Five Reasons to Plan a Fall Trip to Destin - Henderson Park Inn Skip to main content
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Five Reasons to Plan a Fall Trip to Destin

Summer might be the season of vacations, but after the rush, fall is for low-key, romantic getaways. Soak in quieter beach days, nature preserve hikes, and the best sunsets of the year while warm temperatures welcome festivals of all sorts into the city. Discover five reasons to fall in love with Destin this autumn to inspire your Henderson Park Inn escape.

Fall Festivals Galore

Nearly every weekend, you’ll find a festival, concert, or market bringing the Destin Harbor Boardwalk and surrounding areas to life. While planning your getaway, consider lining up your trip with one of these annual events.

         Burgers, Bourbon & Beer Festival – September 24, 2022

The name says it all. This early fall festival pairs three of life’s indulgences: gourmet burgers from local eateries, craft beer, and the very best bourbons. Take your time tasting your way around the event as local restaurants compete for the title of best burger, all in support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast.

         Destin Seafood Festival – October 7, 2022 

The Destin Seafood Festival is one of the Emerald Coast’s most exciting fall events. Food vendors and local restaurants gather on the Destin Harbor Boardwalk to serve up Gulf-fresh seafood and other regional eats alongside live performances and local crafters.

         Harvest Food & Wine Festival – October 13 – 16, 2022

Known as one of the premier wine and food festivals in the Southeast, Harvest Food & Wine Festival features four days of events, including the popular Grand Tasting. Sip your way through wines from around the world, along with seafood, barbecue, and provisional stations created by celebrity chefs from the best restaurants along the Gulf Coast.

Better Adventure Temperatures

Pristine, uncrowded beaches, cozy coastal evenings autumn is the perfect time for a romantic beach getaway. In September and October, the Gulf of Mexico is still warm enough for a dip after months of summer sun, but swimming isn’t the only way to get out on the water. Rent a kayak or paddleboard from our front desk and float the day away on the gentle Gulf waters. If lounging is more your speed, find a chair on our private, adults-only beach and enjoy complimentary concierge service.

Milder temperatures also make spending active afternoons outdoors more comfortable, whether you’re exploring the hiking trails of Henderson Beach State Park or exploring Destin on two wheels with a rental bicycle. Sure, it might get a little breezy when the sun goes down, but that’s all the more reason to warm up by the fire pit.

It’s Sunset Season

There’s no off-season for spectacular Destin sunsets, but there’s something special about the fall skies. From late September through mid-March as the sun rises and sets over the shimmering Gulf of Mexico, the crisp air seems to make those kaleidoscope colors even clearer. Catch this nightly show from our main deck, or take in the sunset from an even more spectacular vantage point.

One of the most magical ways to take in the sunset is with a dinner date directly on the sand. Book a Toes in the Sand dining experience with BeachWalk Café, where you’ll devour dinner, dessert, and drinks at a private table directly on our private beachfront as the sun goes down. If you’re up for an adventure, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to set sail on a sunset voyage along the Destin Harbor, from dinner cruises to dolphin excursions. To find the best cruise for you or to arrange something extra special our front desk concierge is always happy to offer expert recommendations.

Want to sneak a peek at a famous Destin sunset or sunrise? Have a look at our private stretch of beachfront with our always-on webcam.

Tee Up a Golf Getaway

Acclaimed courses, stunning coastal scenery, expansive greens — Destin is a must-visit destination for any golf lover, and autumn’s crisp mornings and warm afternoons present the perfect conditions for a round or two.

It’s only natural to play one of America’s top golf courses when it’s a seven-minute drive away. Designed by Robert C. Walker — former lead architect for Arnold Palmer — Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club is a paradise for golfers of all skill levels, nestled among nature preserves and sparkling lakes. This semi-private course is also home to the only Trackman Golf Simulation Room in the area.

Up for a challenge? Kelly Plantation Golf Club is known as one of Destin’s premium golf experiences, with a 4.5-star rating from Golf Digest. This sprawling championship course sits along the shores of Choctawhatchee Bay, offering panoramic views of the water at nearly every hole. This course is considered tough even for novices, but golfers of all levels will appreciate its meticulously manicured fairways and many lakes ⁠— or at least a post-round pint at the clubhouse.

Plenty of Fish in the Sea

Destin is nicknamed the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” but you won’t need much luck fishing in the fall. There’s a reason why the month-long Destin Fishing Rodeo — one of the world’s biggest angling tournaments — is held in October. From flounder and sailfish to bull redfish and yellowfin tuna, there’s ample opportunity for big catches from September through November. Book a charter and you can take part in the fishing festivities, too.

Whether you want to explore the shallow waters of Choctawhatchee Bay or venture deep into the Gulf, you’ll find several fishing charters that launch a short drive away from Henderson Park Inn. Head offshore with Karma Charters LLC in a saltwater fishing boat with space for six to fish simultaneously. Take a short inshore fishing trip with Just Reel, where Captain Josh Glidden will clean and fillet your catch. Or, trek into deeper waters with Championship Offshore Outfitting and Charters and choose from a range of trips spanning from a few hours to several days.

Ready to Book Your Destin Getaway?

It all starts with finding your perfect place to stay. Explore our intimate Gulf-front rooms and suites, and browse our offers and vacation packages to make the most of your Henderson Park Inn stay.