South Walton Beaches: A Guide to All 16 Spots Along 30a
South Walton is a beach community that has 26 miles of white sand along Florida’s Panhandle coast. Its Gulf of Mexico location and mild climate lend itself to year-round outdoor activities, nature-inspired art and tons of places to explore. So many that visitors have access to 16 South Walton beaches, each with their own unique neighborhoods. Find artsy to exotic and restaurants and things to do. With so much to see, we rounded up a quick list of what to expect at these locations. Check out our guide to the 16 South Walton beaches along 30a Highway.
South Walton Beaches: Guide to 16 Towns and What to Expect
A 20-acre nature preserve and outdoor sculptures beckon guests to experience natural beauty. A mix of modern and natural, Alys is know for palm trees and style. Live entertainment and movies often play in green spaces, and stop at George’s, Caliza and Fonville Press Coffee Shop for meals.
Named after the area’s blue lupine flower, this neighborhood appeals to those looking for laid-back vibes. Known for an eclectic food scene, Blue Mountain has several restaurants ranging from an Irish pub to Greek to homemade ice cream. Enjoy incredible views atop the neighborhood, which sits slightly more elevated than others along 30a.
This community has three coastal dune lakes and 5 miles of trails to explore. Stop for a photo opp at Oyster Lake Bridge, and try one of the area’s raved about restaurants. Stinky’s Fish Camp was named one of the top 10 to eat like a local by USA Today. In addition, fishing ranks as a popular pastime, as Dune Allen is home to Stinky’s Bait Shack – the only live bait shack on 30a.
Grayton Beach offers a pet-friendly spot with a motto of “nice dogs, friendly folks.” The town celebrates music by hosting live shows nearly every night of the week. Three fishing excursions take visitors on the water, while several local artists open studios and galleries to the public. Find a dozen places for any meal of the day, including bars, coffee shops and more.
This artsy community has several boutiques, cafes and restaurants for those who love local culture. Guests will find handcrafted treasures to take home and an artist colony at Artists at Gulf Place. Kristy’s Paint Party hosts casual painting classes for all ages. Diners enjoy creating their own pizza at Pizza by the Sea, and other top restaurants include The Perfect Pig and Sunrise Coffee Co.
This community attracts those who want a cozy, care-free vibe. Inlet Beach has the largest public beach access point – catering to beach lovers – and is surrounded by 13 acres of protected dunes. Enjoy scenic views at one of the area’s restaurants, including Donut Hole Cafe and Bakery, a South Walton staple.
Admire Gulf views and try dining and shopping in Miramar. Home to Silver Sands Premium Outlets, shoppers will love browsing one of the largest designer outlets in the U.S. Antiques on Holiday features a changing inventory of European antiques. For more fun, families can learn to stand-up paddleboard with YOLO, or learn to surf with Ride on Surf School. Dozens of restaurants, from chains to locally owned, provide the perfect fuel to continue the adventure.
Known as one of CNN’s most romantic small towns, this neighborhood offers shopping for everyone in the family. Dozens of boutiques keep guests on their feet, while Bamboo Bike Co. offers bikes and tandems for cyclists. Foodies should try one of Rosemary Beach’s highly praised dining spots.
One of the area’s most popular spots, Sandestin has outdoor fun for all ages. Visitors should zipline and rock climb at Village of Baytowne Wharf. Take a boat out with SunVenture 1, or let kids play in the arcade and laser maze at BLAST. Several restaurants are located throughout the area, including Lazy Gecko, Another Broken Egg Cafe and Poppy’s Seafood Factory.
Santa Rosa Beach
Timeless and classic best describe historic Santa Rosa. Established in 1910, this neighborhood offers tons of outdoor recreation, including horseback riding and sandcastle lessons. Explore the arts at Bayou Arts Center, or visit one of the area’s known artists. Find barbecue, doughnuts and Philly cheese steaks – and several more treats – at one of the many restaurants. See the best Santa Rosa lunch restaurants.
Spend the day exploring Seacrest, which features bird-watching and walking trails. Renting a bike from Peddlers provides an easy, healthy way to see the area. To immerse in Southern culture, check out Acme Ice House, and other restaurants include La Cocina and 30A Bagels and Coffee.
Beautiful, well-kept landscaping attracts travelers to Seagrove, home to upscale boutiques, two coastal dune lakes and a state park. Deer Lake State Park provides an ideal picnic spot or walk the boardwalk and trails. 723 Whiskey Bravo and Cowgirl Kitchen and Cafe are just two of many dining options.
Perfect for outdoor lovers and active vacationers, the Seascape resort features tennis courts, bike and walking trails, and a championship golf course. Two top-rated restaurants located on site include Whale’s Tail and Cabana Cafe.
This walkable – and bikeable – neighborhood offers an artsy vibe and its own theater troupe. Browse a dozen galleries and studios featuring local artists, and try a new dish at one of the top restaurants. Reviewers rave about The Meltdown, Modica Market, Great Southern Cafe and Amavida Coffee.
Popular for special events, WaterColor has a spa and its own wine bar, Chan’s Wine World, which also manages an attached family-friendly restaurant. Find that perfect gift or souvenir in one of the boutiques, or get in the water with one of the adventure outfitters. Above all, remember to explore the natural areas.
New England-inspired architecture and pristine beaches welcome guests to this gated resort. Shop the farmers market for fresh produce, and play a round at one of WaterSound’s golf courses. The Hub 30A is a popular gathering spot for all ages, and don’t miss the Origins Trailhead, a 5-mile walkable connection to Panama City Beach Conservation Park.
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