Looking for the perfect beach park for a day soaking up the sun with crystal-blue waves splashing nearby? Eglin Beach Park might be the perfect spot. Smooth, unspoiled sand and gulf views aren’t this beach park’s only perks. The accommodating parking area is accessible with a modest parking fee. A well-maintained pavilion, picnic tables, BBQ grills, clean restrooms, and indoor and outdoor showers make this one of the most well-equipped beaches in the Destin area, without the hotels and skyscrapers looming high in the background.
You’ll need a military, DoD, or federal ID to access the park, so keep that in mind when bringing guests along for the ride, although it can be rented for non-military events like high school reunions and weddings.
Not all beach parks in the area have clean restrooms and showers to accommodate visitors, but Eglin Beach Park is remarkably well-maintained at all times, and feels more secure than many beach parks in the area.
If you’re visiting from afar and don’t have a truckload of beach supplies on hand, don’t be dismayed! The park has beach chairs, umbrellas, and other beachy supplies available for rent for a few hours or a full day. Expect clean, white sand, generally good conditions for swimming (although sometimes jellyfish can be a problem), and a peaceful, family-friendly atmosphere. The beach is fully walkable, great for long strolls as far as the fishing pier or beyond. Because the beach and parking areas are secured, they’re generally only open during daylight/work hours–you won’t always be able to catch a sunrise/sunset here, so double-check the open hours when making your plans.
Eglin Beach Park is located just west of the Destin Bridge, so it’s an easy hop over to Destin’s many eateries after a day on the sand.
– The parking lot is never full, but bring a few dollars to pay the modest parking fee ($5 per car for the day, as of this writing). There is a free parking lot around the curve from the official entrance, but you’ll still need your DoD identification when you walk in.
– Sunrises from Eglin Beach Park are breathtakingly gorgeous, and although the park isn’t always open early enough for your to catch a sunrise, it is possible for DoD identification holders to reserve a camping spot here for the night.