Destin, Florida isn’t just known for its crystal blue beaches and white sand. Just like many other beautiful beach places around the world, there are many other touristy things to get into, and Crab Island is definitely one to check out.
What is Crab Island?
Crab Island is a massive sandbar near the Gulf of Mexico, where all kinds of vendors anchor their floating shops and restaurants for an all-day experience for tourists. Whether you’re traveling there with your family of four or college buddies, this sandbar is made for everyone to enjoy.
How do you get to Crab Island?
This sandbar “island” is located inside Destin’s East Side at the southern entrance of Choctawhatchee Bay, on the north side of the Marler Bridge (also known as the Destin Bridge). There’s no need to find a specific point on the map to get there because when you pull up to the location, you’ll see how big the sandbar actually is. With all kinds of boat rentals and pontoon boats anchored around and people on jet skis, wave runners, and paddleboards riding close by, you’ll find your destination more easily than you think.
You can only get to Crab Island by a watercraft, considering it’s located in the middle of a body of water. Because of the strong currents and boat traffic, swimming there from ashore is not possible. You can bring your own boat, pick one of the many Crab Island excursions and let a professional take you there, or take any other form of water transportation there as long as you follow the guidelines.
The most popular thing to use to get to Crab Island is pontoon boat rentals. In fact, the city of Destin is considered the “Pontoon Capital of the World” with the sandbar being a 5-minute boat ride away from the Destin Harbor. There are many boat rental companies in Destin and on Okaloosa Island, which is only 10-15 minutes away from Crab Island.
If you’ve never driven a boat, then you have nothing to worry about! You can still drive these 12-passenger pontoon boats based on your age and driver’s license and by taking a test that is administered when you decide to rent it. There are also other types of boat rentals for experienced boaters.
What is there to do on Crab Island?
Now for the fun stuff! The reason why Crab Island is incredibly popular is probably that when you get to the sandbar, you can get out of your boat and walk around in cool, shallow water. With the vendors floating on top of the sandbar, you can walk from vendor to vendor across the entire area while your boat is anchored in one place.
Crab Island has stuff to do for ALL ages! Like we said, whether you’re traveling with your grandma or going for a while spring break, everyone will probably have a great time. But really, what’re your options?
You don’t have to go out and explore on the sandbar. Sometimes it’s nice to just kick your feet up on the boat and relax while your group goes off to do other things.
- You can rent jet skis, kayaks, wave runners, and/or paddleboards on the sandbar as well.
- There are fun athletic and kid activities including playing water volleyball and tackling giant inflatable obstacle courses.
- There are food vendors where you can enjoy tasty food on their mobile food boats and floating restaurants.
- You can listen to live music being played by bands on floating stages.
- You can watch for dolphins and/or other marine life while snorkeling around your boat.
What else do I need to know about Crab Island?
The best times to go are between March-October. Alcohol is no longer served by vendors on the island, but you can still bring your own as long as you have a designated driver! The vendors that are on the island are cash-only, and make sure you follow their packing guide so that you don’t forget anything while stuck in the middle of a body of water for a full day.