The Emerald Coast Beaches, Florida

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The Emerald Coast Beach: Destin and Fort Walton Beach Florida

The ultimate attraction is the emerald green waters and unique sugar white sands along this stunning stretch of Florida. You can snorkel, parasail, rent personal watercraft, fish, scuba dive, boat, or just sit on the beach and do ... absolutely nothing. destin florida beach

Destin Beach Florida Locations and Information

Many of the hotels we have listed are on the beach or a very short walk to the beautiful white sands. If your hotel is not on the beach, you'll find convenient and well kept public beaches with plenty of parking as well as amenities like restrooms and dining. These are the three main public beach areas:

  1. Okaloosa Island Boardwalk - features ample parking, ample beach, restaurants, beach bars, and more. One of the most popular beaches in the area. Located on Okaloosa Island just over the Destin Bridge in Newman C. Brackin Wayside Park in Ft. Walton Beach.
  2. Newman C. Brackin Wayside Park – Located on Okaloosa Island in Ft. Walton Beach at the Boardwalk.
  3. John C. Beasley Park – Located on Okaloosa Island in Ft. Walton Beach just a few yards east of the Boardwalk.
  4. Ross Marler Park - located on the sound-side of Okaloosa Island (on the inland waterway) at the foot of Brooks Bridge.
  5. Henderson Beach State Park - This scenic state park is suitable for families and nature lovers. Fee for day-use area. Henderson Beach State Park has restrooms and vending machines, ample parking, a 3/4 mile nature walk, and a beautiful beachside bed & breakfast AND restaurant- The Henderson Park Inn (
  6. James Lee County Park - Located just a couple miles east of Henderson Beach State Park, this beach area features public restrooms, a restaurant, but parking can be a little tight on busy days.
  7. Grayton Beach State Recreation Area - One mile beach, beautiful natural setting with abundant wildlife, plus significant wildlife spotting opportunities. Fee for day-use area. Camping reservations accepted.
  8. Back Porch Restaurant - Public beach and beach access to the east of the restaurant at 1748 Old Highway 98 East in Destin. Showers provided, swimwear allowed in the restaurant, ample parking across the street.

USA Today Poll: Emerald Coast Is Nation's #1 Beach

What: More than 3,000 readers weighed in on the 2001 Beach Guide of Top Ten Beaches, nominating hundreds of beaches from Hawaii to Maine. Florida’s Emerald Coast claims the No. 1 slot with the most reader votes by a "wide margin," according to

This year's poll is a first for USA Today. In past years, an expert called "Dr. Beach" has ranked Top 10 beaches, of which Emerald Coast has not been included.

Why: The Emerald Coast - Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island, Florida. - is famous for 24 miles of sugary-white sands and brilliant emerald green waters and "Simply Irresistible" to travelers throughout the world.

When: Conducted for two weeks on


1. Destin/Ft. Walton/Okaloosa Island, Fla.
2. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
3. Siesta Key, Fla.
4. Panama City, Fla.
5. Daytona Beach, Fla.
6. South Beach, Fla.
7. Clearwater, Fla.
8. The Outer Banks, N.C.
9. Waikiki, Hawaii
10. Pensacola, Fla.

Check out the menu to your left for more great beach destinations!

destin beach florida

Destin, Florida - With its brilliant white quartz sand and warm gulf waves, Destin and Fort Walton Beach lures visitors with plenty of recreational opportunities, fresh seafood dining, and reasonably priced lodging. Part of northwest Florida's less crowded Emerald Coast, it is conveniently located between Pensacola and Panama City.

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Destin Beach Florida Locations and Information: Snorkel, parasail, rent personal watercraft, fish, scuba dive, boat, or just sit on the beach and do ... absolutely nothing.

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DreamWorldz Filmz and Graphix Production - Including Fine Wedding Videography and Commercial Production | Destin Fishing Charters - We offer Bottom Fishing for Snapper, Trigger Grouper, Mingo and Amberjack as well as trolling trips for Tuna, Wahoo, Bill Fish and Mahi Mahi. | Destin beach weddings, Florida beach weddings | Realty LLC - We are Pensacola's best Exclusive Buyer Agency Real Estate Company. Realtors representing you at no cost. | Bounty Hunter Fishing Charters - We fish year round offering 4-12 hour trips. Bring your family, friends, clients or employees for a great time aboard the Bounty Hunter.

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Some photos courtesy of: Pensacola Visitors Information Center, Emerald Coast Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, and Beaches of South Walton. Used with permission. All other photos copyright BeautifulDestin.Com