The Henderson Beach State Park in Florida is one of the nicest in the world. The 208-acre park’s southern border is on the warm and clean water of the Gulf of Mexico with the clearest blue hue, which often looks more like a sparkling emerald green. The Gulf provides opportunities for surfing on occasion but beach goers will also see paddle boarders, and of course, swimmers enjoying the rolling waves. The beach is soft white sugar sand and has 6,000 feet of shoreline with no shells or rocks.
The beach is usually sparsely populated, which is appreciated especially when vacationing with the family, and it is A.D.A. accessible for wheelchair needs.
Access to Henderson Beach State Park’s beach is by boardwalks, and popular activities include sunbathing, walking through shallow water, swimming and fishing. Picnicking and grilling can be enjoyed in two small and four large covered pavilions with picnic tables.
Henderson Beach State Park’s nature trail leads through three-quarters of a mile of a coastal scrub and dune ecosystem. You are welcome to take your pet there, although pets are not allowed on the beach itself. There is a playground at the beginning of the nature trail to give the children a special place.
The facilities are extremely clean and well maintained. There are restrooms, changing rooms and indoor and outdoor showers.
A small parking fee of $6.00 for two people in a car is used to maintain Henderson Beach State Park and there are large parking lots for the convenience of any type of vehicle. Annual family passes are available for up to eight people plus has with discounts for military members. This pass is good for entry into all Florida state parks.
Henderson Beach State Park was the first acquisition under the Save Our Coast program. It was opened to the public on March 29, 1991, after having been purchased in 1983 for $13.1 million from the Henderson family estate. The family wanted the land to be preserved with its scrub oaks, sand pines, dune rosemary, magnolias and wildflowers, and wanted it to be enjoyed by the public.
You can go into nearby Destin for the restaurants, shopping and activities there and then retreat back to your “oasis” inside one of Henderson Park Inn’s spacious hotel rooms. Within ten miles you will find several eighteen-hole golf courses, and a miniature golf course, a Butterfly Garden, historic sites, horseback rides, a Water Sport Theme Park and other activities. You can also rent a canoe and go jet skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking and windsurfing.