7 Best Resorts in Destin, Florida

Looking for a place to stay on the Panhandle? Here are seven of the best resorts in Destin, Florida.

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There's a reason so many travelers flock to the resorts in Destin, Florida. Home to sugar-sand beaches and clear waters, the coastal city is one of the most scenic spots along the Emerald Coast. And thanks to its location in the Florida Panhandle, a region in the northwestern part of the state, it's an easy drive from much of the southeastern United States.

Destin's pristine Gulf Coast beaches and golf courses, like the Indian Bayou Golf Club, draw millions of visitors annually. Other popular attractions include Big Kahuna's Water & Adventure Park, the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, and the wild dunes and nature trails of Henderson Beach State Park.

Curious about the best resorts in Destin, Florida? Read on to discover where to stay in this beach lover's paradise.

Henderson Beach Resort

Aerial view of The Henderson
Courtesy of The Henderson

A Destin favorite, the 170-room Henderson Beach Resort was designed to serve as a comfortable home away from home. The rooms have cozy sitting areas, double vanities, sunken tubs, minibars, tea and coffeemakers, and free WiFi. Best of all, each has a furnished balcony – perfect for enjoying a view of the Gulf of Mexico if you have an ocean-facing room.

The Henderson isn't located directly on the beach but sits across the road, just steps away from Destin's famed white sands. The 208-acre Henderson Beach State Park, with its 6,000 feet of natural coastline, sits adjacent to the hotel and is a peaceful stretch of beach to enjoy during your visit.

View of The Henderson and beach from the water
Courtesy of The Henderson

Parking is free and the Henderson has five dining options onsite, including a beach grill and bar. There's also a pool with a lazy river, plus a spa and fitness classes. In short, the hotel has all the amenities you may need for a relaxing beach vacation — but it's up to you to pry yourself away from your room and actually make it to the beach.

To book: hotels.com

Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village

View of Emerald Grande from the water
Courtesy of Emerald Grande

Sure, the beach is a main attraction in Destin, but those who long to be in the heart of the action should book a room at Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village. It's a little further from the sandy shores, but the views over the turquoise Destin Harbor make up for that. Best of all, every condo at the Emerald Grande has a spacious balcony with a panoramic view. And the resort offers a complimentary boat shuttle to the property's private beach.

There are four different condo-style room categories, but all have full kitchens. Onsite amenities include a full-service spa and a fitness center with heated pools overlooking the Gulf. The hotel has a restaurant, and there are plenty of dining options within the HarborWalk Village as well.

To book: hotels.com

Silver Shells Beach Resort & Spa

Silver Shells Beach Resort & Spa from the water
Courtesy of Silver Shells Beach Resort & Spa

Want a trip to the beach and a seat in the lap of luxury all in one go? Silver Shells Beach Resort & Spa, with its six Gulf-front buildings spread across 31 acres and 1,000 feet of beachfront, is your answer. Accommodations range from penthouses and two-bedroom condos with amenities including a relaxing spa, a rental service on the beach, a fitness center, and even an onsite Ruth's Chris Steak House.

The property is conveniently located near Destin Harbor and Henderson Beach State Park but perhaps the pièce de résistance is the 7,500-square-foot lagoon pool. With a waterfall, whirlpools, and a kid's pool nearby, it's an inviting place to spend the day (if you can draw yourself away from that gorgeous beach).

To book: hotels.com

The Palms of Destin Resort & Conference Center

View of the pools at The Palms of Destin Resort & Conference Center
Courtesy of The Palms of Destin Resort & Conference Center

The Palms of Destin Resort & Conference Center is an all-condo hotel located in central Destin next to Henderson Beach State Park and a mile from Indian Bayou Golf Club, making it great for groups and meetings. Since it's not located directly on the beach, the hotel offers a free five-minute shuttle to Calhoun Beach, but guests can also enjoy the property's lagoon pool, which features waterfalls and bridges.

Accommodations at The Palms include one- to three-bedroom condos and two-bedroom villas. All have your typical hotel room amenities, plus washers and dryers, full kitchens, and private balconies – some with stunning Gulf views. Guests can enjoy three onsite eateries: The Palms Bistro, a coffeehouse, and a bar.

To book: hotels.com

The Islander Resort

If you're looking for a resort with condo-style accomodations, The Islander on Holiday Isle is a great option. The seven-story property was built in the 1980s and underwent a $3.5 million renovation in 2010.

The two-bedroom, two-bath units offer mind-blowing views of the Gulf of Mexico and the Destin Pass. Guests can access a private beach, two pools, and two hot tubs — plus outdoor sports facilities including tennis courts, a basketball court, shuffleboard, and pickleball courts.

While The Islander is a great vacation spot, it's also a pretty cozy home base for extended stays — which you'll likely be tempted to consider once you get a taste of the island life.

To book: orbitz.com

Pelican Beach Resort

View of Pelican Beach Resort from the water
Courtesy of Pelican Beach Resort

Located on a picture-perfect beach in Destin, Pelican Beach Resort is a 340-unit, 19-story condo-style resort with killer views, a family-friendly atmosphere, plus a beach café and tiki bar for midday snacks and drinks.

Off-beach amenities include various pools (three adult pools and a shallow kiddie pool) plus tennis courts, a fitness center, a game room, and two spas.

To book: hotels.com

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Aerial view of the golf course at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Courtesy of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

While technically located in Miramar Beach, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is only a 20-minute drive from Destin and practically a destination in and of itself. This 2,400-acre resort boasts a variety of accommodation types – from lakeside cottages to bayside villas – as well as golf, shopping, dining, and water sports. There's also a marina, boutiques, and entertainment at the Village of Baytowne Wharf. When it comes to a beach vacation that truly has it all, if you can dream it, Sandestin probably has it.

To book: hotels.com

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