Searching for the best public beaches in Destin Florida? Look no further! I have all the answers you need. Out of all the coastal locales out there, nothing beats a beach vacation to Destin and its surrounding Panhandle area.
As someone who makes sure to visit the Destin area at least two to three times every year—despite being an over six-hour drive away from me—the emerald waters and stunning neighborhoods will forever remain at the top of my list.
Destin is a beautiful coastal city nestled along the Emerald Coast. It has been a popular tourist destination for many years and boasts some of the most stunning beaches in the country. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to relax or an area with plenty of activities and amenities nearby, Destin has it all!
And with its many public beach access points, it’s easy to find a spot for you and your family to enjoy the Florida sunshine.
Public Beaches in Destin Florida
We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best public beaches in Destin Florida. Whether you’re looking for a spot to lounge and sunbathe or an area with plenty of activities nearby, there’s something here for everyone:
1. Norriego Point
Nestled between the Destin Harbor and East Pass lies Norriego Point—a stunning destination in Destin, Florida. Tourists and locals alike can enjoy a day at the beach by visiting this prime spot.
Located near the end of Holiday Isle, Norriego Point is a tranquil paradise that features captivating views.
On one side stands Destin Harbor, while on the other lies an east pass leading out to Gulf of Mexico. What’s more? With inlets created by nearby jetties and protected from strong ocean currents, swimming here is as effortless as it gets!
Plan accordingly though, as there are no restrooms at this access.
➡️ Free Access
➡️ Parking Available
➡️Open Dawn to Dusk
➡️ 9.27 acres
🚗27 parking spaces
🚿 Showers and overlooks the east pass
🚫NO restrooms (coming soon)
📌 Norriego Point Beach Access and Park
Gulf Shore Drive (Holiday Isle) Destin, FL 32541
2. June White Decker Park
At June White Decker Park, you don’t need to be a guest of an expensive resort the enjoy Destin’s stunning shoreline. Situated along Scenic US Highway 98, this small stretch of beach offers 1,000 feet or so of powdery white sands ideal for swimming and sunbathing.
Of course, being such a popular destination means it can get crowded quickly, so it pays to arrive early if possible – and luckily there is ample parking to make that easier. In addition to easy access, there is also a beach walkover and bike rack for those wanting to explore further down the shore.
🚻Public Restrooms + Showers
➡️Dawn to Dusk
➡️Free to access
👉approximately .29 acres
🚗70+ parking spaces
June White Decker Park
1950 Scenic Hwy 98 , Destin, FL 32541
3. Shore at Crystal Park
Immerse yourself in a day of rest and relaxation at this beautiful park! Take shelter from the sun beneath its pavilion or take an invigorating stroll to the beach, where you’ll find magnificent views of powdery white sand and shimmering emerald Gulf waters. With only nine parking spaces, you’ll likely need to walk or bike over. But there are restrooms, showers, and picnic tables all available onsite so you’ll have great amenities once you arrive.
❗Parking area BUT only 9 spaces
➡️Dawn to Dusk
➡️Free to access
Shore at Crystal Beach Park
2966 Scenic Highway 98, Destin, FL 32541
4. Henderson Beach State Park
Experience a breathtaking shoreline where towering 30-foot, snow-white sand dunes dominate the landscape. Spend your days soaking up the Florida sunshine or dipping into refreshingly warm gulf waters – an ideal getaway awaits!
If you’re looking for an excursion to the Emerald Coast that is not only calming but also action-packed, then this protected strip of shoreline is the place for you! With 60 campsites connected directly to the beach by boardwalks and plenty of opportunities for fishing or taking a stroll on its nature trail, this park has something fun and exciting awaiting everyone.
Come to the park and make use of over 300 parking spaces, beach wheelchairs, covered picnic pavilions with restroom facilities and grills. Furthermore, accessible campsites and parking are available for your convenience!
***Admission Fee$6 per vehicle. Max. 8 people per vehicle. $4 Single Occupant Vehicle. $2 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.
💲Admission fee required
Henderson Beach State Park
17000 Emerald Coast Parkway, Destin, FL 32541
5. James Lee Park
James Lee Park and Beach, affectionately dubbed as ‘Crab Trap Beach’ by locals, rests right next to the beloved Crab Trap restaurant. After a day of splashing in the waves or leisurely strolling on the shoreline – this is an ideal spot for refueling, making it easy to grab grub before or after your beach adventure!
While there are a good number of parking spots (over 150+) Plan accordingly to ensure you score a good spot —as it tends to fill up quickly.
This beach access is packed with features, making it the perfect spot for your next family outing! Enjoy 3 pavilions, 41 picnic tables, 9 dune walkovers, and a playground; or take advantage of the on-site restrooms featuring changing rooms.
If you’re looking for a place to bask in the sun while enjoying a delicious lunch or dinner within close proximity, then this is an ideal beach access point!
➡️Beach swim area
➡️Picnic area + tables
➡️Free to access
James Lee Park
3510 Scenic Hwy 98, Destin, FL 32541
Summing It Up
So there you have it! Whether you’re looking for a beach with plenty of parking, activities for kids and adults alike, or simply a place to soak up some sun – you’ll find what you’re looking for at one of these great public beaches in Destin! So why wait? Gather your family, friends & sunscreen and make your way to these stunning beaches in Destin today!
Are the beaches free in Destin?
The majority of the public beaches in Destin are free to access, with the exception of Henderson Beach State Park, which requires a nominal admission fee.
What amenities do the beaches in Destin offer?
The public beaches in Destin typically offer a variety of amenities for visitors to enjoy such as parking areas, pavilions, picnic areas and tables, playgrounds, restrooms with changing rooms, and showers. But you’ll definitely want to check the access info first, as the amenities vary at each.
Is parking free at the beaches in Destin?
At most of the public beaches in Destin, there is no charge for parking. However, Henderson Beach State Park charges a nominal admission fee per vehicle, with discounts available for single-occupancy vehicles and pedestrians/bicyclists. It’s important though to get there as early as possible, as the lots typically fill up fast, especially during peak season.
What is the prettiest beach in Destin Florida?
That’s a tough question, but many locals and visitors alike believe that Henderson Beach State Park is one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Destin. With its crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and breathtaking views – it’s no wonder why! Additionally, Henderson Beach offers plenty of amenities including picnic areas, pavilions, restrooms and showers, making it a great spot for the whole family. It’s certainly worth checking out if you’re in Destin!
What is the least crowded beach in Destin Florida?
We have to go with Henderson Beach State Park again on this one. It’s located a bit further from the city center, which helps to keep it a bit less crowded than some of the other beaches — especially in peak season. Additionally, there is an admission fee that keeps visitors to a minimum. Nevertheless, it’s still very popular and you should plan accordingly to ensure you score a parking spot!