30A's Guide to the Best Public Beach Access Points in Walton County - 30A

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30A’s Guide to the Best Public Beach Access Points in Walton County

By: Lauren Sage Reinlie | Posted May 18, 2023

Here is a quick guide to the main public beach accesses in Walton County. This area includes all the little communities that line Scenic Highway 30A and stretch between Destin and Panama City Beach.

The county oversees ten regional beach accesses, which are larger public areas where visitors can easily access the Gulf of Mexico.

We’ve rounded up the stats on each spot, including coveted parking availability and wheelchair accessibility, to give you a handy guide when planning your day in the sun and sand.

All these accesses have parking, bike racks, seasonal lifeguards, beach safety flags, restrooms, outdoor shower areas, water fountains, and walk-up beach chair rentals available on a first-come, first-served basis. With proper permitting, all are also available for special events and beach bonfires.



The most-expansive beach accesses bookend the county in Inlet Beach on the east and Miramar Beach on the west. These also boast the most parking spaces, with another parking-heavy spot located smack dab in the middle of Watercolor and Seaside.

The accesses vary in wheelchair accessibility. During lifeguard season, which runs from March 8 to September 30, lifeguards have complimentary beach wheelchairs available at specific accesses. We’ve noted the ADA compliance and other accessibility features below.

1. Miramar Beach

This is one of the largest beach accesses, and it boasts the most parking by far. Located on old Scenic Highway 98, this access encompasses a large swath of beachfront property next to Pompano Joe’s. It is an excellent spot for grabbing lunch or a drink to enjoy on their open-air patio or out on the beach.

Three access points offer plenty of space to spread out. The main one in the middle has multi-stall restrooms, outdoor shower areas, and a boardwalk to the beach that is wheelchair accessible. Sets of beach chairs and umbrellas are available to rent here, and beach wheelchairs are available during lifeguard season.

The other two access points are by stairs only.

The South Walton Artificial Reef Association has a snorkel reef about 650 feet offshore from the middle access point. Shaped like a dolphin, snorkelers who can paddle out can find a large variety of fish, sea turtles, and even octopuses.

Parking: 200 spaces
Access: Ramp or stairs
ADA Accessible: Yes
Beach Wheelchairs: Yes
Highlights: lots of space to spread out, largest parking area

Address: 2375 Scenic Gulf Drive, Miramar Beach, Florida, 32550

2. Scenic Gulf Drive

This picturesque spot is the newest addition to Walton County’s line-up. It opened in 2022 with new restrooms, walkways, and a beautiful, breezy gazebo perched high on a sandy bluff. Grab a spot here at one of the picnic tables for a fabulous picnic or to take in the sunset.

Parking is tight in this area with only 15 spots for cars. Ample golf cart and bike parking are available, though. The restroom has multiple stalls and the area around it features plenty of bench seating, some shaded, a large shower area, and a wheelchair-accessible ramp to the beach.

Parking: 15 spaces
Access: Ramp or stairs
ADA Accessible: Yes
Beach Wheelchairs: Yes
Highlights: beautiful view from covered gazebo with picnic benches

Address: 907 Scenic Gulf Drive, Miramar Beach, Florida 32550

3. Dune Allen

This modest beach access a little off the more well-trod path includes a small stretch of public beach right across from Stinky’s Fish Camp. The bathroom pavilion is one of the newer ones, offering multi-stall restrooms, two outdoor showers for rinsing off the sea and sand, some benches, and bike parking. A perfectly placed bench at the top of the stairs is perfect for taking in the view and even a sunset at Dune Allen.

Parking: 23 spaces
Access: Stairs or ramp
ADA Accessible: Yes
Beach Wheelchairs: Yes
Highlights: Nice open shower area and picturesque bench for taking in the view

Address: 5999 W Scenic Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459

4. Fort Panic

The boardwalk ramp down to this beach access is lined with beautiful, golden sea oats. It leads to a relatively large stretch of open beach in a less crowded part of town. The access has a small parking lot with some official and unofficial street parking and a good number of bike racks. Two outdoor shower areas are available at either end of the parking lot. The restroom has a bench and multi-stall bathrooms.

Parking: 34 spaces
Access: Ramp
ADA Accessible: Yes
Beach Wheelchairs: No
Highlights: More room to spread out than some other access points, beautiful view of sea oats

Address: 5753 W Scenic Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459

5. Ed Walline

This is another popular spot, often crowded on the weekends. It is next to Gulf Place, Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar, Growler Garage (which sells craft beer to go), and other restaurants and hot spots. One of the highlights of this access is a covered pavilion with grills and eight picnic benches overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The boardwalk down to the beach features a second-floor balcony with a small bench for taking in the view. A small parking lot is often full, but some unofficial street parking is also available. Complimentary beach wheelchairs are available during lifeguard season.

Parking: 39 spaces
Access: Stairs or Ramp
ADA Accessible: Yes
Beach Wheelchairs: Yes
Highlights: A shaded picnic pavilion with a view of the Gulf of Mexico and a second-floor balcony bench

Address: 4447 W Scenic Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459

6. Gulfview Heights

This access is a bit of a hidden gem. It is tucked into a neighborhood in Blue Mountain Beach down a small side street behind Goatfeathers restaurant and cuts through the natural dune scrub brush. It has a beautiful covered picnic area with seven picnic tables, two grills, and a narrow view of the Gulf of Mexico. Access to the beach is by stairs only, but if you get down there, you can enjoy a good section of less-crowded public beach. Several benches at the top of the stairs offer a wonderful sea breeze and view of the Gulf. The access has multi-stall bathrooms and a comfortable outdoor shower area. The access has a small parking lot with lots of golf cart parking, but spots are often available as it is a bit off the well-trod path.

Parking: 22 spaces
Access: Stairs only
ADA Accessible: No
Beach Wheelchairs: No
Highlights: Covered picnic pavilion with grills and benches with a Gulf view

Address: 186 Gulfview Heights St, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459

7. Blue Mountain

A steep staircase offers access to a small swath of public beach right in the heart of Blue Mountain Beach. Blue Mountain is one of the higher-elevation areas, and the view from the top of the stairs is stunning. Grab a spot on one of the wraparound benches at the top of the stairs for a Gulfview without the journey down to the sand. The newly renovated beach access takes you down to the sand where beach chairs are available for rent. The access also features a small shower area and single-stall bathrooms. A short walk up the road is rewarded with an ice-cold treat from Blue Mountain Creamery.

Parking: 20 spaces
Access: Stairs only
ADA Accessible: No
Beach Wheelchairs: No
Highlights: Stunning view from one of the higher points in the area

Address: 2365 S Scenic Hwy 83, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459

8. Van Ness Butler Jr.

This access is tucked right between bustling Seaside and Watercolor. It boasts a large parking lot a short walk from the beach, directly across Scenic Highway 30A. The beachside includes a large number of bike parking racks as well. The beach can be accessed by stairs or a ramp. Beach chair rentals are available here, as are complimentary beach chair rentals during lifeguard season. A multi-stall bathroom and some shaded benches are available by the car parking lot.

Parking: 100 spaces
Access: Stairs or Ramp
ADA Accessible: Yes
Beach Wheelchairs: Yes
Highlights: Location in the heart of Seaside and Watercolor

Address: 3468 E Scenic Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459

9. Santa Clara

This access in the heart of Seagrove Beach offers parking on the beach side and across Scenic Highway 30A. Surrounded by natural oaks and dune brush, it has a little feel of the Old Seagrove neighborhood as it was years ago. Access the beach from a long, switchback boardwalk ramp that has a nice elevated view of the beach from atop a large sand dune. Shaded benches are available by the multi-stall bathrooms. Walking across the street to additional parking spots requires pedestrians to walk in the driveway of the access, which can be a little daunting when there is heavy traffic.

Parking: 60 spaces
Access: Ramp
ADA Accessible: Yes
Beach Wheelchairs: Yes
Highlights: A natural setting in a bourgeoning neighborhood

Address: 3468 E County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459

10. Inlet Beach

Inlet beach access is divided into three entry points, offering the longest stretch of public beach of all the regional accesses. Parking is also ample here, not quite as much as on the opposite end at Miramar, but it stretches the length of all three accesses.

The middle access point, access B, is the largest. It features bathrooms in a small pavilion that serves as a picture frame window to the beach. Take a paved pathway through the natural beach scrub brush to get to the beach, or even stop for a rest on one of several benches that line this walkway. The beach is accessed by a ramp. Beach chair rentals are available here, as are beach wheelchairs. This is also where snorkelers can access South Walton Artificial Reef Association’s Grouper Reef, a series of underwater structures shaped like a grouper and located about 925 feet offshore.

Access points A and C are located on either side. Boardwalks wind through natural dunes covered with scrub brush and saw palmetto. Head down some stairs to access the beach at these entry points.

Parking: 110 spaces
Access: Ramp or Stairs
ADA Accessible: Yes
Beach wheelchairs: Yes
Highlights: Picturesque boardwalks and walkways to the beach

Address: 438 S Orange St Center, Inlet Beach, Florida 32461

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Lauren Sage Reinlie is an award-winning freelance journalist currently living in Freeport, Florida. Her work has taken her across the South, where she has covered topics ranging from the wily ways of politicians at the Texas state capitol to the storied land of sunshine and swamp sharks (a.k.a. gators) in Florida. She can be reached at [email protected].

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