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Top Beaches In Destin Florida? A Quick Guide To The Top Spots in 2023

top beaches in destin florida

Looking for the top beaches in Destin Florida? If you’re planning a beach vacation, Destin, Florida is a great place to consider. Known for its crystal-clear emerald waters, white sand beaches, and sunny weather, Destin has a variety of beaches to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or a place to enjoy water sports, there’s a beach in Destin that’s perfect for you.

Are you planning your trip to the Florida Panhandle last minute?


If you are booking your trip to the Florida Panhandle last minute, we have you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

⭐Top Experiences and Tours in the Florida Panhandle:

  1. Best Private Charter Fishing (the top seller!)
  2. 3 Hr Tiki Crab Island Sandbar Fun (Highly rated!)
  3. Sunset Cruise from Destin Harbor (Gorgeous Photos!)
  4. Parasailing Adventure (So popular!)
  5. Crab Island Pontoon Rentals (Must do!)

🛌  Top Hotels in the Panhandle:

  1. The Watercolor Inn & Resort (Watercolor)
  2. Camp Creek Inn (Seacrest)
  3. Hotel Effie San Destin (San Destin)

🚗  Looking for the best way to get around the Florida Keys? Click here to check rental car rates for Florida!

One of the most popular beaches in Destin is Henderson Beach State Park. With over 6,000 feet of shoreline, this beach offers plenty of space for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. The park also has nature trails, picnic areas, and playgrounds, making it a great spot for families. Crystal Sands Beach is another popular option, known for its soft white sand and clear blue water. This beach is great for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

Overview of Destin Beaches

top beaches in destin florida umbrella

If you’re looking for a beach vacation, Destin, Florida has a lot to offer. With crystal-clear waters and sugar-white sand, the beaches here are some of the most beautiful in the world.

Destin is located in Florida’s Panhandle, which is known for its stunning beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. The area is often referred to as the Emerald Coast because of the bright green waters that are so clear you can see the bottom.

There are several public beach parks in Destin, each with its own unique amenities and beach trails. Some of the top beaches in Destin Florida include:

  • Henderson Beach State Park: This beach has over 6,000 feet of shoreline and is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. There are also nature trails and picnic areas.
  • Crystal Beach: This beach is known for its crystal-clear waters and soft, white sand. It’s a great spot for families with children because of its calm waters and gentle waves.
  • Miramar Beach: This beach is located just east of Destin and is known for its luxurious resorts and high-end shopping. The beach itself is beautiful and is a great spot for swimming and sunbathing.
  • Gulf Islands National Seashore: This beach is located just west of Destin and is a protected area with miles of pristine beaches and natural habitats. It’s a great spot for birdwatching and hiking.

No matter which beach you choose, you’re sure to have a great time in Destin. With so many options, there’s something for everyone.

The Beauty of Destin’s Beaches

top beaches in destin florida boardwalk

Destin is known for its stunning beaches that offer a variety of activities and breathtaking views. The beaches in Destin are famous for their white sand and emerald-green waters. Here are some of the highlights of the top beaches in Destin Florida:

  • White Sand Beaches: The beaches in Destin are famous for their sugar-white sands that are soft and powdery. You can sink your toes into the sand and enjoy the warmth of the sun while relaxing on the beach. The sand is so white that it reflects the sunlight, making the water appear even more beautiful.
  • Emerald Waters: The emerald-green water in Destin is a sight to behold. The water is crystal clear, and you can see the bottom even in deep water. The color of the water is due to the reflection of sunlight on the white sand bottom, creating a stunning emerald hue.
  • Crystal Clear Water: The water in Destin is so clear that you can see the fish swimming around you. The clarity of the water is due to the absence of sediment and pollution. The clear water is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving, allowing you to explore the underwater world.

Destin’s beaches are perfect for a variety of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, surfing, and more. The beaches are family-friendly, and there are plenty of beachfront restaurants and shops to keep everyone entertained.

In conclusion, Destin’s beaches are a must-visit for anyone looking for a relaxing and beautiful vacation. The white sand, emerald green water, and crystal clear water make it a paradise for beach lovers.

What Beaches are in Destin Florida?

top beaches in destin florida dunes

If you’re looking for a great beach vacation, Destin, Florida is the perfect destination. With its emerald green waters and soft, white sand beaches, Destin has something for everyone. Here are some of the top beaches in Destin Florida that you should definitely check out.

Henderson Beach State Park

Henderson Beach State Park is a beautiful beach that is perfect for families. The beach has plenty of amenities, including picnic tables, showers, and restrooms. There are also plenty of activities to enjoy, such as fishing, swimming, and hiking. The beach is known for its crystal clear waters and soft, white sand.

Miramar Beach

Miramar Beach is a great spot for those who want to enjoy the beach and do some shopping. The beach is located near the Sandestin resort area and is close to the Silver Sands outlet mall and Grand Boulevard Town Center. The public beach access for Miramar Beach is located next to the Pampano Joe restaurant.

Crystal Beach

Crystal Beach is a quiet and peaceful beach that is perfect for those who want to relax and unwind. The beach is known for its crystal clear waters and soft, white sand. There are also plenty of activities to enjoy, such as fishing, swimming, and sunbathing.

Norriego Point

Norriego Point is a great spot for those who want to enjoy the beach and do some boating. The beach is located on the east side of Destin and is known for its crystal clear waters and soft, white sand. There are also plenty of activities to enjoy, such as fishing, swimming, and boating.

James Lee Beach

James Lee Beach is a popular spot for those who want to enjoy the beach and do some fishing. The beach is known for its crystal clear waters and soft, white sand. There are also plenty of activities to enjoy, such as fishing, swimming, and sunbathing.

Okaloosa Island

Okaloosa Island is a great spot for those who want to enjoy the beach and do some water sports. The beach is known for its crystal clear waters and soft, white sand. There are also plenty of activities to enjoy, such as fishing, swimming, and water sports.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is a beautiful beach that is perfect for those who want to enjoy the beach and do some hiking. The beach is located on the east side of Destin and is known for its crystal clear waters and soft, white sand. There are also plenty of activities to enjoy, such as hiking, fishing, and swimming.

Princess Beach

Princess Beach is a quiet and peaceful beach that is perfect for those who want to relax and unwind. The beach is known for its crystal clear waters and soft, white sand. There are also plenty of activities to enjoy, such as fishing, swimming, and sunbathing.

June White Decker Beach

June White Decker Beach is a great spot for those who want to enjoy the beach and do some fishing. The beach is known for its crystal clear waters and soft, white sand. There are also plenty of activities to enjoy, such as fishing, swimming, and sunbathing.

Overall, Destin has some of the best beaches in Florida. Whether you want to relax on the beach or enjoy some water sports, there is something for everyone in Destin.

Beach Amenities

top beaches in destin florida

When you visit the beaches in Destin, Florida, you’ll find that they offer a variety of amenities that can make your trip more enjoyable. Here are some of the amenities you can expect to find at the public beaches in the area:

Parking

Most of the public beaches in Destin have parking lots available for visitors. Some of the lots are small and may fill up quickly during peak season, so you may want to arrive early to ensure you can find a spot. Some of the beaches also offer free parking, while others require a fee.

Restrooms

All of the public beaches in Destin have restrooms available for visitors. Some of the restrooms are basic, while others are more elaborate and offer changing areas and showers.

Restaurants

While there are no restaurants directly on the beaches in Destin, there are plenty of restaurants nearby where you can grab a bite to eat. Some of the beaches have food trucks or snack bars available during peak season.

Playground

If you’re traveling with children, you’ll be happy to know that some of the beaches in Destin have playgrounds available. These areas offer a fun way for kids to burn off some energy when they need a break from the water.

Pavilions

Some of the beaches in Destin have pavilions available for rent. These structures offer a shaded area where you can relax and enjoy the beach without getting too much sun.

Picnic Tables

If you’re planning to bring a picnic lunch to the beach, you’ll be happy to know that most of the public beaches in Destin have picnic tables available. These tables offer a convenient place to eat and enjoy the scenery.

Overall, the public beaches in Destin offer a variety of amenities that can make your trip more enjoyable. Whether you’re looking for a place to park, a restroom, a snack, or a shaded area to relax, you’ll find what you need at one of the many beaches in the area.

Top Beaches In Destin Florida & Important Info Table

Here’s an easy-to-reference table we’ve created for you to quickly glance at and find the best beach for you in Destin Florida.

Beach NameAddressAmenitiesParkingBathroomsAdditional Notes
Henderson Beach State Park17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541Picnic tables, showersYesYesPerfect for families, activities include fishing, swimming, and hiking
Miramar BeachScenic Gulf Drive, Destin, FL 32550Limited amenities, nearby shoppingLimitedNoClose to the Sandestin resort area and shopping centers
Crystal BeachScenic Highway 98, Destin, FL 32541Limited amenitiesLimitedNoQuiet and peaceful, activities include fishing, swimming, and sunbathing
Norriego PointGulf Shore Drive, Destin, FL 32541Limited amenitiesLimitedNoIdeal for boating, activities include fishing, swimming
James Lee Beach3510 Scenic Hwy 98, Destin, FL 32541Limited amenitiesYesYesPopular for fishing, activities include swimming and sunbathing
Okaloosa IslandSanta Rosa Blvd, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548Limited amenitiesYesYesIdeal for water sports, activities include fishing and swimming
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459Limited amenitiesYesYesPerfect for hikers, activities include hiking, fishing, and swimming
Princess BeachCalhoun Ave, Destin, FL 32541Limited amenitiesLimitedNoQuiet and peaceful, activities include fishing, swimming, and sunbathing
June White Decker Beach7235 US-98, Destin, FL 32541Limited amenitiesLimitedNoGreat for fishing, activities include swimming and sunbathing

Please note: This table is based on the information provided and further research may be needed for the most accurate and up-to-date data, such as parking fees, specific amenities, accessibility, etc.

Water Activities

top beaches in destin florida surfing

Destin, Florida is known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it the perfect destination for water activities. Whether you enjoy swimming, snorkeling, fishing, paddleboarding, parasailing, or simply lounging on a boat, there is something for everyone.

One of the most popular water activities in Destin is swimming. With its calm waters and gentle waves, the beaches are perfect for a refreshing dip. If you’re looking for a more adventurous experience, you can try snorkeling to see the colorful marine life that inhabits the waters.

Fishing is another popular activity in Destin, which is known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”. You can choose from a variety of fishing charters and tours that cater to both experienced anglers and beginners. You can catch a variety of fish, including red snapper, grouper, and amberjack.

If you’re looking for a more relaxing activity, you can try paddleboarding. Paddleboarding is a fun and easy way to explore the waters while getting some exercise. You can rent paddleboards from various rental shops located near the beaches.

For those who want to experience the thrill of flying, parasailing is a must-try activity. You can soar above the waters and enjoy breathtaking views of the coastline. Parasailing tours are available for both individuals and groups.

If you want to explore the waters in style, you can rent a boat and cruise along the coast. You can choose from a variety of boats, including pontoon boats, speedboats, and yachts. You can also take a boat tour to explore the waters and see the local wildlife.

In conclusion, Destin, Florida offers a wide range of water activities for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, there is something for you. So, grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and get ready to make some unforgettable memories in the beautiful waters of Destin.

Safety Precautions

When visiting the beaches in Destin, Florida, it’s important to take safety precautions to ensure a fun and safe day in the sun. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always swim near a lifeguard. If you’re unsure where the lifeguard station is, ask a beach attendant or check the beach map.
  • Pay attention to beach flags. The flag warning system is in place to keep you safe. If you see a red flag, it means high hazard conditions, and you should stay out of the water. Yellow flags indicate moderate hazard conditions, and green flags mean low hazard conditions.
  • Be aware of rip currents. If you get caught in a rip current, don’t fight it. Swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of the current, and then swim back to shore. If you’re unsure how to identify a rip current, ask a lifeguard for assistance.
  • Stay hydrated. The Florida sun can be intense, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Wear sunscreen. Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
  • Don’t leave valuables unattended on the beach. Keep your belongings with you or in a secure location.
  • Observe sea turtle nesting guidelines. It’s illegal to harm or disturb sea turtles or their nests.

By following these safety precautions, you can enjoy a day at the beach without any worries. Remember to always be aware of your surroundings and ask a lifeguard for assistance if you need it.

Wildlife and Natural Habitat

dolphins playing

When you visit Destin, Florida, you’ll be amazed by the abundance of wildlife and natural habitat in the area. The beaches and natural areas of Destin-Fort Walton Beach are home to a variety of wildlife, including sea turtles, birds, and dolphins. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to spot these creatures as you stroll along the beaches, trails, and natural parks.

One of the most impressive natural habitats in Destin is the dunes. These sand formations are an important part of the coastal ecosystem, providing a home for many species of plants and animals. The dunes also help protect the beaches from erosion and storm surges.

If you’re interested in learning more about the wildlife and natural habitat of Destin, there are many opportunities to do so. The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is a great place to see marine life up close, including dolphins, sea turtles, and sharks. The park also offers educational programs and exhibits that teach visitors about the importance of conservation.

Destin-Fort Walton Beach is also home to many state parks and natural areas where you can explore the local flora and fauna. Henderson Beach State Park is a popular destination for nature lovers, with its beautiful beaches, dunes, and coastal forests. The park also offers hiking trails and picnic areas.

When you visit Destin, be sure to take some time to appreciate the natural beauty of the area. Whether you’re watching dolphins play in the waves or exploring the dunes, you’ll be amazed by the diversity of wildlife and natural habitat that surrounds you.

Nearby Attractions

When you’re not lounging on the beach, there are plenty of nearby attractions to explore in Destin, Florida. Here are some of the top picks:

  • Destin Harbor: Head to Destin Harbor for some of the best seafood restaurants in the area. Take a stroll along the harbor and admire the boats, or book a fishing charter to catch your own dinner.
  • Gulf of Mexico: Of course, the main attraction in Destin is the Gulf of Mexico. Rent a jet ski or go parasailing for an exciting view of the emerald waters.
  • Crab Island: This sandbar in the middle of the bay is a popular spot for boaters to anchor and wade in the shallow water. You can even rent a pontoon boat to spend the day here.
  • Baytowne Wharf: Located in nearby Sandestin, Baytowne Wharf is a charming village with shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Check the calendar for live music and events.
  • HarborWalk Village: This boardwalk is the heart of Destin’s entertainment scene. Browse the shops, grab a bite to eat, or catch a fireworks show on Thursday nights.
  • Choctawhatchee Bay: If you prefer calmer waters, head to Choctawhatchee Bay for paddleboarding, kayaking, or fishing.
  • Emerald Coast: The beaches along the Emerald Coast are known for their soft, white sand and clear water. Take a drive along Scenic Highway 30A to explore the charming beach towns.

No matter what you’re interested in, there’s something for everyone in Destin, Florida.

Accommodations and Dining

When it comes to accommodations and dining in Destin, you have plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious resort or a cozy vacation rental, there’s something for everyone.

For those who prefer resorts, there are plenty of options available. Some of the top-rated beach resorts in Destin include the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, The Henderson – A Salamander Beach & Spa Resort, and the Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village. These resorts offer a wide range of amenities, including pools, spas, restaurants, and more.

If you’re looking for a more private vacation, vacation rentals are a great option. There are plenty of vacation rental companies in Destin that offer a variety of properties, from beachfront condos to spacious villas. Some of the most popular vacation rental companies in Destin include Wyndham Vacation Rentals, ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, and Southern Vacation Rentals.

When it comes to dining, Destin has no shortage of options. Whether you’re looking for seafood, steak, or something else entirely, there’s a restaurant in Destin that will suit your taste. Some of the top-rated restaurants in Destin include The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House, Beach Walk at Henderson Park Inn, and Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House.

In addition to restaurants, there are also plenty of shops and entertainment options in Destin. HarborWalk Village is a popular destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. The Village of Baytowne Wharf is another great option, with a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Overall, Destin is a great destination for a beach vacation, with plenty of accommodations, dining options, and entertainment to choose from.

Special Events and Occasions

Destin, Florida is not only known for its beautiful beaches but also for its special events and occasions. Whether you are planning a beach wedding, a romantic sunset excursion, or just looking for some fun activities, Destin has something for everyone.

If you are planning a beach wedding, Destin offers a wide variety of options. From small intimate ceremonies to large extravagant affairs, there are many venues to choose from. Some popular venues include the Henderson Beach State Park, the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, and the Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village. Many of these venues offer wedding packages that include everything from the ceremony to the reception, making your planning process stress-free.

If you are looking for a romantic sunset excursion, Destin has many options to choose from. Take a sunset sail on a catamaran or a dinner cruise on a yacht and watch the sun dip below the horizon. You can also take a sunset paddleboard or kayak tour and explore the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Whatever your preference, watching the sunset in Destin is a must-do activity.

In addition to weddings and sunset excursions, Destin also offers a variety of fun activities for any occasion. Take a dolphin-watching tour, go parasailing, or rent a jet ski and explore the coastline. You can also take a fishing charter and try your luck at catching some of the Gulf’s edible gifts from the sea.

No matter what your occasion is, Destin has something to offer. With its beautiful beaches and many attractions, it is the perfect destination for any special event or occasion.

Accessibility

Destin, Florida offers a variety of beaches with different levels of accessibility to accommodate all visitors, including those with disabilities or mobility issues. Here are some tips to help you plan your beach trip:

Beach Wheelchair Rentals

If you or a loved one has mobility issues, consider renting a beach wheelchair to make your trip more comfortable. Destin Wheels Beach Rental Service offers beach wheelchairs that are specially designed to navigate through the sand. They can even deliver the wheelchair to your hotel or beach access point. Call (850) 259-4131 for a reservation.

Access Points

Destin has several beach access points that are wheelchair accessible, including June White Decker Beach Park, which has over 70 parking spaces, showers, and restrooms. Gulfplace in Santa Rosa Beach also has a beach access point that caters to the handicap.

Other Tips

Here are some other tips to help make your beach trip more accessible:

  • Check the weather and tide conditions before you go to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.
  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Consider bringing a beach umbrella or tent for shade.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that are easy to move around in.
  • Don’t forget to pack any necessary medication or medical equipment.

By following these tips and utilizing the available resources, you can enjoy a fun and accessible beach vacation in Destin, Florida.

Planning Your Visit to The Top Beaches in Destin Florida

If you’re planning a beach vacation, Destin, Florida is an excellent destination for beachgoers of all ages. With its pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear emerald-colored water, Destin offers the perfect setting for a relaxing and fun-filled beach getaway.

Whether you’re looking to retire to the beach or just looking for a weekend getaway, Destin has plenty of options for you. There are many beaches to choose from, each with its own unique features and attractions. Some of the most popular beaches in Destin include Henderson Beach State Park, James Lee Park, and Crystal Beach.

If you’re looking for a more secluded beach experience, consider visiting one of Destin’s sandbars. These sandbars are located just off the coast of Holiday Isle and offer a unique beach experience that is perfect for those looking to escape the crowds.

When planning your visit to Destin, it’s important to keep in mind that the beaches can get crowded during peak holiday seasons. To avoid the crowds, consider visiting during the off-season or on weekdays. Additionally, many of the beaches in Destin require a fee for parking, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Overall, Destin, Florida is an excellent destination for beachgoers looking for a fun and relaxing beach vacation. With its beautiful beaches, unique sandbars, and abundance of attractions, there’s something for everyone in Destin.

Frequently Asked Questions about The top beaches in Destin Florida

What is the clearest beach in Destin, Florida?

Crystal Beach is known for having some of the clearest waters in the area. The water is turquoise and crystal clear, making it a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities.

Which beaches near Destin are less crowded?

If you’re looking for a less crowded beach near Destin, you might want to check out Miramar Beach or Santa Rosa Beach. Both of these beaches are located just a short drive from Destin and tend to be less crowded than some of the more popular beaches in the area.

What are some attractions near Henderson Beach in Destin?

Henderson Beach State Park is a popular destination in Destin, and there are plenty of attractions nearby. Some of the top attractions include the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, and the Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park.

Where can I find a map of beaches in Destin, Florida?

You can find a map of beaches in Destin, Florida online or at the local tourist information center. The map will show you the location of all the beaches in the area, as well as any amenities or attractions nearby.

What is Crystal Beach like in Destin, Florida?

Crystal Beach is a beautiful beach in Destin, Florida. The water is crystal clear and the sand is white and soft. It’s a great place to relax and soak up the sun, and there are plenty of amenities nearby, including restaurants, shops, and beach rentals.

What are some recommended hotels and resorts in Destin, Florida?

Some of the top hotels and resorts in Destin, Florida include the Henderson Beach Resort, the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, and the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa. Each of these properties offers luxurious accommodations, beautiful amenities, and easy access to the beach.

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