Top 20 Most Instagrammed Places Along Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A

With over 1 billion users worldwide, Instagram is one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. Hashtags have become part of our cultural vernacular, and they’ve become an important way for people to discover new content. They’ve also become an important way for brands and influencers to reach new audiences. 

And what’s more instagrammable than a gorgeous day out on the beach? We thought it might be interesting to see which local places and landmarks people are tagging the most.

20. #choctawhatcheebay: 7,600 tags

Given its challenging spelling, it’s super impressive that this hashtag made the list at all. It can be a hard word for newcomers to say, much less spell. It’s easier if you break the word up into two parts: “CHOCTAW” after the Native Americans who originally occupied the Southeastern United States, and “HATCHEE” which is believed to originate from the Muskogee word which means “creek” or “river.” In any case, Choctawhatchee Bay is a gorgeous and increasingly utilized natural asset in our community. It’s easy to see why.

 

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19. #baytownewharf: 11,500 tags

Embracing the southern shores of Choctawhatchee Bay, Baytowne Wharf is a destination within the residential and resort community of Sandestin. Baytowne Wharf features restaurants, bars, retail shops and tons of family-friendly events and activities. Oh, and some pretty impressive weekly fireworks displays.

 

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18. #gulfplace: 12,600 tags

A local’s favorite, Gulf Place is also home to shops and restaurants (including one of our 30A stores), and it’s right across Scenic Highway 30A from Ed Walline Beach Access. While not technically in the development of Gulf Place, Shunk Gulley and Growler Garage are also two popular local hangouts.

 

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17. #duneallenbeach: 13,100 tags

This total is actually a combination of two related hashtags, #duneallenbeach and #duneallen. Dune Allen Beach can be a little sleepy, so it’s no surprise that it lags a bit behind the other better-known communities along Scenic Highway 30A. But as you can clearly see, Dune Allen still offers the same stunning vistas as her neighbors.

 

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16. #waltoncounty: 19,800 tags

Walton County has a lot more to offer than just the beach. In addition to vast preserves of forest, clear water springs, and other natural resources, the political center of the county is the historic Defuniak Springs (#defuniaksprings). In addition to its rich history, Defuniak Springs is also a major stop along the Tesla trail, with a growing number of recharging stations located in her historic downtown area.

 

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15. #watercolorflorida: 30,400 tags

Searching the hashtag “watercolor” alone pulls up tons of murals; some good, some not so much. If you’re looking for photos of our beloved local beach community by the same name, you have to add a few modifiers: #watercolorflorida (13,400 posts),  #watercolorresort (3,200 posts), #watercolorbeach (8,400 posts), and #watercolorinn (5,400 posts). Regardless of how you get there, WaterColor is unquestionably one of 30A’s most picture-perfect communities.

 

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14. #seacrestbeach: 30,400 tags

There are numerous “Seacrests” out there in this great big world, so adding the term “beach” to your hashtag is more likely to land you in the proper sandy spot.

 

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13. #bluemountainbeach: 33,800 tags

Blue Mountain Beach may not rank as the highest hashtag on our local list, but it IS the highest elevation in the region, at a whopping 64 feet. Before trying to ascend Blue Mountain’s daunting summit, be sure to acclimatize yourself first with some hand-crafted ice cream just down the hill… er… “mountain.”

 

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12. #watersound: 37,600 tags

Watersound (including Watersound Beach and Watersound Origins) is a stunning collection of residential and commercial communities master planned by The St. Joe Company. Watersound’s Beach Club is one of the most scenic spots you could ever hope to find yourself.

 

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11. #inletbeach: 39,400 tags

Inlet Beach has been attracting visitors since at least the 1940s. Camp Helen State Park was once a vacation retreat for textile mill workers, and Inlet’s Beach dilapidated old fishing pier is the stuff instagrammer dreams are made of.

 

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10. #seagrovebeach: 95,000 tags

Combining #seagrovebeach (54,400 posts) and #seagrove (40,600 posts) easily catapults this beloved beach community into the Top 10. Although it’s a little difficult to pinpoint exactly where “downtown Seagrove” is, it’s hard to argue that the best place to start is at Surfing Deer, where County Road 395 intersects with Scenic Highway 30A. It helps that they have a very instagrammable Seagrove sign too.

 

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9. #sandestin: 104,900 tags

At one time, Sandestin was about as far away as you could get from the then relatively sleepy town of Destin without heading back home. It was an outpost of a resort, self-contained and isolated. Fast-forward 40 years though, and today, Sandestin is pretty in the middle of everything, and offers every beach amenity and activity under the Florida sun.

 

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8. #alysbeach: 109,500 tags

It’s hard to imagine how Alys Beach won’t eventually dominate this list. With its stunning architecture, its idyllic parks, and its incredible attention to every design detail, it’s darn-near impossible to take a bad photo in this jaw-dropping resort town.

 

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7. #graytonbeach: 110,900 tags

Dating back to the late 1800s, Grayton Beach is the oldest community along Scenic Highway 30A. Had Instagram been a thing for the last 100 years, there’s no doubt that she would dominate this list, due to longevity alone. Grayton Beach is also home to some very Instagram-savvy businesses, including Nanbu, Black Bear Bread Company, Chiringo, Tribe Kelley and Red Bar, to name a few. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s a photo-worthy art wall and that the beautiful young “Pogues of 30A” have made Grayton Beach home base for their daily beach activities.

 

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6. #miramarbeach: 121,000 tags

While not directly on Scenic Highway 30A, Miramar Beach is just a short hop down the coast, and it’s quite popular with families and spring breakers. Lined with resorts, restaurants and an eclectic mix of shopping options, Miramar Beach is a people-watching paradise.

 

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Posted by 30A on Friday, 28 August 2020

5. #santarosabeach: 161,000 tags

Honestly, this one surprised us. Although locals know “Santa Rosa Beach” is technically the name that encompasses almost all of our little beach communities, we didn’t realize just how popular this term is among hashtag-happy Instagrammers. The original settlement of Santa Rosa Beach was founded in 1910 and was located on Hogtown Bayou, on the north end of County Road 393.

 

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4. #southwalton: 182,500 tags

There’s no real “town” of Santa Rosa Beach. We’re not incorporated, so we don’t have a mayor. We don’t have a Police Chief. There’s no “main street” or downtown area. It’s just hard to pinpoint Santa Rosa Beach on a map. As a result, our community struggled with its identity for many years. Much more than a mouthful, the original “Beaches of South Walton” brand name never stuck. For years, visitors simply called this area Destin, and many old-timers still do, even though Destin is a county – and some would say, a world – away. Our local tourism council eventually simplified their brand name, and now “South Walton” has a decent chance of one day becoming an official spot on the Google map.

 

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3. #seasidefl: 194,900 tags

There are other towns named “Seaside,” so you really have to tack on a modifier to see how Seaside stacks up. Adding together #seasideFL (136,900 posts) and #seasideflorida (58,000 posts) lands Seaside high on the list. Not surprising, given Seaside’s overwhelming popularity with tweens and teens, who are most likely to be documenting every conceivable Instagram (and TikTok) moment.

 

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2. #rosemarybeach: 213,000 tags

With architecture that evokes a decidedly European vibe, Rosemary Beach’s stately homes, retail stores, parks and pedestrian paths are an Instagrammer’s paradise. The Gulf Green (in the shadow of The Pearl’s clock tower), the charming shops along the cobblestoned Main Street, and the town center fountain are Instagram favorites.

 

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1. #30A: 1,014,000 tags

Perhaps not surprisingly, #30A (with 911,000 photos tagged) dominates the list, especially when you factor in #hey30a with an additional 103,000 posts (30A’s official Instagram account is @hey30A). True, “30a” is also a bra size, although it doesn’t seem to be a particularly popular one. The vast majority of the photos using #30a are of people enjoying our 30A coastal lifestyle. Any way you look at it, 30A is unquestionably one of world’s most beloved beach brands. Take that, #margaritaville (493,000 posts).

(Just kidding, Jimmy – We love ya, buddy!)

 

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Did we miss one of your favorite local landmarks, businesses or brands with even more hashtags? Let us know so we can update our list! And please be sure to follow 30A on Instagram.

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