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Situated along the panhandle just off the Gulf of Mexico, South Walton is made up of 16 distinct beach neighborhoods along Florida’s scenic highway 30A. Each of these beach neighborhoods boasts an individual charm and beauty, without crowds of tourists. This region spans 26 miles and is recognized worldwide for its sugar-sand beaches and turquoise waters. Highlighted by quaint architecture and B&Bs, local favorites like Miramar Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Seaside, and Grayton Beach hold their own against their busier South Florida counterparts.
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You can explore the pristine coastal wilderness of South Walton foot, on the water, or by horseback, as Topsail Hill Preserve, Camp Helen, and Grayton Beach offer a close-up look at the area’s unique landscapes. An excellent escape for visitors who want to enjoy a day out in nature, it also makes for a camper’s paradise. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park offers miles of hiking and biking trails and state-protected beaches, while the camping facilities at Grayton Beach State Park are within earshot of the crashing waves. Miramar Beach is the perfect place to stargaze right on the beach.
It comes as no surprise that the pristine shoreline of South Walton unlocks access to an array of water sports, from surfing to wave runners, where locals embrace it every chance they can get. What you might not know, is that South Walton is also home to coastal dune lakes, where stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking can be enjoyed throughout the year. You will find anything from deep-sea fishing excursions to opportunities for amateur fishing enthusiasts to reel in their first catch. Redfish, speckled trout, and flounder are found in the waters. Speaking of a fresh catch, the seafood and locally sourced produce in South Walton is enough to draw the foodies.
Dine like a local and enjoy the “Gulf-to-table” cuisine making a name for itself. The popular Vue on 30A overlooks the emerald waters, pairing perfectly with its classic Florida dishes. Creating a mosaic of colors, the pastel-hued clapboard cottages peppered throughout South Walton offer a peek into the area’s past. Grayton beach boasts some of the oldest wooden beach cottages in the area, Seaside offers colorful coastal architecture, and you can explore a romantic Victorian-style home converted into a mansion in Eden Gardens State Park.