I have a house in the Crystal Beach area of Destin, so I have spent quite a bit of time there. Destin is wonderful. The harbor area is interesting. It is generally pretty quite in the morning, once the a.m. fishing trips have left. The area west of Destin (over the bridge) toward Forth Walton Beach along Highway 98 is all park land. Park at one of the entrances and walk to the water for good shots of the dunes.
Henderson State Park is interesting, but it will be crowded this time of year. If you travel east out of Destin along Old Highway 98,and South on 30A, there are numerous state parks. Oyster Lake is interesting. For interesting architecture, visit Seaside--where the movie "The Truman Show" was filmed.
Be sure to eat at Dewey Destins--the original one on the bay. Good food with that nice touch of smelly fish shack tossed in. The new one in the harbor is too nice.
Olin Marler is a good company for fishing trips. Red Snapper season was just extended--I'm not sure which day it ends on. I went out a few weeks ago and caught a couple of nice, big red snappers and plenty of white snappers as well.
Destin Seafoods on Highway 98 is great for fresh shrimp. If you haven't tried Red Royals, you really should. They are big shrimp which taste a bit like lobster. For best flavor, cook separately from other seafood--they tend to take on the flavor of other foods they are cooked with.
I think they have fireworks on the harbor each Thursday night.
Destin is very crowded this time of year. Try to avoid Highway 98 through town in the late afternoon.
"Shakes" is terrific for frozen treats. It is located just off 98 a block west of Tracks.