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Henderson Beach State Park

Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail17000 Emerald Coast Parkway
Destin, Florida 32541
(850) 837-7550

Coordinates 3023′38″N 8634′59″W

Website: Henderson Beach State Recreation Area

Pristine white sugar sand beaches and more than 6,000 feet of natural scenic shoreline border the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Natural features of the park include sand pines, scrub oaks, and dune rosemary. Boardwalks provide access to the beach for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing.

Two large pavilions allow for picnicking and grilling. A playground is the first stop on our nature trail and is sure to be a success with the kids. The nature trail provides visitors a rare glimpse of the coastal dune ecosystem and abundant wildlife and is pet friendly. Camping at Henderson Beach State Park provides 60 campsites that are located in our secondary dune system. The sites include water and electric hookups and access to air conditioned and heated bathhouse facilities.

A separate beach access boardwalk with outdoor showers and a playground are included in our campground. Henderson Beach is A.D.A accessible and includes beach wheel chair availability. Visitors can enjoy truly breathtaking sunsets while relaxing by the warm crystal clear water of the Gulf of Mexico.

Activities at Henderson Beach State Park

The 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.

You may enjoy a leisurely ride on the park's mile long paved road. For your safety, remember persons under the age of 16 years are required by state law to wear a properly fitting bike helmet. To preserve the natural areas of the park, bicycles are limited to roadways and are not permitted on boardwalks.

Campfire Circles
Join our camping community around the fire circle. Each campsite also has its own fire ring.

Camping, Full Facility
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 (some 50 amp); picnic tables, ground grills and clothesline posts. 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 though 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 = 45 ft.
Reservations: Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287

Family Reunions
The picnic pavilions at Henderson Beach State Park are available for rent daytime from September through May, but not during the busy season (May 30 & September 1). Call Carolyn at (850) 269-1062 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for more details. Or simply call and leave a message.

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 cobia. Bait & Tackle can be purchased just outside of the park.

Hiking/Nature Trail
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 will provide 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 started by park staff and finished by The Friends of Henderson Beach, the park's volunteer Friends Group (Citizen Support Organization), funded primarily by the neighboring Wal-Mart. Guided Tours: Available upon request.

Pets are permitted in parking lots, on nature trails, 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. Available throughout the park are courtesy mutt mitts. Service animals are welcome in all areas of Florida State Parks. Pet are absolutely not to be left unattended in, or leashed to, a vehicle.

Picnic Pavilion
Two picnic pavilions that are adjacent to restrooms feature barbecue grills near beach boardwalks. They provide the perfect place to enjoy lunch with family and friends. Outdoor showers and soda machines are available. Pavilion reservations are not available May 1st thru Sept 30th due to the large amount of beach visitation. A pavilion may be reserved for special events or weddings from Oct 1st thru Apr 30th. Please contact the Ranger Station for more information. After hour Rangers are available upon request. Consumption of alcohol beverages is prohibited.

The day use area has two pavilions with barbecue grills, picnic tables, restrooms, and soda machines. These pavilions provide the only shade on the sun-drenched beach, unless visitors bring their own umbrellas. Consumption of alcohol beverages is prohibited.

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 shading for parents and grandparents. For your child's safety please insure that adult supervision is provided at all times.

Showers, Day Visitors
The day use area bathhouses have outdoor showers provided for you convenience.  Also for our registered campers there is an outdoor shower conveniently located on the trail returning to your camp site.

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 and undertow currents, yellow means swim with caution and stay close to shore, green means that the waters are safe, purple means that marine pests are present.  Please Use Caution! Lifeguards are not provided.

Interested in having an event wedding at Henderson Beach? The pavilions are available to rent after sunset year round. Daytime rentals of the pavilion are September through May, but not during the busy seasons (May 30 - September 1st). For more information call Carolyn, the Events Coordinator, at (850) 269-1062. She is in the office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10:00am until 5:00pm.

Wildlife Viewing
Bird Watchers can enjoy sighting wading birds, shore birds and migratory birds in the spring and fall. Dolphins, sea turtles and other fish species may be sighted off the beach. Small species of some reptiles and other wildlife may also be sighted.

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