Where to Go Snorkeling in Destin FL
Destin, Florida is famous for its breathtaking marine life. If you’re hoping to get an up-close view of the Emerald Coast’s signature sea creatures during your vacation, snorkeling is a wonderful activity. With a mask and flippers, you can venture beneath the surface of the water and discover a whole new world of fishes, barnacles, and crabs. To help you make the most of your next getaway, the Henderson Park Inn has put together a guide to going snorkeling in Destin FL.
The Destin Jetties: A Man Made Reef
The Destin Jetties are the top snorkeling destination on the Emerald Coast. The jetties are a man-made rock structure located in Destin’s East Pass. Situated near the HarborWalk Village, the East Pass was created when Destin residents dug a trench to make an opening between Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The stone jetties were put in place in order to prevent the East Pass from closing due to tidal sand erosion.
The jetties are such a great place to go snorkeling because they have become a reef-like structure where a variety of sea creatures congregate. Snorkelers will see a number of fish species, such as redfish, puffer fish, flounder, wrasse, sheepshead, small snapper, and on occasion, barracuda and grouper. Numerous invertebrates also reside in the Destin Jetties, including hermit crabs, blue crabs, and even octopuses. Sea turtles and dolphins are also known to frequent the area around the jetties. It’s easy to see why the Destin Jetties are such a popular place to go snorkeling in Destin FL!
Visiting the Destin Jetties on Your Own
If you are an experienced snorkeler and you have your own equipment, you can plan your own trip to the Destin Jetties. There are a number of great boat rental companies in Destin where you can borrow a pontoon boat and navigate to the jetties.
It is also possible to visit the Destin Jetties without renting a boat. Street parking near the jetties is available at the O’Steen Public Beach Access at the end of Gulf Shore Drive. Please note that these spots can fill up quickly and are located about 0.2 miles north of the jetties.
Before you set out to visit the Destin Jetties, it is imperative that you check the beach safety flag system. Snorkeling when there is a red, yellow, or purple flag is not advisable. You will also want to sync your snorkeling session with slack high tide, as that is when the water is clearest and the currents are not an issue. Be sure to avoid the jetties during an outgoing tide, since the visibility will be low and the current is stronger.
Take a Snorkeling Tour of the Destin Jetties
The easiest way to go snorkeling at the jetties is by booking a tour with Destin Snorkel. Instead of dealing with renting a boat, finding parking, or checking the tide, you can rely on the experts to handle everything. Destin Snorkel also provides all of the equipment you need to go snorkeling, along with single and double kayaks and complimentary bottled water and soda.
When you participate in Destin Snorkel’s two-stop tour, you’ll visit the Destin Jetties and a beautiful bay for snorkeling sessions. The 3-hour excursion also includes a great dolphin tour where you’ll have the chance to spot the Emerald Coast’s most famous sea creatures.
Guests at the Henderson Park Inn will love being near the best spot for snorkeling in Destin FL. Located adjacent to Henderson Beach State Park, our adults only bed and breakfast was voted the most romantic hotel in America. To find out more about everything the Henderson Park Inn has to offer, visit our Amenities page.