Crystal Beach in Destin is perfectly named due to the shimmering quartz crystal white sand shore that borders the jewel toned waters on the gulf. The ever changing emerald hued waters here are absolutely dazzling. Crystal Beach is an upscale residential community of single family homes and luxurious condominiums located along Scenic Highway 98, bordering Destiny towards the east and the expansive Henderson Beach State Park towards the west. Although this list could go on forever, here are our favorite 7 reasons to choose Destin’s Crystal Beach for your next memorable family vacation.
1. Location, Location, Location
From this convenient centralized point on Scenic Highway 98, you are on the beach side of Emerald Coast Parkway. This places you in between Destin towards the west and Miramar Beach toward the east. You literally have the best of both worlds. Destin offers all the action at Harborwalk Village on the bustling Destin Marina with a wide variety of private fishing charters, dolphin watching, sunset cruises, water sports, pontoon boat rentals, waterfront restaurants, lively bars, specialty stores, free musical concerts, fun seasonal festivals and firework celebrations throughout the summer as well as on special holidays. Miramar Beach offers much the same with excellent restaurants, friendly bars, festivals, concerts as well as family fun at the charming Village of Baytowne Wharf and Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. You will also be able to go bargain shopping at Silver Sands which happens to be the largest discount designer outlet in the nation. If you are flying to the Emerald Coast, Crystal Beach provides easy flight access since the Northwest Florida Regional Airport is less than thirty minutes away via the Mid Bay Toll Bridge.
2. A Wholesome Family Feel
Crystal Beach offers everything from cute cozy cottages to luxurious condominiums to opulent beachfront mansions. The rich blend of architectural styles include Mediterranean, Victorian, Antebellum as well as Old Florida Style with white picket fences, breezy balconies, wrap around porches and tin roofs. There are numerous public access points to the beautiful beach that are just a short stroll away if you are not staying right on the gulf. These neighborhoods and homes evoke a warm nostalgic family feel. You may find yourself enjoying a cold glass of lemonade on a front porch or perhaps a frozen Daiquiri! Many have yards for the kids to play in or even a private pool out back. The ambiance is decidedly laid back relaxing and fun. Besides all this, other amusements are close by for the whole family. The Track has Go Karts, Water Bumper Boats, Put Put Golf, an old fashioned Carousel and a Video Arcade. Big Kahuna’s giant Water Park and tropically themed miniature golf course is also nearby where Ocean Reef Guests receive special rates.
3. Destin Commons is Minutes Away
This convenient location is just a few blocks away from a Disneyesque version of a shopping village known as Destin Commons. Complete with turrets, towers, dancing fountains and pedestrian friendly walkways, you almost feel like you are somewhere in Europe. Palm lined streets and sidewalks throughout this retail village pass by designer clothing shops, specialty boutiques, and a huge assortment of restaurants of all kinds well as a state of the arts Multiplex Theater. It is anchored by a giant Bass Pro Shop at one end, Belk's Department Store on the other and Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl and Grill on the third side.
4. Great Places to Eat Nearby Along the Gulf
Three Crystal Beach restaurants are located right on Scenic Highway 98 and some are within easy walking distance from our Crystal Beach vacation rentals . At the far western end is the Beachwalk Cafe at the charming old Henderson Beach Inn. This award winning gourmet restaurant is exquisite and beachfront dining doesn't get much better than this. Views towards the west are totally unobstructed since this spot borders the expanse of Henderson Beach. You can even dine on the beach itself with Tiki Torch lighting. Camille's is another Crystal Beach restaurant which was founded by Charles Morgan, the longtime local owner of the popular Harbor Docks in Destin. They have everything from sushi to pizza and specialize in fresh caught specialty seafood served in a casual atmosphere decorated with vibrant Tuscan colors. The third restaurant is called 790 on the Gulf located at the Inn at Crystal Beach. The main entrees here include “down home cooking” with ample portions of New Orleans Cajun seafood specialties, fried catfish, chicken, a variety of gumbos and even meat loaf. It is a popular place since an outdoor patio is available for dining right next to the beach.
5. This Neighborhood Borders Henderson Beach State Park
If you want to experience wide open spaces that offer natural pristine beauty, be happy to know that Henderson borders Crystal Beach towards the west. Henderson State Beach Park is a unique destination. The sugary shore extends over one mile from Crystal Beach all the way to Downtown Destin and it runs from the glistening gulf to Emerald Coast Parkway towards the north. Boardwalks provide easy access to the beach for sunbathing, swimming or fishing. It is also Pet Friendly. Multiple pavilions are there for picnics or grilling and there is a fun playground for the kids. Nature trails meander across the rolling dunes beside the gulf allowing visitors to enjoy a rare glimpse of the coastal dune ecosystem and the natural abundant wildlife found there.
6. The “Crystal” White Sand “Beach”
The amazingly crystalline white quality of the sparkling shore here is what Crystal Beach was named for. These sands are actually made from natural white quartz crystal which was washed down from the Appalachian Mountains during the last Ice Age. Over the millennia daily tidal action ground them down into soft powder form which graced this special part of the Emerald Coast. In fact they are so fine and pure that they literally squeak beneath your feet. The white sand reflects the rays of the sun so it remains cool and does not burn your feet. The other effect provided is the shimmering emerald hues that emanate from the water due to the sun’s reflection of microscopic sea algae from the sandy bottom, which dazzles the eyes with its beauty.
7. Variety of Distinctive Private Vacation Rental Properties.
Ocean Reef Resorts is proud to offer a large variety of private rental accommodations here ranging from luxurious contemporary condos on the beach to charming cottages nearby, and just about everything in between. We have been providing distinctively deluxe privately owned vacation rental properties to generations of guests for over 33 years. Many of our guests make it a tradition to come here every year with family or friends for an enjoyable annual vacation getaway. We receive great reviews from our guests many of whom came here originally as young couples, brought their kids with them in later years and now bring the Grand Kids down. Our user friendly website features all of our Crystal Beach vacation rentals so you may discover the one that suits your family and friends best. Written descriptions, multiple images, individual property amenities, satellite views of locations, seasonal rental rates, calendar availability and details about our popular Reef Rewards complimentary perks are all listed. Now you have 7 reasons to include Crystal Beach as your primary family fun destination!