If camping at Henderson Beach State Park has you envisioning the roar of the Gulf’s waves lulling you to sleep and roasting hot dogs every night—you’re half right. Some of Destin-Fort Walton Beach’s best restaurants are all next door to the state park, offering up some irresistible Gulf-to-table meals.
Primrose at Henderson Beach Resort is the resort’s signature restaurant. Chef Gary Palm has crafted a no-fuss, gulf-to-table menu that emphasizes fresh-caught seafood, but also offers prime steaks, organic chicken, and specialties like spaghetti with Bolognese sauce and an Angus beef burger. If you’re more of an early bird, Primrose also has a delectable breakfast menu. Beginning a relaxing day at the beach with brioche French toast or smoked salmon on a bagel sounds pretty terrific.
If you’re feeling a bit more casual come dinnertime, Horizons might be one of the most inviting bars you’ll ever step foot in. Also located at Henderson Beach Resort, this octagonal-shaped space has views of the Gulf of Mexico and a vibe that feels a bit like Key West had a fling with Indiana Jones. On the menu you’ll find oysters, flatbreads, and shared plates like Baja fish tacos and smoked local pork belly. There’s also an extensive sushi and sake menu (try the Henderson Dragon Roll).
Beach Walk Cafe
Beach Walk Cafe offers fine dining with an unbeatable Gulf view, and is the only spot in the area when you can dine directly on the Gulf of Mexico. Located inside the Henderson Park Inn, Beach Walk Cake offers guests seating outside on the veranda so you can enjoy the salt air with your view. If you’re feeling especially romantic, a “toes in the sand” package offers dining directly on the white sand beach. Beach Walk Cafe is known for its extensive wine list and a gourmet menu that balances fresh-caught seafood specials like shrimp and grits and Grouper Vince with USDA prime steaks and heritage pork chops.
A note for families, Beach Walk Cafe welcomes guests 13 years of age and older.
Camille’s at Crystal Beach
Camille’s at Crystal Beach is a sister restaurant to Harbor Docks. All seafood served is purchased from Harbor Docks’ Seafood Market. This means local fishermen caught every fish on the menu in local waters. This commitment to fresh ingredients extends to each item served, from the seasonal fruit smoothies found in the downstairs cafe to the overwhelmingly popular sushi menu crafted by Executive Sushi Chef Yoshie Eddings. And, if you have a picky eater on board, the thin-crust pizzas are a fun way to end a busy day.
How about catching and cooking your own dinner? Surf fishing is a no-fuss way to fish and enjoy a Gulf-to-table meal of your own creation. If you need gear, you can rent it from Half Hitch Tackle or Bass Pro Shops.
Traveling with kids? This is a great little adventure for them. We even have a few tips for surf fishing with kids here.
Now get out there, create life-long memories, and get to eating.