The first thing that comes to mind for most tourists when hearing the phrase 'vacation in Florida' is a mental picture of West Palm Beach or South Beach. However, heaven exists in Northwest Florida in a hidden place called Destin. Henderson Beach State Park is home to one of the clearest waters and white-sand beaches you will ever visit.

The majestic views from the shoreline surrounded by snow-white sand dunes make this state park a top destination. Henderson Beach State Park was dubbed the 'Emerald Coast' for its crystal-clear waters and sugar-white sands. 

According to Coastal Living, the beaches in Destin feature rounded quartz crystals that were washed down from the Appalachian Mountains at the end of the last Ice Age. If you love building sandcastles, this is the place to visit.

This coastal paradise offers 60 beautiful campsites connected to the beach via a boardwalk and a nature trail for the ultimate getaway. A day trip here will let you discover nurse sharks, other wildlife and sand dunes that are protected by Florida State Parks.

While basking in the sun you can enjoy the sounds of the waves and undescribable Gulf Coast views. 

This place is unreal and must be seen to believe. There are plenty of activities to do around the state park such as diving from Emerald Coast Scuba, fishing at Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier and touring in the Destin Water Taxi. No matter which area you decide to visit, Destin is the destination to add to your summer bucket list.

Henderson Beach State Park is open daily from 8 am until sundown. Entrance to the park is $6 per vehicle. 

Henderson Beach State Park

Address: 17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541

Price: $6 per vehicle

Hours: Daily from 8 am to 8 pm

Why you need to go: This white sand beach has one of the best coastal views in Florida. Besides crystal clear Gulf waters the area features incredible seafood restaurants.