30A South Walton 09 Seacrest Beach

Photo: Jack Gardner Photography

Tucked between Camp Creek Lake, Alys Beach and Rosemary Beach is a colorful and thriving beach community called Seacrest. Close to everything, and yet somehow quite relaxed, Seacrest is an ideal place to reconnect with friends and family. Bikes and flip-flops are the transportation of choice here, except for the occasional golf cart loaded up with kids, coolers, umbrellas and sand buckets.

The “town center” of Seacrest is arguably The Village of South Walton Beach, featuring several cute shops and restaurants, as well as a convenience store.

The bubbling fountains out front are a persistent hit with bare-footed kids and weary parents seeking a momentary diversion.

Known as Peddlers Pavilion, this is a fun spot where kids can splash around, vacationers can rent bikes, and all can enjoy a unique selection of food and shopping experiences – including Peddlers Pub, 30A Bagels & Coffee, The Sweet Peddler candy and ice cream, and more.

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30A South Walton miramar beach tiki bar Seascape

A Tiki Bar in Miramar Beach

With towering penthouse condos that offer the highest perspectives in all of South Walton, Seascape Resort offers a dramatically different experience than the sleepier beach towns along Scenic Highway 30A, just a few miles to the east.

In addition to its bustling beachfront (an idyllic spot for people-watching), Seascape has over 300 acres of lush greens and lakes, an 18-hole championship golf course (as well as a sister course nearby), eight lit tennis courts, several swimming pools, bike rentals, water sports, and the Whale’s Tail, a fun beach bar and grill that’s directly on the sand.

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30A South Walton seagrove bike Seagrove Beach

Seagrove

Families have been making the pilgrimage to Seagrove Beach’s soothing shores since the 1940s, and the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of those early pioneers still return to relax in some of the very same cinder-block cottages of their youth.

That could be because, when you’re in Seagrove Beach, you’re arguably “in the middle of it all.” Seaside, WaterColor and Grayton are just a mile or two to the west, while the newer planned communities of WaterSound, SeacrestAlys Beach and Rosemary Beach are just a few miles east.

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30A South Walton 02 WaterSound

Photo: Jack Gardner Photography

The serene beauty at WaterSound will certainly quiet your mind, but it’s also likely to quicken your heart. Neighborhood boardwalks offer stunning views of Camp Creek Lake, a meandering coastal dune lake, as well as footpath access to a stunning white sand beach buffered by towering dunes. The grand homes in this gated 30A community lend a little Cape Cod style to our Emerald Coast.

If you prefer to lounge by the pool, WaterSound’s Beach Club offers one of the most luxurious swimming pools in all of South Walton.

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30A South Walton grayton beach jeep 300x257 Grayton Beach

“Sunday Fundays” are a popular local tradition

If Seaside is the heart of Scenic Highway 30A, then Grayton Beach is her soul. In fact, in these parts, Grayton is where vacationing first began, with early travelers arriving by horse and buggy to these sugar-white shores.

Populated with historic cottages, twisting oak trees, quaint shops and galleries, and fun and quirky residents.

The community’s unofficial slogan is “Nice Dogs, Strange People”

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30A South Walton WaterColor Inn 300x257 WaterColor Inn & Resort

WaterColor Inn & Resort

One of the Gulf Coast’s most luxurious resorts, WaterColor is a wonderland of activities for families, including expansive nature preserves, bike trails, lakes, shopping, fitness facilities, a spa, parks, award-winning dining and nearby award-winning golf courses. (And, of course, the Gulf of Mexico’s sugar-white beaches.)

Hailed as Northwest Florida’s Only Four-Diamond AAA Hotel, the resort’s WaterColor Inn was also recently honored with a “World’s Best” award from Travel+Leisure magazine.

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30A South Walton Girls beach bikinis Miramar Beach

Photo: Ocean Jewel’s Images

Cruise or stroll along Old Highway 98 (strolling is often faster), and you’ll discover some colorful shrimp shacks, t-shirt shops, condo high-rises, numerous golf courses, beach boardwalks, shoppingsurfing and more. Maybe Miramar Beach is no longer the sleepy little surf-side corridor that it once was, but the stunning turquoise waters and bustling beach life keep the die-hard regulars coming back year after year (after year).

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30A South Walton Seaside Girls Laying Out Houses 960 Seaside

Photo: Ocean Jewel’s Images

Hailed by Time magazine as perhaps “the most astounding design achievement of its era,” Seaside is credited with founding a global town-planning movement known as New Urbanism.

Founded by Robert and Daryl Davis in 1979, Seaside’s innovative “small town” design was carefully planned by architects Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. With its nine unique beach pavilions, cobblestone streets, quaint cottages, white picket fences, and picture-perfect parks and storefronts, it’s no wonder that The Truman Show starring Jim Carrey was filmed here. Indeed, as Newsweek once proclaimed:

“with its cozy, narrow streets and its jumble of pastel-colored homes, Seaside is probably the most influential resort community since Versailles.”

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