Rated Travel + Leisure magazine’s "Best Beaches on Earth" for families, Santa Rosa Beach Park (aka “Redneck Beach”) is perhaps the hidden gem of Okaloosa Island. Renowned for turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and pristine seaside beauty, The beach is situated right next to the bridge connecting Destin and Okaloosa Island. The bridge actually adds to the experience by creating a habitat for the best snorkeling on the island. Local fish species are attracted to the bridge columns for the protection they provide, making for some seriously awesome snorkeling.
Santa Rosa Beach Access to Point Washington State Forest
Aside from the bridge and the snorkeling, Santa Rosa Beach has the characteristic stunning water of Okaloosa Island along with some of the biggest dunes on the island. Santa Rosa Beach provides several entrances to Point Washington State Forest, a 15,000-acre preserve. All visitors to Santa Rosa Beach are required to obtain a free permit that involves watching a brief video about protecting the ecology of the beach.