A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Destin vs. Virginia Beach for Resorts, Beaches, Families, and Food

Should you visit Destin or Virginia Beach?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Destin and Virginia Beach can help you decide which place is right for you.

Destin

Destin is a relaxing, peaceful, and family-friendly beach town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the beaches, shopping, and food.

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is a relaxing, bustling, and fun-filled coastal city. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife and beaches.

Destin and Virginia Beach: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance


Is there more to do in Destin or Virginia Beach?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Destin. Although Destin and Virginia Beach are popular destinations, Destin has more sights and attractions for tourists. Destin is very popular for its food, resorts, beaches, and shopping, while Virginia Beach attracts visitors for its nightlife. Destin is more touristy than Virginia Beach and is popular for its powdery sand and turquoise water, its kid-friendly environment, and its local waterfront seafood restaurants. It is also well known for Baytowne Wharf. Virginia Beach is famous for its fun boardwalk, many seafood restaurants, and classic beach town vibe.

How is Destin different from Virginia Beach?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Destin
Virginia Beach

Destin is a nice place to visit for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Virginia Beach is not a good destination for its local cuisine and restaurants.

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.

Virginia Beach may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Seafood is plentiful around town and there are all-you-can-eat buffets as well as high end, waterfront seafood restaurants. Make sure you try the She Crab Soup, soft shell crabs, and oysters.


Is Destin or Virginia Beach Better for Nightlife?

Destin
Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is very good for nightlife. However, Destin is a mediocre beach town for nightlife and partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Virginia Beach. While it's a family-friendly beach, there's still a great nightlife scene with many bars and clubs in the area. Popular places to hang out at night include Omega Bar, Peabody's Nightclub, and Sky Bar.

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 Destin or Virginia Beach Better for Resorts?

Destin
Virginia Beach

Destin is great for its luxury resorts. Also, Virginia Beach is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its resorts.

Destin is a popular resort destination that attracts visitors from everywhere. 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.

Virginia Beach has a few great resort options. Some of the best resorts in the area include the Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club, the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and The Founders Inn and Spa.

Is Destin or Virginia Beach Better for Beaches?

Destin
Virginia Beach

Destin is great for the beache. Also, Virginia Beach is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for the beach.

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.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Virginia Beach. The beaches are long and sandy, but they can get crowded during the summer months. The waves are just the right size for playing in the surf and the water temperature is usually warm enough to swim well into the fall months.


Is the Shopping Better in Destin or Virginia Beach?

Destin
Virginia Beach

Destin is a nice place to visit for its shopping opportunities. However, Virginia Beach is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

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.

Virginia Beach is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Destin or Virginia Beach Better for Families?

Destin
Virginia Beach

You'll find excellent kid-friendly activities in either Destin or Virginia Beach.

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

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Virginia Beach is very family-friendly. This is a popular family-friendly beach with a nice boardwalk, a fun waterpark, aquarium, and nice beaches. It attracts families in the area for its long beaches and fun atmosphere. Most restaurants have kid's menus and there are ice cream shops and minigolf around.

Is Destin or Virginia Beach Better for Couples?

Destin
Virginia Beach

Both Destin and Virginia Beach are nice destinations to visit as a couple.

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.

Virginia Beach makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples will enjoy a nice escape to the beaches and boardwalk. There are many great seafood restaurants, some with waterfront settings. There's also a variety of activities ranging from many golf to dance clubs.


Is Destin or Virginia Beach Better for Students?

Destin
Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is very good for students. However, Destin is a mediocre beach town for its student-friendly activities.

Virginia Beach is a good coastal city to visit for students. It's not as popular as more southern beach towns, but you'll still find students heading here for the spring break holidays.

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

Destin
Virginia Beach

Neither Destin or Virginia Beach offer decent public transit.

Public transit is limited or non-existant 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.

Public transit is quite limited in Virginia Beach. There is very limited public transit in the area so you'll need to have a car to get around.

Is Destin or Virginia Beach a more walkable city?

Destin
Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is a moderate coastal city for its walkability. However, Destin is a mediocre beach town for its high level of walkability.

Virginia Beach is generally not very walkable. Most people prefer to have a car but do note that parking can be a nightmare, particularly during the summer season.

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

Should I spend more time in Virginia Beach or Destin?

How long in Destin or Virginia Beach?

Both Destin and Virginia Beach have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Destin has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Destin than Virginia Beach. However, 5-7 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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


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

One day in Destin or Virginia Beach?

In Destin, you'll find shopping and food. Most people come for the beaches. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

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

A weekend in Destin or Virginia Beach?

Destin is a great place to explore. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Anyone can find something fun to do here. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Virginia Beach is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Destin or Virginia Beach?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Destin. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. It offers something for everyone. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Virginia Beach. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Destin or Virginia Beach?

In Destin, you'll find food and shopping. It's also a great beach destination, too. Your budget might influence how long you stay. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. One week is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Many travelers enjoy the nightlife when visiting the relaxing destination of Virginia Beach. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Virginia Beach or Destin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Destin is $192, while the average daily cost in Virginia Beach is $126. 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 Destin and Virginia Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Destin $111
    Virginia Beach $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Destin $222
    Virginia Beach $142
Compare Hotels in Destin and Virginia Beach

Looking for a hotel in Destin or Virginia Beach? 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 Destin


Hotels in Virginia Beach


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: Destin Hotel Prices and Virginia Beach Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Destin $50
    Virginia Beach $39

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Virginia Beach

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Virginia Beach:


  • Beach Parking
    $10

Is it cheaper to fly into Destin or Virginia Beach?

Prices for flights to both Virginia Beach and Destin 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
    Destin $51
    Virginia Beach $30

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Destin $17
    Virginia Beach $21
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: $80
  • Sunset Cruise in Destin : $52
  • 3 Hour Crab Island and Dolphin Cruise from Destin : $70
  • Clear Kayaking Eco Adventure Tour in Marianna: $75
  • Crab Island and dolphin adventure 4 hours family friendly : $80
  • Destin Florida Sunset Viewing Experience : $75
  • Destin Harbor One hour Firework Tour: $52
  • Destin Harbor Sunset Eco Dolphin Cruise: $35
  • Half Day or Full Day Private Emerald Coast Tour: $2,140
  • Have Fun Charters Fishing Experience: $700
  • Private Sunset Cruise with Dolphin Watching: $348
  • Snorkeling and Dolphin Watching Cruise: $45

Tours and Activities in Virginia Beach

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Virginia Beach.

  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Virginia Beach by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Neptune Ghosts: Ghosts of the Coast By US Ghost Adventures: $24
  • Ziplining and Climbing at The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium: $59
  • Wetland Zip Tour: $65
  • Sunset Dolphin Kayak Tours: $68
  • Small Group Dolphin Kayak Eco-Tour: $68
  • Dolphin Kayak Tour in Virginia Beach Must know how to swim: $77
  • Kayak Dolphin Experience in Virginia Beach Must know how to swim: $77
  • Virginia Historic Adventure!: $200

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Destin $49
    Virginia Beach $11


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Destin and Virginia Beach, we can see that Destin is more expensive. And not only is Virginia Beach much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Virginia Beach would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Virginia Beach 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 Destin would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Destin than you might in Virginia Beach.

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


Which is Bigger, Destin or Virginia Beach?

Virginia Beach has a larger population, and is about 40 times larger than the population of Destin. When comparing the sizes of Destin and Virginia Beach, 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 Destin or Virginia Beach?

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 Destin or Virginia Beach in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Destin as well as Virginia Beach. The beaches and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Destin this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Virginia Beach for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Destin is around the same temperature as Virginia Beach. Typically, the summer temperatures in Destin in July average around 82°F (28°C), and Virginia Beach averages at about 79°F (26°C).

It's quite rainy in Virginia Beach. Destin receives a lot of rain in the summer. Destin usually gets more rain in July than Virginia Beach. Destin gets 7.4 inches (189 mm) of rain, while Virginia Beach receives 5.7 inches (145 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Destin 82°F (28°C) 
    Virginia Beach 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Destin or Virginia Beach in the Autumn?

Both Virginia Beach and Destin are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Destin for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Virginia Beach in the autumn for the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Destin is generally a little warmer than Virginia Beach. Daily temperatures in Destin average around 69°F (21°C), and Virginia Beach fluctuates around 62°F (16°C).

It's quite rainy in Destin. In October, Destin usually receives more rain than Virginia Beach. Destin gets 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain, while Virginia Beach receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Destin 69°F (21°C) 
    Virginia Beach 62°F (16°C)

Should I visit Destin or Virginia Beach in the Winter?

Both Virginia Beach and Destin during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Destin in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Virginia Beach for the cuisine during these months.

Virginia Beach can be very cold during winter. Destin is much warmer than Virginia Beach in the winter. The daily temperature in Destin averages around 50°F (10°C) in January, and Virginia Beach fluctuates around 39°F (4°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Destin. Destin usually gets more rain in January than Virginia Beach. Destin gets 4.6 inches (117 mm) of rain, while Virginia Beach receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Destin 50°F (10°C) 
    Virginia Beach 39°F (4°C)

Should I visit Destin or Virginia Beach in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Destin and Virginia Beach. Most visitors come to Destin for the beaches and the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Virginia Beach because of the beaches and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Destin is a little warmer than Virginia Beach. Typically, the spring temperatures in Destin in April average around 68°F (20°C), and Virginia Beach averages at about 58°F (14°C).

In April, Destin usually receives more rain than Virginia Beach. Destin gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while Virginia Beach receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Destin 68°F (20°C) 
    Virginia Beach 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Virginia Beach and Destin

Destin Virginia Beach
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 50°F (10°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm) 39°F (4°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Feb 54°F (12°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 60°F (16°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 49°F (10°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 58°F (14°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 74°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (189 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.7 inches (145 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (188 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5.9 inches (150 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 5.3 inches (135 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Oct 69°F (21°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 62°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Nov 61°F (16°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Dec 54°F (12°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)