Destin beaches invite people from all over the world to come out and enjoy their emerald waters and powder soft sand. With over 150 parking spaces and nine dune walkovers, James Lee Park is a large access point for anyone staying in the Crystal Beach area. Located close to Henderson Beach Resort, as well as many vacation home rentals on scenic Highway 98, James Lee Park is a quiet get-away that shows off Destin beaches at their finest. The amenities of this park include three picnic pavilions, restrooms and showers, beach access and swimming area, and free admission.
If you’re visiting James Lee Park and find yourself famished, the Crab Trap serves up a much-needed break from the heat. The Crab Trap’s nautical-themed interior allows customers to look out at James Lee Park through New England-style paned glass windows and captures the distinctly Destin feeling of dining in a fishing village that overlooks paradise. Stop in and grab a refreshing cocktail while you take in the scenery. The Crab Trap Punch is a blend of citrus and cranberry flavors and a splash of coconut rum that dances on the tongue like the afternoon sun on the Emerald Coast. This cocktail even comes in a signature glass for you to take with you!
Henderson Beach State Park distinguishes itself from the rest of the Destin’s beaches. Picture a secluded stretch of preserved beach spanning over 6,000 feet that includes 30 ft. sand dunes, 60 RV campsites, and beach access.
Henderson Beach State Park was opened to the public in 1991 but was set aside in 1983 after local businessman Burney M. Henderson sold 208 acres of undeveloped land to the State of Florida. Since its establishment, the park has constructed beach pavilions/facilities, a kid’s park, and a sprawling three-quarters of a mile nature trail. The opportunity to observe wildlife in its natural habitat is enticing for bird watchers and beachgoers whether you’re looking out at the surf or exploring the nature trail.
Henderson Beach State Park’s campsites are secluded, gravel-paved, and provide electrical hookups for RVs. The cost of admission varies between vehicle sizes and the number of guests. For the average beachgoer, a day at Henderson Beach State Park costs $6. Explore this lovely, pet-friendly ecosystem during your trip to Destin, Florida.
Beach access at East Pass consists of two of beaches on either side of the jetties. The west side of the pass has the longest jetty and is a great place for fishing. The east side cuts in toward the harbor. Here, you can lay on the beach and watch the passing Destin Harbor traffic or go out on the water and snorkel along the interior portion of the jetty. Within the cracks and crevices of the rocks, you will find tropical, bottom-dwelling, and even some pelagic fish that come inland.
Destin’s East Pass is an integral and accessible landmark that helped Destin become what it is today. By providing both a quick entry point into the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and safe harbor for Destin’s fishing fleet, the East Pass is an iconic destination that draws the attention of locals and travelers alike.
Norreigo Point is a sandy beach at the end of Gulf Shore Drive on Holiday Isle. Unlike most of Destin’s beaches, it’s not the Gulf of Mexico. Instead, it’s accessible from Destin Harbor on one side and the other side is on the East Pass which leads out to the Gulf.
A favorite of water adventurers, many boaters will stop to explore the dunes, sea oats, and take photos in front of the picturesque wooden fences. Others too will go to Norreigo Point by paddleboard or kayak. The Water Taxi makes a stop at Norriego Point as well, so you can catch a ride back to the Harbor. The East Pass side is great for swimming as well, out of the way of the harbor boats.
Norreigo Point is in process of development, with dune restoration and vegetation shored up in 2018. The recreation stage will be complete in 2019 with the addition of a boardwalk, picnic areas, restrooms, water fountains, and showers. Norreigo Point is a must-visit beach during your stay in Destin.