A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Boca Raton vs. Destin for Beaches, Food, Resorts, and Families

Should you visit Boca Raton or Destin?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Boca Raton and Destin. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Boca Raton

Boca Raton is a luxurious, posh, and outdoorsy coastal city. It's also known for hiking, shopping, and museums.

Destin

Destin is a relaxing, peaceful, and family-friendly beach town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the shopping, food, and beaches.

Boca Raton and Destin: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Boca Raton or Destin?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Boca Raton than Destin, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Boca Raton is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, hiking, and shopping, while Destin is more popular for its impressive beauty. Destin is more touristy than Boca Raton and is popular for its powdery sand and turquoise water, its kid-friendly environment, and its local waterfront seafood restaurants. Boca Raton is well known for its golf courses, outdoor recreational activities, and safe atmosphere. Also, Boca Raton is famous for Red Reef Park.

How is Boca Raton different from Destin?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Destin and Boca Raton. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Boca Raton or Destin?

Boca Raton
Destin

Boca Raton is notable for its sights and museums. However, Destin does not have museums and landmarks.

Many visitors head to Boca Raton specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. While most visitors focus on the beaches and outdoor activities in the area, there are also a surprising number of museums that you can visit. On a rainy day head to the Boca Raton Museum of Art or the Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum. Sports enthusiasts will like the Sports Immortals Museum and kids will want to check out the Children's Science Explorium.

Destin does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Boca Raton or Destin? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Boca Raton
Destin

Boca Raton is notable for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Destin is not as famous, but is still a good beach town to visit for its restaurants.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Boca Raton makes for a great culinary experience. You'll find a mix of local and international flavors with both casual and upscale dining available. Reservations are recommended, particularly on weekend nights. For the health-conscious, there's also a nice selection of healthy eateries to choose from.

Destin has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The area has great seafood including crab chowder, seafood gumbo, and fried fish. You can find wonderful local restaurants that have waterfront views and menus that feature freshly caught seafood. Many restaurants also have kid-friendly menus. During peak season, reservations are recommended.

Is Boca Raton or Destin Better for Nightlife?

Boca Raton
Destin

Boca Raton is notable for nightlife. However, Destin is a mediocre beach town for nightlife and partying.

Boca Raton has plenty to do after the sun goes down. You'll find plenty of upscale wine bars, cocktail bars, and live music venues that will keep you entertained late into the evening.

Destin doesn't offer many options. The region is more popular as a family-friendly beach destination than it is for it's nightlife. Head to the Harbor area for the most lively nightlife.

Is Boca Raton or Destin Better for Resorts?

Boca Raton
Destin

There are high quality resorts to choose from in both Boca Raton and Destin.

There are plenty of resorts in Boca Raton to choose from. You'll find many luxury beachside resorts that offer all of the amenities, from access to golf course to family-friendly kids clubs.

Destin is known as a popular and fun resort destination. Popular options include the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, as well as Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Resort & Spa. Most of the accommodation in the area is in the form of condos that include a kitchen and separate bedrooms. Most of these complexes also have pools, hot tubs, and even kids clubs.


Is Boca Raton or Destin Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Boca Raton
Destin

Boca Raton is very good for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Destin is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Boca Raton. Head to the "Aqua Zoo", which is just to the south of Boca Inlet to see stingrays, groupers, and moray eels. Red Reef Park offers excellent snorkeling as well.

Destin is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Boca Raton or Destin Better for Beaches?

Boca Raton
Destin

Boca Raton is terrific for its beaches. Also, Destin is not as famous, but is still a good beach town to visit for the beache.

With world-famous beaches, Boca Raton is a very popular vacation destination. There's a two mile stretch of beautiful sandy beaches that are all monitored by lifeguards. The beaches offer all of the facilities that you might need such as picnic areas, restrooms, and showers. Many beaches are part of park land and some offer nice snorkeling. Some of the most popular beaches in the area include Spanish River Park, Bark Park Dog Beach, Red Reef Beach, and South Beach Park.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Destin. This area is famous for its powdery white sand, beautiful blue waters, and calm waves. The beaches are large enough that they never get incredibly crowded, but you will find the largest crowds during the summer months. These beaches are particularly popular with families and seniors.

Is Boca Raton or Destin Better for Hiking?

Boca Raton
Destin

Boca Raton is very good for the nearby hiking options. However, Destin is not a hiking destination.

Many people include a hike when visiting Boca Raton. There's a surprising number of nature parks in the area that have hiking trails, nature walks, and beach paths that are fun to explore.

Destin is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Boca Raton or Destin?

Boca Raton
Destin

Boca Raton is notable for shopping. Also, Destin is not as famous, but is still a good beach town to visit for its shopping opportunities.

Boca Raton is an extremely popular place for shoppers. It's an upscale area, and you'll find no shortage of luxury shopping around town. Popular areas for shopping include Downtown Boca, Mizner Park, and the Town Center at Boca Raton.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Destin. In the shopping centers around town you'll find a number of unique boutique shops that are fun to explore. They have boutique-style beach clothes, local art, and any beach supplies that you may have forgotten.

Is Boca Raton or Destin Better for Families?

Boca Raton
Destin

Both Boca Raton and Destin are high quality family-friendly destinations.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Boca Raton. It's an upscale area with a family-friendly atmosphere and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. Many of the hotels have kids clubs that will keep the young ones entertained. The area also has nature centers, children's museums, and waterparks that will ensure everyone stays entertained.

Destin is a very family-friendly place to visit. The area has beautiful sandy beaches, calm waters, and plenty of activities for kids like Big Kahuna's Water Park. This is one of the more kid-friendly areas in Florida and many families return year after year with their kids. There are also many condos available for rent and kids can have their own room, kitchens are available for meal preparation, and there are washers and dryers to clean clothes. Many of these condo complexes also have kid-friendly pools

Is Boca Raton or Destin Better for Couples?

Boca Raton
Destin

Boca Raton is notable for romance. Also, Destin is not as famous, but is still a good beach town to visit for its romantic activities.

Boca Raton is a very popular place to visit for couples. There's an upscale vibe with plenty of nature trails and nice beaches. Many of the hotels offer a touch of luxury that honeymooning couples will appreciate. You can also head to the downtown area for music, events, and museums.

Destin makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. For a relaxing beach vacation, this is a nice option for couples. A lot of the accommodation is in the form of condos, so it may not have the romantic resort vibe you're going for though. There are many great seafood restaurants and quiet beaches that have beautiful sunsets.


Is Boca Raton or Destin Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Boca Raton
Destin

Boca Raton is very good for its public transit. However, Destin is a mediocre beach town for times when you don't have a car.

Boca Raton has a few public transit options. The Downtowner is a fleet of free, oversized golf cars that shuttle visitors around town, passing by many top sites such as Mizner Park, Red Reef Park, and the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. There's also a public bus system, Palm Tran, that offers service around town.

Public transit is quite limited in Destin. There is almost no public transit so a car is essential. Some condo complexes do over golf carts to get around the grounds.

Is Boca Raton or Destin a more walkable city?

Boca Raton
Destin

Boca Raton is very good for its walkability. However, Destin is a mediocre beach town for its high level of walkability.

Boca Raton is somewhat walkable. There are some communities within the city that are more walkable than others, particularly East Boca Raton, Royal Palm Place, and Mizner Park. There are also many pedestrian and bike paths around town. Even so, you really must have a car to explore the area in depth.

Destin is not a very walkable coastal city. The area is very spread out and not walkable so you'll need a car to access restaurants and most forms of entertainment.

For even more information, also check out Is Boca Raton Worth Visiting? and Is Destin Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Destin or Boca Raton?

How long in Boca Raton or Destin?

Both Boca Raton and Destin have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Destin than in Boca Raton. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Boca Raton, and 5-7 days is enough time in Destin.

Families should spend more time in Boca Raton than Destin. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Boca Raton, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Boca Raton than Destin. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Boca Raton that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Boca Raton than Destin if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Boca Raton.


  • How many days in Boca Raton or Destin? Ideal Length of Stay
    Boca Raton 3-5 
    Destin 5-7

One day in Boca Raton or Destin?

Many travelers enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the destination of Boca Raton. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

With shopping and food around the family-friendly beach town of Destin, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Boca Raton or Destin?

Boca Raton is a great place to explore. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

With food and shopping around the destination of Destin, there's plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Five days in Boca Raton or Destin?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Boca Raton. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Most people come for the beaches. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Destin, a popular beach town, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this beach town. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Boca Raton or Destin?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the relaxed destination of Boca Raton. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Destin is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this beach town makes for a great vacation. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this beach town has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


Which place is cheaper, Destin or Boca Raton?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Boca Raton is $283, while the average daily cost in Destin is $192. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Boca Raton and Destin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boca Raton $171
    Destin $111
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boca Raton $342
    Destin $222
Compare Hotels in Boca Raton and Destin

Looking for a hotel in Boca Raton or Destin? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Boca Raton


Hotels in Destin


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Boca Raton Hotel Prices and Destin Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boca Raton $76
    Destin $50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Boca Raton

Also for Boca Raton, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Delray Beach to Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) - Departure Private Transfer: $40
  • Boynton Beach to Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) - Departure Private Transfer: $41
  • Boca Raton to Miami Airport (MIA) - Departure Private Transfer: $44
  • Delray Beach to Miami Airport (MIA) - Departure Private Transfer: $50
  • Boca Raton to Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL)- Departure Private Transfer: $53
  • Boynton Beach to Miami Airport (MIA) - Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • Boca Raton Private Transfer to FLL (UP TO 14 PASS): $80
  • Private Delray Beach Transfer and Fort Lauderdale Airport: $84
  • Private Transfer from West Palm Beach to (FLL) Airport: $115

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Destin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Destin:

  • Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport One Way Transfer: $119
  • Destin, FL to Pensacola International Airport (PNS) - Departure Private Transfer: $72

Is it cheaper to fly into Boca Raton or Destin?

Prices for flights to both Destin and Boca Raton change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Boca Raton $67
    Destin $51

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Boca Raton

For Boca Raton, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Delray Beach Dinner & Drinks Tour: $109

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Destin

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Destin.

  • 3 Hour Destin Dinner Cruise: Solaris Yacht in Miramar Beach: $121
  • 3 Hour Sunset and Fireworks Dinner Cruise Solaris Miramar Beach: $121
  • 3 Hour Sunset Dinner Cruise by Solaris Yacht in Miramar Beach: $121

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Boca Raton $28
    Destin $17

Tours and Activities in Boca Raton

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Boca Raton.

  • Delray Beach Food & Drinks Tour: $104
  • Boca Raton on High Speed Train with Millionaire Home Boat Tour: $136
  • Boca Raton-Delray Beach 1-Hour Private Jet Ski Guided Tour: $165

Typical Entertainment Prices in Destin

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Destin are as follows:


  • 1 Day Rental Umbrella and Chairs
    $40

Tours and Activities in Destin

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Destin are as follows:

  • FAMOUS Destin Dolphin Cruise & Crab Island Sandbar: $70
  • 1 Hour and 30 Minutes Harbor Sightseeing Cruise from Destin: $60
  • 3 Hour Crab Island and Dolphin Cruise from Destin : $70
  • 30A Axe Throwing Experience in Santa Rosa Beach: $30
  • 4 Hour Eco Dolphin Tour in Panama: $250
  • 90 Minutes Sunset Cruise in Destin Harbor: $77
  • Clear Kayak Adventure in Fort Walton Beach : $69
  • Clear Kayak Ecotour Destin Ft. Walton Beach: $69
  • Clear Kayak Glow Tour Destin Ft. Walton Beach: $69
  • Clear Kayaking Eco Adventure Tour in Marianna: $72
  • Crab Island Dolphin Jetski Adventure : $227
  • Destin Florida Sunset Viewing Experience : $60

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Boca Raton $40
    Destin $49


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Boca Raton and Destin, we can see that Boca Raton is more expensive. And not only is Destin much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Destin would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Destin and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Boca Raton would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Boca Raton than you might in Destin.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Boca Raton Expensive? and Is Destin Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Boca Raton or Destin?

Boca Raton has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Destin. When comparing the sizes of Boca Raton and Destin, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Boca Raton or Destin?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Boca Raton or Destin in the Summer?

Both Destin and Boca Raton during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Boca Raton for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Destin in the summer for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Boca Raton is around the same temperature as Destin. Typically, the summer temperatures in Boca Raton in July average around 82°F (28°C), and Destin averages at about 82°F (28°C).

Destin gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Boca Raton. Boca Raton usually gets less rain in July than Destin. Boca Raton gets 6.5 inches (166 mm) of rain, while Destin receives 7.4 inches (189 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Boca Raton 82°F (28°C) 
    Destin 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Boca Raton or Destin in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Boca Raton and Destin. Many visitors come to Boca Raton in the autumn for the hiking trails and the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Destin for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Boca Raton is generally a little warmer than Destin. Daily temperatures in Boca Raton average around 78°F (25°C), and Destin fluctuates around 69°F (21°C).

Destin receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Boca Raton gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Boca Raton usually receives more rain than Destin. Boca Raton gets 8.7 inches (222 mm) of rain, while Destin receives 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. June to November is the hurricane season in Boca Raton.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Boca Raton 78°F (25°C) 
    Destin 69°F (21°C)

Should I visit Boca Raton or Destin in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Boca Raton as well as Destin. Most visitors come to Boca Raton for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Destin because of the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Boca Raton is much warmer than Destin in the winter. The daily temperature in Boca Raton averages around 65°F (19°C) in January, and Destin fluctuates around 50°F (10°C).

It's quite rainy in Destin. Boca Raton usually gets less rain in January than Destin. Boca Raton gets 2.6 inches (66 mm) of rain, while Destin receives 4.6 inches (117 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Boca Raton 65°F (19°C) 
    Destin 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit Boca Raton or Destin in the Spring?

Both Destin and Boca Raton are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The spring months attract visitors to Boca Raton because of the beaches. Also, the beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Destin this time of year.

In the spring, Boca Raton is a little warmer than Destin. Typically, the spring temperatures in Boca Raton in April average around 74°F (23°C), and Destin averages at about 68°F (20°C).

In April, Boca Raton usually receives around the same amount of rain as Destin. Boca Raton gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Destin receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain each month for the spring. June to November in Boca Raton is the hurricane season.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Boca Raton 74°F (23°C) 
    Destin 68°F (20°C)

Typical Weather for Destin and Boca Raton

Boca Raton Destin
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 65°F (19°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm) 50°F (10°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)
Feb 66°F (19°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm) 54°F (12°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Mar 70°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 60°F (16°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm)
Apr 74°F (23°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
May 78°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm) 74°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 8.1 inches (207 mm) 80°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 6.5 inches (166 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (189 mm)
Aug 83°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (188 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 9.8 inches (250 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.3 inches (135 mm)
Oct 78°F (25°C) 8.7 inches (222 mm) 69°F (21°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Nov 72°F (22°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm) 61°F (16°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Dec 67°F (20°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 54°F (12°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm)