As you know, the Florida panhandle beaches are close to my heart and we visit the area frequently. After finding an incredible deal for the luxurious Henderson Beach Resort in Destin, Alex and I decided to book a quick weekend trip to the area in early March. The Henderson completely blew us away and we hope to return for another trip soon. The resort is located right next to Henderson Beach State Park and is within walking/biking/driving distance of several restaurants. It’s a lovely place to stay for a weekend (or more!).
We started our day with breakfast at Big Bad Breakfast, a concept created by James Beard award-winning chef John Currence, in Inlet Beach near Rosemary Beach. The menu included items that ranged from healthy to decadent. Portions were substantial and everything was made with local ingredients like Gulf seafood. What to order: Yard Work skillet (pictured below) and Chicken and Waffles.
After breakfast, we picked up a few donuts for the weekend at our favorite local donut shop, Donut Hole. My favorite donuts are the Red Velvet (with cream cheese frosting of course), Devil’s Food, Blueberry Cake, and Apple Spice.
On our way to Destin, we had to make a stop at our beloved 30A beaches. We seriously can’t go to the area without a visit to Seaside! We walked around the town center to admire the renovations that had been done since our last visit and picked up some new shirts at the Seaside Style shop and a book for our son at Sundog Books.
We then drove to Destin to spend the next 24 hours enjoying the facilities at the Henderson and relaxing. The Henderson oozes luxury from top to bottom. The lobby and balcony area is the perfect place to sit with friends and enjoy a drink in the fresh air with views of the state park. There is also a bar area that serves small bites and great cocktails. We happened to have some friends staying at the Henderson the same weekend so we met there for post-dinner drinks.
The rooms at the Henderson are spacious, with large bathtubs and soft robes. They even include a separate vanity area for hair and makeup, which I thoroughly appreciated! The rooms also have fantastic balconies with chairs and tables – perfect for enjoying a glass of wine and the sunset.
One of the best parts about the Henderson is the spacious and inviting pool, complete with its own lazy river. You can grab a noodle and float down the river to your heart’s content. When you’re done, there are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas to relax in or take a nap. I didn’t take a picture, but there is also a great little wading pool and splash pad for the little ones. We would definitely come back with our son. Near the pool area is a green space with lawn games like cornhole and ladder ball.
If you get hungry at the pool, there is a great little pool bar that serves classic pool items like quesadillas, burgers, and fries as well as cold drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). There’s also an ice cream and candy shop just inside near the kids’ activity area, but it wasn’t open during our visit.
A short walk from the pool behind the resort takes you to the private Henderson beach access. I’m not sure what the exact boundaries of the private beach area are, but we basically had the beach to ourselves which was incredible, especially in the popular Destin area. You do have to pay an additional fee for umbrellas and beach chairs, but since we weren’t planning to stay on the beach for very long, we just laid on our towels.
I always try to stay active on vacation and the Henderson is the perfect place to do so. The gym facilities are fantastic. They have everything you could need from cardio equipment to weight machines to mats and things for core exercises. The best part (to me!) is that the gym includes two Peleton bikes. As a spinning/indoor cycling enthusiast, I have been wanting to try a Peleton class forever and this was the perfect opportunity. I absolutely loved the class and workout, and especially enjoyed the beautiful views through the large glass windows during my “ride.” My only complaint is that I forgot my own headphones. I used a disposable pair from the gym but there was a problem with the connection and sometimes the sound cut in and out.
We also borrowed bikes during our visit and biked 3 miles along the water to Pompano Joe’s and back. We initially wanted to bike into Henderson Beach State Park, which is right next to the resort, but you have to go out to the main road to get there. The road was under major construction and I just didn’t feel comfortable or safe biking in that area. We will have to try it on a future trip when the construction is complete!
For dinner, we drove to the nearby local favorite, Back Porch. We shared smoked fish dip and had fantastic fresh seafood. We intended to watch the sunset and even lucked out with a great table! Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate – it was very overcast and we didn’t get a sunset at all.
On our way out of town, we stopped at Another Broken Egg Cafe for brunch. The place we had wanted to go was closed while the owners were on vacation, but Another Broken Egg Cafe is a regional favorite and everything is excellent. The Destin area is shockingly short on brunch establishments, so I recommend arriving early to get a table or risk having a long wait. In the alternative, I think it’s clear there is a market for some new brunch spots in the area!
We absolutely loved our time at the Henderson and cannot wait to return, maybe with our son next time! Have you been to the Henderson? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Where to Eat
Big Bad Breakfast, 10711 E County Hwy 30A, Rosemary Beach, FL 32461
Donut Hole, 12983 US-98 E, Inlet Beach, FL 32413
Back Porch, 1740 Scenic Hwy 98, Destin, FL 32541
Another Broken Egg Cafe,