Funky Blue's Shack: Funky Blue's Shack
The Funky Blue's Shack is located on Hwy 98 next to Grafitti's. It has a very intimate, unique atmosphere and is definently more of a local's hangout. They have live jazz and blues music almost every night and great drink specials.
Dress Code: Casual Casual Casual!
A.J.'s: Live music on the Harbor
A.J's is a restaurant and bar located right on the Destin Harbor. They have live music every night, and it's a great 21+ nightspot (especially on Saturday nights!). Locals and active military get in free, otherwise cover is $5-10, which is really cheap for this area.
It features numerous bars and a dance floor on an outside deck, which has an incredible view of the harbor. A.J.'s has the most diverse crowd of any club in Destin. The majority of the crowd ranges in age from mid-twenties to early thirties, although there are always some older people kickin' it back (45-60+)!
Since most of the crowd consists of vacationers, the atmosphere is very laid-back, fun, and outgoing. The dance floor is very small in comparison to the deck area, so there is a ton of space to hang out with your friends. Don't worry though, the dance area is def big enough for a whole lotta fun (thats usually where I am)!!!
Dress Code: Very casual! You will see everything from girls in trendy club wear to aging men in short-shorts and floral shirts. Anything goes at A.J.'s!
Hogs Breath Saloon
Hogs Breath Saloon has been one of my favorite places in Destin for years. This bar/restaurant tends to attract a more blue collar and older crowd than many of the places in Destin. At the same time, prices are lower ($2 domestic beers during happy hour) and service is often better. They also have a live band 5 nights a week in the summer and a few pool tables upstairs. Even more, you can walk to AJs, the Boat House, Harbor Docks and other good places from here. This is also one of the few spots with a decent amount of parking.
McGuire's Irish Pub
One of Destin's most popular destinations, McGuire's offers food, music, beer, and fun. McGuire's brews their own beers on premises including McGuire’s Light Ale, McGuire’s Irish Red Ale, Wild Irish Raspberry Wheat, McGuire’s Porter and McGuire’s Irish Stout, as well as several seasonal beers. Ads for food, they have received many awards including numerous Golden Spoon Awards, as well as being listed in "Florida's Top Restaurants" and earning recognition as "One of America's Great Steakhouses." Besides the excellent beer and food, McGuire's has live Irish bands most nights of the week, and it's within easy walking distance of several other Destin nightspots such as AJs and the Boathouse.
The Boathouse became famous for its Jimmy Buffet down on the waterfront atmosphere. Though it still holds true to its roots in a tiny little shack on the water with a guy and his guitar, its popularity is having a negative impact. These days it is still fun, but it's always packed making it almost impossible to get a drink day or night. My last visit, I waited for 20 minutes and even stood at the bar for 10 minutes trying to get a drink and failed, so I ended up leaving. They are also famous for oysters on the half shell. This spot is also popular in the early afternoon for alcoholic fishermen to cool their heels between drinking binges.
At first I was skeptical - how could a family restaurant turn into a nightspot! But, Fudpucker's quickly proved me wrong, and is one of my favorite places to go out in the summer.
The best thing about Fud's is the music. Their house band, Black Eyed Blonde, is consistently amazing. They play everything from Outkast's "Hey Ya" to "Blister In the Sun" and it all sounds great. They will get you up and dancing! At other clubs, the bands don't really play dance songs, you have to wait for them to take a break for the dance music to come on. That is NOT the case at Fud's -- they can play everything, and do!
The crowd is a lot younger than the one at A.J.'s and the Village of Baytowne Wharfe. While there usually a few older people there (40+), the vast majority of the crowd is in their 20-30s. It's 18+, which naturally attracts a younger crowd.
The best time to go to Fud's is thursday night during the summer. I always have a good time there -- I've never had a bad night! During the fall/winter it gets VERY dead, so I usually go to A.J.'s. But during the spring/summer, you can find me at Fud's!
Random tip: All of the nightclubs stay open until 4AM in Destin, except for the Village of Baytowne Wharf which closes at 3.
Dress Code: Very casual.
pat o'brien's: new orleans style
pat o'brien's destin is a replica of the famous pat o'briens on bourbon street in new orleans. pat o'briens is world famous for their "hurricane" coctails. a fun place to eat and drink in destin.
Dress Code: casual.
The Village Door: Village of Baytown Wharf
This nightclub is located in the Village of Baytowne Wharf, which features other bars, restaurants, and shops. It has a decent size dance floor, and a live band is playing every night. A second floor has an additional bar, and some seating. There is a huge outdoor deck located on the water, with yet another bar.
The crowd is a bit older than the one found at Fudpuckers, Nighttown, and Swamp. The Famous Door is 21+, and the crowd is a mix of 25-40. If you are a girl, this club is perfect. There is always a majority of 21-30 yr old guys, while most of the women tend to be 35+! Therefore, if you want to have your pick of men, this is the nightclub for you.
I like this club for several reasons. The band is great, and during their breaks, dance music is played. This club has a great atmosphere; very upbeat and fun. Even if you aren't into dancing, there are plenty of areas to just hang out with your friends. The outdoor deck is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy yourself.
Every time I come here, I have a blast! Most of the people are on vacation, so they are very friendly and outgoing. I've met a lot of fun people at the Famous Door; I've even danced on stage with them! The only potential downside to this club is that it's a bit of a drive from Destin, and especially from Ft. Walton (however, there is free parking!).
Dress Code: Very casual dress code. The guys usually wear jeans or shorts and a polo/collared shirt, and the ladies wear anything from skirts/cute shirts to shorts/t-shirt. You can basically wear whatever you want!
The Swamp: The Swamp
The Swamp is a unique club in that its atmosphere drastically changes from night-to-night and between seasons. When it is very crowded (during high season), its a great place to dance, hang out, and have fun. They do have live bands, but a majority of the time dance music is played. However, when it's very slow (off season), The Swamp heavily features local bands -- making it more of a hang-out spot, with less dancing. The bands are usually garage-style punk and grunge bands. If you aren't into that type of music, do not go to the Swamp unless it's packed with people!
What I like most about The Swamp is it's layout. It is very spacious, with many bars spread out all over the place. There is a central dance floor with a stage, but also many, many places to chill with tables. There is an upstairs with has additional tables, bars, and places to dance. No matter how packed the Swamp gets, you can always find some area to relax in.
There are two downsides to this club. First, the cover is the one of the most expensives. It is $15 for 21+, and $20+ for 18-20. However, this cover does include free admission into A.J.'s, Howl-At-The-Moon, and Nighttown -- so if you're planning on club-hopping the price isn't too bad. This only applies to those 21+ -- all underagers have to pay separate covers for each place. The second downside to the Swamp is that it is VERY hit or miss. I have had amazing nights there, and other times it was horrible. Either the crowd is great, they are playing great music...or the crowd sucks, the music is amatuer punk bands, and its generally sucky. If there is a long line to get it, usually that indicates it'll be a good night. Otherwise, don't bother (unless you just want to hang out and listen to that type of music -- then it'd be fine).
Bluepoint Restaurant and Martini Bar: Bluepoint
Bluepoint is located in the Destin Commons and is a surprisingly popular nightspot. They feature live music, great drink specials, and an unique environment. There is no dance floor - instead people mill around and socialize, or sit outside in one of the many tables. Its a great place to hang out with a bunch of your friends -- and a great place to start your night.
Dress Code: This is one of the more "dressy" clubs in Destin. While you could literally wear shorts and flip-flops to A.J.'s, Fud's, or Baytowne Wharfe, you would feel very out of place doing so at Bluepoint. Most guys wear jeans/khaki's and a nice shirt. The girls wear dresses, skirts, and jeans.
Barley's is an enormous bar located on Hwy 98 in downtown Ft. Walton Beach. It's a great place to hang out with your friends and shoot some pool. There are several other bars in the same strip, making it an ideal location for bar-hopping.
fudpucker's: beach bar
fudpuckers has two locations in the destin area. the original fudpuckers is located in downtown fort walton beach and they have a new and larger location on US 98 in destin. this huge bar and restaurant has a key west style beach bar theme. a fun place to eat and drink in destin.
Dress Code: casual.
During the day this is a quiet dockside restaurant and bar. At night it transforms into one of the best club venues around. With 3 bars, including two outdoor areas, along with live music and people on top of people this has always been my favorite place to try to impress the ladies. The circular bar under the trademark straw roof is usually the most popular as it is next to the band and it stays dry when it rains. The other bar on the upper deck is often a little quieter, but a better place for conversation. All-in-all a great spot.
Cover charge here is $10 per person, I think, but with military ID you can get in for a reduced price if not for free.
- Beer Tasting
- Arts and Culture
The beach!: The beach at night
During the summer/spring, at night there are always groups of people having little parties on the beach. Everyone is friendly in Destin, so feel free to join in and meet some new people. I love going to the beach after a night out dancing and either going swimming or just hanging out with friends. You should try it!
McGuire's: irish pub
McGuire's irish pub is a second location of the famous McGuire's in pensacola. McGuire's is the best replica irish pub in northwest florida. they brew their own beer which is quite good. McGuire's is also an excellent restaurant. a fun place to eat and drink in destin.
Dress Code: casual.
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