10 Best Things to Do in Destin When It Rains

01/17/2024 | by BuildUp Bookings | Things to Do

When you dream of your Destin beach vacation, chances are rain isn’t in the picture. The Gulf Coast is known for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, perfect for those picturesque beach days that the whole family will remember.

But what we love about the Destin area is that it’s packed with family-friendly fun things to do, rain or shine. From adventure parks to arcades to museums, countless rainy-day activities are just waiting to be discovered.

Between relaxing at our coastal vacation rentals and enjoying all of the indoor activities nearby, your Emerald Coast trip will be one to remember. Here are our favorite things to do in Destin to make the most of those rainy days!

1. Fat Daddy’s Arcade

Photo Credit: Micah gillette

With over 120 games at your fingertips, Fat Daddy’s Arcade is the ultimate rainy day adventure for arcade enthusiasts.

It boasts a range of classic arcade games, basketball hoops, modern games, and more. Hoping for some nostalgia? Play a round of Pac Man or Wheel of Fortune. Want to try something new? Play Tower of Tickets or the Big Bass Wheel. Whether you want some family fun or a date day, Fat Daddy’s Arcade won’t disappoint.

2. Destin History & Fishing Museum

Photo Credit: Nabil Ahsan Noor

Destin History & Fishing Museum is a 5,500 square foot museum about all things Destin. If you are a fishing enthusiast, the Destin History & Fishing Museum is the perfect spot to take a deep dive into Destin’s fishing history.

The museum explores Destin’s history as a fishing hub, including everything from historic fishing equipment to diving in Destin to a display of over 100 fish mounds caught right here on the Emerald Coast. It’s a fisherman’s paradise on a rainy day.

Admission is around $10 for adults and free for children under 5.

3. Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Photo Credit: Shannon Gutierrez
  • Address: 1010 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • Website: gulfarium.com

Just 10 minutes west of Destin on Okaloosa Island is the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, the ultimate destination to explore the wonders of marine life.

Here, you’ll have the chance to feed alligators, snorkel with stingrays, play with penguins, and even pet dolphins! General admission gives you access to all of the shows, exhibits, and training demonstrations at the marina.

There are also special events and additional experiences you can add on, so check out their website for all the adventures to be had! The adventure park is an open-air facility, so be sure to bring your raincoats and umbrellas for walking to and from the exhibits.

Pro Tip: While you’re on Okaloosa Island, stop by The Gulf Restaurant for delicious grub!

4. Emerald Coast Science Center

Photo Credit: Kate Fox
  • Address: 139 Brooks Street, Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • Website: ecscience.org

The Emerald Coast Science Center is the perfect place to learn about science in a fun and engaging way. Their interactive exhibits feature everything from Robotics to Space to a SciPad (picture: room-sized iPad!). You’ll also have the chance to explore the Emerald Coast ecosystem, interact with exotic animals, and participate in the Creation Station, where your incredible ideas can come to life!

The science center is open Wednesday-Saturday for general admission. Be sure to check out their website for special events, too.

5. The Destin Commons

Photo Credit: Leandro Coba

Looking for a one-stop shop for all of your rainy day adventures? The Destin Commons is the place to be. This indoor-outdoor complex is the ultimate destination for shopping, food, a movie theater, and more.

In the mood for a show? Be sure to check out the award-winning AMC Destin Commons, featuring all of the latest releases. Want to shop til you drop? Here’s their incredible shopping directory, which includes Bass Pro Shops for all of your fishing needs. Ready for some grub? There are plenty of options, from casual to fine dining.

We promise you, there’s no getting bored on a rainy day at the Destin Commons.

6. Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone

Photo Credit: L T
  • Address: 1306 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • Website: wwazone.com

Want the ultimate indoor adventure? You’re in for a ride at Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone. As Northwest Florida’s largest entertainment center, Wild Willy’s offers over 17,000 square feet of pure fun.

The adventure zone features a range of indoor activities, from laser tag to arcade games to a 4D movie theater. And if the rain lets up, be sure to check out their outdoor mini-golf course, ropes course, and trampoline park!

7. Escapology

Photo Credit: Joe English

Escapology is Destin’s premiere escape room experience. Located in Miramar Beach between Destin and Sandestin, Escapology invites you into a thrilling 60-minute escape room where you’ll encounter all kinds of surprises as you try to escape.

Each escape room holds up to 8 players, making this the perfect rainy day group activity. You’ll work together to solve puzzles, find hidden clues and crack codes, and escape before time is up! If your group includes kids, there’s a special Kids Mode for ages 7 to 14. We guarantee you’ll have the adventure of a lifetime at Escapology.

8. Rock Out Climbing Gym

Photo Credit: Bill Mason

Want an indoor activity that keeps you active? Rock Out Climbing Gym is the spot for you! This indoor climbing gym is the first of Destin’s kind and is well-loved by locals and tourists alike.

People of all ages and experience levels are invited to participate in rock climbing adventures here. Whether you choose to attend a bouldering class or use the climbing gym for the day, there are tons of options to partake in this fun indoor activity.

9. Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl & Grill

Photo Credit: Tyeshia Pegram

What’s better than an underwater-themed bar? One that has a bowling alley inside it, too! Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl & Grill is the ultimate restaurant, bar, and bowling alley combo that will entertain your whole family for hours.

The bowling alley features underwater-themed decor, from “dock” wooden lanes to octopus bowling balls. The restaurant menu features classic American favorites like pizza, burgers, and fried seafood. And, of course, the underwater bar features signature cocktails, beer, or wine. Think of this as your all-in-one entertainment and grub destination!

10. Silver Sands Premium Outlets

Photo Credit: Saad Alsaedi

If you’re looking for another shopping destination, Silver Sands Premium Outlets is the place to go in the Destin area. This outlet mall is packed with nationally-recognized brands, from designer clothing to shoes to home goods.

We recommend carving out an afternoon for this shopping frenzy. Stroll the countless stores, enjoy yummy food along the way, and rack up on those can’t-miss discounts to take advantage of your rainy day shopping experience!

A Rainy Day in Destin You Won’t Forget

We know that few things beat a sunny beach day in Destin, Florida. But as you can see, it’s also loaded with fun rainy day activities. From adventure parks to movie theaters to escape rooms and beyond, the indoor adventures are endless on the Emerald Coast.

At Coastal Vibe Vacations, our mission is to ensure you have an unforgettable beach escape, regardless of the weather. We trust our comprehensive guide for rainy days will serve as a reminder that fun and enjoyment abound in Destin, no matter the weather forecast.

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