Best Beaches In & Near Destin

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Destin is a beach lover's paradise, with over 30 miles of powder white-sand beaches, crystal-clear water and year round sunshine. Not only do these rate among the best beaches in Florida, but many would say the best in the United States.

Situated on the aptly named Emerald Coast, Destin is lapped by the calm, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Throw in some of the softest sand you'll find anywhere and this is a beach-goers paradise. Not only are Destin's beaches berfect for sunbathing the're great for a host of activities from swimming and snorkeling to jet skiing, and parasailing.

Whether you're looking for a relaxing beach vacation or a more active one, our selection of the best beaches in Destin should tick all the boxes.

  • 1. Henderson Beach State Park

    Henderson Beach State Park

    Travel time from Destin: approx 0.5 hrs

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  • 2. Santa Rosa Beach

    Santa Rosa Beach
    © Barbara Reddoch

    Travel time from Destin: approx 0.5 hrs

    Powdery white sand and the clear waters of the Gulf are all par for the course along Florida's Emerald Coast and Santa Rosa beach is no exception. Situated less than ten miles away from the ever popular beaches of Destin, what you get at Santa Rosa is a more laid back, and dare I say, upmarket experience. You can instantly tell there is money here from the fine beachfront properties… read more »

  • 3. Miramar Beach

    Miramar Beach

    Travel time from Destin: approx 0.5 hrs

    Positioned on an attractive stretch of Gulf of Mexico coastline, it's no surprise that Miramar Beach in Destin has its fair share of beachside condos and apartments for rent. During the summer months, its permanent population of approximately 6,000 residents is dwarfed massively by visitors keen to enjoy the powdery white sands for themselves.

    Sunbathers looking to soak up the rays of the southern sun are equally at home at… read more »

  • 4. Okaloosa Beach

    Okaloosa Beach

    Travel time from Destin: approx 0.5 hrs

    Okaloosa Beach sits on a tiny island, just across the water from Fort Walton and a stone's throw along the coast from Destin.

    The beach here's a portrait of paradise - the pristine sand is as icy-white as you're likely to find in the sunshine state, and there's a handful of watersports on offer in the crystal clear waters. 

    Unlike many of Florida's east coast beaches, surfing isn't a huge draw on… read more »

  • 5. Sandestin Beach

    Sandestin Beach
    Tim Donovan/FWC

    Travel time from Destin: approx 0.5 hrs

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  • 6. Grayton Beach

    Grayton Beach

    Travel time from Destin: approx 0.5 hrs

    Located on the Florida Panhandle, Grayton Beach faces south into the crystalline waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A Blue Wave beach (similar to the better-known Blue Flag scheme in Europe), it is a delightful strip of level white sand. The beach is part of a historic coastal village of the same name, and via its grid of streets, with Grayton Beach State Park.

    A popular spot year-round, Gulf of Mexico… read more »

  • 7. Blue Mountain Beach

    Blue Mountain Beach
    Beth Bryan Designs

    Travel time from Destin: approx 0.5 hrs

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  • Navarre Beach

    Travel time from Destin: approx 1 hr

    Near the northwestern tip of Florida's panhandle lies Navarre Beach, just east of Pensacola. This beach offers simplicity in its natural setting, with white sands and the warm waters of the Gulf. In addition to the beautiful beach, you will find bike trails and picnic tables, perfect for relaxing with family and friends.

    For those looking for some water based activities there is Navarre Family Watersports. Here you can hire kayaks,… read more »

  • 9. Carillon Beach

    Carillon Beach

    Travel time from Destin: approx 1 hr

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  • 10. Pensacola Beach

    Pensacola Beach
    © Fede Casanova

    Travel time from Destin: approx 1 hr

    Stretching for several miles along the state's Gulf of Mexico coastline, Pensacola Beach forms the main proportion of Santa Rosa Island. A barrier island approximately 40 miles in length but just a couple of hundred yards wide, it can be subdivided into a number of different beaches and conservation areas. It is connected by road bridges to mainland Florida at various points.

    The most popular entry point is probably the bridge… read more »

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