Although traditionally thought of as a summer vacation destination, The Emerald Coast offers plenty of reasons to flock to the sugar white sand beaches and emerald green waters year round.
Whether you are looking for a fall getaway, a holiday break, or a spring vacation, there is plenty to keep you busy.
Here are six signature events for you to consider when you are planning your next vacation.
Start the New Year off on the right note at the 30-A Song Writers Festival. This three day music festival brings together more than 125 local, regional, and national singers and songwriter for more than 200 performances in a number of intimate settings across the Beaches of South Walton.
Swing into spring with the South Walton Beaches Food and Wine Festival. Every April, more than 800 world class wines are available for sipping and some of the area's best chefs use them for inspiration as they create innovative and delicious pairings.
Ahoy, Mateys! Join Emerald Coast residents of all ages as they celebrate the spirit of the high seas during the annual Billy Bowlegs Festival. This family friendly event culminates with the dastardly Billy Bowlegs storming Fort Walton Beach Landing and trying to capture the city. From parades to pub-crawls, there's plenty of pirate fun for everyone.
The Emerald Coast Poker runs brings out the fastest boats in the area for their high dollar charity fundraiser. With stops between Sandestin and Navarre, boaters collect cards for a chance to win prizes at the Annul Poker Run Party. The Emerald Coast Poker Run is the major fundraiser for the Emerald Coast Foundation, which raises money for area children's organizations.
Kick off October with the annual Destin Seafood Festival. Celebrate the history and tradition of Destin fishing during the unofficial kickoff to the month long Destin Fishing Rodeo. With food, music, and Â arts and crafts, this family friendly festival is the perfect way to start the fall.
During October, be sure to head to the Historic Destin Harbor to see who tops the leaderboard during the annual Fishing Rodeo. For more than 60 years, anglers have been competing for cash, prizes, and bragging rights in the areas oldest and most prestigious tournament.
The beaches are so white, your friends and family may think you are celebrating the holidays season in the snow! Enjoy the winter holidays along the Emerald Coast with town parades, a boat parade, excellent dining, and fireworks galore.
30A Songwriters Festival
Friday, January 15, 2016
This year's festival will take place January 15 -17, 2016 and will be headlined by Jackson Browne! This three day celebration of music brings musicians, singers, songwriters, fans, and visitors together on the gorgeous beaches of South Walton.View Details
Wine Women and Shoes South Walton
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Wine, Women, and Shoes is is a weekend-long event full of fun and charity, too! Wear your best shoes and enjoy the best wine for a good cause. Gourmet chefs and high-end shopping will also be a feature of this highly anticipated event. This year's event will be benefiting Sinfonia Gulf CoastView Details
Destin Artwalk on the Harbor
Sunday, April 17, 2016
The Destin Artwalk on the Harbor is a free event taking place every third Sunday from 11am to 4pm. This event features art work from local artists and businesses. The event is setup along the Destin Boardwalk and in the parking lot in between Aj's Seafood & Oyster Bar and East of MargaritavilleView Details
Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival in Fort Walton
Friday, June 3, 2016
Billy Bowlegs festival is back in action again in Fort Walton Beach. Come join in on the four days of family friendly fun from June 4th thru June 8th. Make sure to bring your pirate costume and a good eye patch to celebrate the victory over the City of Fort Walton Beach with Billy and the KreweView Details
Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Come out to Baytowne Marina for the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic. One of the areas biggest fishing tournaments, this five day event has something to for the entire family. Friday, June 22nd is the first weigh-in and you can come watch the fisherman bring in some record setting fish.View Details
Smoke on the Coast BBQ and Fireworks Festival
Sunday, July 3, 2016
Looking for a great way to start off your fourth of July weekend? Come and sample tens of surrounding restaurants and BBQ fanatics special spin on your favorite BBQ dish. You can buy the winnings team meal or you can go around and sample teams dishes for only $1. Through the entire evView Details
Red, White, and Blue Celebration at HarborWalk Village
Friday, July 8, 2016
Red, White and Blue Celebration is a weekly event honoring a local hero, each Thursday night during this summer. The celebration highlights a person from the community’s outstanding efforts to better their community. Enjoy live music, free kids face painting and a WWII replica flyover. MakeView Details
Rock the Docks at Harborwalk
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Every Saturday this summer Harborwalk Village will be providing free entertainment from 7pm to 9pm. Featuring local and regional musical talent, Rock the Docks at Harborwalk would be a great way to kick off the weekend or the start of a vacation.View Details
2016 Paddle at the Porch
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Destin welcomes competitive paddle boarders to its 5th Annual Paddle at the Porch. Taking place behind one of the areas most popular restaurants, The Back Porch, this event will showcase the best stand-up paddle boarders in the area. Available for competition is a one-mile recreational race, three-mView Details
38th Annual Destin Seafood Festival
Friday, September 30, 2016
The 38th Annual Destin Seafood Festival is a local event that you will not want to miss. An event that saw over 70,000 attendees last year looks forward to an even bigger event this year. With live music and plenty of seafood from various vendors this free event is family friendly and great for anyView Details
Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival
Friday, October 21, 2016
40 years strong, the 2016 Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival is something you don't want to miss. With over 40+ arts & crafts booths, 40+ food booths, and 30+ local booths this three day festival has something to offer everyone. On top of all the great vendors there will be live musical entertainment.&View Details
Seeing Red Wine Festival
Thursday, November 3, 2016
The Seeing Red Wine Festival is held in Seaside, FL and attracts wine enthusiast, novices, and gurus from around the world. This classy event frequently sells out early, so get your tickets as soon as possible! The festival is spread out over four days and includes wine tastings, dinners andView Details