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Named one of Travel + Leisure’s Top 5 Favorite Towns in America, Santa Rosa Beach is an idyllic beach town that draws sun-seekers from around the world. Home to both TopSail Hill Preserve State Park and Grayton State Park, nature lovers who explore this picturesque area are spoiled for choice with sugar white sand beaches and outdoor adventures like hiking, biking and birdwatching.
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Once used by Native Americans for hunting and fishing, TopSail Preserve State Park offers a wide variety of natural ecosystems. It’s home to 3.2 miles of secluded, white sand beaches with dunes that reach up to 25 feet tall. You can spend a sunny afternoon swimming, lounging on the beach or taking a scenic stroll through the 2.5-mile Morris Lake Nature Trail. Wrap up your day in one of the two-bedroom cabins, where each fully furnished abode includes a living and dining area and a screened porch, picnic table and outdoor grill.
Grayton Beach and Grayton Beach State Park are the crown jewels of this all-natural area, where its Hemingway-style wooden homes lined with streets paved with crushed oyster shells boasts a charming and artsy neighborhood that is full of character. After browsing the local boutiques and art galleries, head out to Grayton Beach State Park to go on a kayaking or hiking adventure.
It offers one of the prettiest places to take a dip, as the white-sand beaches and emerald Gulf of Mexico waters create a backdrop worthy of a postcard. It consistently ranks as one of the most pristine beaches in the United States and offers 2,000 acres of coastline where you can go surf fishing or catch golden sunrises. There are 20 two-bedroom cabins for those who want to stay overnight, each equipped with a screened in porch and outdoor grill, while 59 camping sites are perfect for a night of stargazing.
Looking for a day trip? You can easily explore some of the small-town gems in the surrounding area where you’ll find quiet stretches of oceanside bliss, including Miramar Beach, Seaside and Rosemary Beach, while the bustling beach havens of Pensacola, Panama City and Destin are just a short drive away.
Grayton Beach State Park:
Address: 357 Main Park Rd, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459, USA