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How to Plan a Day at Crab Island

What is Crab Island?

Simply put, Crab Island is merely a shallow sandbar. Crab Island got its name because it actually was an island at one time, but the Gulf of Mexico has eroded the little island over the years to make it what it is today. Crab Island is a place where locals and tourists alike come together to enjoy a day full of fun in the sun! Shallow clear waters, inflatable obstacle courses, and floating bars have made it one of the most popular destinations on the Gulf Coast.

When should I go?

Crab Island is open 24/7, but the best time to go is during the day. If you want to get near the middle of the sandbar where it's most shallow, try getting there a little earlier, the later it gets, the more packed it gets! But keep in mind if you do get there early enough to drop anchor in the middle of it all, be prepared to stay all day, as your boat can get blocked in!

Where is Crab Island?

Crab Island is found on the north side of the Destin Bridge. This is just inside the Destin East Pass at the entrance to Choctawhatchee Bay. Getting to Crab Island is not as simple as driving up to the beach. Surprisingly it is not accessible by car, only by boat or any other watercraft! Some often paddleboard or ride jet skis!

How do I rent a boat?

Boats are the most common way of getting to Crab Island as currents are too strong to swim there. Large groups will often rent a pontoon boat. People also enjoy taking jet skis, kayaks, or paddleboards, although some prefer renting their own private charters! Check out our Boat Rentals blog to learn everything you need to know and more about renting a boat! Helpful hint: To rent a boat, you're required to have your driver's license on hand.

What should I bring?

Think about what you usually bring to the beach, plus a few additional items. Floats, water toys, footballs, a music speaker, and a cooler full of snacks and drinks are the most common! If you want to day drink, you will need to bring your own, as none of the vendors on the island offer alcohol. If you plan to bring food and drink, be sure to toss some trash bags in your boat bag to keep trash from contaminating our beautiful water and beaches!

Pro Tip: Bring a rope! The water current can be strong at Crab Island, and you don't want to end up floating away when you're trying to take in the rays and relax!

How do I last all day?

There is a chance of getting stuck in the middle of Crab Islands party central, especially if you've gotten there early. Therefore it is necessary to bring a powerful SPF and be sure to have some sort of overhead coverage. Most rental boats have an awning for coverage. Be sure to check for this feature when choosing your boat for the day. 

What should I expect?

No bathrooms! To some, that may come as a surprise, but you are, after all, in the middle of the gulf! The closest restroom is at Dewey Destins, which is about a 2 to 3-minute boat ride. Be sure to stop and get some lunch if you find yourself at Dewey's; they have fantastic seafood!


Crab Island is located by the Jetties, which means it is right where the Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico, this makes the water current strong. One should always be cautious. If you are in the center, it is very shallow, and the current won't affect you. But if you're on the outskirts of the island, the sandbar drops off quickly, which can be unexpected and can get you in a dilemma fast. As there are no lifeguards, everyone needs to proceed cautiously.

Overall, Crab Island is a must-do when coming to our beautiful Destin, FL! Enjoy the water life, and hang out with 1,000s of your closest friends!