Henderson Beach State Park

#1 in Best Things To Do in Destin
Henderson Beach State Park picture1 of 2
Henderson Beach State Park2 of 2
Romona Robbins Photography/Getty Images

Key Info

17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy

Price & Hours

$6 per vehicle with multiple passengers; $4 pe...
8 a.m.-sunset daily

Details

Beaches, Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.6scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

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.

Recent visitors loved the area's peaceful atmosphere and highly recommended travelers make a stop here. The park rangers and staff also received accolades for their helpful tips and vast knowledge of the area.

Admission fees range from $2 to $6, depending on your mode of transportation. Recent travelers agreed, the minimal entrance fee is worth an afternoon here, especially on weekends and holidays when Destin's other beaches tend to get crowded. You'll find Henderson Beach State Park about 3 miles east of downtown Destin on the Emerald Coast Parkway. The park is open from 8 a.m. to sundown every day of the year. For more information on the area and to reserve a campsite, visit the Florida State Parks website.

See all Hotels in Destin »

More Best Things To Do in Destin

Destin Boat Tours1 of 9
Crystal Beach2 of 9
Type
Time to Spend
#2 Destin Boat Tours

Whether you're looking for a pirate-themed cruise, a romantic sunset sail or a dolphin-spotting excursion, Destin has a boat tour for you. In fact, according to the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau, Destin boasts the largest for-hire fishing fleet in the U.S.

If you're hoping to catch a glimpse of the area's resident bottlenose dolphins, consider booking a tour with Southern Star Dolphin Cruises or Olin Marler's Charter Cruises – both of which come highly recommended by recent travelers. And though many of Destin's boating excursions are considered family-friendly (there's a reason it's one of America's Best Family Beach Vacations), the area's pirate cruises are the real hit with youngsters. Along with treasure hunting, storytelling and water gun battles, young seafarers will also get to sail on a pirate ship replica. Buccaneer Pirate Cruise comes recommended by both the visitors bureau and past travelers. Many companies that offer daytrips and snorkeling excursions also offer sunset sails. Sail Away in particular is favorably rated by recent visitors.

Read more
Emerald Coast Convention Visitors Bureau, Inc
See full list of Best Things To Do in Destin »

Explore More of Destin

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019

The Top Pyramids in Mexico to Visit

Add these ancient marvels to your Mexico vacation itinerary.

Lyn MettlerOctober 28, 2019

30 Top Babymoon Destinations, Trips and Ideas

From romantic beach getaways to big city adventures to glamping in the forest, these locales will inspire your babymoon planning.

Gwen PratesiOctober 15, 2019

15 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant

These tips will help pregnant women travel the world in comfort and style.

Holly JohnsonOctober 10, 2019

The Best Chicago Segway Tours

See all the top sights in the Windy City without breaking a sweat.

Marisa MéndezOctober 3, 2019