Each year we make our annual pilgrimage to the beaches of Florida. Our beach vacations are not about going, doing and running ourselves ragged. In contrast, we generally skip all of the tourist traps and amusement parks. We spend the majority of our time bonding as a family and connecting to nature. A good day is waking-up, changing out of our pajamas into our swim suits, spending the day at the beach, returning to the condo at the end of the day and changing out of our swimsuits back into our pajamas. Aaaah, peace.
Having said all of that . . . when we travel, I do extensive research on the area seeking out affordable family friendly experiences. We do not vacation directly in Destin, Florida. Too much hustle and bustle and too many people for this peace seeking family. We stay in quieter areas such as Okaloosa Island and Navarre Beach.
During our last visit to Okaloosa Island we took a break from the sun and drove less than 10 minutes over the Destin Harbor Bridge to the Destin Fishing & History Museum.
Don’t let the word “Museum” scare you and your kids away. This little museum is a surprising gem! The docents are extremely friendly and knowledgeable. My children asked a million and one questions and the old Destin sailor working at the museum acted genuinely eager to interact with them.
Gulf of Mexico Fish Caught in Destin
The highlight for the kiddos were the walls covered with fish from the gulf coast.
The Gulf Fish exhibit is displayed over 100 feet of wall space.
The gentleman working at the museum shared an abundance of information with the children. MacGyver asked a TON of questions about how to catch different species of fish. And guess what. His advice worked! However, my kiddos are adamant about strictly catch and release fishing!
Don’t be scared . . . there are sharks swimming in the gulf waters. We’ve seen some through the years including hammer heads swimming around the Okaloosa pier. Very exciting when we have a shark sighting! But seriously, don’t be alarmed.
Historic Destin Harbor
That’s not snow! That’s the sugar white sands of Destin, Florida prior to development. Amazing!
Early Destin, Florida
There is an abundance of vintage photographs of early Destin settlers, boat captains and their boats, beach scenes and businesses. You can take your time and learn as much or as little about early Destin as you’d like. The old photos are incredible and really show what Destin was like prior to the big tourist boom.
Early Destin Home Furnishings, Fishing and Nautical Antiques
- Take your kids back in time and get a real feel for early fishing village life.
- Early Destin was isolated and all supplies had to brought over by boat.
- You can view the oldest seine fishing boat still in existence, The Primrose, built in 1925.
Ernest Hemingway’s Fishing Rod
- Interesting novelty, the rod at the top of the wall constructed of split bamboo with an original Penn Reel belonged to Ernest Hemingway.
Mr. Hemingway is fishing with rod & reel in the 1960 Havana Marlin Tournament.
- Rod and reel given to museum by Captain Buddy Gentry, G&S Boats
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Adult $5; Seniors & Military $4
- Children/Students (Age 7 Through College) $3
- Children under 6 & Members are Free
- 108 Stahlman Avenue, Destin, Florida
- accessed directly off of Highway 98, near the Destin Bridge
Planning a Family Friendly Vacation on Okaloosa Island
- Budget Friendly Family Beach Vacation: Okaloosa Island, Florida
- Planning a Budget Friendly Family Beach Vacation: Okaloosa Island, Florida
Be Our Guest at the Island Princess 215!
We have been vacationing along the Florida Gulf Coast for over 20 years. For many of those years we have dreamed of purchasing our own beach condo and sharing it with other families. Well, we’ve finally done it and now we are ready to share it with you!
You can find more information and pictures of our Beach Condo listed on VRBO.com #673339.
This can be your view from the Island Princess 215!