#Emeraldcoasting is vacationing on the best beaches in the world.
The Sunshine State has about 1,800 miles of coastline and 1,100 miles of beach – more than any state in the union. Twenty-four miles of this sandy shoreline – some would say the best of the best – are right here at the Heart of Florida's Emerald Coast. The sand here has been described as "shockingly fine" and so clean that it squeaks underfoot. The brilliant emerald-green water of the Gulf of Mexico provides such a contrast with the blue sky above and the white sand below, it's no wonder artists have been painting this stretch of paradise since it was discovered by the Spanish centuries ago. But perhaps one of the most amazing things about our beaches is that the very best belong to you, the beach-loving public.
Find your favorite beach.
There are five beachfront parks and 12 beach access ways along the Destin, Ft. Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island coastline. Some have pavilions, picnic tables, restrooms with changing areas, playgrounds and volleyball nets. What they all share is that signature sugar-white sand and emerald-green water.
One of the most popular stretches of beach in these parts is Henderson Beach State Park, where you can swim, fish in the surf, go biking, camp and walk the nature trail. In spring, wild rosemary and magnolias bloom here. In autumn, the beach is carpeted with beach morning glory and other colorful wildflowers.
James Lee County Park is another favorite of families. The water here is shallow and clear, and there are lots of picnic tables and parking spaces. If you get hungry, brush off your feet and head for the Crab Trap restaurant in the parking lot.
On Okaloosa Island, you’ll find John C. Beasley County Park where you can snorkel, fish, and even do a little surfing. Or, if you’re looking for a spirited game of beach volleyball, head next door to Newman C. Brackin Wayside (Boardwalk) County Park where you can also enjoy the great restaurants, souvenir shops, and more right on the Boardwalk. You’ll also find a playground for the kids here.
Use the map below to find your place in the sun.