Henderson Beach State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Located in the beautiful Florida Panhandle, just east of Pensacola in the town of Destin, lies Henderson Beach State Park, which touches the sunny shores of the Gulf of Mexico. You won’t want to miss this beach destination on your next RV adventure since you can explore 30-foot white sand dunes and relax on 6,000 feet of sandy shoreline. This untouched strip of Emerald Coast features all sorts of outdoor recreation from fishing and swimming to hiking and biking.

You’ll love walking or hiking the beautiful three-quarter mile nature trail with stunning views of emerald green ocean and endangered coastal scrub. You can also walk along white sandy beaches or on the elevated beach boardwalk. This beautiful, coastal park is home to native wildlife so you can spot turtles, dolphins, and migratory birds. Henderson Beach State Park also has unique historical attractions featuring the remnants of the original U.S. Air Force Clausen Tracking Site, which was installed in 1951 to support rocketry testing and national security programs.

Since Henderson Beach State Park is located in the Sunshine State you’ll enjoy beautiful, sunny weather any time of the year you take an RV getaway. The summer months enjoy warm weather in the 80s, while the colder months are mild, often in the 50s and 60s. Thanks to its rich local history and amazing scenery, Henderson Beach State Park is the perfect location to take your next beach vacation.

RV Rentals in Henderson Beach State Park

Transportation in Henderson Beach State Park

Driving

Henderson Beach State Park is conveniently located off U.S. Highway 98, so it is easy to access whether you’re driving an RV or hauling a travel trailer. There are several local roads that run through the park that are easy to navigate to picnic areas, restrooms, nature trails, the campground, and the beach.

Parking

RV parking is available within the two main parking lots located within the park. The first is centrally located off Campground Road, which provides access to the beach, picnic areas, a pavilion, restrooms, and showers. The other is on the western edge of the park, which is closest to the Nature Trail and offers easy access to the beach, fishing spots, picnic areas, a pavilion, restrooms, and showers. You can also park in the campground if you are staying overnight.

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Henderson Beach State Park

Campsites in Henderson Beach State Park

Reservations camping

Henderson Beach State Park Campground

Henderson Beach State Park has one pet-friendly campground conveniently located on the eastern edge of the park that offers 60 campsites that accommodate tents or RVs, with a mixture of pull-thru and back-in sites. These sites feature water and electricity hookups. You’ll be able to use the campsite picnic tables, grills, and clothes line posts. There are amenities on site including restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, and vending machines. Although there is no sewer connectivity on site, there is a centrally located dump station. The maximum RV length at the campground is 60 feet. Reservations can be made up to 11 months is advance.

First-come first-served

First-Come, First Served Camping

There are no specific first-come, first-served campsites at this state park.

Alternate camping

Private Campgrounds

If you would prefer to stay outside the campground there are several private campgrounds and RV Parks located nearby in Destin and Pensacola. These private campgrounds may feature a range of modern amenities including cable TV, wireless internet, and swimming pools. Since Henderson Beach State Park is conveniently located near urban areas you can be close to the park while enjoying access to local restaurants and shopping with ease.

Seasonal activities in Henderson Beach State Park

In-Season

Hiking

If you want to park your RV and head out onto the trail, you’ll love the chance to hike the pet-friendly Henderson Beach Nature Trail. This route provides stunning ocean views and the opportunity to discover the native flora and fauna. You won’t want to miss the vista that offers scenic views of the park on top of a dune. You can also hike right on the mile-long stretch of beach to see close-up views of the majestic Gulf of Mexico. If you’d prefer to take a leisurely stroll you’ll want to visit the beach boardwalk.

Biking

If you’re planning on packing your bike, you are in luck since Henderson Beach State Park features a mile-long paved road that is open for biking. You can bike with striking views of the Gulf and spot native wildlife and birds. Restrooms and picnic areas are conveniently located along the trail. Don’t forget to pack your helmet in your RV so you can enjoy thrilling bike rides around the park.

Fishing

There are several spots along the beach where you can fish in the tranquility of the sunny shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you’re a novice or avid angler, you won’t want to miss this chance to catch the native fish that roam the waters of the Florida Panhandle. Make sure you pack your fishing gear for a chance to catch pompano, red fish, flounder, and catfish. Bait and tackle are available for purchase just outside of the park.

Swimming & Boating

Since Henderson Beach State Park is located on the emerald green shores of the Gulf you can enjoy hours of fun in the sun whether you want to crash on the waves in a boat or enjoy a relaxing swim. There is a designated swimming area on the beach that provides a prime spot for getting out in the ocean. The beach offers easy access for kayakers and canoers to coast along the waves in a serene setting.

Beach Recreation

Henderson Beach State Park offers several prime locations to have fun in the sun right on the beach of the Gulf. Whether you want to enjoy a relaxing day of sun tanning or sand castle building or play beach games like volleyball and frisbee, you can do it on these serene Florida beaches. You can also visit a playground located near the Nature Trail.

Off-Season

Wildlife Viewing & Birding

Henderson Beach Nature Trail is a prime destination to spot marine wildlife native to the coast. You can walk along the beach or boardwalk and catch a glimpse of dolphins and sea turtles. You might also spot other native wildlife including rabbits, gopher tortoises, bobcats, and small native reptiles. Migrating monarch butterflies also flutter around the park in the fall. If you are a birding enthusiast, make sure you bring your binoculars in your RV since you can see native and migratory birds that soar in the sky over the Gulf.

Geo-Seeking

Geo-seeking is a modern-day treasure hunt where you use GPS locations posted on websites to find hidden trinkets and even treasure within the park. This is a fun-filled family activity which provides a unique way to explore the park. Why not turn your RV trip into a thrilling treasure hunt and go geo-seeking at this wondrous state park!

Picnicking

There are six prime picnicking locations located in the park, whether you want to use the tranquil picnic and pavilion areas in the central and western edge of the park, or have your own quiet picnic on the sunny shores on the beach. Picnic tables and barbecue grills are available for use at the picnic areas. You can enjoy a relaxing afternoon picnicking while enjoying majestic views of the Gulf during your visit.

Stargazing Programs

During the offseason in the fall and spring, you can a enjoy night of magical stargazing right on the beach. Telescopes are set up to see wondrous celestial objects from bright galaxies to star clusters. Make sure to check the park website to find out when these events are scheduled.

Junior Ranger Program

A fun way to get kids involved in educational activities in the park year-round is to participate in the Junior Ranger Program. When you get to the park just ask for a Junior Ranger Kit, which includes a Junior Ranger Badge, passport, and fun activity kit with games and information about Florida State Parks. The whole family will enjoy this chance to learn more about the rich history and environmental facts about the park.

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