Your Complete Guide to Henderson Beach State Park

Stairs leading to the beach at Henderson Beach State Park.

The origins of the name “Henderson Park Inn” should be apparent to anyone who has visited us! Our bed and breakfast is located adjacent to Henderson Beach State Park, one of the most popular destinations in Destin, FL. Featuring over 6,000 feet of pristine shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico, Henderson Beach State Park is a can’t-miss stop for anyone visiting the Emerald Coast. To help you make the most of your next vacation, we have put together a convenient guide to everything you need to know about this beautiful state park.

History of Henderson Beach State Park

Henderson Beach State Park is named after its former owner, Burney M. Henderson. The local businessman sold 208 acres of undeveloped land to the State of Florida for $13.1 million in 1983. As part of the Save Our Coast program, the land was transformed into Henderson Beach State Park, which opened to the public in 1991.

Admission to Henderson Beach State Park

There is a small entrance fee for visiting Henderson Beach State Park. Admission is $6 per car and $2 for pedestrians or bicyclists. The Henderson Park Inn offers complimentary bicycles, helmets, and chain locks, so biking to the park is a wonderful option.

Henderson Beach State Park is open 365 days a year. The park’s hours are 8 a.m. until sundown.

The BeachHenderson Beach State Park in Destin.

The beach is definitely the main attraction at the state park! Boasting sugar white sand and crystal clear water, Henderson Beach offers the quintessential Emerald Coast scenery that attracts millions of annual visitors to the area. Swimming in the Gulf of Mexico is a very popular activity at the state park, and with water temperatures staying in the 80s into October, it’s possible to go for a dip for much of the year. If you do decide to go swimming, be sure to check the beach’s colored flags to see if it is safe to go in the water.

Henderson Beach State Park Nature Trail

Henderson Beach State Park features a scenic ¾ mile natural trail that is perfect for a relaxing hike. Passing through lovely sand dunes, this trail is full of flowers and vegetation. One of the trail’s dunes is located around the remnants of a military bunker that was used decades ago. From atop this tall dune, hikers can enjoy stunning views of the park.

Wildlife Viewing at Henderson Beach

Henderson Beach State Park is home to many of Destin’s most popular animals. In the water, visitors can often spy sea turtles, dolphins, and other aquatic species. Bird watchers will definitely want to bring their binoculars because the park is frequented by a wonderful variety of shore birds, wading birds, and migratory birds. In the fall, lucky visitors may see beautiful monarch butterflies that are en route to Mexico.

Beautiful photo of the beach at the Henderson Park Inn in Destin FL.The Henderson Park Inn

Guests at the Henderson Park Inn will love being near all of the spectacular natural beauty at Henderson Beach State Park. Voted the most romantic hotel in the United States by both the users of and, our adults only bed and breakfast is a favorite destination for weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries, and other couples getaways. Our inn features a stunning private beach that offers the same iconic white sand and emerald green water you can find at the state park. To start planning your escape, view our selection of Destin hotel rooms.

return to top