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Free and Fun Things to Do in Destin This Weekend

It is January in Destin and we know visitors and residents alike will be out enjoying the many free as well as fun things to do in Destin this weekend. Here's an overview of events scheduled throughout the weekend for families, snowbirds and couples. 

On Friday, Jan. 27, kick off the weekend with“Snowbird Day at the Museum.” From 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida.  Snowbirds will receive a reduced admission of $2 per person, complimentary tours, and light refreshments. Discover the rich history of Northwest Florida through historic exhibits including “Northwest Florida County Lines”, “L&N Railroad”, “Military Memories”, “Lumber & Turpentine”, “Paradise Gardens” and more.  

Also on Friday, Jan. 27, Tasting of Champions will be held at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Guests will have an exclusive “first taste” of the medal winning wines that will be featured in the upcoming South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival, April 27-30. Tickets are $50/person to select and sample from 800 wines. Purchase tickets at

On  Saturday, Jan. 28, here's the full line up of events: 

Destin History & Fishing Museum will host its annual Gumbo Contest & Silent Auction at Destin Community Center from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. Area restaurants and individuals compete for the title of the best gumbo on the panhandle. The event will include music by “Flash Flood” and a silent auction of sixty plus packages including artwork, vacation stays, jewelry, and restaurant gift certificates, boating and fishing trips, services, golf, recreational activities and much more. Sample all the areas’ finest gumbo and cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award. Advanced tickets are available now at the Museum for $12 per adult. Admission will be $15 at the door the day of the event. For more information, contact the Museum at 850-837-6611

The Gularium Marine Adventure Park will host Kids Free Weekend. On January 28 and 29, kids 12 and under are admitted free. Two children free with each paid adult admission. Kids will love a fun-filled day at the Gulfarium with the many animal ambassaors.  For Snowbirds, every Wednesday is Seniors Day with $5 admission for seniors age 62+. 
Destin's 7th Bayou, Bay & Beach 5K Run/Walk, 10K & 15K is also taking place on Jan. 28. The 10K course is USA Track & Field-certified, and the 15K course is new to the event this year. Registration is open on The 5K is $30 through Jan. 27, and $35 on race day. The 10K and 15K are $40 through Jan. 27, and $50 on race day. Registration is available online until Jan. 25, at midnight. T-shirts are guaranteed to first 500 registrants. On race day, registration will also be available at Clement Taylor Park, from 6 - 7 a.m., for the 15K, and from 6 - 8 a.m., for the 5K and 10K. Learn more at by visiting the

Race Times:
7:30 a.m. - 15K begins (2.5-hour time limit)
8:30 a.m. - 5K/10K begins (2-hour time limit)
10:30 a.m. - Awards Ceremony
The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance is hosting a Save Our Bay Oyster Roast at Whole Foods Market. Oysters are not only a delicacy, they are also critical to the health of the Choctawhatchee Bay. In celebration of the oyster, the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA), a non-profit organization responsible for sustaining healthy local waterways, and Whole Foods Market-Destin are teaming up to present the “Save Our Bay Oyster Roast.” From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m, Whole Foods Market will be roasting oysters to benefit the CBA. The event will be complemented with kids’ activities, including oyster crafts and create their own oyster critter, kids meals for sale, Grayton Beer, and a chance to win prizes from area merchants.  Learn more at

Palate and Palette Five Course Wine Dinner benefitting the Shelter House of the Emerald Coast.Enjoy dishes prepared by some of the Emerald Coast’s most revered chefs including Tim Creehan of Cuvee 30A, Jack McGuckin of Bijoux and Dan Pettis of One20 Modern Bistro. Each dish will be paired with wines from the Krutz Family Cellars while guests enjoy artist Jon Moody creating original artwork during the celebration. The incredible evening will be held at Arnett’s Gulfside Ranch in Santa Rosa Beach. Tickets are $125/person.  Click here to learn more.

With so much to do, the hardest part will be deciding which events to enjoy. For those considering a visit to the Emerald Coast, view our premier South Walton and Destin vacation rentals online or call one of our friendly vacation specialists at 1-800-225-7652.

See you @ the beach!

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Published by Tracy Louthain
Monday, January 23, 2017