8 Museums in Destin Florida – Amazing Museums that you Must Visit

Visitors and locals alike can enjoy a rich and varied cultural experience at the museums in Destin, Florida.

There is something to learn and enjoy for everyone, from marine science to military history.

There are various museums in Destin, Florida, and by visiting each one, you’ll learn so much about Florida’s fascinating past whether you’re an art aficionado or a history lover.

Destin, a town on Western Florida’s Emerald Coast, is renowned for its wonderful white beaches, fishing, military presence, and top-notch museums.

It’s the ideal way to spend the time on those gray days while you’re there.

In spite of the weather, visiting the museums in Destin, Florida, is unquestionably worthwhile.

The quirkiness of the Destin, Florida, museums is exactly what makes them so special.

Museums in Destin Florida – Destin’s History

In the state’s panhandle is a well-liked vacation spot called Destin, Florida, which is renowned for its stunning beaches, emerald waterways, and an abundance of seafood.

However, the town has a lengthy, richly documented past.

Native American groups, including the Choctaw and Creek, first occupied the region that is today known as Destin.

The town was named after Captain Leonard Destin, a New England fisherman who migrated to the area in the middle of the 1800s and started a fishing enterprise.

European settlers first arrived in the area in the early 1800s.

After the first hotel was built in Destin in 1916, the area started to grow as a tourist destination in the early 1900s.

The town’s popularity grew over the 20th century, and it is now a well-known tourist destination with a spike in population during the summer months.

Destin’s stunning beaches, which are renowned for their sugar-white sand and crystalline waters, are one of the city’s top draws.

In addition, the area is home to several well-known fishing locations, including the Destin Harbor and East Pass, which draw both recreational and professional anglers.

In addition to fishing, Destin offers a range of water sports like jet skiing, parasailing, and snorkeling.

Numerous well-known eateries and retail establishments, many of which focus on seafood, can be found in Destin.

The community has a thriving seafood sector and is well-known for its locally caught, fresh seafood, such as grouper, shrimp, and oysters.

In general, Destin has a long history and a promising future as a well-liked holiday spot.

It is understandable why so many people prefer to travel to this quaint town on the Gulf of Mexico, with its stunning beaches, plentiful seafood, and selection of recreational activities.

Here are a few of Destin, Florida’s best museums.

I advise you to visit one, if not two, or all of these Destin museums if you want to spend some leisure time away from the beach.

Destin History and Fishing Museum

Museums in Destin Fl

In the center of Destin, Florida, there is a singular and fascinating site called the Destin History and Fishing Museum.

It’s one of the best museums in Destin Florida.

The museum, which was established in the 1980s, has a long history of its own and honors the city’s illustrious fishing legacy.

Destin, a popular fishing location, is situated on the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida panhandle.

The city has a long history of both commercial and recreational fishing, and it is home to some of the most prolific fishing grounds in the entire globe.

Through a range of interactive exhibits and exhibits that highlight the history of fishing in Destin and the surrounding area, the museum honors this rich past.

The “Legacy of the Fleet” exhibit, which highlights the history of the Destin fleet and its influence on the neighborhood, is one of the museum’s most notable displays.

Visitors can learn about the fleet’s many boat types as well as the equipment and methods employed by nearby fishermen.

The exhibit also looks at the part the fleet has had in the growth of Destin’s economy and culture.

The museum also features displays on the history of Destin Harbor and the significance of its role as a center for the neighborhood fishing industry.

In addition to the “Legacy of the Fleet.” Visitors can learn about the harbor’s history and how it changed from a sleepy fishing community to a busy marina and tourist destination.

A number of interactive displays are also available at the museum, such as a touch tank where visitors can get up and personal with some of the local marine species and a virtual fishing simulator.

The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and activities, such as guided tours and practical workshops.

In general, everyone interested in the history of fishing or the culture of the Gulf Coast should visit the Destin History and Fishing Museum.

It provides a fascinating and educational look at the long history of the area and the people who have lived there.

Therefore, if you’re thinking about visiting Destin, be sure to include a trip to the museum on your agenda.

Parking is available on-site for free, however spaces are limited

Physical address: 108 Stahlman Avenue, Destin, FL 32541

Official contact: +1 850-837-6611

Opening hours: 10.00am – 4.00pm Tuesday to Saturday.

Entry Fee:

$5 for Adults

$4 for Military Personnel

$3 for Students

Free for Children Under 6 Years Old

Visit their official website for more information.

Social media: Instagram

Air force Armament Museum

Museums in Destin Fl

Intriguing and instructive, the Air Force Armament Museum honors the heritage and accomplishments of the US Air Force and is situated at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

It’s one of the best museums in Destin Florida.

A broad variety of artifacts from the Air Force’s history are on display in the museum, including airplanes, missiles, bombs, and other weapons systems.

The museum’s collection of historic aircraft, which includes fighters, bombers, and transports from World War II, is one of its key highlights.

Visitors may get a close-up look at aircraft like the P-51 Mustang, B-17 Flying Fortress, and C-47 Skytrain that were instrumental in changing the course of history.

A variety of contemporary aircraft, such as the F-15 Eagle and the F-22 Raptor, are also on display at the museum, providing visitors a look at the state-of-the-art equipment now in use by the Air Force.

The museum includes a variety of interactive exhibits that let visitors learn about the different weapons systems the Air Force uses in addition to the planes.

There are displays that demonstrate how these weapons are utilized in combat as well as missiles, explosives, and other munitions in these exhibits.

The history of the Air Force is also covered in detail, including its involvement in numerous conflicts and wars as well as its contributions to global peace and stability.

It is a genuinely one-of-a-kind and educative experience thanks to its collection of historic and contemporary aircraft as well as its interactive exhibits.

Physical address: 100 Museum Drive, Eglin Air Force Base, FL 32542

Official contact: +1 850-882-4062

Opening Hours: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm. Monday – Saturday

Entry Fee: Admission is free

Visit their official website for more information and upcoming events.

The Zoo Gallery

Museums in Destin Fl

Are you a fan of the arts and crafts? This Destin Museum is the ideal place to experience the craftsmanship of handcrafted furniture and artisanal jewelry.

This museum has a unique quirkiness about it.

It’s one of the best museums in Destin Florida.

The museum was started by Chris and Roxie Wilson.

Since 1979, they have been pursuing their passion for gathering works of art of all kinds. Additionally, they turned their pastime into a legitimate business.

Both of the couple’s companies are located in the Grand Boulevard at Sandestin shopping center and the Santa Rosa Beach area, respectively.

Both boutiques offer a wide range of paintings.

The Zoo Gallery also features artwork by designers and artists from all around the nation in an effort to highlight the artistry found in everyday objects.

You’ll notice the amazing variety of objects on exhibit as soon as you enter The Zoo Gallery Museum.

There are brightly colored and designed objects like mirrors, furniture, paintings, lights, and apparel.

You will be in amazement of the variety of dazzling and occasionally odd objects.

Metal, glass, stone, recycled materials, and other natural elements are just a few of the materials used to manufacture numerous items.

Among the many varied products created by numerous artists are candles, toiletries, cards, soap wallets, T-shirts, and novels.

Grayton Beach Store

Like the store in Sandestin, the one in Grayton Beach features a spacious floor plan that makes the items stand out so that customers may easily browse.

It’s one of the best museums in Destin Florida.

One of the artists featured in both locations is Sticks Object Paintings & Furniture.

The custom-made furniture is reminiscent of Frida Kahlo’s works of art.

They are all expertly made and in a league of their own.

Other artists include Sugarboo, Laurie Pollpeter Eskenazi, Jill Schwarz, as well as locally produced artwork and exquisite timepieces from Witchcraft Watches.

Especially when seeking for the right present or souvenir from your trip to the Florida Panhandle coastlines, this business is unlike any other because every item is distinctive.

Physical location

Grand Boulevard Store: 500 Grand Blvd 3104, Miramar Beach Fl 32550

Grayton Beach Store: 89 Hotz Avenue Fl, 32459

Frame Shop and Office: 1209 Airport Road Number 1 Destin, Fl 32541

Official contacts

Grand Boulevard Store: +1-850-837-9233

Grayton Beach Store: +850-231-0777

Frame Shop and Office: +1-850-837-0100

0pening Hours:

10.00am – 9.00pm. Sunday – Saturday

Entry Fee: Admission is free

Social media: Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook

Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum in Destin Fl

Museums in Destin Fl

The Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum in Destin, Florida, is a historic and educational attraction that offers visitors a glimpse into the past.

It’s one of the best museums in Destin Florida.

A historic structure is the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum.

The first school for the pupils of Camp Walton, which would later develop into Fort Walton Beach, was constructed there.

It was built in 1911 by locals from local pine and oak.

There were few students when the institution opened its doors in 1912 for the first time.

The building had just one room in the beginning, but it was later expanded to include a second for pupils in higher grades.

It serves as a museum of the local history, culture, and early education in the region today.

In addition to the Indian Temple Mound Museum, the Fort Walton Temple Mound, and the Garnier Post Office Museum, the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum was moved to Heritage Park in January 2006.

However, it used to be on Main Street across from the present Chamber of Commerce (Highway 98).

The museum has now changed locations three times.

Six days a week, the facilities are currently accessible to the general public.

The educational activities are under the management of the Museum Division of the City of Fort Walton Beach.

Physical address: 127 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

Official contact: +1 850-833-9575

Opening Hours:

10:30am – 2:30pm. Tuesday – Saturday

Entry Fee:

$3.18 to $5.30 Depending on age or Military Status.

Free for Children Under 4 Years Old.

You can visit the Fort Walton Beach Official website for more information.

Indian Temple Mound Museum in Destin Fl

All history enthusiasts must read this one, without a doubt! One of the few museums in the Southeast that concentrates on Native American culture, artifacts, and ancestry is the Indian Temple Mound Museum near Destin.

The Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum is only a minute’s walk away, making it a must-see location if you’re in the area.

In Fort Walton Beach, there’s a chance that you may have seen this unusual burial mound while driving down Highway 98.

The Pensacola culture Indians, who lived here around 800 A.D, built it.

Exact dates are unknown.

The location of the Indian Temple Mound Museum, which was a center of social, economic, and religious activity, is now a revered burial cemetery.

One of the largest mounds found by saltwater, it has a footprint of around 50,000 square feet, is 12 feet tall, and is 223 feet wide.

You won’t feel any rush, loudness, or tension as you enter the museum, despite it being in the middle of the city.

You can’t help but notice the tranquil, heavenly atmosphere created by the lovely, garden-like grounds that make you feel miles from the city.

It is pure delight to be able to tune out city noise and traffic thanks to the lovely and effective natural sound barrier created by camellia shrubs.

Here, you can find one of the largest and most impressive collections of ancient ceramics ever assembled by modern Pensacola residents.

You will come across artifacts that date from as far back as 25,000 B.C. to as recently as the 1950s as you walk around the museum.

These artifacts represent a wide range of subjects, from intricately produced pottery to early maize agriculture.

For both younger and older visitors, interactive exhibits showcasing methods like basket weaving and hand drilling are excellent.

For the people who lived here, automobiles, electric lighting, aviation, television, and radio were all yet 1,000 years away.

They were unaware that Spanish explorers would come to the area in 1513, that wars would break out over their nation, and that a new nation would rise up along this shore to replace them.

Imagine the expressions on their faces if they realized that the area where they worked previously, worshiped, inhabited, fished, and hunted was now a business district.

The Indian Temple Mound Museum must be included in your itinerary if you want to explore plenty of cultural and historical museums in Destin, Florida’s museums.

It is quite intriguing.

Physical location: 139 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

Official contact: +1-850-833-9595

Opening Hours: 10.00am – 2.30pm. Tuesday – Saturday

Entry Fee:

$5.00 + Tax Adults 18+

$4.50 + Tax for Seniors 55+

$3 for Children 4-17 Years Old

Free for Children Under 3 Years Old

You can visit the Fort Walton Beach Official website for more information and any forthcoming events.

Emerald Coast Science Center

Museums in Destin Fl

This enormous, family-friendly science center offers a very entertaining, interactive experience.

Numerous interactive learning and explorational activities are available at the Emerald Coast Science Center, making it the ideal destination for a family outing.

The Emerald Coast Science Center is the definition of “everything for everyone,” having been chosen by Emerald Coast magazine as the “Best location to take your kids” in 2021.

For those who enjoy animals, there are many different small reptiles, birds, and rodents that you can observe, such as parrots, parakeets, guinea pigs, snakes, degus, rats, hedgehogs, geckos, and bearded dragons.

All animals have names that were inspired by brilliant people, both past and current.

In honor of Sir Isaac Newton, an English physicist and mathematician well-known for his contribution to the Scientific Revolution, you can meet Newton the bearded dragon.

You learn about the many species and how to engage with them safely from the center’s animal experts.

In a brand-new marine display, visitors may step onboard a boat and receive a behind-the-scenes look at the engineering that goes into making boats for those who are interested in the great open sea.

Learn how radio communication works and get an understanding of how a boat stays afloat while taking part in these incredible high seas experience.

The Emerald Coast Science Center works to cultivate a scientifically interested community, whether there be a future astrophysicist, marine biologist, or chemical engineer in the family.

There is a good probability that you will discover a family member’s potential interest!

Physical address: 31 SW Memorial Parkway, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

Official contact: 850-664-1261

Opening hours: Monday – Saturday, 10AM – 4PM

Man in the Sea Museum

Museums in Destin Fl

Even though it’s outside of Destin, this museum demonstrates the development of underwater technology since it has gathered and conserved gear and data that gives us a lot of knowledge about the diving industry.

It’s one of the best museums in Destin Florida.

View an astonishing collection of vintage equipment that has been utilized to explore the ocean floor over the years, as well as the specialized diving suits that have helped divers move freely through the water.

You will get the opportunity to enter SEALAB I, a metal habitat that the US Navy created and constructed in the 1960s.

As they tested human endurance both physically and psychologically, the experiments from these deep-sea constructions contributed to the advancement of deep-water diving science.

Although we frequently read or hear more news about developments in space exploration, the water still has many mysteries that man has yet to unravel.

Some have claimed that as we study the oceans more, we learn less about them.

By delving into the ocean’s depths since the 1700s, discover the secrets of the water and the voyage that man has taken thus far.

Just one hour separates this museum from Destin.

You should make the trip because it is worthwhile, and you can probably find some other fascinating places to see along the route.

Physical address: 17314 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, Florida 32413

Official contact: (850) 235-4101

Opening hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 10AM – 4PM

Final Thoughts on Museums in Destin FL

Museums in Destin Florida offer many options to outdoor enthusiasts.

As you can see, there are several excellent museums around the Emerald Coast that are great for a wonderful trip.

Therefore, these museums in Destin, Florida, are definitely worth a visit, no matter what the weather.

Traveling is important to us as humans because it fosters connections by teaching us about new music, places, delicacies, cultures, and ways of life in both the present and the past.

Exploring museums is undoubtedly the best method to learn about a culture’s history, and traveling to a new country for the first time is an amazing experience that cannot be topped.

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