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Henderson Beach State Park

17000 Emerald Coast Parkway
Destin, FL 32541

850-837-7550

Imagine a majestic shoreline anchored by 30-foot, snow white sand dunes where basking in the Florida sun or wading into warm Gulf waters is the order of each and every day.

No need to daydream — Henderson Beach makes this a reality. This protected strip of the Emerald Coast isn’t just for relaxation. Fishing, a nature trail and 60 campsites connected to the beach via boardwalk are among this park’s featured areas. This special place was established for the preservation and protection of the area’s natural features and public enjoyment, the last remaining coastal scrub area in Destin.

The park also provides beautiful campsites, and it’s a great place for events like weddings and family reunions.

Experiences

Bicycling
The park does not have any bicycle trails or paths, however many of our campers enjoy bicycling along the park's mile long paved road.  You may also enter the park by bicycle and enjoy a ride to the beach.  Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.  To preserve the natural areas of the park, bicycles are limited to paved roadways and are not permitted on boardwalks.

Camping
The park has 60 campsites that can accommodate either tents or RVs, with a mixture of back in and pull-through sites. The sites have water, electricity (all sites have both 30 and 50-amp service except campsites #28 and #29); picnic tables, ground grills and clothesline posts. Campsites do not have sewer connections; a centrally located dump station is provided for proper disposal of waste. Amenities include heated and air-conditioned restrooms with showers, coin operated washers, dryers and vending machines. Pets are welcome at campsites. Unlike remote wilderness camping, provisions and restaurants are a short drive away. The nearby three-quarter mile nature trail meanders through ancient but still growing and shifting dunes, with vegetation known as coastal scrub. The trail provides a vista of the park, and in some places, the Gulf of Mexico. Maximum RV length = 60 ft. Reservations: Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287.

Family Reunions
The picnic pavilions are available to rent for weddings, reunions, and other special events. For more information please go to the Friends of Emerald Coast State Parks.

Fishing
Destin is known as the luckiest fishing village in the world. Visitors wishing to try their luck in the surf may catch popular species such as pompano, red fish, flounder, catfish, whiting, and sometimes *****. Fishing is prohibited between the boardwalks and fish cleaning stations are not available. Bait & Tackle can be purchased just outside of the park. All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season.  A fishing license may be required.  More information is available at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fishing in Florida.

Geo-Seeking
Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) devices. It's effectively an inexpensive, interactive, high-tech treasure hunt that's a great way to learn geography. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. Some caches are easy to find; others are more difficult. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you have never been. Geocaching should have minimal impact to the environment and conscientious land use ethics should be followed.

Operation Recreation GeoTour
Hiking
The three-quarter mile pet-friendly trail meanders though ancient but still growing and shifting dunes and unique vegetation know as coastal scrub. The trail provides a beautiful vista of the park from atop one of the dunes. This high dune has developed around the remnants of a bunker built decades ago when the military was using the area. The trail was built by park staff and volunteers and funded by the Friends of Emerald Coast State Parks (Citizen Support Organization) and the neighboring Wal-Mart. Guided Tours: Available upon request.

Picnicking
The day use area has six pavilions with barbecue grills, picnic tables, and three restroom facilities. These pavilions provide the only shade on the sun-drenched beach, unless visitors bring their own umbrellas. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.

Swimming
The beach at Henderson Beach State Park stretches more than a mile along a white sugar sand natural scenic shoreline. The emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico are perfect for a swim. Visitors to coastal parks are reminded to pay close attention to the colored flags posted at welcome stations and on the beaches. These flags indicate the swimming conditions at the beach. Double red flags mean absolutely no swimming because of high winds, surf, and/or rip currents; single red means high hazard with high surf and/or strong currents; yellow means  medium hazard with moderte surf and/or currents; green means low hazard; purple means that stinging marine life may be present. Please use caution! Lifeguards are not provided.

Wildlife Viewing
Bird watchers can enjoy sighting wading birds and shore birds, as well as migratory birds in the spring and fall. Migrating monarch butterflies visit the park most years in the fall as well. Dolphins, sea turtles and fish species may be sighted off the beach, and small reptile species are frequently seen in the nature trail area. The park is also home to rabbits, bobcats, and gopher tortoises that may be seen occaisonally when the park is quiet.

Amenities

Accessible Amenities
Henderson Beach State Park is committed to providing a variety of accessible amenities to all of its visitors. Those amenities include:

Beach wheelchairs
Picnic pavilions and benches
Grills
Accessible campsites
Shower Station
The day use areas have outdoor cold showers provided for your convenience. They are located adjacent to day use bathhouses. Also, for our registered campers there is an outdoor shower conveniently located on the trail returning to your campsite.

Playground
For your children's enjoyment, a modern playground facility is conveniently located overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The playground is located in the day use area of the park at the beginning of the nature trail. A covered seating area has been added to provide shade for onlookers. For your child's safety please ensure that adult supervision is provided at all times.

Pets
Pets are permitted in parking lots, on the nature trail, and on the sidewalk in the day use area. Pets are not permitted on the beach, in playgrounds or in any park buildings. They must be kept on a hand-held leash that is no longer than six-feet and be well-behaved at all times. Pet owners are required to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of their droppings. Courtesy "mutt mitts" are available in a few locations throughout the park. Service animals are welcome in all areas of Florida State Parks. Pets are absolutely not to be left unattended in, or leashed to a vehicle.

Picnic Pavilion
Six picnic pavilions are available with three of those being adjacent to restrooms. All pavilions feature barbecue grills near beach boardwalks. They provide the perfect place to enjoy lunch with family and friends. Outdoor showers are available. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all day-use areas of the park, including picnic pavilions and beach. Pavilions are available for special events. For more information please contact Friends of Emerald Coast State Parks.

Beach
Our family oriented beach is one of the area's most prized assets. Depending on the season, your beach experience could be highlighted by sightings of dolphins, sea turtles, migratory birds, butterflies and as always a gorgeous sunset. For visitors in wheelchairs, an all-terrain beach wheelchair is available to provide access to beach areas. Please check at the Ranger Station for more information. No alcohol, glass, fires, or animals are allowed on the beach. Visitors to coastal parks are reminded to pay close attention to the Warning Flag Signs posted at welcome stations and on the beaches. These flags indicate the swimming conditions at the beach. Please use caution! Lifeguards are not provided.

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