Harborwalk Village in Destin Guide

The Definitive Visitors Guide to Harborwalk Village in Destin, FL

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Planning a trip to Destin?  

With so many beautiful locations and awesome things to do, it’s hard to set an itinerary.  Maybe you want to play golf?  Or, maybe you want to maximize your time at the beach?  Perhaps you want to book a photographer?  

Whatever you decide, you should definitely include a visit to HarborWalk Village!  I hope that this guide helps you to maximize your visitor experience while on your vacation.

What is Harborwalk Village?

If you have ever been to Destin, you’ve probably heard of it.  HarborWalk Village is a 14-acre, 170,000+ sq ft family-friendly venue, loaded with restaurants, shopping, frequent events, entertainment, and other activities. 

It first opened in 2008, with 66,000 sq ft of real estate.  The project was envisioned to bring more people to the east side of Destin.  Back when the Mid Bay Bridge first opened, 54% of visitors didn’t even know Destin had a harbor (54% of 1000 people surveyed).

The Destin Harbor Boardwalk has come a long way since then, being a major hub for fishing charters and visitors coming down to Destin.

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Where is Harborwalk Village?

Its located at 10 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL

It is situated beneath the Emerald Grande resort.  Fun fact: I got married there!

The Emerald Grande spans two, gigantic towers so you can’t miss it. 


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HarborWalk Village is located at 10 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL.

How do I get to there?

Are you coming from the Mid Bay Bridge?

Head west on Highway 98 until you see the two towers at the Emerald Grande.  Just before you get to the Brooks Bridge, take a left at the light.

Are you coming from Okaloosa Island?

Head east on Highway 98 and cross the Brooks Bridge.  Take a right at the light to the HarborWalk Village parking lot.

If you’re lucky, the Brooks Bridge will be functional and not the victim of an assault by a barge (yes, really).

Where do I park?

There are a few places you can park to get to the Emerald Grande and HarborWalk Village:

Parking

The parking seems to be ever-changing, with the latest schedule for 2019 set to:

8 March 2019 – 3rd September 2019

$10 for Guest Parking day pass

Why does it cost $10 to park?  Years ago, the city of Destin began charging to park in city parking lots.  People then began parking at the Harborwalk to avoid the fee.  Store sales went down dramatically after this so they decided to implement a parking fee.

The fee isn’t too popular but if you don’t want to walk very far then it is your best bet for parking.

Zerbe Street Parking Lot

Zerbe Street Parking Lot (corner of Zerbe and Silbert Avenue) is located across the street from Harborwalk Village, behind McGuire’s Irish Pub.  It is open weekdays and weekends and is free to park.

Destin Community Center

The Destin Community Center is located off of Stahlman Avenue, across the road from the Emerald Grande.  It is open on weekdays and weekends, with the occasional closure due to an event going on.  It is free to park at.

Destin Library

The Destin library is located behind Zerbe Street off of Sibert Avenue.  It is quite a walk from the library to Harborwalk Village, but always an option should there be nothing else available.  It’s available for parking on Saturday after 1 pm and all day Sunday.


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There is public parking off of Marler St, as well, but it is quite a walk!

Things to do at the Boardwalk

Finally!  The main reason we are reading this!

Well, you will find there is no shortage of things to do here.  Are you a couple looking for a nice date?  A family looking to have some fun together?  Or, maybe you are looking to get your shopping on?

Here are some examples of things to do:

Harborwalk Theater

The Harborwalk Theater is a performing arts theater at the Harborwalk Village.  They host magic, comedy, and hypnosis shows.  It is owned and operated by Heather and Noah Wells, two award-winning illusionists.  They even have a magic school for children!

Harborwalk Adventures Zip Line

Located in Harborwalk Village, the zip line tower is around 500’ distance from the top to the end of the line and is held between two 80’+ 100′ foot steel towers.  It is fitted with LED lights to maximize your experience at night.  Because it has two towers, it is capable of allowing two people to ride, simultaneously.  This is great if you want to enjoy the experience with friends or family.

They even have a 100-foot tower that allows you to safely free-fall without a bungee cord! 


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Laser Maze

The laser maze is a vibrant green maze for the kids – Mission Impossible-style!  Dip, duck, and dodge your way through to complete the challenge.

Timberview Helicopter Rides

Timberview Choppers is a charter helicopter company that delivers chartered flights around Destin.  There is a kiosk you can use to book your ride.  If you want to get a breathtaking view of Destin, this is one of the best ways to do it!

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GoPro at the Harbor from Timberview Helicopters!


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Is there a better way to see Destin than by air?

Fireworks

Fireworks are scheduled for every Thursday evening during the summer.  Also, many holidays and events will get a fireworks show.  Check out this schedule for upcoming events with fireworks!

What are the best places to view the fireworks and how do you get there?  Check out The Good Life Destin’s great how-to article!


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A popular way to see the fireworks is by boat at Norriego Point!

Fat Tuesday Parade

Every Tuesday from May 28th, 2019 to August 13th, 2019, Harborwalk Village turns into a massive Mardi Gras experience!  There are themed floats, beads, and anyone can get in on the action.  The festivities begin at 7 PM and the parade starts at 8:30 PM.  It’s a crazy experience so you better get there early!

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Recreational Boating and Water Activities

There are almost too many to list! 

Do you want to go on a dolphin cruise?  Maybe take the kids on the Pirate Buccaneer ship?  Don’t forget fishing if that’s what you are into. 

Here is the current 2019 list of activities on the water:


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Harborwalk Village Restaurants

Once again, there are a ton of restaurants here!

Let’s highlight a few examples:

Crab Island Cantina

Crab Island Cantina is a Latin-inspired restaurant serving dishes such as Mexican street tacos, enchiladas, seafood, steaks, and more. 

It is located in the Crab Island Cantina Complex.


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Harry T’s

Harry T’s is a waterfront restaurant at Harborwalk Village that serves American and seafood fare.  It’s right in front of the lighthouse so you can’t miss it.

They have Karaoke every Thursday through Sunday at 8 PM.  Currently, it will be running 7 days a week after 27 May 2019.  Get in there and jam out if that’s your thing!  Oh, and check out the downstairs bar where they run Happy Hours occasionally.


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The lighthouse at Harry T’s.


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Another awesome sight at Harry T’s.

Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville

Margaritaville is a family-friendly, tropical-themed restaurant with live music.  It has two levels of outdoor seating and 4 different bars.  After dark, it caters to dancing and live music every day of the week.  If you want to get your drink on, they serve margaritas and have a daily happy hour from 3-7.


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Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi

Jackacuda’s is an Asian-inspired eatery, serving various seafood and sushi dishes.  It has an excellent view of the harbor and sports a Sunday brunch, serving margaritas, bloody marys, and bottomless champagne. 

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Shushi, sun, and shades – the perfect combination!

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Hungry yet? 

Looking for more restaurant options in Destin?  Check out my local’s picks!

Harborwalk Village Map

Is there a map of the area?

There is!  The Emerald Grande has a great map detailing the area and everything there is to do or see.  You’ll find there is even more to do than you originally thought!


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Other Useful Information

Beach Cam

Curious to know what is going on at the Boardwalk?  Check out the Emerald Grande’s beach cam!  You can see how bad the traffic is on the bridge, how congested Harborwalk is, and see if the weather is appropriate to head down and check it out.

Events

What events are happening now or in the future at Harborwalk Village? Check out this link for all upcoming events.  You can sort them by season, day, month, week, or year.  Always be prepared so you don’t miss an event!

Shopping

As stated previously, shopping is part of the experience and there are quite a few places to get your retail fix.

Can You Bring Your Pet?

Yes!  You can walk your pet down the boardwalk and even bring them to eat with you in certain restaurants, like Harry T’s!

Can You Drink Along the Boardwalk?

Yup, sure can.  Most places will give you a to-go cup so you can keep gettin’ your drink on.


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Hotels Near Harborwalk Village

Looking to stay somewhere near the boardwalk?  Here are 5 hotels within 5 miles of Harborwalk Village.  Each hotel was chosen to fit a different budget and traveling distance.  Take note that in the summer months prices are going to go up, significantly. 

Emerald Grande

I can’t talk about lodging without mentioning the Emerald Grande.  If location means the most to you, then the Emerald Grande will win, hands-down.  It is situated on top of the boardwalk so walking there is the best method.  The price point is high, depending on the time of the year.  The Emerald Grande is considered a 3.5 star hotel.

What Are the Rooms Like?

  • Huge floor plans
  • Private balconies
  • Great beds
  • Kitchen
  • Granite countertops
  • Garden tubs (most units)
  • Washer and dryers in all rooms
  • Concierge

What Are Some Amenities?

  • Waterfront view
  • Beach chair service and transportation to a secluded, man-made beach
  • Spa and fitness center
  • Indoor and outdoor heated pool
  • Room service
  • And more!

Henderson Park Inn

I just had to include this property.  The Henderson Park Inn is a beach front hotel about 5.5 miles from the Harborwalk.  What it lacks in proximity to the harbor, it makes up for in charm and scenery.  It is adult-only, and the perfect place to stay if you are looking to visit the Harborwalk but really just need a couples’ getaway.  At a 4 star hotel, it is fairly pricy and can get quite expensive during the busy summer months.

What Are the Rooms Like?

  • Multiple suites (mini suite, honeymoon suite, coastline suite, executive double suite, etc).
  • Large rooms, depending on suite.  Fantastic beachfront views are available with several of them.
  • Some corner suites have a fireplace!
  • Private en suite bathrooms
  • Beach-type furniture and designs
  • Whirlpool tubs in some units

What Are Some Amenities?

  • Breakfast buffet
  • Picnic-style box lunches
  • Bicycles!
  • Beach chairs, umbrellas, and towels are available
  • Fire pits
  • Beach Walk Café Restaurant (MY FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN DESTIN!)

The Inn on Destin Harbor

If you are looking for affordability and location, then the Inn on Destin Harbor is an excellent choice.  Located 0.7 miles from the Harborwalk, walking is totally an option if you have the stamina!  If you’re hungry, it is a very short walk to AJ’s and Marina Café (another AMAZING restaurant!).  The price point is also great.  You are looking at $100-$200 a night, depending on the time of year.

What Are the Rooms Like?

  • Private balconies
  • Slightly outdated, but moderately spacious rooms
  • Refrigerator
  • Flat screen TV
  • Suite available
  • Excellent panoramic view of the harbor!

What Are Some Amenities?

  • Waterfront pool with deck overlooking harbor
  • 24-hour concierge service
  • Walking distance to Harborwalk Village
  • Walking distance to fishing charters, dolphin cruises, and boating adventures

Wingate by Wyndham Destin

Wingate offers general proximity to the Harborwalk with 2.3 miles of distance between – a great place to balance luxury with price and location.  Right near Big Kahuna Waterpark, Wingate offers quite a few amenities

What Are the Rooms Like?

  • Microwave and Mini Fridge
  • King and Queen options
  • HD TV
  • Private Balcony
  • Safe

What Are Some Amenities?

  • Business Center
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Fitness Center
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Free Breakfast
  • Hot Tub

The Henderson Beach Resort and Spa

If you are looking for a family-friendly hotel and not as concerned about price or proximity to the Harborwalk, then the Henderson Beach Resort is a good choice.  It is 4.9 miles from the boardwalk but has great amenities and beautiful rooms.  Price point is commensurate of a 4 – star hotel but has recently dipped.  You are looking at somewhere between $300-$500 dollars a night (sometimes higher) depending on time of the year.

What Are the Rooms Like?

  • Gorgeous architecture and design
  • Sunken glass showers
  • Balcony
  • 300 thread count linens
  • Micro fiber robes
  • Memory foam couch
  • Shuttered window from bath tub to enjoy exterior view

What Are Some Amenities?

  • Paddle board rentals
  • Kayak rentals
  • Bike rentals
  • Pool and pool cabanas
  • Fitness center
  • Fitness classes
  • Kids club
  • Beach access

I hope that this guide better prepares you for your visit to Harborwalk Village.  Feel free to check back in the future for any updates to entertainment and recreation, shopping, or restaurants.

Been already?  Have any useful tips not covered here?  Let me know in the comments!

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