Destin, Florida’s roots are as a fishing town, earning the nickname “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” While the community has blossomed into a vibrant area for tourism and upscale shopping and dining, much of its activity is still based around its emerald-colored water and its beautiful sugary white sand beaches. The City of Destin offers visitors access to a county beach park, a state beach park and a series of community beach parks. One such city beach park is Shores at Crystal Beach Park.
The Shores at Crystal Beach Park is one of the reasons the beaches along the Emerald Coast score so high every year in surveys of the nation’s best beaches. Like some other beaches in the area, it offers clear emerald green water that turns to blue as you wade into deeper waters. The sand is soft and sugary white. But perhaps what sets the Shores at Crystal Beach Park apart is that it is quiet, peaceful and very family-friendly. Just stepping onto the sand you can feel yourself decompress. For some, it is their favorite beach destination along the Gulf Coast.
What is this beach’s secret? Much of it has to do with its size. It is less than a half-acre overall and has about 65 feet of Gulf-front beach. There are only nine parking spaces. While these may sound like negatives, it serves to give this beach more of a private feel that is a bit less touristy. In fact, it is a favorite for many locals living in the area.
In spite of its smaller size, the Shores at Crystal Beach Park has all the amenities you could want in a visit to the beach. There are restrooms, showers and even a covered picnic area. Simply lay out some beach towels, plant a beach umbrella and enjoy a few hours on the Gulf. Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen!
This is a particularly popular area to view the amazing sunsets along this part of the Florida Panhandle. Check for sunset times and get ready to catch some stunning images. This is frequently a very satisfying and rewarding place to mark the end of the day in the Destin area. Early risers can also catch some inspiring sunrises.
Another nice feature of Shores at Crystal Beach Park is that it is just down the road from The Emerald Parkway (Rt. 98) Destin’s main commercial thoroughfare and close to Destin Commons, an expansive outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment area. Destin Commons also has a large state-of-the-art theater complex should rain interrupt your visit to the beach.
– Arrive early to select your spot. Shores at Crystal Beach Park is small and the best spots go early.
– Check tides before setting up on the beach. A rising tide may mean you will have to set up back farther from the shoreline. A receding tide and you can set up closer to water’s edge.
– Watch out for afternoon showers or thunderstorms. During the summer, brief afternoon showers or thunderstorms can be frequent but are rarely a deal-breaker. Plan beach time in the morning or mid-day to better ensure an uninterrupted beach experience.
– Always keep an eye out for some of Destin’s most popular residents, its dolphins. They can often be seen from the beach or while in the water.