Clement Taylor Park is a cozy waterfront beach park facing the bay. But before we go any further, a warning: you can’t currently access the water from this beachside park. At the time of this review, as-yet unrepaired hurricane damage has rendered the pavilion and pier unsafe, so the areas closest to the shore are fenced off. Despite this issue, which is a dealbreaker for many visitors, Clement Taylor Park still has a lot to offer–including a break from the crowds.
A sizable playground makes the park attractive for younger visitors, who love the slides, swingsets, and climbing bars, despite fading paint and aging design. The playground equipment itself isn’t the newest or the most attractive, but it’s solid, safe, and still delights kids who need to expend some energy in short order. The atmosphere of Clement Taylor ticks all the boxes for a beautiful city park: calm, uncrowded, a haven for tropical birds and squirrels, with–if you’re lucky–a comfortable, easy breeze drifting in from the bay.
Well-established trees draped with Spanish moss, brightly-colored flowers, and thoughtful (though not particularly manicured) landscaping give the park the feel of an unstructured garden, well-removed from the hustle and bustle of Destin’s boardwalk and hotel district just a few blocks away.
The park is home to a volleyball court and public restrooms, both adequately clean and well-maintained. Nothing here is shiny and new, but the settled-in feeling of the space still welcomes visitors who just want a quiet playground, picnic tables and grills, or unhurried space to spread out and enjoy the waterfront area. Although there’s no word on plans to complete hurricane damage restoration, a waterfront pavilion and fishing area await repairs–and those repairs would make this park a much more desirable (and no doubt, also more crowded) destination. For now, It’s a low-key getaway from the hustle and bustle of the beach scene.
Clement Park is located just off Calhoun Avenue, around the bend from Wet ‘N Wild and opposite the highway from Destin’s HarborWalk. It’s convenient to many of Destin’s top hotels, but it’s far enough from the well-traveled paths that it’s rarely busy.
– Even though you currently can’t walk up the pier due to storm damage, Clement Taylor Park is a fabulous spot to watch the sunset! Time your visit right, and you’ll be rewarded with spellbinding views of the sun setting over the bay.