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First timer with beach questions

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Tulsa, Oklahoma
posts: 918
reviews: 33
First timer with beach questions

We are just over a month away from our first time in Destin. And although this is nowhere near our first time to the beach this will be our first time to the beach and not staying at a resort where everything is provided on the beach. Last October I went to Sanibel to photograph a wedding and felt like I was on the set of Castaway the day we went to the beach. Ok, not that bad but it's wasn't the nice relaxing day on the beach I had hoped for. We flew down so no way to bring chairs or anything and since none were provided we found ourselves cooking in the sun with nothing to sit on and hot drinks. We are driving this time so should we bring our own chairs and umbrella (we would have to purchase them) or should we just rent some on the beach? We are staying at The Palms (so not on the beach) and honestly the thought of having to drag everything in and out of the car doesn't sound like much fun.

Other than chairs and an umbrella what else are your beach must haves? Are coolers allowed and what is and isn't allowed as far as drinks go? Alcohol? I'm assuming no glass bottles. Are there places along the beach that you can get drinks and a bite to eat without having to pack everything up?

10 replies to this topic
Valparaiso, Indiana
posts: 255
reviews: 47
1. Re: First timer with beach questions

With respect to your beach service issue; first off, if you elect to buy gear, wait until you arrive. There are numerous nickel-dime beach stores all over Destin that sell the stuff cheap, as does WalMart. The Palms offers shuttle service to the beach at Henderson Park; that being said, I'd call the Palms or the park to see if you can get beach service from anyone there. Might not be able to since it's a state park but it's worth a try. You can also call Sunset Beach Service, they offer beach service all along the panhandle, at least from Navarre to Destin/Miramar. You can pretty much figure at least $150 for a week of beach service; however, just like you, I'm not down for carrying beach service around so it's money well-spent. All the beaches we've gone to down there prohibit glass containers.

Fort Worth, Texas
Destination Expert
for Destin
posts: 2,884
reviews: 5
2. Re: First timer with beach questions

I have a question about the shuttle to Henderson Park. Does the Palms cover the entrance fee into the park or do you have to pay each day?

United States
posts: 3,251
reviews: 35
3. Re: First timer with beach questions

It's free if you take their shuttle. If you stay there but take your own car to Henderson State Park, you pay the entrance fee.

Tulsa, Oklahoma
posts: 918
reviews: 33
4. Re: First timer with beach questions

Oh thats good to know! Thanks for the info!

Fort Worth, Texas
Destination Expert
for Destin
posts: 2,884
reviews: 5
5. Re: First timer with beach questions

Thanks doughnut. I always wondered about that. That's a nice beach mrs_weaver. It's a big area so it never seems crowded.

Hernando, Florida
Destination Expert
for Destin
posts: 3,200
reviews: 2
6. Re: First timer with beach questions

Henderson Beach State Park is the last sterile area of the Destin beaches- no condos and no vendors. There are very nice pavilions with bathroom facilities and grilling areas and I've never seen the parking 100% filled.

It is my personal favorite local beach area and we go often. Although they recently took bids on food, umbrella, kayak rentals etc we can thank the beach gods that the state stepped in and slowed it all down.

Hernando, Florida
Destination Expert
for Destin
posts: 3,200
reviews: 2
7. Re: First timer with beach questions

Also, you can bring a cooler into HBSP but alcohol is prohibited. They do have park rangers that look for beer on the beach but you could always fill a thermos with your favorite libation and drink out of plastic.

Tulsa, Oklahoma
posts: 918
reviews: 33
8. Re: First timer with beach questions

I called a few beach service companies and so far non have worked out. Either too far away (Shades) or only on private access areas (Sunset). But they were both very helpful and Bill from Sunset Beach Service even told me about a guy named Mike that is just West of The Back Porch. He said he has purple umbrellas. Anyone know of him or maybe another company? La Dolce Vida is probably the most convenient for us but they are much more expensive than all other companies I have looked at.

Hernando, Florida
Destination Expert
for Destin
posts: 3,200
reviews: 2
9. Re: First timer with beach questions

If you are going to see Umbrella Mike you'll need to take your own car, if you're taking your own car you might as well buy your own chairs and umbrella for a fraction of the overall rental price (unless you are only going to the beach a day or two). You could park on the east side of the Back Porch and enter the beach at June White Decker park for free.

Incidentally, the Palms does have a great pool area and tiki bar onsite.

Tulsa, Oklahoma
posts: 918
reviews: 33
10. Re: First timer with beach questions

Yes we will have a car and probably will only do the beach a day or two. (Wedding one day, shopping, a trip over to Seaside or Rosemary beach and hanging out by the pool is all on the agenda) How much are chairs and an umbrella? I just hate to buy them because we really will have no use for them other than this trip and I really don't want to have to lug it in and out of the car. LOL But if it is actually going to be easier and save a lot of money we certainly will. I have been unsuccessful in finding a cheap set around here.

Edited: 6:55 pm, June 06, 2014
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