Located along the north western coastal stretch of Florida’s Panhandle, the seaside villages, towns and resort communities along scenic highway 30A are some of the state’s most charming places to visit. These 16 beach communities of South Walton county are linked by route 30A, running approximately 24 miles from Destin to Panama City, and each with its own unique Gulf Coast History.
Explore the seaside towns along Florida’s scenic road 30A, some of the state’s most charming places to visit.
Located along the north western coastal stretch of Florida’s Panhandle, the seaside villages, towns and resort communities along scenic highway 30A are some of the state’s most charming places to visit. These 16 beach communities of South Walton county are linked by route 30A, running approximately 24 miles from Destin to Panama City, and each with its own unique Gulf Coast History. From the 1700s-1800s, South Walton county was home to several Native American tribes such as the Muscogee, Creek and Euchee Indians, and much of their influence is still present throughout the region and its villages today. Throughout the 1800s, the first beach side towns were being formed and established. But the early 1900s saw the first wave of modern development, with cottages and low-rise resorts built to welcome and accommodate those in search of a quiet, restful get-away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Thankfully, much of this history is preserved in the quaintness, quirkiness, and eclectic nature of its seaside neighborhoods. They continue to provide an attractive alternative to overdeveloped coastal towns characterized by noisy entertainment districts and high-rise hotels and condos. And their proximity to some of the most pristine beaches in the US, and unparalleled natural beauty of Florida’s Gulf Coast is also without comparison.
Here’s a peak at some of the most popular coastal towns along route 30A:
One of the oldest beach town communities in South Walton, Grayton Beach is known for is artsy vibe, funky styles and southern hospitality. Nestled within Grayton Beach State Park, it’s access to outdoor activities and the best beaches in Florida make it a key attraction to tourists all year round.
Blue Mountain Beach
Located at the highest elevation point along Florida’s Gulf Coast, Blue Mountain Beach boasts some of the most beautiful views of the Emerald Coast. Its ultra-relaxed vibe, fantastic food and shopping scene, and walking proximity to the beach and its spectacular sand dunes, make it a popular spot for families and couples alike.
Credited with founding a town-planning movement called, New Urbanism, Seaside is home to some of the region’s most unique urban features such as quaint cobblestone streets, pastel-colored cottages, and picture-perfect pavilions. Fun fact…the Truman Show starring actor Jim Carrey was filmed here!
Often cited as the most elegant beach community in South Walton, Alys Beach is a haven for all things luxurious. Borrowing from the New Urbanism founded in Seaside, its architecture it is often compared to Greece because of its bright white cement homes, idyllic courtyards and winding streets that lead to the most stunning views of the Gulf Coast.
Inlet Beach is the perfect town for visitors looking to experience all a beach vacation has to offer. A modern yet tried and true beach community located between Alys Beach and Camp Helen State Park, it offers a variety of essential Gulf Coast experiences including the best beaches and trails, modern yet charming accommodations, high-end shopping, and not-to-miss dining spots.
Nestled between Alys Beach and Inlet Beach, Seacrest is the perfect beachside community to visit for families with kids! Besides its gorgeous beaches, cute shops and restaurants, there are plenty of fun spots to discover including Peddlers Pavilion-where you can grab a bite, rent bikes, and enjoy their popular splash pad. Or try to find its awesome 12,000 square foot swimming pool located in town!
Santa Rosa Beach
With the Choctawatchee Bay surrounding its beach fronts to the north, and the Point State Washington State Forest to its southeast, Santa Rosa Beach is the oldest and largest coastal towns in South Walton. With plenty of modern amenities and proximity to a diversity of ecosystems, it offers the perfect mix of exploration and relaxation.
Named one of “America’s Most Romantic Small Towns” by CNN, Rosemary Beach is an exclusive, high-rise free zone abound with cobblestone streets and winding paths. It’s here where you’ll enjoy breathtaking architecture, private beaches, high-end boutiques, galleries, and upscale dining, as well as an aspiring collection of outdoor sculptures from artists around the world.
At LovetoStay30A, we offer a number of cottages and luxury homes rentals in seaside communities along 30A. Whether you’re travelling solo or with a family or group, let us find the perfect accommodation for you.