29 Jan 2020
The Emerald Coast is renowned for its sugar-white beaches, clear turquoise-green water and expansive and numerous beaches. Thus, making the Destin and Okaloosa Island area an exceptional destination for beach bums. We would know—it's why we live and work here. To help you experience the best of the best, we comprised a list of some of our personal favorite beaches.
1. Wayside Park / Boardwalk Beach
Enjoy the sun, sand and shopping at Wayside Park, which is a public beach with plenty of parking and home to the locals' favorite boardwalk. Featuring several restaurants and ice cream, the "Boardwalk Beach" as it's known is a convenient place to post up for the day. In addition, you can challenge old friends or new to a game of beach volleyball. The beach is wide and long so you don't have to worry about overcrowding on this beautiful white-sand beach.
Wayside Park Location: 1450 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
2. John Beasley Park
For a crowd-free Okaloosa Island beach experience, add John Beasley Park to your list. This large beach park features 200+ parking spaces, two onsite pavilions, showers, restrooms with changing rooms, 12 picnic tables and even a snack and beverage vendor. You'll love sinking your toes into the soft white-sand that the Emerald Coast is famous for at this beautiful spot. In addition, Wayside Park is nearby and features a laundry list of awesome seafood restaurants, perfect for lunch or dinner. If you're feeling adventurous a short dune walk leads to the Gulf of Mexico.
John Beasley Park: 1550 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
3. Santa Rosa Beach Park
Famous for its turquoise waters, silky white-sand and pure seaside nature, Santa Rosa Beach Park is rated Travel + Leisure magazine’s "Best Beaches on Earth" for families. The beach is situated right next to the bridge connecting Destin and Okaloosa Island and the pylons provide a perfect habit for viewing marine wildlife and snorkeling. Santa Rosa Beach Park also provides a perfect access to the famously stunning 15,000-acre Point Washington State Forest.
Santa Rosa Beach Location: 9QWC+CF Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
4. Princess Beach
Princess Beach is yet another top spot to beat the crowds. This low-key escape is hardly marked and hidden behind white sand dunes. The extra effort is well worth it, though. Turquoise waters and peace and quiet await. When you're ready to rejoin society the nearby HarborWalk Village (to the east) or the Boardwalk (to the west) provide plenty of options for lunch or dinner.
Princess Beach Location: 9FR6+27 Okaloosa Island, Florida
Book Your Destin Vacation Rental
Don't wait any longer. Book your Destin West vacation rental with us to experience these special Destin and Okaloosa Island area beaches.