The Emerald Coast of Florida has long been a captivating destination that intrigues travelers with a heart for the great outdoors. For some, a trip this direction revolves around time spent soaking up the sun from a prime location on the sand. For others, it’s about exploring the best of the water both on the wave and below the surface. From shopping and dining options to delightful world-class golf courses, The Emerald Coast has a way with scenery and fun that’s hard to top. When your travel plans bring you here and you’re ready to explore the very best of scenery in a setting that’s as tranquil as it is beautiful, head over to Henderson Beach State Park during your trip.
Shorelines and Wildlife
Henderson Beach State Park is located at 17000 Emerald Coast Parkway in Destin and is highly regarded as one of the area’s most pristine and important natural assets. Within the scope of this sprawling area of protected land, Henderson Beach State Park offers guests a chance for close encounters with everything from warm gulf waters to 30-foot white sand dunes that are sure to inspire. The park is open daily between 8:00 am and sundown every single day of the year and parking is readily available with vehicles enjoying a place for $6 per car. Since being sold to the state in 1983, Henderson Beach Park has grown in popularity amongst those visitors who are looking to savor the sights, sounds and spectacular options for fun that exist within its perimeters.
One of the most appealing features of a trip this way for those travelers that truly have a heart for nature and her many wonders is the sheer versatility of local wildlife waiting to be observed and admired. Henderson Beach State Park is just about a perfect place for enthusiastic bird spotters. This is thanks to the fact that the area beckons year-round species as well as an abundance of migratory birds that travel through while following their instinctive routes. Bringing your binoculars and finding your place on the shoreline is generally enough to put you in proximity to some beautiful birds, but if you’re looking for those that are a bit rare, taking to the dune-side trails is always a good option as well.
In addition to amazing birds who flood the skies and shorelines at Henderson Beach State Park, this is a locale that’s loved and frequented by a variety of other creatures worth checking out as well. Monarch butterflies are regularly spotted in this area in the fall while small reptiles like lizards and frogs find their way onto the many nature trails year-round. For those with their sights set more firmly on the water, there are exciting spotting options waiting. The waters that surround Henderson Beach State Park are home to both sea turtles and dolphins, both of which are regularly seen by swimmers and those lingering on the shore alike!
While visiting Henderson Beach State Park, don’t be surprised if you come across a gopher tortoise or two when thing settle down towards the evening hours. At other times, park goers have reported seeing both rabbits and bobcats in abundance as they’ve enjoyed the scenery and sunshine.
Planning a Visit to Henderson Beach Park
While beach-going and swimming are always an option at Henderson Beach State Park, there’s much more to do! Visitors to this state park will find that the boardwalk is a wonderful way to take in sights of the sand dunes or perhaps capture the ideal picture if photography happens to be your passion. Fishing the day away is a popular activity in Henderson Beach State Park while the scenery also provides plenty of inspiring for those looking to enjoy a picnic with family and friends. Hiking and geo-seeking are always a good idea during a visit with plenty of trails to choose from while biking is a fun challenge on the trails that wind through a variety of landscapes. No matter how you choose to enjoy your time, a trip to Henderson Beach State Park is always well worth the effort.
Above all, Henderson Beach State Park is designed to be a welcoming and accessible place to spend and enjoy time in the great outdoors. While the many grilling areas and beach picnic tables and pavilions are wonderfully convenient, the park also provides beach wheelchairs and accessible campsites to those who require specialized transportation and access services while visiting. More information on the beach wheelchairs available can be found at the park’s primary ranger station upon arrival.
Spending time on the sand is a fan-favorite activity for those visiting Henderson Beach State Park just about any time of year. That said, it’s important to understand warning signs that may be posted at the beach throughout the year to indicate varying risk levels. A double red flag means visitors should avoid the water due to high winds and undercurrents. A yellow flag advises swimmers to stay near shore while a green flag indicates safe water conditions. If you notice a purple flag it indicates the presence of marine pests in the waters on that day.
Enjoy the Best of Florida
From parks and shorelines to wildlife watching and fine dining, a trip to Destin and the entire Emerald Coast is sure to be fun! Contact The Breakers of Fort Walton Beach today to learn more about our rental property options and other local activities.
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