Henderson Beach State Park, located near Destin in Okaloosa County, Florida, is a beach lover’s paradise with soft sandy beaches and sparkling emerald waters.
This beloved family vacation destination is only 50 miles east of Penasacola and close to waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment.
This Florida state park was originally developed around the last remaining coastal scrub in Destin and now serves a natural preservation for it.
Visitors love to explore the dunes and vegetation while getting a glimpse of birds and other wildlife native to this area.
In addition to its magnificent beach area, the park also features a nature trail, campsites, and opportunities for fishing, picnicking and nature watching.
Day guests and overnight guests love all that Henderson Beach State Park has to offer.
Its day use area has pavilions with picnic tables and grills (and close proximity to restrooms and showers) to make all visitors more comfortable, and a playground for children to enjoy while their parents rest and take in the views of the gulf of Mexico.
Spend your vacation days at the beach, your afternoons exploring the trail and also the shops and restaurants in nearby Destin and then camp out under the stars falling asleep to the sounds of the water and wildlife.
Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to Henderson Beach State Park:
Swimming at Henderson Beach State Park
Beautiful emerald green waters and clear sandy beach await you at Henderson Beach State Park.
Bring your swimsuit and enjoy some quality time, just be sure to pay attention to the Warning Flag Signs located on the beach and at the welcome stations.
The different colored flags represent whether swimming conditions are safe or not.
Hiking at Henderson Beach State Park
Henderson Beach State Park’s only trail allows visitors to explore the ancient and shifting dunes and coastal scrub while experiencing breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico and of the park from above.
Nature Trail – Easy 0.7 mile sandy trail across the dunes, coastal scrub and vegetation. The highest dune, once a military bunker, features stunning views of the park and the variety of wildlife inside it.
Fishing at Henderson Beach State Park
The park is located in an area known for fishing with visitors regularly catching catfish, flounder, red fish, pompano and cobia.
Try your luck during your visit to Henderson Beach State Park, just make sure to pick up a Florida fishing license ahead of time.
Bait and tackle are not sold inside the park and fishing is not permitted between the boardwalks.
Birding at Henderson Beach State Park
The park attracts many species of native and migrating birds and is an ideal spot for bird lovers of all ages. See songbirds, waterfowl, wading birds and raptors during your visit.
If you’ll be visiting the park during the fall keep an eye out for migrating monarch butterflies.
Nature and Wildlife at Henderson Beach State Park
Discover many types of colorful fish plus dolphins, sea turtles and more along the beach and in the water during your visit to Henderson Beach State Park.
While camping or quietly exploring the trail you may see snakes, lizards, rabbits, turtles, snakes and possibly a bobcat.
Pets at Henderson Beach State Park
Pets are allowed at Henderson Beach State Park but only in limited areas and only if they are leashed and supervised at all times.
Pets are not permitted in any park buildings, on the beach or in the playground area. Service animals are not considered pets and may access any parts of the park.
Camping at Henderson Beach State Park
Camp out under the stars but close to the hustle of city life (shopping, restaurants and more) at Henderson Beach State Park.
The park’s 60 campsites are back-in or pull-through and suitable for either RVs or tents.
All campsites have electric and water connections, a picnic table, grill and a clothesline post.
Bathhouses are conveniently located nearby and also contain laundry facilities and vending machines.
Henderson Beach State Park
17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy
Destin, FL 32541
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at https://www.youtube.com/embed/Jc4wBjabAOc: