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Henderson Beach State Recreation Area

Henderson Beach State Recreation Area
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General Information

Henderson Beach State Recreation Area
Copyright: - Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Henderson Beach State Recreation Area
Description - Named for its previous owners, the park was purchased in 1983 from the Henderson family estate for $13.1 million. The first acquisition under the Save Our Coast Program, Henderson Beach State Recreation Area was opened to the public on March 29, 1991.

The Henderson family wanted the land preserved to protect the unique natural features of the area, and provide the public with an opportunity to enjoy the surroundings. Today, the 208-acre park is a habitat for sand pines, scrub oaks, Southern magnolias, dune rosemary and a variety of wildflowers. Boardwalks are provided to allow park visitors easy access to the beach without damaging the dunes and vegetation.

Attractions - Two hundred acres of Gulf coast property was acquired in 1991 through the Save Out Coast Program. The acquisition was made before high-rise resorts engulfed the coast. However, the park is flanked by such development.

Wildlife found throughout the park area includes protected sea turtles, which nest along the beach and a variety of special shoreline birds. Visitors can spot black skimmers, sanderlings, brown pelicans and laughing gulls.

A smattering of picnic tables and a pavilion is offered. A bathhouse with outside showers is a welcome feature after a day of beach activities.

Swimming, sunbathing, and surf fishing are popular pastimes . Visitors wishing to try their luck in the surf may catch popular species such as pompano and whiting. A new small campground offers electric and water for $16 per night.

Recreation - Wildlife viewing, picnicking, camping, and swimming are several of the waterfront recreations enjoyed.

Climate - The panhandle area of Florida experiences mild, comfortable winters and warm to hot, humid summers. The average summer temperatures reach well above 83 degrees Fahrenheit (above 29 Celsius). Winters are mild with temperatures averaging below 52 degrees Fahrenheit (below 11 Celsius). The average precipitation for the panhandle area is more than 60 inches per year. August and September are peak months of the hurricane season that lasts from June 1 through November 30.

Location - Henderson Beach State Park is located just east of the city of Destin on U.S. Highway 98.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Ted McLain (Rockwall, Texas)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Henderson Beach SP was the nicest park I have ever stayed in. Campsites were immaculate, private and roomy. They have pull-throughs and back-ins. Best bathrooms I've ever seen in a state park anywhere. They were spotless every time I went in. Bathrooms are air conditioned and pay washers and driers are provided at each bath house. Bring lots of quarters (no dollar changer). From the camping areas it is about a quarter to half mile trek to the beach, so bring a cart or wagon to haul your beach paraphenallia. All park personnel were very friendly and professional. Pet poop bags are provided if you bring your pooch. The park gates close at dark, so take your reading glasses and a flashlight if you're expecting to come back in after the gates close. It's tough to see those small numbers on the combination lock to get back in after dark. Book reservations as early as possible. I booked in May for a July stay and still did not get as many days consecutively as I wanted. This is an awesome way to experience the beautiful beaches that Destin has to offer for an affordable price. Enjoy!

More Information

Contact Information:
Henderson Beach State Recreation Area, 17000 Emerald Coast Parkway , Destin, FL, 32541, Phone: 850-837-7550

Additional Information:
Florida State Parks - The mission of the Florida Park Service is to provide resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural resources.
Northwest Florida - Sugar white sand, emerald green waters, intriguing geological formations, natural springs, rich history, charming villages, miles of caves, and yearly festivals come together offering the vacationer endless outdoor recreation in Northwest Florida.

Florida Division of Recreation & Parks - Official agency website.


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