Destin is a great place to explore where the sun-kissed shores meet sugar-white sand, creating the perfect spot for your coastal getaway.
Located in one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the United States, Destin offers a variety of the best places to unwind and indulge in the serene beauty of its pristine coastline.
From popular spots for water sports enthusiasts to secluded picnic areas and hikes for nature lovers, each beach boasts unique features, including public restrooms and outdoor showers for your convenience.
Whether you’re seeking a relaxing day on white sand beaches, swimming in crystal clear waters, or playing a round or two on beautiful golf courses, Destin is your ideal destination for the perfect beach experience. Join us as we explore the most captivating and enjoyable beaches this coastal haven has to offer!
The Best Time To Visit Destin
The best time to visit Destin, Florida, depends on your preferences and the type of experience you’re looking for. Let’s explore each season:
Spring (March to May)
Weather: Spring brings pleasant temperatures, typically ranging from 15 to 30 degrees Celsius (60s to 80s Fahrenheit).
Crowds: It’s a shoulder season, meaning fewer crowds compared to summer.
Activities: Ideal for outdoor activities, including beach outings and water sports.
Summer (June to August)
Weather: Hot and humid with temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius (80s to 90s Fahrenheit).
Crowds: Peak tourist season, so expect more visitors.
Activities: Perfect for beachgoers, water activities, and family vacations.
Fall (September to November)
Weather: Still warm, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 35 degrees Celsius (70s to 80s Fahrenheit).
Crowds: Tapering off after summer, making it a quieter time to visit.
Activities: Enjoy the beach with milder temperatures, and fall festivals.
Winter (December to February)
Weather: Mild and cooler, with temperatures ranging from 8 to 20 degrees Celsius (40s to 60s Fahrenheit).
Crowds: Least crowded time of the year.
Activities: While not ideal for swimming, it’s a good time for exploring local attractions, shopping, and enjoying off-season rates.
Hurricane Season: Keep in mind that hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June 1 to November 30. While the likelihood of a direct hit is relatively low, it’s important to stay informed during this period.
Jellyfish Season: Jellyfish are common in the waters around Destin, Florida, especially during the warmer months, from late spring through early fall. However, they can be present at any time of the year. Most encounters result in mild stings, causing irritation and redness. While Jellyfish encounters are possible, most beachgoers enjoy the green water without any issues. Stay informed, follow safety guidelines, and be cautious to ensure a safe beach experience in Destin.
The best time to visit Destin depends on your preferences for weather, crowd levels, and the activities you want to enjoy. Each season offers its unique charm and opportunities to experience this beautiful coastal destination.
Check Out These Amazing Destin Tours
Here Are Some Of The Best Destin Beaches
Princess Beach, situated in Destin, Florida, offers an unspoiled and secluded beach experience, providing a sense of having your private island retreat. Positioned away from the hustle and bustle of Okaloosa Island, Princess Beach is a hidden gem, accessed through a discreet dirt turn-off. The beach, framed by tall dunes and turquoise waters, allows visitors to escape the crowds and enjoy genuine tranquillity on their beach getaway. Proximity to attractions like HarborWalk Village and dining options at The Boardwalk enhances the overall experience.
Santa Rosa Beach
Santa Rosa Beach is a charming coastal community located along Florida’s renowned Emerald Coast. Known for its pristine white-sand beaches and emerald-green waters, Santa Rosa Beach is a popular destination for both locals and visitors seeking a relaxing beach retreat.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is a notable natural attraction in the Santa Rosa Beach area. This state park offers over three miles of unspoiled beaches, coastal dune lakes, and diverse ecosystems. Visitors can explore hiking trails that wind through the park’s sand dunes and pine forests, providing opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife observation. The park also features RV and tent camping facilities, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Florida Gulf Coast.
Grayton Beach State Park
Grayton Beach State Park is another gem along the Emerald Coast, situated between Panama City Beach and Destin. This state park is known for its stunning beaches, coastal dune lakes, and a diverse range of ecosystems. Visitors to Grayton Beach State Park can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and hiking along nature trails. The park’s coastal dune lake, Western Lake, is a unique feature that adds to the area’s scenic beauty.
Miramar Beach stands out as one of the most vibrant and diverse beach neighborhoods in South Walton. From antique shopping to beach volleyball, the area offers a plethora of activities. Days and nights can be filled with exploration of a wide array of dining options. On the beach, you’ll encounter sun-soaked beachgoers and adventure enthusiasts renting jet skis or indulging in parasail rides for a breathtaking view of the pristine white sand and turquoise waters.
Aside from traditional recreational activities like golf, tennis, and swimming, you can embrace the favorable weather with a run or bike ride along the scenic 3-mile Highway 98 Trail. Miramar Beach promises a dynamic blend of leisure and excitement for visitors seeking a multifaceted beach experience.
Renowned for its charming beach cottages adorned in a spectrum of pastel hues, this sector of Destin stands out as one of the most coveted vacation destinations in Okaloosa County. Positioned off Scenic Highway 98, Crystal Beach boasts popular local establishments such as the Gulf-front restaurant, The Crab Trap, and Camille’s Cafe & Restaurant at the Beachside Inn.
Crystal Beach is also home to Destin Commons, an outdoor lifestyle center featuring a variety of attractions such as restaurants, boutique shops, a movie theatre, a bowling alley, and a Bass Pro Shop. It frequently serves as the focal point for Destin’s events, including the annual Smoke on the Coast BBQ Festival and Holiday Happenings. Additionally, it provides enjoyable activities for children, including dancing water fountains.
Fort Walton Beach
Fort Walton Beach, a compact city in the Florida Panhandle, is renowned for its pristine white-sand beaches located on the nearby Okaloosa Island. Okaloosa Island is home to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, featuring dolphins, penguins, and alligators. The Indian Temple Mound Museum, situated in the city, showcases the prehistoric Temple Mound and a collection of Native American artifacts. To the northeast, the Air Force Armament Museum houses artifacts and aircraft spanning from World War I to the present day.
The beaches in Fort Walton Beach are truly enchanting. The sands beneath your bare feet have a rich history, originating as Appalachian quartz that was carried by rivers and polished by the tides over thousands of years, resulting in a fine white powder. The combination of the white sands and sunlight imparts a vibrant emerald-green hue to the Gulf waters. Regardless of your other experiences during the trip, the immaculate beaches of Destin-Fort Walton Beach serve as a picturesque backdrop for your dream vacation.
James Lee Beach
Maximize your experience of Destin’s renowned white sands and emerald waters at James Lee Park and Beach. This location offers public beach access along with well-maintained facilities. Beyond the waves and sand, you’ll appreciate the beach’s proximity to one of the area’s best restaurants. Often referred to as ‘Crab Trap Beach’ due to its association with the popular restaurant, The Crab Trap.
James Lee Beach is a favourite among families for its small playground. With slides and sand, it’s easy to keep youngsters entertained for an entire afternoon.
Enhance your beach visit with a sun salutation or two by joining Destin Yoga, which regularly hosts sessions on the sand at James Lee Park. No experience or mat is required to fully enjoy this beachside yoga experience.
Norriego Point Beach
Norriego Point, situated at the end of Holiday Isle, is a sandy beach with one side overlooking Destin Harbor and the other facing the east pass leading to the Gulf of Mexico. The calm waters on the East Pass, shielded by the Destin Jetties, create an ideal environment for swimming.
Norriego Point features two public beach access points with available parking, open from sunrise to sunset. Norriego Point is a popular destination for those wanting to bring a boat or jet ski.
John Beasley Park
John C. Beasley Park is recognized for its vast beach, a serene environment with fewer crowds, and a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities on the shoreline. This destination provides a relaxed beach atmosphere where both locals and visitors engage in activities such as swimming, fishing, bird and dolphin watching, boating, and picnicking at the available 12 tables. Additionally, one can simply stroll along the sandy shores and towering dunes.
Henderson Beach State Park
Enjoy Henderson Beach State Parks’ magnificent shoreline marked by 30-foot, pristine white dunes, inviting you to soak up the Florida sun or venture into the warm Gulf waters each day. This safeguarded stretch of the Emerald Coast offers more than just relaxation—it presents opportunities for fishing, exploration along a nature trail, and access to 60 beach-connected campsites via boardwalks.
Established to preserve and protect the region’s natural features, this destination represents the last remaining coastal scrub area in Destin. Beyond its ecological significance, the park boasts beautiful campsites and serves as an excellent venue for special events such as weddings and family reunions, ensuring a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational amenities.
Blue Mountain Beach
Located in South Walton, just a 30-minute drive from Destin is Blue Mountain Beach, situated between the lively Gulf Place and the eclectic Grayton Beach. A serene beach neighborhood celebrated for its relaxed ambiance and natural charm. This peaceful enclave, characterized by a laid-back atmosphere, offers delightful dining options and abundant opportunities for relaxation. With its tranquil surroundings, Blue Mountain Beach conjures nostalgic memories of classic beach vacations that have been cherished by families for generations.
For foodies, Blue Mountain Beach offers a paradise with dive bars, local cafes, and tempting sweets, all conveniently within walking distance. If you’re inclined to further explore, bike shops in the area provide rentals for adventures along the Timpoochee Trail and neighboring beach communities.
Eglin Beach Park
Eglin Beach Park in Okaloosa Island offers an ideal setting for a sun-soaked day with its pristine sand and crystal-blue waves. Beyond its picturesque views, the park stands out for its well-equipped facilities, including accessible parking for a modest fee, a maintained pavilion, picnic tables, BBQ grills, clean restrooms, and indoor/outdoor showers. Notably, it lacks the high-rises commonly seen in the Destin area.
Access requires a military, DoD, or federal ID, though the park is available for non-military events. Unlike some beach parks, Eglin Beach Park is consistently well-maintained, providing clean facilities and a sense of security. For those without beach supplies, rentals like chairs and umbrellas are available for a few hours or a full day.
Situated just west of the Destin Bridge, Eglin Beach Park offers easy access to Destin’s restaurants after a day on the sand. It’s a convenient and well-appointed choice for beachgoers seeking a peaceful and enjoyable experience.
June White Decker Beach Park
June White Decker Park provides access to a compact section of Destin’s shoreline, nestled between condos and hotels, and welcomes visitors from dawn until dusk daily.
While the park encompasses approximately 1,000 feet of beachfront—a modest expanse—it offers a precious slice of free, public Gulf of Mexico shoreline, perfect for sunbathing and swimming. The park’s beach is flanked by the private, roped-off sands of nearby resorts and hotels. Given its size, this beach tends to fill up quickly, making it advisable to arrive early in the morning to secure a spot.
Despite its small size, the park boasts a range of amenities, including a designated parking area (in addition to curbside street parking), a beach walkover, a bike rack, a public restroom, and two outdoor showers. It’s important to note that there is no lifeguard on duty, so swimmers should exercise caution, adhere to coastal advisories, and respect any closures.
No matter which beach you decide to spend your days in Destin at, we know you’ll have a wonderful trip in this lovely location.
READY TO ENJOY THE BEACHES IN DESTIN FLORIDA?
When you’re ready to book your next travel plans, contact one of our Tier One Travel consultants. They will find the perfect place for your next vacation and will craft something incredible that is suited to your unique needs and will make sure your travel plans will be as stress-free as possible.
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