Topsail Hill Preserve vs Henderson Beach

After St. Augustine, we stopped off in Albany, GA for the weekend to see some friends and family. We left Albany with a freezer stocked full of wild game and drove the RV to Destin, FL for more time at the beach. From Albany to Destin, we saw massive destruction from Hurricane Michael back in October. Trees were down everywhere. Tarps were on roofs. We couldn’t believe how far inland the damage extended.

The state parks in Destin are always packed from what we can tell. Leigh kept checking for openings and luckily, we were able to find 3-4 day openings at Topsail State Park and Henderson Beach State to piece together for a full week.

The beaches in the Florida panhandle are beautiful

Topsail was our first stop of the two. When we got there that evening, we noticed the campground seemed kind of quiet, and we finally figured out that everyone was inside watching the Super Bowl. We ended up just relaxing and watching in the Bounder also. The great thing about the beaches on the panhandle is that the sun sets over the ocean. We biked down to the beach almost every evening for some great ones. Topsail also has several trails that are not bad for running, and the park is right off of A1A, which is not a bad bike ride down to the new urban development of Seaside. Topsail also isn’t too far from the Red Bar, one of Leigh’s favorite places. We went one night for date night. The Red Bar was amazing, but sadly, it burned exactly a week after we went – crazy!

One of the many sunsets we enjoyed

From Topsail, went had a short drive down to Henderson Beach State Park. Henderson has the same white sand beaches and clear sand, but the park is pretty different. It feels a little newer and nicer. Also it is right across the street from Walmart and close to Lowe’s, so pretty convenient for projects. One of our days here was cold and windy, so we decided to replace the faucet on our kitchen sink. We liked it so much better so we also replaced the drinking water faucet. Both were huge upgrades, and we can’t believe we didn’t do it sooner.


We had a great week in Destin and were really happy we were able to find an RV spot at both state parks. Our site at Henderson had more vegetation and seemed more private. Henderson also has fire rings while Topsail doesn’t. You honestly can’t go wrong with either park and we are already looking forward to a return trip to the gorgeous panhandle.

Comments · 2

  1. For a family of five with boys 11 and 12, which beach area is better ? Are there restroom facilities at both ? Thanks !

    1. Hi Kari! You honestly can’t go wrong with either. Yes, both have restroom facilities that are nice. I maybe would lean slightly toward Henderson for you just because it is a lot closer to Walmart and other stores. I imagine as a family of 5 there is always going to be someone needing something! Might as well make it more convenient to go grab it 😉

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