Destin, FL

Beach Hopping In Destin

It’s no secret that Destin, Florida is one of the best beach destinations in the US for vacationers. With crystal-clear, emerald-green waters and soft, powder-white shorelines, it’s hard not to be mesmerized by the natural beauty. The area boasts numerous beaches to choose from within a close proximity, so which are the best beaches to visit?

Going beach hopping in Destin throughout your vacation can be a fun adventure. Choosing the best beach will depend on your needs and preferences. As homeowners, realtors, and frequent beach-goers in the area, we’ve put together this list of 5 great beaches to check out in Destin, and why each is uniquely wonderful.

Beach Hopping in Destin, Stop #1: Miramar Beach

Overlooking Miramar Beach, Florida
Miramar Beach, Florida

Great for: location, location, location.

Miramar Beach is as gorgeous as the rest of them, but what truly sets it apart, is its prime location and proximity to everything you need for an epic Destin vacation. Miramar beach is backed by large scenic condo buildings, resorts, and vacation rentals, making it super convenient for vacationers who want to spend their days splashing in the waves. With pristine beaches just steps out of your back door, it’s obvious why Miramar Beach is such a haven for vacationers.

The beach scene is lively with adults and families alike. Jet Ski rentals and parasailing adventures are abundantly offered here, as is daily beach service for your convenience. At Miramar beach there is also great oceanfront dining; we recommend trying Pompano Joes and the Whale’s Tail.

If you’re in need of some retail therapy, the shopping in Miramar Beach is outstanding. Choose from Silver Sands Premium Outlets, with almost 100 outlets to browse, or check out Grand Boulevard, another great option for upscale shopping, dining, and outdoor events.

Beach Hopping in Destin, Stop #2: Henderson Beach State Park

Henderson Beach State Park
Photo Credit:

Great for: dolphin watching and camping.

Imagine relaxing on your beach lounger at the edge of the warm water with your feet up, while you watch dolphins splash and play just ahead. If that sounds dreamy, head over to Henderson Beach State Park where you can spot friendly dolphins and stingrays in the nearshore, emerald green waters.

Enjoy unmatched views of the Gulf as you walk out over the 30-ft sand dunes on the boardwalk. Henderson Beach State Park is a great option because it offers generous camping sites, both for RV and tent campers. Let the sound of the crashing waves put you to sleep each night under the stars when camping at this awesome park. Hiking, biking, swimming, and fishing are just some of the fun activities to keep you busy.

Beach Hopping in Destin, Stop #3: James Lee Beach

James Lee Park Public Beach Access Sign
Photo Credit: ~ Kristi Blokhin

Great for: escaping the crowds.

James Lee Beach is a locals’ retreat to escape the crowds during busier times of the year. Managed by the local county, this public beach (also known as Crab Trap beach) offers ample parking, three pavilions with picnic tables, restrooms and showers, and an awesome playground for kids. This hidden gem is ideal for families or those just wanting to pack a picnic and escape the tourism of busier beaches.

Beach Hopping in Destin, Stop #4: Crab Island

Boats docked at Crab Island in Destin, Florida
Photo Credit:

Great for: socializing in a family-friendly party atmosphere.

The ambiance of Crab Island is lively, with over 1000 visitors daily during the busy summer months. This party-central sandbar, is just south of the Marler Bridge in Destin, and can only be accessed via boat, jet ski, or paddleboard. Swimming to the isolated sandbar is not possible due to strong water currents.

Crab Island is a popular social scene where boaters can anchor and spend the day sharing music, food, and drinks on the water. Food vendors, watersport rentals, and inflatables are available up and down the sandbar, and you can also spot wildlife like dolphins, crabs, and birds. This is definitely a great spot for anyone looking for lively fun and sun.

Beach Hopping in Destin, Stop #5: Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Coastline
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Great for: kayaking, and exploring nature.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is another great beach for escaping the crowds, but also to immerse yourself in nature. Visitors can enjoy over 3 miles of vacant snow-white beaches, along with giant sand dunes, sandy scrubland, and undisturbed pine forestry.

The park is actually about 14 miles east of Destin but is worth the drive if you have time. The colossal dunes create a rare coastal ecosystem of freshwater dune lakes that are swarming with aquatic wildlife.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is definitely a great place for exploring, in addition to splashing in the emerald green waters. The park offers tent and RV camping, and also glamping if you need something a little more upscale. Additionally, you can rent kayaks, canoes, bikes, and paddleboards during your stay.

Where to Stay in Destin

Unless you’re opting to camp under the stars, finding the perfect vacation rental is also key to your vacation fun. Staying somewhere that is too far from the beach, can result in added vacation costs for things such as parking, beach service, and rentals (like wagons and umbrellas). For centrally located vacation rentals with outstanding amenities and exceptional service, we encourage you to check out our available vacation homes.

Our beach homes are located in Destin and Miramar Beach, putting you in the heart of everything there is to love about the area. You’ll be close to the best beaches, shopping, and dining, plus we provide a free beach wagon, umbrella, and chairs for your daily beach adventures ($50 daily savings). All of our beach homes are just a short walk to the beach, and most have on-site pools.

Feel free to contact us directly:

Phone – 678-975-0441
Email – Jerry@humans-engine

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  1. Pingback: 7 Reasons To Own A Vacation Rental in Destin - JNL | Home for all your real estate needs

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