A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Daytona Beach vs. Destin for Resorts, Beaches, Families, and Food

Should you visit Daytona Beach or Destin?

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

Should I visit Daytona Beach or Destin? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is a fun, party-hard, and energetic beach city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and beaches.

Destin

Destin is a peaceful, family-friendly, and beautiful beach town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include shopping, food, and beaches.

Daytona Beach and Destin: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for students


Is there more to do in Daytona Beach or Destin?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Daytona Beach than Destin, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Daytona Beach is better known for its nightlife, music, and big city activities, while Destin is more popular for its food, resorts, beaches, shopping, and impressive beauty. Daytona Beach is more touristy than Destin and is known for its spring break culture, wild parties, and the Daytona 500 NASCAR race. Also, Daytona Beach is famous for The Daytona International Speedway. Destin is well known for its powdery sand and turquoise water, its kid-friendly environment, and its local waterfront seafood restaurants.

How is Daytona Beach different from Destin?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is the Food Better in Daytona Beach or Destin? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Daytona Beach
Destin

Destin is a popular place for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for its restaurants.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Destin area. 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.

Daytona Beach offers some easy restaurants to choose from. This beach is more about the parties and drinks than it is about the food.


Is Daytona Beach or Destin Better for Nightlife?

Daytona Beach
Destin

Daytona Beach is terrific for nightlife. However, Destin is a mediocre beach town for nightlife and partying.

Daytona Beach is a must-see party destination. Spring break is when the parties are at their peak. For the most active nightlife head to A1A from Ormond-by-the-Sea to Ponce Inlet, Main and Beach Streets, and Seabreeze Boulevard, ONE DAYTONA and International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach, and Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach.

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 Daytona Beach or Destin Better for Music?

Daytona Beach
Destin

Daytona Beach is very good for live music. However, Destin is not a live music destination.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Daytona Beach. You can see live music at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Bandshell and The Roof.

Destin is not a live music destination.

Is Daytona Beach or Destin Better for Resorts?

Daytona Beach
Destin

Destin is a well-known place for its resorts. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for its luxury resorts.

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.

Daytona Beach has a few resort options worth checking out. Many resorts in the area focus more on affordability than luxury. The oceanfront hotels usually have nice beachfront pools and rooms with balconies and oceanfront views. You'll pay a bit more for the waterfront rooms.


Is Daytona Beach or Destin Better for Beaches?

Daytona Beach
Destin

Destin is a well-known place for the beach. Also, Daytona Beach is not as famous, but is still a good beach city to visit for its beaches.

Destin is considered a top beach destination. 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.

Many people head to Daytona Beach to enjoy the beach. The city's beaches are lively and festive, so if you're looking for a beach with music, drinking, and partying, then this is your place. In the surrounding areas you'll find some quieter, more family-friendly beaches. It's also best to avoid the Spring Break crowds if you're hoping for a quieter and more family-friendly vacation.

Is the Shopping Better in Daytona Beach or Destin?

Daytona Beach
Destin

Destin is a popular place for its shopping areas. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for shopping.

Many visitors go to Destin to go shopping. 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.

Daytona Beach is a good destination for shopping. Souvenir shops and t-shirt shops are the main shopping you'll find in this area. The boardwalk is lined with gimmicky shops where you can pick up magnets or beach paraphernalia.

Is Daytona Beach or Destin Better for Families?

Daytona Beach
Destin

Destin is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for its kid-friendly activities.

Destin is known to be 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

Daytona Beach is not always a place people visit with their families. Although it's best avoided during spring break, Daytona with kids can be fun when the crowds aren't too bad. There are water parks, surfing lessons, and of course the beach. The restaurants are usually family-friendly as well with many offering kid's menus and early opening hours.


Is Daytona Beach or Destin Better for Couples?

Daytona Beach
Destin

With fun activities for couples, both Daytona Beach and Destin make for a notable place to visit.

Daytona Beach is a good beach city for couples to visit. While romance isn't exactly what comes to mind when you first think of Daytona, couples who like to party and be out and about will enjoy a visit to Daytona Beach. There's plenty to do and some very great seafood restaurants in the area, so it's not hard to turn it into a couple's destination.

Destin is a nice destination for couples. 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 Daytona Beach or Destin Better for Students?

Daytona Beach
Destin

Daytona Beach is terrific for students. However, Destin is a mediocre beach town for its student-friendly activities.

Students come from all over the world to visit Daytona Beach. It's one of the original Spring Break destinations, and the trend continues. If you're a student looking to cut loose, you'll find plenty of likeminded vacationers in the area, with many bars and hotels catering specifically to the younger crowd.

Destin is a decent spot for students. It is more a family-friendly destination than a spring break destination. If you're looking for a place to cut loose and blow off some steam, then there are better options in Florida.

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

Daytona Beach
Destin

Neither Daytona Beach or Destin offer decent public transit.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Daytona Beach. There's limited transportation options around town so you really must have a private vehicle. If you've been out drinking, you can call a taxi or an Uber.

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 Daytona Beach or Destin a more walkable city?

Daytona Beach
Destin

Neither Daytona Beach or Destin are walkable places.

Daytona Beach is not a walkable beach city. This area requires a car if you want to access restaurants, nightlife, or anything away from your hotel.

Destin is not a very walkable beach 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 Daytona Beach Worth Visiting? and Is Destin Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Destin or Daytona Beach?

How long in Daytona Beach or Destin?

Both Daytona Beach 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 Daytona Beach. Usually, 7 days is a good amount of time for Daytona Beach, and 5-7 days is enough time in Destin.

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

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


  • How many days in Daytona Beach or Destin? Ideal Length of Stay
    Daytona Beach 7 
    Destin 5-7

One day in Daytona Beach or Destin?

Many travelers enjoy the live music and nightlife when visiting the destination of Daytona Beach. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the beautiful destination of Destin. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Daytona Beach or Destin?

Daytona Beach is a great place to explore. Don't miss the nightlife, 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Destin. Most people come for the beaches. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.


Five days in Daytona Beach or Destin?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Daytona Beach. Don't miss the nightlife, as that's what most people do. With so much to do, five days is probably not enough time to see everything. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the relaxing destination of Destin. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This beach town offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A week in Daytona Beach or Destin?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the fun destination of Daytona Beach. This beach city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and food when visiting the beach town of Destin. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling.So, one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America, The Best Adventure Tours to United States of America, The Best Train & Rail Tours in United States of America, and The Best Sightseeing Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Destin or Daytona Beach?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Daytona Beach is $211, 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 Daytona Beach and Destin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Daytona Beach $84
    Destin $111
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Daytona Beach $168
    Destin $222
Compare Hotels in Daytona Beach and Destin

Looking for a hotel in Daytona Beach 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 Daytona Beach


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: Daytona Beach Hotel Prices and Destin Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Daytona Beach $53
    Destin $50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Daytona Beach

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Daytona Beach:

  • Private Transfer from Daytona to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $199
  • Private Transfer from New Smyrna Beach to Port Canaveral: $238

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Destin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Destin:

  • Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport One Way Transfer: $119

Is it cheaper to fly into Daytona Beach or Destin?

Prices for flights to both Destin and Daytona Beach 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
    Daytona Beach $80
    Destin $51

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Daytona Beach

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

  • Polynesian Fire and Dinner Show Ticket in Daytona Beach: $53

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: $128
  • 3 Hour Sunset Dinner Cruise by Solaris Yacht in Miramar Beach: $128
  • 3 Hour Sunset and Fireworks Dinner Cruise Solaris Miramar Beach: $128

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Daytona Beach $28
    Destin $17

Tours and Activities in Daytona Beach

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

  • St. Johns River Nature Cruise at Blue Spring State Park : $28
  • Wildlife Tour of Indian River Lagoon with Experienced Captain: $32
  • The Great Daytona Wine Bar Tour: $40
  • Guided Wildlife Eco Kayak Tour in New Smyrna Beach: $45
  • Zipline Adventure through Tuscawilla Park: $59
  • New Smyrna Dolphin and Manatee Kayak and SUP Adventure Tour: $65
  • Dolphin and Manatee Stand Up Paddleboard Tour in Daytona Beach: $65
  • Orlando Manatee and Natural Spring Adventure Tour at Blue Springs: $65
  • Dolphin and Manatee Kayak Tour of Daytona Beach: $65
  • Ormond Beach Manatee and Nature Tour Kayaking or Paddle Boarding: $65
  • Guided Kayaking or Standup Paddling Tour: $65
  • Small-Group Sailing Tour in Daytona Beach: $79

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:

  • Flippers Adventures Dolphin Cruise: $25
  • Dolphin & Sunset Cruises: $32
  • Destin Harbor Sunset Eco Dolphin Cruise: $35
  • Kayak Adventure in Destin and Fort Walton Beach : $35
  • Chakras Sound Bath Meditation Experience in Destin: $35
  • Stand Up Paddle Board Adventures in Destin and Fort Walton Beach: $35
  • Fort Walton Beach: Fireworks Cruise on the Emerald Coast: $40
  • Snorkeling and Dolphin Watching Experience in Destin: $40
  • Fireworks Cruise on the Emerald Coast: $40
  • Destin Harbor Fireworks Cruise: $40
  • Family Friendly Snorkeling and Dolphin Tour: $40
  • Hydrojet Dolphin Cruise in Destin FL : $40

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Daytona Beach $43
    Destin $49

Sample the Local Flavors in Daytona Beach

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Daytona Beach:

  • Dive Bar Bus Crawl: $38
  • Dive Bar Bus Crawl from Daytona Beach: $40


When comparing the travel costs between Daytona Beach and Destin, we can see that Daytona Beach is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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


Which is Bigger, Daytona Beach or Destin?

Daytona Beach has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Destin. When comparing the sizes of Daytona Beach 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 Daytona Beach or Destin?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Daytona Beach or Destin in the Summer?

Both Destin and Daytona Beach are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Daytona Beach this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Destin for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Daytona Beach is around the same temperature as Destin. Typically, the summer temperatures in Daytona Beach in July average around 81°F (27°C), and Destin averages at about 82°F (28°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Destin. It's quite rainy in Daytona Beach. In July, Daytona Beach usually receives less rain than Destin. Daytona Beach gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Destin receives 7.4 inches (189 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Daytona Beach 81°F (27°C) 
    Destin 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Daytona Beach or Destin in the Autumn?

Both Destin and Daytona Beach during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Daytona Beach for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene. Furthermore, many visitors come to Destin in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Daytona Beach is generally a little warmer than Destin. Daily temperatures in Daytona Beach average around 74°F (23°C), and Destin fluctuates around 69°F (21°C).

Destin gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Daytona Beach. Daytona Beach usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Destin. Daytona Beach gets 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain, while Destin receives 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Daytona Beach 74°F (23°C) 
    Destin 69°F (21°C)

Should I visit Daytona Beach or Destin in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Daytona Beach and Destin. Many visitors come to Daytona Beach in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Destin for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months.

Daytona Beach is a little warmer than Destin in the winter. The daily temperature in Daytona Beach averages around 58°F (14°C) in January, and Destin fluctuates around 50°F (10°C).

Destin receives a lot of rain in the winter. In January, Daytona Beach usually receives less rain than Destin. Daytona Beach gets 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rain, while Destin receives 4.6 inches (117 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Daytona Beach 58°F (14°C) 
    Destin 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit Daytona Beach or Destin in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Daytona Beach as well as Destin. Most visitors come to Daytona Beach for the beaches and the activities around the city during these months. Additionally, the spring months attract visitors to Destin because of the beaches and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Daytona Beach is around the same temperature as Destin. Typically, the spring temperatures in Daytona Beach in April average around 69°F (21°C), and Destin averages at about 68°F (20°C).

Daytona Beach usually gets less rain in April than Destin. Daytona Beach gets 2.2 inches (57 mm) of rain, while Destin receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Daytona Beach 69°F (21°C) 
    Destin 68°F (20°C)

Typical Weather for Destin and Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach Destin
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 58°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm) 50°F (10°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)
Feb 59°F (15°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 54°F (12°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Mar 65°F (18°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 60°F (16°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm)
Apr 69°F (21°C) 2.2 inches (57 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 74°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6 inches (152 mm) 80°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (189 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 6.2 inches (157 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (188 mm)
Sep 80°F (26°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.3 inches (135 mm)
Oct 74°F (23°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 69°F (21°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Nov 66°F (19°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 61°F (16°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Dec 60°F (16°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm) 54°F (12°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm)