Perhaps the biggest draw to Henderson Beach State Park – aside from its relaxed atmosphere – is the sugar-white sand of the 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 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.