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Crab Island is a sandbar that is located just South of the Marler Bridge in Destin, FL. Crab Island started to gain in popularity as boaters used the area to anchor their boats to catch some rays and wade on the sandbar. Now Crab Island has erupted into a popular social scene where locals and tourists congregate for fun and sun. Crab Island is just minutes from the Destin Harbor. Discover dining, tours, attractions, and events in the Destin Harbor online at Destin Boardwalk.
If you’re wondering how to get to Crab Island during your vacation, it’s not as hard as it looks! The best way to get to Crab Island is by renting a boat. There is no safe way of getting to Crab Island by foot as the currents are much too strong to swim over. Options for getting to Crab Island is by kayak, paddleboard, jet ski or waverunner Most of the watercraft rentals take place out of the Destin Harbor. There are also other watersport locations from Calhoun Avenue that run parallel to the island. It depends a lot on how many people you have in your party or how long you want to stay. For those looking to stay for the entire day, a pontoon boat (AKA party barge) are recommended. If you’re looking to just cruise through the island with a friend, a kayak or waverunner are great options.
Anyone who has been to Crab Island has seen the vast array of marine life. From dolphins to seabirds, friendly animal encounters at Crab Island Destin FL are commonplace. So, why is it called Crab Island? Before a hurricane covered the once tiny island in emerald waters, Crab Island was a small plot of land shaped like… you guessed it… a CRAB! Along with the thousands of tiny crabs found on the floor of the sandbar, it’s easy to see why it is called Crab Island!
Crab Island has been a popular spot for the locals for years. They would take their boats and skiffs and congregate with other locals over music, food, and beverage. Over the years, the tourists have joined the mix to create a bigger scene. It’s not unusual to see hundreds, if not close to a thousand boats at Crab Island on a Summer day. Due to the influx of people enjoying Crab Island, vendors have made this an opportunity to sell products and services. There are food vendors that line up the island and offer burgers, fries, and sandwiches. You will also find mini-stores that sell everything from suntan lotion to doritos. For those looking for an inexpensive thrill, some vendors offer inflatables at Crab Island including large water trampolines and slides. If you didn’t rent one already, there are kayaks, paddleboards and jet ski’s available for rent as well.
Crab Island is not a business or state park so it is technically open all the time. However, only during the day is it worth going to since most people leave after dark.
During the Summer season, it can be difficult to find a spot if you come late in the day – we recommend getting their early (8-9am). If you are new to boating, we recommend anchoring the boat on the outskirts of the island to prevent accidents. If the currents are strong and the wind is blowing, it can be almost impossible to nestle the boat in the middle of the island without having issues.
Depending on where your boat rental company is located, it could take anywhere from 10-20 minutes from the Harbor to get to Crab Island.
Don’t fret about how to get to Crab Island, Captains are available for hire! Visit our Crab Island activities and rentals page for some options.
Yes, there is a boat access available at the Destin Marina (7 Calhoun Ave) and also at Joe’s Bayou (800 Beach Dr.). Both access points have a small fee for launching.
It can be difficult at times trying to anchor a boat at Crab Island. We recommend getting their early to claim a good spot that is away from the currents. If you are not experienced, guide the boat in by jumping out of the boat when in shallow water and push the boat into a good spot.
The cheapest way to get to Crab Island depends on your group size. If you have a large group, everyone can split the cost of a boat rental. If it’s a small group, it may be best to rent a kayak or paddleboard for the day.