Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Better of 30A Florida: Journey Information to South Walton – Florida’s Finest-Stored Secret (2023)

Most individuals have by no means heard of South Walton, however Florida’s Finest-Stored Secret is without doubt one of the state’s most charming, adventurous and distinctive seaside locations.

Situated on the Florida Panhandle simply off the Gulf of Mexico, South Walton (affectionately generally known as 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 Seaside.

South Walton’s official motto is “Discover your Excellent Seaside”, which refers back to the numerous seaside 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 seaside 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 Seaside and Fort Walton Seaside, 30A doesn’t have any large accommodations or excessive rises, there’s extra of a household really feel than pupil hotspot and boutique native outlets trump chain shops in each approach.

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

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Stunning villages of South Walton

Why is 30A so Widespread?

30A is fashionable 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 street in South Walton County (County Highway 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 Fort Walton Seaside and Panama Metropolis Seaside, the closest airport is Northwest Florida Seashores Worldwide Airport (ECP), which is 35 miles from South Walton.

You’ll be able to catch a direct flight to ECP on considered one of 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 Seaside Airport (VPS), and Pensacola Worldwide Airport (PNS) which is round 2 hours drive away.

From overseas, the simplest 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 12 months to go to 30A, with Memorial Day kicking-off the summer time season.

Nonetheless there are quieter (and extra reasonably priced instances to go to) equivalent to April/Could.

In actual fact I visited in late April, and we had good climate your complete time, at a fraction of the summer time 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 by way of the Panhandle of their approach to Mexico.

What number of Seaside Cities are in 30A?

There are 16 charming seaside communities in South Walton county.

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

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Seashores of South Walton FL

The Seaside Communities of 30A

The seaside communities throughout 30A all have their personal personalities, that is seen to guests by way of the structure and the general vibe.

Beneath is a lowdown of the 6 hottest seaside cities in South Walton, so you possibly can choose which one resonates probably the most with you:

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30A Santa Rosa Seaside – South Walton seaside FL – greatest seashores in santa rosa seaside – greatest santa rosa seaside seashores

Santa Rosa Seaside

Nice for: Journey seekers

The largest seaside group in 30A is Santa Rosa Seaside.

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 great spot for adventurers, as there are many watersports, mountain climbing alternatives in Level Washington State Forest, and biking alongside the Timpoochee Path.

One of the distinctive issues to do in Santa Rosa Seaside 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 snug depth above the installations, however licensed scuba divers can observe the sculptures at depth.

The museum is free however you do must pay for entrance to Grayton Seaside State Park.

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Gorgeous South Walton seashores

Grayton Seaside

Nice for: Creatives

The oldest seaside group within the space is Grayton Seaside.

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

Additionally it is 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 Seaside embrace 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 appears to be like, this deliberate metropolis was designed with New Urbanism in thoughts.

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

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

MUST VISIT: For road meals ensure you head over to the airstream trailers that function meals vehicles simply exterior the Central Sq..

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30A seaside cities

Alys Seaside

Nice for: Luxurious keep

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Alys Seaside South Walton 30A

Alys seaside (pronounced Alice seaside) is an Bermuda impressed architectural gem and an Instagram sizzling 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 would be able to’t entry the seaside 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 12 months to go to Alys Seaside is for the annual Digital Graffiti Competition in Could.

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

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

Rosemary Seaside

Nice for: {Couples} break

Rosemary Seaside is called considered one of America’s most romantic small cities.

It’s full of artisan boutiques, eating places, and impartial shops.

The greatest 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 automobile.

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30A Rosemary seaside


Nice for: Household trip

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

The seashores listed below are impeccable and the very best place to eat must be the well-known FOOW (Fish Out Of Water) situated on the Watercolor Inn.

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Stunning seashores South Walton – greatest 30a seashores for households

The place to Keep in 30A

Among the best locations to remain in 30A is Osprey Level at Sandestin Golf & Seaside 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 seaside, however you might be nonetheless solely a 15 minute stroll (or a fair shorter bike or tram experience) from The Village of Baytowne Wharf.

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

Ideas for Visiting 30A

Getting round 30A

Among the best 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 can take all of the sweat out of the journey, so all you’ll really feel is the cool breeze in your pores and skin.

Be aware: The vast majority of the 30A seaside communities enable golf carts however Alys Seaside, Seaside and Rosemary Seaside don’t.

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Rosemary seaside 30A FL

Discover the Seaside Communities

Whatever the seaside city you select to remain in, ensure you go to as most of the different areas as you possibly can, they differ a lot and also you may 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 Seaside Guidelines

  • Drinks are welcome, however glass containers will not be allowed.
  • Go away no hint – the seashores listed below are the cleanest I’ve seen wherever on the earth, and guests are anticipated to maintain it that approach.
  • Respect the sea turtles and their nests, it’s in opposition to the regulation to hurt or disturb them in any approach.
  • Seaside bonfires are allowed with correct permits, however probably 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 seaside journeys, South Walton is bursting with outside 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 Seaside State Park – Finest seaside on 30A

Take in the Artwork Scene

Tackle: Justin Gaffrey Gallery, 21 Blue Gulf Dr, Santa Rosa Seaside, FL 32459

Web site: justingaffrey.com/

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

Situated at Blue Mountain Seaside, Justin makes use of a way 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 received to expertise portray with a palette knife myself (I’ve to say, it’s tougher than it appears to be like!).

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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 without doubt one of the few locations on the earth (alongside Madagascar and New Zealand) that has coastal dune lakes (there are literally 15 of those freshwater lakes that dot the shoreline right here).

The easiest way to expertise this uncommon ecological gem is to get out onto the water and see it for your self on a kayak or a rise up paddle board. 

Head all the way down to Grayton Seaside 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 brought on by water seepage from the close by sea.

This ensures Western Lake is without doubt one of the most biodiverse locations in Florida.

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Finest South Walton seaside

Bounce within the Sea

It’s so simple as that!

I’ve at all times most well-liked a swimming pool to the ocean, however the water at Grayton Seaside was calling to us all and we couldn’t assist however soar into the waves.

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Finest 30A seaside

Artwork Bicycle Tour

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

Cruise by way of Alys Seaside and take a look at their everlasting outside sculptures then discover the WaterSound Monarch Artwork Path and the Timpoochee path.

Then end up at Rosemary Seaside by the sculpture exhibition.

The route is just 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 Seaside, is Distillery 98 and Idyll Hounds.

Distillery 98 produces small batches of handmade vodka created from domestically sourced substances 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 lessons for guests, that I can extremely suggest!

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

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Distillery near seashores of South Walton

Luxurious Seaside Picnic and Bonfire

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30a Santa Rosa seaside FL – florida panhandle 30a

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

The setup is catered in your group, however count on a handcrafted desk, lounging pillows, blankets, flowers, and candles, alongside probably 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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Stunning seaside cities on 30A

After the two hour seaside picnic you too can go for a bonfire, totally outfitted with tiki lights, a fireplace pit, and all of the substances to make the proper s’mores, while you take in the sundown.

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

The place to Eat in 30A

There are numerous locations to eat in 30A, however right here a group 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 Seaside and Inlet Seaside.

It’s such a fantastic place for fast and attractive meals, that I visited twice in 3 days!

You’ll be able to choose up breakfast (I liked their 1920’s model donuts and breakfast burrito), or seize lunch to go (I went for the basic grilled cheese with crimson pepper gouda soup).


Tackle: 34 Goldenrod Circle Santa Rosa Seaside, FL 32459

Web site: foow30a.com/

Value: $$

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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 without doubt one of 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 selections to swimsuit everybody, and I can completely suggest the “Georgia Peach on the Seaside” drink.

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The Seaside at Watercolor Inn, cocktail in hand

Airstream Row

As already talked about, Airstream Row in Seaside is without doubt one of the greatest locations for road meals in South Walton.

You’ll be able to take pleasure in high quality barbecue, sizzling canine, grilled cheeses, donuts, snow cones, and crêpes — all ready from customized retrofitted Airstreams.

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Avenue meals on Freeway 30A Florida panhandle


Situated in Lodge Effie in Sandestin, Ovide is a should go to in case you are on the lookout for positive eating.

The delicacies showcases Gulf Coast flavours and basic French strategies.

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

Ara Rooftop Bar

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

It additionally occurs to be the greatest 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 sport 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 street journey

Situated in Grayton Seaside, 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 may be restricted seating inside however loads of outside area the place you possibly can sit underneath the oak bushes and revel 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 Seaside for a extra laidback seaside trip or drive 2 hours in the other 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, take a look at a few of my hottest associated posts under or the Go to Florida web site for extra particulars:

Save Information to 30A South Walton Florida to Pinterest for Later

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Finest Seashores of 30A panhandle florida

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