Under the right guidance, the clear blue waters around Destin's harbor become visible from every angle—the air, the surface, or deep below. Destin Snorkel leads a comprehensive roster of area adventure tours, granting guests total flexibility to join or leave their excursion at any time. Guides steer one of three boats through the bay, keeping all their participants' needed snorkeling or snuba gear onboard and unhaunted by pirate ghosts to allow frequent plunges into waters rich with seashells and wildlife. When not pausing at shallow-water dive sites, boats embark on day cruises for dolphin sightseeing tours or at night to showcase fireworks over the harbor skyline. Sea kayaks also allow visitors to venture off on their own into the waters around Crab Island and Holiday Isle.
Alternatively, FFA-certified flight instructors provide a different perspective, soaring over the coastline in beach-discovery flights. During any of the cruises and tours, guides may expound on the local ecosystem and the harbor's history, revealing whether the town's first civilians ever taught dolphins how to open their eyes above water.
Olin Marler's Dolphin Cruises dispatches its robust fleet of boats from Destin Harbor on dolphin cruises in the Gulf. Narrated dolphin cruises ferry large groups, such as bachelor parties and flash-mob reunions, into the Gulf's waters throughout the day aboard glass-bottom boats with names such as Miss Florida and Hannah Marie.
Established in May of 2009, TripShock.com was founded to create an efficient search engine where visitors could find resources to fully experience the Gulf Coast. The company currently offers more than 150 tours and activities in five popular coastal cities. Activities range from Creole-inspired dinner jazz cruises along the Mississippi River and scenic helicopter tours over Panama City to surf lessons in Destin. Travel enthusiasts can also gallivant around the website to find discounts, reviews, videos, and contact information for customer-service reps who are available 24 hours a day or the time it takes a Tasmanian devil to travel around the world while spinning on its axis.
Owned and operated by the tour guides themselves⎯Dave Posey and Scott Wells⎯Kayak Fishing Destin sends fishers and nature buffs on four-hour excursions across the warm waters of the Gulf. The seasoned sailors teach guests how to properly cast from their vessel before shoving off from the crystal-white sands and into the ocean to ensnare fine specimens of redfish, flounder, speckled trout, and mackerel. Kayak Fishing Destin outfits customers with all the equipment they need to capture a silvery fish, from six-pack coolers for chilling drinks to sea-shanty hymn books for mastering traditional kayaker songs.
Hot Spots Bait & Tackle outfits anglers with all the gear needed to make any fishing outing a success, including a big-cobia mouthful's worth of live bait, tackle, rods, and more. Hook sporty redfish with a dozen live shrimp ($4.69), or provide a panoply of fishy hors d'oeuvres with sand fleas, eels, bull minnows, pinfish, and croakers, serenaded by the tones of "Amazing Dace" played by a band of fiddler crabs. Frozen bait includes cigar minnows ($15.99/5-lb. box), shrimp, squid, menhaden, and bally-hoo, cryogenically preserved to serve their role in the future war of man versus carp. Mariners in need of hardware can peruse the stock of rod-and-reel combos ($19.99+), inshore and offshore tackle, and Berkley Gulp! soft plastic lures ($6.49). Fish fashionably with a fresh T-shirt ($15.99+) or pair of sunglasses ($19.99+).
For Captain Chris Williams and the Fish Happens Charters staff, spending a day at the office means bobbing across Pensacola Bay's emerald-green waters, past the area's sugar-white sand beaches. It's a gig that has its perks, and one that Chris and his crew are passionate about sharing. They do so by specializing in light tackle fishing with artificial bait, leading anglers out in search of everything from king mackerel and red snapper to much larger targets, including sharks. For the less adventurous, Fish Happens also offers family sightseeing tours, which showcase the area's million-dollar private homes which sound like the ocean when you hold your ear to their mailboxes.