1. Find the best view in Destin. The Corner Suite on the second floor (#203) has windows that give a semicircular view of Henderson State Park and the beach.
2. See a great sunset. Sunset Toast starts at 5 p.m. Gather around the tiki hut to mingle and watch the sun disappear into the distance.
3. Chill on the beach. Lie low under one of Henderson Park Inn’s 35 private umbrellas. The inn’s friendly staff stops by on the hour to bring lounging guests extra snacks and drinks.
4. Start off with a gourmet breakfast. In-house chefs serve made-to-order omelets, and the views from the dining area are spectacular. From windowside seats, diners often spy swimming dolphins.
5. Bike by the beach. Guests get dibs on Henderson Park Inn bikes, good for rolling down Scenic Highway 98, which runs for 10 miles along the beach. Rent a bike for the afternoon, or just relax on 1.2 miles of unobstructed beach.
Every Destin property would love to sit on the beach, but only one bed-and-breakfast can claim that its guests can step off the back patio into silky white sand. The Henderson Park Inn suffered damage at the hands of Hurricane Ivan, but thanks to new owners, the property has emerged better than ever―all alone on a sandy sliver of surfside heaven.
Resembling a coastal retreat in upstate Maine more than a traditional Southern inn, the Henderson Park offers two buildings with a total of 35 rooms. Both are breathtakingly beautiful with large verandas and oversize decks. The main house―an older but still stunning structure―features carpeted rooms with flat-screens TVs, fresh decor, and 750 thread count make-you-melt-like-butter sheets. The west building boasts the same amenities but with bigger rooms.
Great Gourmet Dining
Hungry? Dine at Beach Walk, the inn’s new restaurant, headed by chef Tim Creehan. Tim prepares complimentary gourmet lunches for guests in the afternoon. But he saves his culinary coup de grâce for dinner: duck, venison, and locally caught grouper. Entrées begin at $26. Henderson Park Inn isn’t just the only B&B on the beach. It will also be the only one in your dreams.
Henderson Park Inn: 2700 Scenic Highway 98, Destin, FL 32541; www.hendersonparkinn.com or 1-866-398-4432. Rates: $298-$1,200.