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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With wonderful restaurants, a coffee shop, and numerous boutiques, there’s something for just about everyone at Gulf Place.
And with a sparkling beach just across Scenic Highway 30A, there’s also plenty of inspiration for The Artists at Gulf Place, a collection of colorful huts here that showcase a variety of local talents.
Said to be the highest point anywhere on the Gulf of Mexico (at a whopping elevation of 64 feet), “Blue Mountain Beach” is hardly a mountain… but at least they got the beach part right. As for the blue? Folks say it likely originated from the blue lupine flowers that still flourish between the homes here. At one time, they blanketed these Gulf-side hills.
Today, Blue Mountain Beach consists mostly of private residences, but like the lupines, there are also a few funky local businesses sprinkled in for good measure. Don’t miss a chance to marvel at Justin Gaffrey’s Art Gallery (look for the colorful paintings that are frequently on display on dusty road on the north side of 30A).
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”