Crab Island

Destin, Florida

What Is Crab Island?

Crab Island is actually not an island. 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.

Crab Island is one of the highest-rated attractions in Destin. It is the focal point of many aerial photographs of the area and 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 located at the entrance of Choctawhatchee Bay. As you drive east on Hwy 98 and cross the bridge going into Destin, Crab Island will be on your left. Look for all the boats. The strong tidal currents and heavy boat activity simply make it too dangerous for swimming. There are several options for reaching Crab Island that include, shuttles and tours, or you can rent watercraft such as jet skis/waverunners, kayaks or pontoon boats.

If you can, try to visit Crab Island during high tide. You’ll experience breathtaking turquoise water that is usually waist-deep for adults.

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.

boats in the water at Crab Island, Destin, Florida
Multiple colors of clear green water at Crab Island in Destin, Florida

What Is There to Do on Crab Island?

There are various things to do while out at 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 or turtles.  

The summer months and holidays bring out extra crowds. Be prepared to be with a few thousand of your closest friends. Don’t let that dissuade you. C’mon out and enjoy the fun.

There was quite a bit of back and forth this year on whether or not vendors were going to be allowed at Crab Island. As of 2/18/21, a new ordinance will allow some vendors to be there this year.

If you rent a boat, you will need to bring your own beverages and snacks (alcohol is still 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.

You will most likely encounter some marine life such as dolphins, turtles, and all sorts of local fish!

How Do You Get to Crab Island?

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Crab Island Water Taxi Tours

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Reef Burgers is a floating restaurant on Crab Island in Destin, Florida

Crab Island Water Taxi Tours

Plan your trip to Crab Island and be sure to use Crab Island Water Taxi. You can expect nothing short of amazing hospitality.

Recommended Things To Bring:

  • Snorkel Gear
  • Paddle Board
  • Floaty
  • Football
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • A cooler full of food
  • Fresh water
  • Adult Beverages (if you wish)

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