Passes for Henderson Beach State Park, Joe's Bayou Boat Ramp and beach parking now available

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Although it doesn’t feel like it right now with temps in the 40s and 50s, spring will be here before you know and you’ll need those annual passes. 

Destin offers different passes to city residents for beach access parking, Henderson Beach State Park and Joe's Bayou Boat Ramp. 

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city encourages all to submit their request online, but will certainly help those who do not have internet access,” said Catherine Card, public information officer for the city. 

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Residents of the city of Destin are eligible to buy a pass for Henderson Beach State Park for $30 and $25 for senior citizens age 65 and up. The pass is good from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 and is valid only at Henderson Beach. The city is limiting one pass per household and there is an eight-passenger per vehicle limit. The pass must be affixed to the driver’s side windshield to be valid. 

Destin residents can pick up a free beach parking pass at city hall. The pass is not valid for the Harbor district or James Lee Park parking.

As of Jan. 11, the city had issued 80 passes for the state park. 

As for beach parking passes, those are free to residents who live within the incorporated area of Destin. The limit is two passes per household and are for use in paid parking areas along Scenic Highway 98 in Crystal Beach and along Gulf Shore Drive on Holiday Isle. 

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Residents must show a valid driver’s license as proof of residency, as well as their vehicle tag and registration to get the beach parking pass. 

Residents without a pass will have to pay a parking rate of $5 per five hours. Handicapped vehicles park for free. 

The parking pass is not good for the Destin Harbor district parking or for areas near James Lee Park. 

The popular boat launch at 800 Beach Drive in Destin remains open from 6 a.m. to dusk daily. The launch fee is $20, with a free annual pass available to those living within the incorporated area of Destin.

As of Jan. 11, the city had handed out 152 beach parking passes, according to Card. 

The pass for Joe's Bayou Boat Ramp is also free for those who live in incorporated Destin. The limit is one per household. 

Folks can pick up a pass for the boat ramp at City Hall or the Destin Community Center. Residents must show a driver's license and boat and trailer registration. 

According to the city’s website, residents can purchase additional boat launch passes for $50 each. The daily fee without a pass is $20. 

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If you’re a non-resident, the annual pass for the boat launch is available for $250. 

As of Jan. 11, the city had issued 32 passes for Joe’s Bayou Boat Ramp.

This pass is the only pass that really makes revenue for the city. From October 2019 to September 2020, Destin collected $11,945 for the use of the boat ramp and parking of boat trailers. 

If you haven’t got your city passes yet, there is still time. 

“They can be purchased anytime,” Card said.  

The passes are valid from the date of issue through Dec. 31, 2021. 

For more information, contact Destin City Hall at 4200 Indian Bayou Trail or call 850-837-4242.