Best Beach Towns of 30A

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.

March 27, 2022

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:

Grayton Beach

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!

Alys Beach

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

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.

Seacrest Beach

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.  

Rosemary Beach

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.

Featured Blog Posts

Home Highlight: FantaSea

Whether you’re looking for a 30A luxury vacation home for a sizeable group of 12+ or you’re searching for a cozy, romantic two-person rental home near the beach, we’ve got the perfect place for you. In our new Home Highlight series, we’re taking a closer look at some of our Love to Stay 30A vacation rental properties. In this installment, we’ll focus on FantaSea, a stunning five-bedroom 30A rental home perfect for families and groups.

View Blog

Best 30A Gyms to Jumpstart Your Fitness Resolution

With the arrival of 2020, it’s the perfect time to get your fitness resolutions on track. Whether you’re a local to the 30A area or just stopping by for a visit, we’ve compiled a list of the best gyms in the Santa Rosa Beach, Rosemary Beach and Grayton Beach areas. When traveling, it’s easy to let fitness routines slip but many of these locations offer reasonable drop-in rates for tourists to help you reach your personal goals even if you are away from home. If you’re a newbie to the fitness and exercise world, each location offers personal training for extra knowledge, confidence and accountability while you acclimate to lifestyle changes.

View Blog

Best Restaurants on 30A

The top of our vacation planning list is always: where are we going to go, what are we going to do, where are we going to stay and what are we going to EAT? At Love to Stay 30A, we can help you answer all these questions – but today we’re focus on our favorite topic: delicious food. We’re exploring all of the must go restaurants on 30A.

View Blog

30A in November

The weather during November is still relatively warm with average temperatures ranging between the 70s and 80s, making 30A a pleasant time to visit while enjoying plenty of activities both indoors and outdoors. Water temperatures are comfortably warm enough for swimming, but an even better time to try your hand at surfing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. Less crowds this time of year, allow for stress-free strolls along the charming seaside towns and villages.

View Blog

Planning Your 2022 30A Vacation

January is one of the most popular times of the year to book your 30A vacation. It’s the month where we set intentions and make plans for the year, including making our travel plans. If you want to plan a trip to 30A this year, we’re bringing you our top tips for planning the perfect 30A vacation for 2022.

View Blog

Part 2: 30A Excursions and Day Trips

New Year, new adventures. We’re continuing to ring in the New Year with part two of the top excursions in the 30A area. From snorkeling to sand sculptures, part one took us up and down 30A in search of delightful adventures. On this list we dive even deeper into the natural wonder of this unique Gulf Coast Florida area.

View Blog