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Better of 30A Florida: Journey Information to South Walton – Florida’s Finest-Saved Secret (2022)

Most individuals have by no means heard of South Walton, however Florida’s Finest-Saved Secret is among the state’s most charming, adventurous and distinctive seashore locations.

Situated on the Florida Panhandle simply off the Gulf of Mexico, South Walton (affectionately often called 30A by locals), has 26 miles of sugary white sand seashores, crystal clear emerald waters, and the added enjoyable of 16 distinct neighbourhoods all with their very own personalities.

South Walton is situated alongside the scenic Freeway 30A (therefore the nickname), and is situated solely 40 minutes from the extra well-known coastal vacation spot of Panama Metropolis Seashore.

South Walton’s official motto is “Discover your Excellent Seashore”, which refers back to the various seashore communities that make this location interesting to each sort of traveler.

On this 30A journey information I cowl the place to eat, keep, and play within the Sunshine State’s best-kept secret.

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South Walton seashore Florida hidden gem

Disclaimer: My journey was sponsored by Go to Florida and Go to South Walton. As at all times, all phrases and opinions are my very own.

While in Florida, you may also like to take a look at:

Why Go to 30A?

Nestled quietly between Panama Metropolis Seashore and Destin, 30A doesn’t have any large lodges or excessive rises, there’s extra of a household really feel than scholar hotspot and boutique native outlets trump chain shops in each means.

Within the US it is named the “Hamptons of the South” because it attracts celebrities and the rich.

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Lovely villages of South Walton

Why is 30A so Well-liked?

30A is standard for its completely pristine seashores, relaxed vacation vibe, and entry to 4 state parks and numerous coastal dune lakes.

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South Walton county Florida

Why do they name it 30A?

The title 30A comes from the precise highway in South Walton County (County Street 30A) that spans the Florida Panhandle shoreline.

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Public seashores on 30A

The place is 30A? How do you get to 30A?

Situated alongside the Florida Panhandle between Destin and Panama Metropolis Seashore, the closest airport is Northwest Florida Seashores Worldwide Airport (ECP), which is 35 miles from South Walton.

You possibly can catch a direct flight to ECP on one in all these 4 airways: Delta, American, Southwest and United Airways, from the next US airports:

  • Atlanta GA
  • Dallas TX
  • Houston TX
  • Nashville TN
  • St Louis MO
  • Washington DC

Different close by airports are Destin-Fort Walton Seashore Airport (VPS), and Pensacola Worldwide Airport (PNS) which is round 2 hours drive away.

From overseas, the best route is to fly to Atlanta (ATL) after which fly 1 hour on to ECP.

When is the Finest Time to Go to 30A?

June to August is the busiest time of yr to go to 30A, with Memorial Day kicking-off the summer season season.

Nonetheless there are quieter (and extra inexpensive instances to go to) reminiscent of April/Might.

In actual fact I visited in late April, and we had good climate all the time, at a fraction of the summer season costs.

September and October are additionally cheaper instances to go to however they do coincide with hurricane season.

Nonetheless it’s throughout this time that the Monarch butterflies migrate via the Panhandle of their approach to Mexico.

What number of Seashore Cities are in 30A?

There are 16 charming seashore communities in South Walton county.

From East to West: Inlet Seashore, Rosemary Seashore, Alys Seashore, Seacrest Seashore, WaterSound, Seagrove, Seaside, WaterColor, Grayton Seashore, Blue Mountain Seashore, Santa Rosa Seashore, Gulf Place, Dune Allen, Sandestin, Seascape and Miramar Seashore.

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Seashores of South Walton FL

The Seashore Communities of 30A

The seashore communities throughout 30A all have their personal personalities, that is seen to guests via the structure and the general vibe.

Under is a lowdown of the 6 hottest seashore cities in South Walton, so you possibly can choose which one resonates essentially the most with you:

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30A Santa Rosa Seashore – South Walton seashore FL

Santa Rosa Seashore

Nice for: Journey seekers

The largest seashore neighborhood in 30A is Santa Rosa Seashore.

It’s extra of a laid-back, golf cart-friendly, a part of South Walton.

There are some gorgeous public seashores (with free parking), and it felt like a hidden gem on it’s personal.

It’s excellent spot for adventurers, as there are many watersports, climbing alternatives in Level Washington State Forest, and biking alongside the Timpoochee Path.

Probably the most distinctive issues to do in Santa Rosa Seashore is go to The Underwater Museum of Artwork.

It’s a everlasting sculpture park situated within the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, inside a mile of the shore at a depth of 58 ft.

Snorkelers can view the museum from a comfy depth above the installations, however licensed scuba divers can observe the sculptures at depth.

The museum is free however you do have to pay for entrance to Grayton Seashore State Park.

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Gorgeous South Walton seashores

Grayton Seashore

Nice for: Creatives

The oldest seashore neighborhood within the space is Grayton Seashore.

It’s an eclectic and quirky place with loads of artwork galleries.

It’s also one of many most pet pleasant locations in 30A, because it’s unofficial motto is “Good Canine, Unusual Folks” which you’ll discover depicted on the street artwork.

Distinctive issues to do in Grayton Seashore embody driving a Jeep on the sand (with the right permits) and exploring the uncommon coastal dune lakes on a SUP board or a kayak.

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Distinctive 30a Florida seashores


Nice for: Coastal allure

The pastel-coloured homes and distinctive white picket fences of this quaint city had been made well-known by the film “The Truman Present”.

Chosen for its image good seems, this deliberate metropolis was designed with New Urbanism in thoughts.

Which means this can be very walkable, procuring and facilities are in shut proximity and it has accessible public areas.

Within the case of Seaside, there are three inexperienced areas value visiting, Ruskin Place, the Amphitheater and the Lyceum.

MUST VISIT: For avenue meals be sure you head over to the airstream trailers that function meals vehicles simply outdoors the Central Sq..

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30A seashore cities

Alys Seashore

Nice for: Luxurious keep

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Alys Seashore South Walton 30A

Alys seashore (pronounced Alice seashore) is an Bermuda impressed architectural gem and an Instagram scorching spot.

The all white exteriors will remind you of the Mediterranean, and while you possibly can discover its completely pristine streets, there’s a “members solely” vibe to this city.

It’s so unique that you may’t entry the seashore right here until you’re a resident or a visitor of the world, however the streets are nonetheless nice for biking, and there loads of attention-grabbing artwork sculptures dotted round.

The very best time of yr to go to Alys Seashore is for the annual Digital Graffiti Pageant in Might.

The white partitions of the buildings present a large-scale clean canvas for artists to venture their vibrant work onto the partitions.

Pageant goers get to expertise an immersive and interactive artwork present underneath the celebs at this distinctive exhibition in Florida.

Rosemary Seashore

Nice for: {Couples} break

Rosemary Seashore is named one in all America’s most romantic small cities.

It’s filled with artisan boutiques, eating places, and impartial shops.

The finest approach to get round is by bike, or just strolling, as there are many parks with public artwork, fountains, and playgrounds, that you’d in any other case miss out within the automotive.

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30A Rosemary seashore


Nice for: Household trip

This seashore is the proper selection for massive teams or households as every thing you want is inside strolling distance. 

The seashores listed here are impeccable and the perfect place to eat needs to be the well-known FOOW (Fish Out Of Water) situated on the Watercolor Inn.

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Lovely seashores South Walton

The place to Keep in 30A

The most effective locations to remain in 30A is Osprey Level at Sandestin Golf & Seashore Resort.

It’s made up of spacious 2, 3, and 4 bed room flats with a full kitchen, lounge and balcony space.

It’s situated within the coronary heart of the resort, the place you possibly can simply entry the seashore, however you’re nonetheless solely a 15 minute stroll (or an excellent shorter bike or tram experience) from The Village of Baytowne Wharf.

The Village, homes loads of eating places, outlets and leisure amenities. It jogged my memory of a ski village within the Alps. All of the facilities underneath one roof, however with out the snow!

Suggestions for Visiting 30A

Getting round 30A

The most effective methods to discover 30A is by golf cart or bicycle.

There are many biking trails and if the warmth places you off, rent an e-bike from Pedago, it’s going to take all of the sweat out of the journey, so all you’ll really feel is the cool breeze in your pores and skin.

Word: The vast majority of the 30A seashore communities enable golf carts however Alys Seashore, Seaside and Rosemary Seashore don’t.

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Rosemary seashore 30A FL

Discover the Seashore Communities

Whatever the seashore city you select to remain in, be sure you go to as lots of the different areas as you possibly can, they differ a lot and also you would possibly discover the proper place so that you can keep in your subsequent go to to South Walton.

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Finest 30A seashores

Comply with the Seashore Guidelines

  • Drinks are welcome, however glass containers will not be allowed.
  • Depart no hint – the seashores listed here are the cleanest I’ve seen anyplace on the planet, and guests are anticipated to maintain it that means.
  • Respect the sea turtles and their nests, it’s in opposition to the regulation to hurt or disturb them in any means.
  • Seashore bonfires are allowed with correct permits, however essentially the most stress free approach to expertise that is with 30A Blaze.
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The Seashores of South Walton Florida

Finest Issues to do in 30A

Past the seashore journeys, South Walton is bursting with out of doors experiences, from bicycle routes to face up paddle boarding.

There are additionally loads of actions for tradition vultures, like artwork galleries and distilleries.

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Grayton Seashore State Park – Finest seashore on 30A

Take in the Artwork Scene

Go to the artwork studio of Tik-Tok well-known Justin Gaffrey.

Situated at Blue Mountain Seashore, Justin makes use of a method of portray with heavy acrylics to create dreamy landscapes and enjoyable distinctive work.

I used to be fortunate sufficient to satisfy the person himself and expertise an artwork demonstration the place I acquired to expertise portray with a palette knife myself (I’ve to say, it’s tougher than it seems!).

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Issues to do 30A

Discover the Distinctive Coastal Dune Lakes on a Paddle Board

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Finest seashores in 30A

30A is among the few locations on the planet (alongside Madagascar and New Zealand) that has coastal dune lakes (there are literally 15 of those freshwater lakes that dot the shoreline right here).

One of the simplest ways to expertise this uncommon ecological gem is to get out onto the water and see it for your self on a kayak or a arise paddle board. 

Head right down to Grayton Seashore State Park, and discover the backwaters of their distinctive 100-acre Western Lake.

The lake water is calm and tranquil so is appropriate for all ability ranges, however you’ll discover it’s a darkish, wealthy tannin-colour, which is attributable to water seepage from the close by sea.

This ensures Western Lake is among the most biodiverse locations in Florida.

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Finest South Walton seashore

Bounce within the Sea

It’s so simple as that!

I’ve at all times most popular a swimming pool to the ocean, however the water at Grayton Seashore was calling to us all and we couldn’t assist however bounce into the waves.

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Finest 30A seashore

Artwork Bicycle Tour

Rent an e-bike and cycle alongside the Freeway 30A.

Cruise via Alys Seashore and take a look at their everlasting out of doors sculptures then discover the WaterSound Monarch Artwork Path and the Timpoochee path.

Then end up at Rosemary Seashore by the sculpture exhibition.

The route is simply 3 miles lengthy, so is manageable by all age teams and health ranges.

Go to a Distillery and a Brewery

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Factor to do within the villages at South Walton

Simply steps away from one another in Santa Rosa Seashore, is Distillery 98 and Idyll Hounds.

Distillery 98 produces small batches of handmade vodka comprised of domestically sourced components and household farmed crops.

They use a oyster shell filtration course of to distill their distinctive Dune Laker vodka. Additionally they present excursions, tastings, and cocktail courses for guests, that I can extremely advocate!

Subsequent door is, Idyll Hounds Brewery, a microbrewery that options artistic flavours and new takes on beer, ciders and exhausting seltzer drinks.

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Distillery near seashores of South Walton

Luxurious Seashore Picnic and Bonfire

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30a Santa Rosa seashore FL

The seashores of the Florida Panhandle are probably the greatest locations to expertise a luxurious picnic and bonfire.

The setup is catered to your group, however anticipate a handcrafted desk, lounging pillows, blankets, flowers, and candles, alongside essentially the most stunning charcuterie boards and even a guitar participant or two to serenade you into the night.

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Picnic in Florida 30A

Photos don’t do that expertise justice however belief me, when you’ve tried it, you’ll be too spoilt to return to a easy picnic within the park.

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Lovely seashore cities on 30A

After the two hour seashore picnic you too can go for a bonfire, absolutely outfitted with tiki lights, a fireplace pit, and all of the components to make the proper s’mores, while you absorb the sundown.

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Santa Rosa Seashore – Finest 30A city
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Seashore bonfire 30A

The place to Eat in 30A

There are numerous locations to eat in 30A, however right here a set of locations I’ve visited first hand.

Charlie’s Café

There are a number of branches of Charlie’s Café situated round South Walton together with Rosemary Seashore and Inlet Seashore.

It’s such an excellent place for fast and engaging meals, that I visited twice in 3 days!

You possibly can choose up breakfast (I cherished their 1920’s model donuts and breakfast burrito), or seize lunch to go (I went for the traditional grilled cheese with purple pepper gouda soup).


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FOOW is a should go to on South Walton holidays

FOOW- Fish Out of Water, is situated within the WaterColor Inn, and is among the few household eating places in 30A that overlooks the Gulf of Mexico.

It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu focuses on recent seafood, however there are many decisions to go well with everybody, and I can totally advocate the “Georgia Peach on the Seashore” drink.

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The Seashore at Watercolor Inn, cocktail in hand

Airstream Row

As already talked about, Airstream Row in Seaside is among the finest locations for avenue meals in South Walton.

You possibly can get pleasure from high quality barbecue, scorching canines, grilled cheeses, donuts, snow cones, and crêpes — all ready from customized retrofitted Airstreams.

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Road meals on Freeway 30A Florida


Situated in Resort Effie in Sandestin, Ovide is a should go to if you’re searching for effective eating.

The delicacies showcases Gulf Coast flavours and traditional French methods.

Highlights included, Effie’s biscuits with bacon jam, and the pasta primavera pictured beneath.

Ara Rooftop Bar

Resort Effie Sandestin, is the solely lodge with a rooftop pool on Florida’s Emerald Coast.

It additionally occurs to be the finest place for sundown cocktails.

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Better of 30A

Whether or not you fancy a dip within the heated pool, a comfortable night in one of many cabanas or a recreation of life-size Join 4, Ara rooftop bar is most stylish area to spend a night in 30A.

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Sundown views of 30A

Hibiscus Espresso & Guesthouse

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Hidden gem on 30A highway journey

Situated in Grayton Seashore, this hidden gem is the proper breakfast cafe.

It has loads of veggie choices like vegan biscuits and gravy subsequent to staples like smoothies, granola, waffles, cinnamon rolls and natural drinks.

There’s restricted seating inside however loads of out of doors area the place you possibly can sit underneath the oak bushes and luxuriate in your breakfast in nature.

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The Waffle Great at Hibiscus

The place to Go to After South Walton?

After taking within the ambiance of South Walton, you possibly can drive simply 40 minutes to Panama Metropolis Seashore for a extra laidback seashore trip or drive 2 hours in the wrong way to Pensacola, the place you possibly can soak in additional of the historical past and wildlife of the Florida Panhandle.

Planning a Journey to Florida?

If you wish to learn extra, try a few of my hottest associated posts beneath or the Go to Florida web site for extra particulars:

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Finest Seashores of 30A

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