June White Decker Park

June White Decker Park: Popular Free Public Beach Access in Destin, FL
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Wedged among condos and high-rises off Scenic US Highway 98, Julia White Decker Park provides nice free public beach access along Destin’s share of the Emerald Coast’s sugar sands. Outfitted with a public restroom, a couple of outdoor showers, a beach walkover, and other amenities, the park—close to multiple dining destinations—makes a great destination for sunbathing, swimming, and strolling, though crowding can be an issue given its small size and popularity.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Situated right along Scenic US Highway 98, June White Decker Park offers access to a powdery little stretch of Destin’s seashore backed by condos and hotels and open from dawn until dusk every day.

The park includes 1,000 or so feet of beachfront: a modest area, for sure, but nonetheless a precious bit of free, public Gulf of Mexico shoreline ideal for sunbathing and swimming. The park beach comes bordered by the private roped-off sands of neighboring resorts and hotels. As you might expect, this little beach can get crowded quickly, so if it’s possible plan on arriving early in the morning and staking out a spot. 

For such a small beach park there’s a nice spread of amenities on hand, including a designated parking area (on top of curbside street parking), a beach walkover, a bike rack, a public restroom, and a pair of outdoor showers. You won’t find a lifeguard here, however, so swim at your own risk and heed all coastal advisories and closures.

Keep in mind that, as along many Florida beaches, you may occasionally deal with jellyfish swarms at June White Decker Park—though with the proper mindset that’s just another cool natural Sunshine State phenomena to experience while beachgoing!

A couple of Destin’s other public beach access points lie quite close to June White Decker Park, Calhoun and Silver Shells, which expands your options for finding a spot to pitch a beach chair or lay down a towel. 

Meanwhile, June White Decker Park is also just a stone’s throw from a much more extensive (though not free) swath of sugar sand: Henderson Beach State Park, well worth visiting for its native scrub habitat and lovely dunes, which are explorable via hiking trails and the beachfront itself. This is also a great spot to watch for dolphins, sea turtles, seabirds, and other wildlife. The state park also maintains a 60-site campground.

It may not win any awards in the size department, but June White Decker Park is nonetheless a deservedly popular swath of publicly accessible beachfront along Destin’s heavily developed and extensively privatized Gulf of Mexico shore.

Insider Tips:
– June White Decker Park’s beach is a great perch for enjoying Destin’s topnotch sunsets.
– The park lies within close proximity to several notable Destin restaurants, including The Back Porch and the Destin Diner, which makes this beach one of the more convenient ones for combining lunch or dinner with some hardcore Gulf of Mexico surfside R&R.