Last Updated on June 3, 2023

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Crab Island is a popular destination in Destin, Florida for vacationers and locals alike!  Its shallow waters, water activities, and food & drinks make this the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening in Destin.
This well-known spot is one of the best things to do on Florida’s Emerald Coast and was featured on GMA’s Most Beautiful Place segment on Good Morning America!



Booking a last-minute trip to Destin?  

If so, we have you covered.  Here are some top recommended tours and experiences!

Top Tours in Destin

Crab Island Sandbar Adventure (Crab Island has been my favorite experience in Destin!)

Crab Island 12 Passenger Pontoon Boat Rentals (Half or full-day rentals)

Sunset Dolphin Watching Cruise (one of the most beautiful cities to catch a sunset)

Tikis Harbor Lights Cruise (Fantastic Destin Harbor Nighttime Cruise)

Dolphin-Watching Speedboat Ride  (Dolphin Watching Off The Coast of Gulf Mexico)

Top Hotels In Destin

Hotel Effie Sandestin (Top Rated Hotel With Lots Of Activity Options)

The Grand Sandestin – (Best Rated Hotel In Destin)

Hyatt Place Sandestin – (Hotel Near Miramar Beach Destin)

Holiday Inn Express Destin E – (Highly Rated Budget To Mid Range Hotel)

 Looking To Get Around In Destin

Check out rental car rates here! 🚗

Crab Island Destin Florida-

The Ultimate Guide (2023)!



Crab Island- One Of The Best Things To Do In Destin, Florida!

Why do people love coming to Crab Island?  It’s a party on the water!
This famous sandbar has the appeal of an island since you have to come out by boat, but it’s close enough to land that you don’t have to go far.
Its shallow waters, beautiful views, and laid-back vibe make this the perfect place for hanging out & playing games, having a few drinks, eating some food and ice cream from the food vendors, and hanging out in the Destin sun!
Crab Island is in a great location, it’s right next to the Gulf of Mexico, yet insulated enough from most of the currents and has relatively calm waters.  It also has sparkling green and blue waters.
It’s also just a few minutes to the nicest, sparkling, white-sand beaches, and close to HarborWalk Village, and waterfront restaurants, as well.

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Where Is Crab Island Located?

Crab Island (upper left corner) is at the southern entrance of Choctawhatchee Bay, directly north of the Marler (Highway 98) Bridge and across from Norriego Point Beach and Destin’s East Pass!
Just east of Crab Island are Destin Harbor and HarborWalk Village shops.   As mentioned, a few miles to the west of Crab Island is Fort Walton Beach.
As you can see on the map, the Gulf of Mexico is just south of Crab Island.
Crab Island is mostly calm, shallow waters and is protected from the Gulf waves where it’s located.

How To Get To Crab Island

Crab Island is a little ways offshore so swimming is not recommended and can be dangerous due to all the boat traffic and possible currents.
By boat or pontoon are the most common ways to get to the sandbar.  (Either rent your own or get a tour for your group).
You can also get out here by a shuttle boat, jet skis, kayaks, and paddleboards.
As you can see in the picture above, HarborWalk Village is just on the other side of the bridge from Crab Island and offers lots of rental options including boats, kayaks, and jet skis.
My family and I rented a pontoon tour through Crab Island Cruises and I definitely recommend them.
I prefer doing a guided tour versus renting your own pontoon since they’re familiar with the area’s waters and Gulf conditions to give you the best and safest experience.
Their captains are knowledgeable and they also bring a lot of the supplies and toys with so you can just relax and have a good time!

Crab Island is a perfect place for families to take a pontoon tour

The captain picked us up at the Gulf Islands National Seashore boat launch (just a few miles west of Crab Island between Destin and Fort Walton Beach).
They will take you straight to the sandbar if you’d like or they will give you a tour of the area, such as around Destin Harbor, the East Pass, and will even take you to nearby beaches if you’d like!

While on a Crab Island Boat Tour, they will also take you around the Destin Harbor and East Pass areas if you'd like!

Costs do vary a bit but it is around $600 for a 4- hour pontoon guided tour during the busy season, which is May 1st-September 15th.
Slower season is September 16th-April 30th and the cost is about $500.

Crab Island Pontoon Rentals In Destin Florida



Here are some great Crab Island Pontoon Rental Options In Destin Florida that we recommend, depending on the size of your group- from 6 to 12 people!

Up To 6 Guests

Up To 12 Passengers





Crab Island Tours Destin Florida


If you are interested in more Crab Island Tours In Destin, Florida, check out this post! 


What Is There To Do At Crab Island?

Crab Island is one of Destin, Florida’s most popular attractions for a reason, there’s a lot to do here!
Whether you spend a few hours here or a full day, you’re going to have a great time here.
Spend your time at the sandbar meeting the other visitors on the water, playing music, splashing on the lily pad, playing beer pong or other drinking games, or grabbing food and drinks from one of the food vendors.
There are lots of fish, hermit crabs, dolphins, and other marine life in Choctawhatchee Bay to look for.
Take a cruise in the waters around Crab Island.  We saw a group of dolphins out while we were driving around by Gulf Islands National Seashore!

Destin's waters are filled with dolphins and other sea life!

Fishing and snorkeling are both possible at Crab Island, as Destin is known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”!  Just be careful of all the boat traffic.
You can also kayak or paddleboard around the island, or rent inflatables, too!  Oftentimes, there is an inflatable water park or inflatable obstacle course at Crab Island.

Crab Island- Things To Do Nearby

After a day of fun at Crab Island, there is still lots more fun to be had!  A few miles away in Fort Walton Beach, there is The Okaloosa Island Boardwalk (Pictured above).
The Boardwalk has a nice beach, fishing pier, as well as shops and restaurants.
Across the street from The Boardwalk is Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone with a racing track, arcade, mini-golf course, and frozen yogurt.
As mentioned, HarborWalk Village is on the other side of the bridge from Crab Island.
HarborWalk is filled with shops and lots of activities, from axe throwing, a zip line, concerts, boat rides, and more.
There are several amazing waterfront restaurants including AJ’s, Harry T’s, and Margaritaville, just to name a few.
Dewey Destin’s and McGuire’s Irish Pub are also popular restaurants/bars just a few minutes from Crab Island.  AJ’s and McGuire’s Irish Pub are both known to have great live music.
For more of the best restaurants in the Destin area, go here!
Across the Destin Harbor is Norriego Point, which is a secluded beach with beautiful views of the East Pass and the Gulf of Mexico.

Crab Island- Things to Do Nearby


Fort Walton Beach


The Boardwalk

Wild Willy’s

Gulf Islands National Seashore




HarborWalk Village

Norriego Point

Henderson Beach State Park

Gator Beach at Fudpucker’s Restaurant

For more to do in the area, check out these 35 Things To Do In Destin And Nearby!


Crab Island FAQ’s

Coming To Crab Island From Miramar Beach?

Check Out This Crab Island Shuttle Boat From Baytowne!



The Palms of Destin

 Photo Credit Expedia

The Palms of Destin is one of the recommended places to stay near Crab Island and has many great amenities!

Wyndham Garden Fort Walton Beach

Photo Credit Expedia

Wyndham Garden Fort Walton Beach is a beachfront hotel and close to Crab Island

Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village

Photo Credit Emerald Grande

Emerald Grande is just across the bridge from Crab Island and is right at HarborWalk Village in Destin

For more places to stay in the area, check out these amazing motels in Destin!

My son and I enjoying the beach near Crab Island!

My son and I enjoying the beach near Crab Island!

Final Thoughts- Crab Island Destin Florida

There are many great things to do at Crab Island and it’s easy to see why this is one of the top places to go in Destin, Florida!  I hope you’ve found this guide helpful.
For more Florida adventures, check out these Unforgettable Things To Do In Anna Maria Island!

Travel Resources


Book Your Next Trip!  For Accommodations and short-term rentals, I recommend as they are the best in the business when it comes to rates and places to stay.

To Book Activities- For activities, I suggest booking with Viator, they have thousands of 5-star activities to choose from!

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