything else you need for the water. Designate a driver if you plan to have alcohol. The legal blood alcohol limit in Florida is .08, the same as driving a car. This is strictly enforced by the Okaloosa County Sherriff’s office, the US Coast Guard, the FWC, and the National Parks Service.

🟩 EMERALD PARTNERS

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Crab Island Luxury Adventures

The ultimate luxury pontoon for exploring Crab Island and beyond. Your adventure begins here.

🟩 EMERALD PARTNER

🏆 VIP SPONSORS

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Crab Island Cruises

Whether you're vacationing in Destin or a year-round local, plan your day with us. Crab Island Private Excursions

🏆 VIP Sponsor

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Holloway Yacht Charters

Enjoy the beautiful scenery of Destin with a group or in a romantic setting. Immerse yourself in five-star service.

🏆 VIP Sponsor

More recommended tours & boat rentals

Smile N Wave-Destin

Smile N Wave Adventures

Owned and operated by Captain Pam. Dolphin watching, sunset, swim and snorkel Tours Customized for you.

Private-Dolphin-Tour-and-Fishing-Tour

Private Dolphin & Fishing Tour

Private dolphin cruise and inshore fishing combo in Destin, Florida. Great, customizable trip for the whole family.

Tiki_hut_boats-Destin

Tiki Hut Boats

Private dolphin cruise and inshore fishing combo in Destin, Florida. Great, customizable trip for the whole family.

Recommended to bring:

  • Snorkel Gear
  • Paddle Board
  • Floaty
  • Football
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • A cooler full of food
  • Fresh water
  • Adult Beverages (if you wish)
  • It’s also important to point out that the only shade at Crab Island is what you bring with you, either from your boat or attire. It’s recommended to wear sunscreen, a hat, and/or long sleeves if you plan to stay out there all day.

Accommodations Nearby


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