If you’re planning to visit Destin in October, you’re in for a treat. This coastal paradise offers a wide range of activities and events that cater to both locals and tourists. From fishing tournaments to seafood festivals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Destin Fishing Rodeo
Date: October 1-31, 2023
Location: Docks behind AJ’s Seafood and Oyster House
The 73rd annual Destin Fishing Rodeo is a month-long extravaganza that brings together over 30,000 anglers worldwide. Established in 1948, this event has earned its reputation as the ultimate saltwater fishing tournament for anglers of all ages. Participants compete for cash prizes, trophies, and, most importantly, bragging rights.
What sets this rodeo apart is its inclusivity. Whether you’re into kayak fishing, paddle board fishing, pier fishing, bridge fishing, jetty fishing, surf fishing, or shoreline fishing, there’s a category for you.
The excitement of the daily weigh-ins, taking place from 10 am to 7 pm at the docks in front of AJ’s Seafood and Oyster House, is something you won’t want to miss.
Destin Seafood Festival
Date: October 6-8, 2023
Location: Destin Harbor Boardwalk and HarborWalk Village
The Destin Seafood Festival is one of the Emerald Coast’s most anticipated events, drawing around 70,000 attendees each year. The highlight of this festival is undoubtedly the incredible selection of fresh seafood, including shrimp, lobster, grouper, crab cakes, crawfish, and more.
Apart from mouthwatering seafood, you can explore vendors from all over the Southeast. Local restaurants like Harry T’s, AJ’s Seafood and Oyster House, and Brotulas also participate, showcasing the best of Destin’s culinary scene.
Live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, and children’s activities add to the festival’s charm. Food and art tents line the Harborwalk Village and the Boardwalk at Destin Yacht Club, making it a true feast for the senses.
Baytowne Wharf Beer Festival
When: October 6-7, 2023
Location: Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
The Baytowne Wharf Beer Festival, the largest craft beer tasting event on the Emerald Coast, is a must-attend for those who appreciate good craft beer. It attracts a lively crowd of locals and visitors who even get into the spirit by dressing up in various German and Oktoberfest-themed costumes.
Saturday’s main event features over 50 breweries offering nearly 200 domestic and international craft beers for sampling. Ticket holders receive a keepsake Baytowne Wharf Beer Fest tasting glass for sampling. Brewery representatives and volunteers are on hand to discuss the different types of lagers and ales available.
Rocktober Nights with Fireworks at HarborWalk Village
Date: October 7th, 14th, 21st, & 28th, 2023
Location: HarborWalk Village
Kick off your Saturday nights on Destin Harbor with the Rocktober Nights concert series. Every Saturday night in October, a different band takes the stage, followed by a spectacular fireworks display over Destin Harbor.
Market Shops Bloody Mary Festival
When: October 14th, 2023
Location: Market Shops at Sandestin
If you’re a fan of Bloody Marys, you won’t want to miss the Market Shops Bloody Mary Festival. This annual October festival features creative and innovative Bloody Marys made and served by the finest restaurants and bars on the Emerald Coast. These establishments compete for the title of the best Bloody Mary.
A panel of judges selects winners for the most delicious and most creative concoctions, while there’s also a people’s choice winner chosen by attendees’ votes. Tickets include unlimited tasting of up to 25 Bloody Marys, served in specialty cups.
In addition to Bloody Marys, you can enjoy local craft brews, champagne from the Bubbly Bar, live music, entertainment, and complimentary food provided by the Market Shop merchants.
Halloween Haunt at Destin Commons
Location: Destin Commons Mall
When: October 27, 2023
Families looking for a spooky but safe Halloween experience will find it at the Halloween Haunt event at Destin Commons. This evening of family fun includes crafts, face painting, a costume contest with prizes, and safe trick-or-treating throughout the shops in the Commons starting at 7pm.
Mattie Kelly Festival of the Arts
When: October 28-29, 2023
Location: Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village on Commons Drive in Destin
The Mattie Kelly Festival of the Arts is a premier arts festival taking place in October in Destin. This event spans two days and features exhibits from over 100 fine artists. You can explore a diverse variety of artistic styles in many different art mediums, including acrylics, oil, watercolor, clay, ceramics, glass, jewelry, metal, pottery, wood, ink, pastel, and more.
Artists participating in the festival compete for cash prizes in 27 award categories, including the “Best in Show” and “People’s Choice Award,” which are selected by festival attendees. The festival also features a live music lineup, hands-on arts and crafts activities for children, souvenir posters and t-shirts, and a collaborative art exhibit showcasing select artwork from over 60 community adult and student artists.
McGuire’s Halloween 5k/10k Run
When: October 28th, 2023
Location: McGuire’s Irish Pub in Destin
McGuire’s annual Halloween 5k and 10k events are more than just races, they are lively parties. After completing the course, runners are treated to a massive post-race party featuring live entertainment, Irish food, Irish ale, and Irish Wakes, their signature orange juice and rum drink. A light pre-race breakfast of coffee, donuts, and bananas is also included.
While you’re enjoying the events and attractions Destin has to offer, why not add a dash of excitement to your stay? Make it an unforgettable experience by including an afternoon adventure on one of our jet skis or pontoon boats.