Crab Island - Watersports

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From floating bars to dolphin tours, Crab Island has something to offer for anyone who loves fun, sun, and crystal clear waters.

Written by

Morgan Rice


0.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

20.5 miles


1 of 5 diamonds

Getting to the "island" and enjoying the activities once there require little skill level. Calm waters and great visibility, as well as professional guides for those who are wary, make this an easy going trip for even the inexperienced.

Time To Complete

0 hours


Spring, Summer, and Fall

Crab Island is best enjoyed when the waters are warm, which is typically from around May to October.

Dog Friendly


Yes! Bring Fido along on the boat, let him splash through the water, or test his balance skills on a paddleboard.

Fees Permits


The island itself is free, but unless you're equipped with your own method of transport, you'll need to rent a vessel, whether it be a kayak or boat. Excursions such as dolphin wave runners and fishing charters also come with fees.

Land Website

My Crab Island



The quaint beach town of Destin, FL is globally renowned for its fortunate position along the Emerald Gulf Coast, and Crab Island, a small strip of sand just north of the Gulf of Mexico, is largely to thank for this. While no longer a true island after the naturally drifting sands of the Gulf of Mexico shortened Crab Island’s stature, this now-sandbar is a mecca for anyone who enjoys spending a day wading through crystal clear waters. And, let’s be honest, who doesn't enjoy that?

What Makes It Great

Despite the “island” itself being relatively shallow, getting to this hot spot is only possible by watercraft, making Crab Island feel a little more like an exclusive getaway than just a standard romp down the beach. Boat and kayak rentals are available in abundance, and paddleboarding is also an option for those looking for a spirited work out. Once seekers of this natural gem arrive, making friends and finding food and libations is the easy part. But what about those who are out for an adventure?

Thankfully, opportunities for watersports are in no short supply on Crab Island. Paddleboarding, snorkeling, jet skiing, volleyball, kayaking, and more are available activities, as well as pontoon rentals and fishing charters. The water level fluctuates with the tide and based upon location, with mere inches covering some sections, and chest-deep waters covering others. Rays, dolphins, fish, and, you guessed it---crabs---all inhabit this strip of paradise, making meeting the “locals” often quite the experience. Snag a disposable underwater camera from a shop at Harborwalk and grab a hair comb: dolphins are intrigued by the found the teeth make when strummed underwater. With a little luck, a jet ski, paddleboard, or kayak trip can be taken to an entirely new level of awe-inspiring.

Who is Going to Love It

As we mentioned before, Crab Island is for anyone who likes crystal clear water and plenty of fun, and generally speaking, that includes most folks. The refreshing waters of the Choctawhatchee Bay offer an excellent reprieve from what can sometimes be an oppressive southern sun as well as incredible visibility, making the Island a prime destination for watersports of any variety. Those wishing to paddle around at leisure will find the calm waters washing over this sand bar right up their alley, and swimmers and snorkelers of all skill levels are in emerald-green heaven atop Crab Island.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

The Island itself is hard to miss from FL HWY 98 with its gorgeous green waters, floating bars, and plentiful boats. Call ahead to make reservations for being transported to---or transporting yourself---to the Island, but quash any thoughts of making the attempt to swim that channel, as circumstances can be deadly for even the strongest of swimmers.

Currents and boat traffic make this stretch of water passable only by watercraft. If you’re commissioning your own vessel, be mindful of the tide when mooring, as a propeller can be easily stuck or damaged in Crab Island’s sandy white bottom. Toss some sunscreen, snacks, and cash into a bag so you can prolong your stay and hit up the floating shops, restaurants, and bars spread across the sandbar. Leave the glass at home, and when in doubt, let someone else take the wheel.

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Crab Island

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