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27 Aug 2020
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Local Recommendations

The Emerald Coast is famous for its white sugar sand beaches and crystal clear blue-green waters. But, if you're not a local, how do you know which beach is best? While we don't discriminate, here are our top eight favorite local beaches for you to check out during your next stay with us!

Henderson Beach State Park

Florida State Parks Henderson Beach State Park Compass Resorts Beach Blog Post

(Image courtesy of Florida State Parks)

Close your eyes. Breathe in the salt carried by the wind from the shoreline. Feel your toes squeeze the powdery, white sand. Can you picture the 30-foot white sand dunes behind you? The beautiful shoreline beckons you. Such a picturesque scene can be found at Henderson Beach State Park, one of our favorite local beaches. Henderson Beach State Park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset every day of the year for a small fee of $6 per vehicle. It's centrally located in Destin, and in close proximity to our on-site resort locations. In fact, Henderson Beach State Park is right across from our on-site location at The Palms of Destin Resort & Conference Center, and is accessible via beach shuttle!

June White Decker Park

Florida Panhandle June White Decker Park Compass Resorts Beach Blog Post

(Photo courtesy of Florida Panhandle)

Imagine coming off Scenic Highway 98 by our on-site location at Silver Shells Beach Resort & Spa and gliding across the soft, smooth white sand. You can hear the waves of emerald waters lapping the shoreline. The breeze brings the waves closer to you wetting your feet with the warm gulf water. June White Decker Park is one of our favorite beaches because it offers public beach access to locals and visitors alike in a convenient location in central Destin. The beach park offers public parking, public restrooms, and a bike rack for all those looking for such accommodations!

John Beasley Park

John Beasley Park Destin-FWB Compass Resorts Beach Blog Post

(Photo courtesy of Destin-FWB)

Not only is there public access to the beautiful Emerald Coast shoreline but it's also the perfect place to bring the whole family for a beach day! John Beasley Park provides a large stretch of beach to enjoy on Okaloosa Island, which is prime for our off-site locations on the island. You'll also enjoy the two dune walkovers, two large pavillons, 12 picnic tables, public restrooms with changing rooms, and 208 public parking spaces. Plus, since this beach is closer to Fort Walton Beach than Destin it is often less crowded with the same lovely view as Destin beaches! 

Silver Beach Towers' Private Beach

Silver Beach Towers Private Beach Compass Resorts Beach Blog Post

The private beach at our on-site location at Silver Beach Towers Resort offers our guests a more private, luxurious experience. All of our vacation rental properties at Silver Beach offer complimentary beach service, which includes two chairs and an umbrella. Our guests are able to add more set-ups as the beach service at the resort offers plenty of accommodations and other fun options, like kayak rentals, etc. You'll enjoy the beauty of the Gulf Coast with the isolation and cleanliness that you'd expect staying at a luxury resort! 

Silver Shells Beach Resort & Spa Private Beach

Silver Shells Beach Resort & Spa Private Beach Compass Resorts Beach Blog Post

Enjoy the sun, surf, and shoreline of the secluded sanctuary that is the resort's private beach at Silver Shells Beach Resort & Spa. Almost all of our vacation rental properties at Silver Shells offer complimentary beach service like that at Silver Beach Towers to include two chairs and an umbrella. Our guests are encouraged to call ahead for additional set-up services as there are other beach set-up options as well as paddle board rentals, etc. You'll also want to meander to the Tiki Bar, a beachside bar perfect for a quick meal and cocktail you'll enjoy right on the beach!

Norriego Point

Norriego Point Compass Resorts Beach Blog Post

Enjoy this sunny, sandy public beach near the end of Holiday Isle close to the Destin Bridge and HarborWalk. Norriego Point welcomes and waves goodbye to those coming in and out of Destin. Sitting opposite of Crab Island, one side the beach faces the Destin Harbor while the other side leads out to the Gulf of Mexico. Take the family swimming in the warm waters off this point as the inlets of water are usually more shallow, calm, and they're protected by the Destin Jetties. You'll feel like you're on an island vacation right here in Destin!

The Destin Jetties
Destin East Jetties Compass Resorts Beach Blog Post

Located near Norriego Point, the Destin jetties offer some of the best fishing waters in the area. The jetties were created out of necessity to protect the opening of Destin's East Pass, which is located by the Destin Harbor and serves as the opening between the Choctawhatchee bay and the gulf. It also features Crab Island, the shallow sandbar where people park their boats and jetski rentals to enjoy some summertime fun. So, you'll be pretty close to all the festivities! The jetties have large rock features and you can often spot more wildlife around them. They're also considered a great beach location for snorkeling and scuba diving on the coast!

James Lee Beach

James Lee Park Beach Indulgy Compass Resorts Beach Blog Post

(Photo courtesy of Indulgy)

A scenic walk along the Emerald Coast that spotlights our famous sand and sea, James Lee Beach is further into Destin and actually sits on the Okaloosa/Walton county line. It's the perfect public beach access point if you're staying with us in one of our luxurious beach vacation homes in South Walton. You and the whole family will love the public parking area with 166 spaces, nine dune walkovers, three pavillons, picnic area with 41 picnic tables, playground, public restrooms with changing rooms, and showers. While it might start as a beach day, once you visit James Lee Beach you won't want to leave. It'll be your forever beach spot!

While there are so many beaches to enjoy throughout the Florida panhandle, here are just a few of our favorites that are in close proximity to our vacation rental locations. We hope you'll enjoy each of these beaches during your next stay with us!
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