13 Best Beaches In Destin FL (And Nearby!) You Must Visit
Upon reading our list of fantastic Destin beaches, you will immediately want to pack your bags and get there. Destin lies in the northern part of Florida, on the Panhandle, which is separated from the rest of the state by the Gulf of Mexico.
One of the world's most stunning beaches may be found in Destin. As its name indicates, the water at this Panhandle beach is a brilliant shade of green. The water at many Florida beaches is colder than that in Mexico and has vivid hues. This is likely because of the strong currents of warm water streaming from the Gulfstream.
This article includes the top beaches in Destin, based on beautiful scenery, activities available, and amenities nearby.
1. John Beasley Park Beachphoto source: Pixabay
John Beasley Park is a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike. Located near the scenic beaches of Destin, Florida, this sprawling park is known for its long stretches of sandy beaches, which offer plenty of places to lounge in the sun or go for a swim.
In fact, it's often regarded as one of the best beaches in Destin, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to soak up the Florida sunshine and enjoy all that the Gulf Coast has to offer. So if you're ready to experience first-hand all the wonders of summer in Destin, be sure to stop by John Beasley Park – you won't regret it!
Parking near Destin's beaches might be a hassle, but with 208 spots available at John Beasley Park, you have a better chance of finding a place. This beach has fantastic amenities, including a huge pavilion with 12 picnic tables, a bathroom, a shower, and changing rooms, making it ideal for families.
Alternately, if you're seeking excitement, heading west will lead you to The Boardwalk. Several restaurants, malls, fishing piers, and a Gulfarium may all be found in the vicinity.
Read also: Fort Lauderdale: 5 Best Things To Do
2. James Lee Beachphoto source: Pixabay
This beach has been named the most beautiful beach in Florida, and it's not hard to see why. With its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush vegetation, James Lee Beach is a true oasis.
Located along the beaches in Florida, James Lee Beach is a hidden gem known for its emerald waters and spectacular sand dunes. With miles of beautiful beaches that span from Blue Mountain Beach to Henderson Point, there is no shortage of stunning scenery to enjoy here. After cruising along the tranquil waterways of Destin Harbor, visitors can stop and relax on any of James Lee Park's pristine beaches.
The water at James Lee Beach is so clear that you can see the sand at the bottom of the shallows from the shore. The sand is also very fine and soft, making it a perfect place for a relaxing day by the water.
If you're looking for a place to relax and enjoy some time in nature, James Lee Park is the perfect spot. It's also great for families as there are plenty of things to keep everyone entertained.
3. Topsail Hill Preserve State Parkphoto source: Pixabay
With miles of beaches and fascinating sand dunes, Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is truly a paradise for beach-goers. Situated along the beaches of Destin, this park is home to some of the best beaches in Florida and boasts spectacular views of the shimmering blue waters of the Gulf Coast. In addition, its unique topography and varied flora make it a haven for nature lovers.
This 3,000-acre park is home to sugar-white sand beaches, pristine dunes, and diverse ecosystems. Here are some of the highlights of this hidden gem on the Emerald Coast.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is home to three separate beach areas: North Beach, South Beach, and Campbell Lake Beach. North Beach is the largest and most popular beach, with over a mile of sugar-white sand and clear emerald waters. It's the perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnicking, and more. South Beach is a bit smaller but just as beautiful, with its own unique character. And Campbell Lake Beach is a secluded spot perfect for those who want to get away from it all. Whichever beach you choose, you're sure to have an enjoyable experience.
The dunes at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park are truly a sight to behold. These towering sand dunes were formed over thousands of years by wind and waves depositing sand atop existing dunes. Today, they provide a habitat for various plant and animal species and offer visitors breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. Visitors can explore the dunes on foot, by bicycle, or even take a ride on a tram.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is home to five different ecosystems: maritime forests, coastal dune lakes, scrubland, salt marshes, and beach habitats. These diverse ecosystems provide a home for an array of plant and animal species. In fact, over 300 species of birds have been spotted in the park!
4. Dune Allen Beachphoto source: Pixabay
Located along Florida's beautiful Emerald Coast is the picturesque beach town of Dune Allen Beach. With its expansive sand dunes and serene blue waters, this seaside oasis is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and recharge.
Whether you're enjoying a day at the beach or strolling along Destin Harbor, there's no shortage of amazing sights and sounds to take in.
Along with the stunning views and crisp salty air, Dune Allen Beach is also home to an abundance of incredible wildlife. From majestic sea turtles to playful dolphin pods, this coastline is teeming with life.
Whether you're spotting wildlife from shore or navigating through the emerald green waters near Blue Mountain Beach, one thing is for sure - a visit to Dune Allen Beach will leave you blissfully refreshed and completely awestruck!
When you visit Dune Allen Beach, you can expect to find a laid-back atmosphere with a mix of locals and tourists enjoying the sun and surf. The beaches here are nothing short of stunning, with gentle waves lapping against the powdery white sand.
And, since the town is located on the Gulf Islands National Seashore, there's plenty of room to spread out and find your own little piece of paradise. If you're looking for a place to stay, there are several beachfront vacation rentals available. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, there are also several campsites located nearby. No matter where you stay, you'll be sure to enjoy breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.
There are also several great restaurants in Dune Allen Beach, so be sure to save room for lunch or dinner. We recommend The Donut Hole for breakfast, The Red Bar for lunch or dinner, and Modica Market for groceries and snacks.
5. Eglin Matterhorn Beachphoto source: Pixabay
If you're looking for a beach that's a little bit out of the ordinary, then you'll want to check out Eglin Matterhorn Beach in Destin, Florida. This unique beach is named for its similarity to the iconic Swiss mountain, and it's definitely a sight to behold!
This idyllic spot is renowned for its stunning dune walkovers and crystal-clear shallow waters. The beach itself is wide and expansive, making it perfect for soaking up the sun or enjoying some peaceful time by yourself. The beach is just a few hundred meters from Eglin. This beautiful stretch of sand on Okaloosa Island is ideal for nature lovers as well as visitors looking for an authentic beach experience in pristine conditions.
The most distinctive feature of Eglin Matterhorn Beach is, of course, its towering sand dune. This massive dune was created over many years by wind and waves depositing sand at the base of a large rock outcropping. Today, it stands at an impressive 30 feet tall! If you're feeling adventurous, you can climb to the top of the dune for a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. Just be sure to take plenty of water with you, as it can get quite hot at the top!
Once you've had your fill of climbing and exploring, head down to the water for a refreshing swim. The Gulf waters here are typically calm and clear, making them perfect for swimming, boating, and fishing.
6. Henderson Beach State Parksource: Pixabay
When it comes to beaches in Destin FL, Henderson Beach State Park is one of the best. This sprawling beach spot offers miles of pristine sandy shoreline, with warm, calm waters that are perfect for swimming and playing in the sand. With its great beaches and beautiful scenery, Destin Florida has long been a favorite beach destination for locals and tourists alike.
Henderson Beach State Park is located on the Gulf of Mexico and features over 6,000 feet of beautiful white sand beaches. The park also has a nature trail that winds through a coastal forest and dune ecosystem, providing visitors with the perfect opportunity to see some of Florida's native wildlife up close. In addition, the park has an amphitheater where visitors can enjoy ranger-led programs and educational presentations about the local ecosystem.
One of the best things about Henderson Beach State Park is that it feels like a true oasis away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Even though the park is located in Destin—which is a fairly touristy beach town—it doesn't feel crowded or overly commercialized like some of the other beach towns in Florida. It's the perfect place to relax and soak up the incredible views.
7. Crystal Sands Beachphoto source: Pixabay
Tucked away in the northwestern corner of Florida, Destin is a hidden gem that is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors, Orlando and Miami. But what Destin lacks in size, it more than makes up for in beauty. And one of the most beautiful beaches in Destin is Crystal Sand Beach.
Crystal Sand Beach gets its name from the sugar-white sand that blankets the shoreline. The sand is so soft and fine that it feels like walking on powder. And the beach's crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. There's also a boardwalk that runs along the length of the beach, making it perfect for a leisurely stroll or a morning jog.
But what really sets Crystal Sand Beach apart from other beaches in Florida is its seclusion. Because it's located in a residential area, there are never too many people on the beach. So if you're looking for a place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Crystal Sand Beach is the perfect place for you.
8. Princess Beachsource: Pixabay
Princess Beach is located along the beautiful Florida panhandle on Okaloosa Island and can be accessed via the Mid-Bay Bridge. Once you're on the island, simply follow the signs to the beach. There is plenty of parking available, and the beach is also handicap accessible.
With soft white sands and sparkling blue waters, this charming beach is a true oasis for beach bums and sun worshippers alike. Boasting crystal-clear water and unspoiled natural beauty, it truly is the perfect place for a day (or week!) of rest, relaxation, and fun in the sun.
The beach has all of the amenities you would expect - showers, restrooms, picnic tables, grills, and a playground. There are also lifeguards on duty during peak times.
The main activity at Princess Beach is relaxing! But if you're looking for something more active, there are plenty of options. Jet skiing, parasailing, and fishing are all popular activities in the area. You can also take a dolphin tour or go on a sunset cruise. Grab your sunnies and head on down to Princess Beach – it's time to soak up some serious Destin FL vibes!
9. Crab Islandsource: Pixabay
Crab Island Beach is a must for any beach bum. Just steps from the bustling Destin area, this sandy paradise offers miles of stunning coastline where you can soak up the sun, build a sandcastle, or simply relax with your toes in the sand.
With its crystal-clear water and soft golden sand, Crab Island Beach is widely considered to be one of the best beaches in all of Florida. The island is only accessible by boat, and it's a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the stunning views of the Emerald Coast. Despite its popularity, Crab Island remains something of a hidden gem; it's not well-known outside of Destin, and even many locals are unaware of its existence.
The only way to get to Crab Island is by boat. There are several ways to do this; you can rent a pontoon boat or jet ski from one of the many companies in Destin, or you can take a shuttle service from one of the nearby marinas. Once you're on the island, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained.
So come on down to Destin Fl and let each day unfold like a beautiful work of art on Crab Island beach! You won't be disappointed.
10. June White Decker Parksource: Pixabay
Located on Florida's beautiful Emerald Coast, June White Decker Park is the perfect destination for anyone looking for an epic beach experience. Situated along the dazzling white sands of the Florida Panhandle, this park boasts some of the best beaches in all of Destin Florida.
This hidden gem is perfect for travelers who are looking to escape the crowds and enjoy a more intimate beach experience. Here, you'll find pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and plenty of peace and quiet. One of the best things about June White Decker Park is that it's never too crowded. Even on the busiest days, you'll be able to find a spot to yourself where you can relax and soak up the Florida sun.
Another great thing about this park is its stunning natural beauty. The white sand beaches and crystal clear waters are simply breathtaking. And, if you're lucky enough to visit during sunset, you'll be treated to one of the most beautiful sights in all of Destin.
Finally, June White Decker Park is great for families. There's plenty of room for kids to run around and play, and the calm waters are perfect for swimming and paddling. There's also a picnic area if you want to enjoy a meal with your loved ones in this idyllic setting.
While June White Decker Park is an absolute paradise, there are a few things to keep in mind before you visit. First, there are no lifeguards on duty, so make sure to take extra care if you're swimming or paddling in the water. Second, there are no public restrooms at the park, so make sure to use the restroom before you arrive. Lastly, there's limited parking available, so it's best to arrive early if you want to snag a spot close to the beach.
11. Miramar Beachsource: Pixabay
Located in the heart of Destin Florida, Miramar Beach is a sunny paradise for beach bums of all ages. Boasting miles of pristine white sand and crystal blue waters, it's no wonder this stretch of coastline has been dubbed one of the best beaches in Destin.
Miramar Beach is a secluded beach that is perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. With its sugar-white sands and emerald-green waters, Miramar Beach is a true oasis. And because it's located on the Gulf of Mexico, you can enjoy stunning sunsets over the water.
There are plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas available for rent, so you can kick back and enjoy the view. Or, if you're feeling more adventurous, you can take advantage of the many activities available in the area.
12. Okaloosa Island Beachsource: Pixabay
Okaloosa Island is one of the most vibrant and exciting beach destinations in the state. With miles of pristine white sand beaches and crystal blue waters, it's a perfect place for those who love to soak up the sun and relax in style. Here's a step-by-step guide to making the most of your day at Okaloosa Island Beach.
Step 1: Get there early to snag a spot on the sand.
Okaloosa Island Beach is a popular spot, so it's important to get there early to claim your spot on the sand. Make sure to pack your sunscreen, beach chair, and umbrella so you can relax in comfort. Once you've found your perfect spot, it's time to sit back and enjoy the view.
Step 2: Take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico.
The emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico are just begging to be explored. Go for a swim, build a sandcastle, or just splash around—it's up to you! Just make sure to keep an eye on the waves; sometimes they can be deceivingly strong.
Step 3: Grab some lunch at one of the nearby restaurants.
After working up an appetite from swimming and playing in the sand, it's time to head off the beach in search of lunch. There are plenty of great restaurants nearby, so you're sure to find something to your taste. Check out Crab Island Cantina for fresh seafood or Fat Clemenza's Pizza for a slice of pie. Yum!
Step 4: End your day with a beautiful sunset.
There's no better way to end a perfect day than by watching the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show—you'll be glad you did!
13. Blue Mountain Beachsource: Pixabay
Blue Mountain Beach is one of the many must-visit beaches in Destin. Known for its pristine beaches and laid-back atmosphere, this beach town is perfect for all kinds of beach bums – whether you're looking to lounge on the sand all day or surf some gnarly waves!
And if you're looking to experience Destin like a local, there's no better place than Blue Mountain Beach. Nestled among the palm trees and overlooking the glittering water of the ocean, this beach is a true paradise for anyone who loves the sun, sea, and sand. Here's what you can expect to find when you visit.
Soft, Sugar-White Sand: One of the things that makes Blue Mountain Beach so special is its soft, sugar-white sand.
Stunning Turquoise Waters: Another thing that makes Blue Mountain Beach so special is its stunning turquoise waters. The water is so clear that you can see your toes as you walk in. And the colors are so bright that they almost don't seem real.
Plenty of Activities: If you're looking for something to do, Blue Mountain Beach has plenty of activities to keep you entertained.
There are several restaurants and bars within walking distance of the beach, as well as shops and boutiques. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even rent a paddleboard or kayak and explore the coast from the water.
Conclusion: If you're looking for a place to soak up the sun and enjoy some beautiful scenery, Destin FL is the perfect spot. With its white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, Destin offers plenty of opportunities for relaxation and recreation. So pack your sunscreen and swimsuit and head on down to one of these best beaches in Destin FL!