Sandestin Golf

Golfing in Sandestin, Florida

A massive (2,400-acre) golf and beach resort located just a few miles west of Scenic Highway 30A, Sandestin is home to 30 distinct neighborhoods, including pockets of beautiful villas, town homes, condos, resort homes and hotels. The lushly landscaped resort boasts seven miles of Gulf beaches and bay-front property, four championship golf courses, 15 tennis courts, 19 swimming pools, a 98-slip marina, shops, restaurants, nightclubs, fitness centers, a spa and 65,000 square feet of convention space. It’s big.

And yet, Sandestin somehow retains an authentic aura of community, with each of its beautiful neighborhoods possessing a unique charm.

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Beach Dune Allen Life guard

Photo: Ocean Jewel’s Images

With coastal dune lakes along the north side of Scenic 30A (including Stallworth Lake and Oyster Lake, which is shaped like an oyster shell, but was also reportedly once teeming with fresh oysters) and glimpses of the glittering Gulf of Mexico to the south, the mostly residential community of Dune Allen has been a favorite vacation destination for generations.

Fishing and flip-flops are king here, although shopping and dining options are just a short stroll or bike ride away.

Stinky’s Fish Camp has been a consistent culinary crowd-pleaser since the day it opened, while further to the east, the restaurants and shops of Gulf Place are also local favorites.

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Alys Beach Architecture

Alys Beach, Florida

Scenic Highway 30A’s most visually striking community features architecture influenced by the brilliant-white, traditional homes of Bermuda. When complete, the 158-acre resort town of Alys Beach will be twice the size of nearby Seaside and will consist of some 900 custom villas and courtyard homes.

As you enter Alys Beach, the first architectural features you’ll notice are the white “butteries” that stand like centurions at the property’s edge. Before refrigeration (and even before ice was manufactured), homeowners in Bermuda’s hot island climate often maintained butteries, which were unattached minaret-shaped structures designed to make, store and preserve butter, milk and other perishable foods.

But the four white butteries perched along 30A in Alys Beach preserve something quite different: Sixteen unique mosaic murals depicting scenes of the region’s history and heritage. Concetta Rothwell Morales, a highly talented and well-recognized mosaic muralist, created the murals. The butteries are open to the public.

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Rosemary Beach, Florida

Rosemary Beach, Florida

One of 30A’s planned New Urbanist communities, Rosemary Beach is an architectural treasure trove, boasting influences from the West Indies, New Orleans, Charleston and St. Augustine, among others.

The grand homes (many with adjoining carriage houses that are just as extraordinary) are interconnected by a discreet network of pedestrian paths and boardwalks, which become even more charming at night, basked in the soft flicker of gas-lit lanterns.

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Grayton Beach Jeep

“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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Watersound Florida

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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