Nestled on Florida’s Emerald Coast, Destin is a veritable paradise known for its stunning white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and abundant sunshine. This coastal gem has firmly established itself as a premier beach destination that attracts vacationers from all over the world.
With a plethora of resorts catering to a variety of preferences and budgets, Destin is the perfect getaway for families, couples, and solo travelers alike.
However, with so many excellent options to choose from, picking the ideal resort for your stay can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve carefully curated a list of the top 10 resorts in Destin, Florida for 2023, promising you an unforgettable vacation, whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, luxury, or family fun.
Explore our recommendations and prepare for a trip of a lifetime.
1. Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
It is an embodiment of luxury and leisure on Florida’s Emerald Coast. With a prime location directly on the beachfront, guests can enjoy the breathtaking white sands and clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico just steps away from their accommodation.
The resort boasts an impressive array of amenities, starting with its four championship golf courses. These cater to golfers of all skill levels, and the picturesque landscapes make for an unforgettable round of golf. The on-site Pro Shop provides all necessary equipment, while the professional staff is on hand to provide tips and training.
For relaxation and rejuvenation, the award-winning Serenity by the Sea Spa provides an oasis of tranquility within the resort. It offers a wide array of treatments, including massages, facials, body wraps, and more. With its serene ambiance and expert therapists, the spa ensures every guest leaves feeling revitalized.
The resort features several pools, including an indoor heated pool, outdoor pools, and hot tubs. There’s even a dedicated kid’s pool with interactive water features to keep the young ones entertained. The outdoor pool deck also features private cabanas for an exclusive and relaxing poolside experience.
Dining at Hilton Sandestin is an adventure in itself, with six unique restaurants on-site. Choices range from the upscale Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, the area’s only AAA Four-Diamond restaurant, to casual beachside grills and cafes. There’s also a lounge for cocktails and live entertainment.
The resort offers a comprehensive children’s program, the Kids Krew, which provides a variety of fun and educational activities. From arts and crafts to beach games, kids are sure to have a memorable time while parents can enjoy some well-deserved time to themselves.
2. Henderson Beach Resort
Overlooking the sugar-white sands of Destin, the Henderson Beach Resort provides an idyllic backdrop for a relaxing beach vacation. Being adjacent to the Henderson Beach State Park, the resort offers direct access to over a mile of naturally preserved coastline.
The resort prides itself on family-friendly amenities, starting with its two swimming pools – a family pool with a lazy river and a quiet pool for adults only. With spacious pool decks and comfortable loungers, guests can soak up the Florida sun while enjoying cool beverages from the poolside bar.
The Salamander Spa at the resort is a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation. With 11 treatment rooms, the spa offers an extensive menu of treatments including massages, facials, and body treatments, as well as wellness programs like yoga and meditation.
The dining options at the resort cater to every palate, from casual beachside dining to fine dining experiences. Primrose, the resort’s signature restaurant, offers a selection of dishes inspired by the Gulf of Mexico, while Horizons is a stylish bar offering panoramic views of the Emerald Coast.
The resort’s Poppy’s Kids Club offers a wide array of activities and adventures for children aged 4-12. Whether it’s treasure hunts, arts and crafts, or beach games, the club ensures young guests are entertained throughout their stay.
3. Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Spanning over 2,400 acres, the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a sprawling, all-encompassing destination. With a variety of accommodation options from beachfront villas to luxury condos, the resort caters to all types of travelers, including families, couples, and groups.
Golf enthusiasts can choose from four different championship golf courses within the resort, each offering a unique challenge and beautiful views. With the option to book private lessons or participate in golf clinics, all skill levels are catered for.
The resort’s ten swimming pools offer a variety of atmospheres, from lively family-friendly pools to serene adults-only pools. The full-service spa, Spa Sandestin, is the perfect place to unwind with a massage or beauty treatment after a day of activity.
A standout feature of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is its dining scene. With over 20 restaurants, cafes, and lounges, guests can enjoy everything from fresh seafood and gourmet cuisine to casual beachside dining.
The resort’s kids club, Club KZ, offers supervised activities for kids aged 4-12. Activities include beach games, crafts, and even cooking classes, keeping young guests entertained and engaged throughout their stay.
With its own marina, tennis courts, and retail outlets, not to mention its proximity to attractions like the Village of Baytowne Wharf and Silver Sands Premium Outlets, the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort offers more than just a beach vacation – it’s truly a destination in its own right.
4. The Emerald Grande by Hilton Grand Vacations
Located at the foot of Marler Bridge, overlooking the iconic Destin Harbor, The Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village provides a luxurious vacation experience in the heart of Destin. The resort offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, East Pass, and Destin Harbor.
The resort has two outdoor swimming pools and several hot tubs where you can relax and soak up the Florida sunshine. The Grande Vista Bar and Grill, located poolside, serves a variety of delicious light meals and drinks.
For further relaxation, guests can head to the resort’s full-service spa which offers a variety of treatments designed to help you relax, rejuvenate, and revive the spirit. From massages to facials to body treatments and salon services, the Emerald Grande Spa ensures an indulgent experience.
The resort has a number of dining options that cater to all tastes. From fresh seafood at the Grande Vista Bar & Grill to prime steak at the in-house restaurant, every dish is prepared with the freshest ingredients and a focus on flavor.
The resort offers a fun and engaging kids club, offering activities like crafts, games, and nature walks. These activities are designed to entertain and educate young guests about the unique environment of Florida’s Emerald Coast.
5. The Henderson Park Inn
As a long-standing staple of Destin, The Henderson Park Inn offers a unique blend of charm and elegance. Nestled between Henderson State Park’s undeveloped beaches and the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the resort provides a tranquil, secluded getaway.
The Henderson Park Inn features two outdoor pools. The main pool overlooks the Gulf of Mexico, offering stunning views while you swim or lounge and a hot tub is situated nearby. The second, more private pool is located in the Inn’s courtyard.
The resort’s spa, Salamander Spa, is a sanctuary of tranquility offering a range of relaxing and rejuvenating services, including various types of massages, body treatments, and skincare services.
Guests can enjoy a variety of dining options, with the most noteworthy being the Beach Walk Cafe, Destin’s only fine dining located directly on the Gulf shores. Offering an inventive menu featuring fresh seafood and premium steaks, the restaurant provides an unforgettable dining experience.
6. The Shores Resort
The Shores Resort is a family-friendly retreat offering luxury and comfort in the heart of Destin. Situated directly on the beach, guests enjoy stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico right from their private balconies.
The resort’s three pools provide ample opportunity for relaxation and fun in the sun. The pools include a zero-entry pool, perfect for younger children, and an infinity pool with a whirlpool, both offering panoramic views of the Gulf.
The resort’s spa, Indulgence, provides a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation, offering a wide range of services including facials, body treatments, and various types of massages.
Culinary delights are plentiful at The Shores Resort. With several dining options to choose from, guests can enjoy everything from gourmet dishes at the Oceanview Restaurant to casual poolside fare. The resort also offers room service for those who prefer to dine in the comfort of their rooms.
The resort features a kids club offering a wide range of activities to keep the little ones entertained. From arts and crafts to beach games and treasure hunts, there’s plenty to keep them occupied.
7. The Grand Destino Bay by Marriott
The Grand Destino Bay by Marriott is a stunning beachfront resort that offers a perfect blend of luxury and family-friendly amenities. The resort’s prime location allows guests to enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.
The resort boasts four outdoor pools including a lazy river, a splash zone for kids, and a serene infinity pool for adults. All are surrounded by private cabanas, perfect for a relaxing day in the sun.
The resort’s spa, The Spa at Grand Destino, offers a wide range of wellness services. Guests can indulge in a variety of massages, body treatments, and facials tailored to their specific needs.
Dining options at The Grand Destino Bay are varied and impressive. From the upscale Bayside Grill offering prime steaks and fresh seafood, to the casual poolside bar serving light bites and cocktails, guests are spoilt for choice.
The Grand Destino Bay offers a comprehensive children’s club with activities designed to keep kids entertained. Activities include beach games, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, and even cooking classes. The resort also provides childcare services, allowing parents to enjoy some well-deserved downtime.
8. The Village of Baytowne Wharf
The Village of Baytowne Wharf, nestled within the larger Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, is a vibrant resort town that offers a unique holiday experience. Its picturesque setting and pedestrian-friendly design make it a pleasure to explore.
With a diverse selection of shops and boutiques, guests can enjoy browsing for beachwear, unique jewelry, specialty items, and more. The shopping experience is complemented by a variety of restaurants and eateries offering everything from fine dining to casual seafood shacks, ensuring all tastes are catered to.
The Village’s entertainment options are endless. Regular events include live music, festivals, and family-friendly activities such as outdoor movies and magic shows. There’s also a zipline adventure, a rock climbing wall, and a golf chipping challenge to keep visitors active.
Located next to the Choctawhatchee Bay, the Village’s marina offers a variety of water-based activities. Whether you prefer sailing, fishing, or paddleboarding, you’ll find plenty of options here. The fishing pier is also a great place to spend a leisurely afternoon.
9. The Seascape Resort
The Seascape Resort is a family-friendly resort that offers an idyllic beachfront experience. Nestled on the Gulf of Mexico, the resort offers beautiful views, spacious accommodations, and a variety of amenities.
The resort boasts four pools, including an adult-only pool for those seeking tranquility, a family pool complete with a waterslide, and two other pools conveniently located throughout the resort.
The Seascape Spa, with its full range of beauty and wellness treatments, offers guests a place to unwind and rejuvenate after a day spent in the sun.
With several dining options on-site, guests can enjoy a variety of cuisine without ever having to leave the resort. From fresh seafood and grills at the Seascape Beach Club to pizza and ice cream at the Seascape Towne Centre, there’s something to suit everyone.
Children will love the resort’s kids club, which offers a range of fun and engaging activities. These include arts and crafts, beach games, and pool activities. For older kids and teens, there’s also a gaming lounge with the latest video games and arcade-style activities.
10. The Silver Shells Beach Resort & Spa
The Silver Shells Beach Resort & Spa is a top-tier, luxury resort that embodies the best of Floridian hospitality. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Gulf of Mexico, this resort offers an incredible beachfront experience that effortlessly combines relaxation and entertainment.
Guests can choose from three unique pools, each offering a distinct experience. One pool features a waterfall and zero-entry point, perfect for young children. Another pool is indoor/outdoor, allowing guests to enjoy a swim no matter the weather, and the third pool is reserved for adults, providing a serene, kid-free oasis.
The spa at Silver Shells, The Spa at Silver Shells, offers an array of treatments designed to rejuvenate both body and mind. From deep tissue massages to revitalizing facial treatments, guests can indulge in moments of relaxation and wellness.
A variety of dining options are available to suit all tastes. Whether you’re looking for a beachside grill, a casual cafe, or a fine dining restaurant, the resort’s diverse culinary offerings ensure every meal is memorable.
Keeping younger guests entertained is easy with the resort’s children’s club, which offers a mix of indoor and outdoor activities. From arts and crafts to beach games and nature walks, there’s plenty to keep children engaged and happy.
Choosing a resort in Destin, Florida, can be challenging, given the variety of high-quality options available. However, whether you’re looking for a family-friendly destination, a luxurious retreat, or an adventure-filled vacation, you’re sure to find a resort that fits your needs among these top picks for 2023.
Each of these resorts offers a unique blend of amenities, activities, and experiences, all set against the backdrop of Destin’s breathtaking white-sand beaches and clear waters. Whichever resort you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable vacation in this slice of Florida’s paradise.