Henderson Beach State Park.   When I was a young 2nd Lt in training at Ft Rucker, Alabama, I met my wife for the first time. We fell in love while exploring Henderson Beach together.  I guess that is one of the reasons I was so compelled to return here after my Air Force career came to a close.  Some of my favorite memories are still very vivid in my mind. I fell in love with my best friend, and soon to be wife, while playing on the sands of Henderson. I remember playing in the waves with her, as they soaked our cuffed jeans. I remember having a picnic in the sand, as I played my guitar and sang with her, and just looking out into that beautiful emerald water. I have great memories building sand castles with my young toddler and having built it too close to the water line, forcing us to keep repairing it. Most recently, I think of fishing from the shore with my father, enjoying a special time together. The sugar white sands and blue-green waves at Henderson Beach Park are engraved as a beautiful image in my mind … and heart!

This is why I was so excited to learn that the City of Destin offers something very special for Destin residents. Can you believe the city offers an annual resident pass to the park (as well as one for the boat launch at

Campers Boardwalk_0Joe’s Bayou) for only $30? At the usual $6 per visit parking entry fee, the pass pays for itself in short order. The majority of tourists clamor to the “free beaches” leaving Henderson as a hidden jewel for Destin’s locals. One thing our family has yet to take advantage of is the camping available there … but we hope to soon. The campground stays pretty booked up, so if you want to enjoy this opportunity, it’s important to plan ahead!

The Park has 6000 feet of shoreline that is uninterrupted by condos and the city, and great facilities!  It is my absolute favorite place to go to in Destin. When we first moved here, we rented an apartment complex right across the street from Henderson and enjoyed it … almost daily!Henderson Dunes

After spending our time in an apartment, we moved to a townhouse that actually bordered it! I would run the length of the beach for my daily jogs and was able to stay away from the crowds. You’d often find us out there trying to capture those unbelievable Gulf sunsets on film. Now, I still drive “across town” on a regular basis and use my Destin Resident Pass, to enjoy that separated piece of paradise. Henderson Beach State Park is one of the greatest spots and advantages of living here in Destin. It doesn’t disappoint!

I am here to help you find your place in Destin.

Lee Newton

Beachy Beach Destin

Here to Help

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