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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30A South Walton Alys Beach Architecture Alys Beach

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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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 canp helen inlet 300x257 Inlet Beach

On Old Pier, Just East of Inlet Beach

Inlet Beach is just about as authentic ‘Old Florida’ as you’ll find in South Walton, and perhaps anywhere. Quite quiet and bordered by 13-acres of protected dunes, this pristine beach neighborhood feels as if time somehow forgot it.

Most homes here are classic Florida cottages.

Think A-Frame with a front porch, concrete block cottages and homes raised high on stilts.

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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 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 bay boating Santa Rosa Beach

South Walton’s Choctawhatchee Bay

The boundaries of Santa Rosa Beach can be a little hard to define. Technically, Santa Rosa Beach encompasses a large part of South Walton, including the smaller neighborhoods of Seaside, WaterColorGrayton Beach and Blue Mountain Beach.

Basically, anything with a 32459 zip code is considered to be part of Santa Rosa Beach, although each of Santa Rosa Beach’s sub-communities strives to keep its identity distinct and unique.

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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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