Big Kahuna's Water and Adventure Park#8 in Best Things To Do in Destin
According to past visitors, Big Kahuna's is pricey for a park of its size, but it's also one of Destin's best spots to take the family when you need a break from the beach. The water park is open from mid-May through August and features more than 40 attractions, including slides, water rides and the Honolulu Half Pipe with a wave simulator. You can also float through the park along its lazy river. And between September and early May – when the water rides are closed – you can still enjoy Big Kahuna's Adventure Park, which is home to a mini-golf course and other thrill rides.
Adults and children who are more than 48 inches tall pay $45.99 for a single admission, while tickets for kids shorter than 48 inches cost $35.99. If you purchase tickets online in advance you can save up to $8 per ticket. Plan to pay $5 to park and between $11 and $15 to rent a locker. Adventure Park tickets are sold separately.
Recent visitors said some of the staff could be friendlier, that the park can get crowded (especially on weekends) and that lines can be long. Also, plan to budget for lunch since food prices run high (especially since the park does not allow outside food and drink). During its open season, Big Kahuna welcomes visitors to the water park daily from 10 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m.; the Adventure Park is open from 2 to 9 p.m. every day from March to Labor Day. For more information on pricing and hours, visit the Big Kahuna's website.
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#1 Henderson Beach State Park
Perhaps the biggest draw to Henderson Beach State Park – aside from its relaxed atmosphere – is the sugar-white sand, mile-long beach, made up of pure Appalachian quartz. The sand not only remains cool in the summer sun, but it gives the pristine waters an emerald cast. Offering a welcome change of pace from the crowded and hotel-backed beaches closer to the resorts, this easily accessible, safe and clean oasis offers nature trails, spots for grilling, and picnicking and campsites.
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