Wayside Park is one of Okaloosa Islands many beaches. The beach is wide and long so you don't have to worry about overcrowding on this white sand beach. Also, known by the local's as the boardwalk, Wayside Park isn't just beach access.
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Check out these Okaloosa Island Beaches to make the most out of your Emerald Coast vacation! From Wayside Park to Eglin Beach Park, you have awesome options from one end of the island to the other. Enjoy the scenery of the sparkling white sand dunes and the stunning Gulf of Mexico beyond. Just minutes from Destin, Okaloosa Island is your best bet for uncrowded yet beautiful beaches.
John Beasley Park:
John Beasley Park on Okaloosa Island offers all the beauty and amenities of Wayside Park, just without the crowds. John Beasley Park features beachside pavilions, changing rooms, showers, picnic tables, and a snack bar - just about everything you could ask for during your beach day! The beach has that familiar soft white sand, and turquoise water that’s always the perfect temperature. Plus, you’ll be right next to the awesome restaurants of Wayside Park such as The Crab Trap, Floyd’s Shrimp House, and Tripp Tide Beach Bar. John Beasley Park is always a great option for an Okaloosa Island beach day.
Santa Rosa Beach Park:
Santa Rosa Beach Park (aka “Redneck Beach”) is perhaps the hidden gem of Okaloosa Island. The beach is situated right next to the bridge connecting Destin and Okaloosa Island - which is why many people avoid it. But 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 - which makes for some totally awesome snorkeling. 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. 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.
If you’re looking to beat the crowds on Okaloosa Island beaches, Princess Beach is the spot for you. This beach is about as low-key as it gets on Florida’s Emerald Coast. Obscured by tall sand dunes, and hardly marked at all, Princess Beach is truly tucked away from it all. It is accessed by a small dirt turn-off that’s easy to miss. Once you get onto the beach, you’ll be greeted by gorgeous turquoise water and pristine sand dunes. Princess Beach is a great way to beat the crowds and get some real peace & quiet on your beach vacation!