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Crab Island Destin, A Sandbar Like No Other

Originally titled bird island for the various species of birds that would graze off the land back in the 1900s this location stopped being an actual island in 1974.

Hurricane Eloise turned what was once an island into a sandbar. Although, some speculate they watched the island slowly disappear after the army corps of engineers dredged the channel of The Choctawhatchee bay. Either way, from then on, Crab Island emerged from the salty ashes, just not quite enough for it to be considered an actual island.

It did, however, have a loose resemblance to an actual crab, and was a popular spot for local fishermen to catch crabs, and thus the name came about.

This may have put a damper in the sand but certainly not in the fun!

Here are the top 6 things you should know before going to Crab Island

Where is Crab Island?

Well, its exact coordinates are 30.3947°N, 86.5160° W, but on the off chance you don’t carry a compass with you here are some areas near the island for reference.

Crab Island is located on the north side of the Destin bridge, which is also sometimes called The Marler Bridge.

The Island is also to the East of The village HarborWalk Shops and the Destin Harbor, where the land meets the water.

This unique sandbar also lands just to the south of the gorgeous and vast Gulf of Mexico.

The island is surrounded by lots of watery gems so feel free to venture out.

How the heck do you get to Crab Island?

The water’s current is too strong for even the most versed swimmers, so whatever you do DO NOT ATTEMPT to swim there.

Again, you may ask.

Well, how else do you get to this majestic island of crabs and partygoers?

Here are some of the most popular ways.

  • Row your way to paradise and take your time across the water. Rent a kayak or canoe.
  • Are you coming solo? Perfect! Take a paddle board and glide your way over.
  • The most preferred way of all is to rent a pontoon boat. Grab a few of your favorite people and make a day of it!

Make your pontoon boat reservation now with Destin Parasailing!

Where to stay

Although the idea of sleeping on a sandbar may sound tempting, it’s not suggested and considering the dangerous currents, it would be risky, to say the least.

So where does one stay?

Don’t you worry, your pretty little soon-to-be bedhead. You have options.

The Inn on Destin Harbor is only a mile from Crab Island. This 70-room boutique hotel has been around for 50 years and provides panoramic views of the water.

Club Destin is a little further away, at 3 miles from the Island. These condos are near the white dunes of Henderson Beach State Park. Club Destin is perfect for extended stays.

Wyndham Garden Hotel FT Walton Beach sits 6 miles away from Crab Island. This hotel has beachfront rooms and various in-house suites for every occasion. The hotel has a multitude of amenities including its Crab Island Cafe. Don’t miss their happy hour!

Make sure to get your rest on so you can revive some energy for Crab Island activities!

So you’ve finally made it to crab island, what now?

A beverage and some nice conversation are a given on this strip of sand but what else is there?

Crab Island Activities

  • Parasailing
  • Water volleyball
  • Dolphin watching
  • Snorkeling
  • Enjoying the sunset

No matter what enterprise you choose, you are certain to have a good time.

Swimming up an appetite

What to eat while you’re there

The Island no longer allows for alcohol vendors so as the kids say, it’s BYOB.

As far as things to ingest of nutritional value on Crab Island there are mobile food vendors, so make sure to have cash on you for when your tummy starts to rumble.

For the year 2022, there are a few vendors that are approved: Jimmy’s Ice Cream, Wild Coconuts, Crab Island Grill, and Ruckin Fidiculous BBQ.

These vendors are independently owned and are not out and about regularly, so bringing snacks is recommended.

You’re sold! But when should you visit?

The best time to visit Crab Island is when the tide is high.

When the gulf waters deposit into the Choctawhatchee Bay it creates its emerald green color that gives Destin the title of “The Emerald Coast”.

You can typically catch the highest tide around May and June, but checking the local weather app for tide charts is also helpful.

Population wise the warmer months are busy. If you’re looking for fewer humans, definitely go on a weekday.

Come to the place where there are “only good vibes on the tides”!

Whether you’re celebrating or just visiting for fun, Crab Island Destin has a lounge chair and tiki drink with your name on it waiting for you.