Seaside and South Walton Area Beaches

By: VISIT FLORIDA staff

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Your guide to Seaside/Beaches of South Walton area beaches

Editor's note: Beaches and parks are listed geographically from west to east.

Beaches with this symbol have beach wheelchairs available, either provided as a courtesy, or available for (prearranged) rent and delivery from private companies.

Located in the center of Northwest Florida's Gulf coast, this 26-mile stretch of sugary white sand and emerald waters offers the ideal refuge from a hectic world. Here, Mother Nature has created a mix of tall, powdery-white dunes, vast stands of pine forests, cool underground springs, marshlands, bays, backwater bayous and crystalline Gulf waters. It's a thriving area made up of 15 individual beach communities and three state parks - all certified clean beaches by the Blue Wave Campaign, America's first environmental certification for beaches.

Seascape
Seascape Beach straddles both Scenic Gulf Drive and Emerald Coast Parkway. A towering walkway over the beach road provides safe beach access for locals and visitors.

Miramar
Miramar Beach begins at the Gulf along Scenic Gulf Drive, meandering past condos and private homes with its panoramic views, a resort and a few scattered shops and restaurants, then curves around to join Emerald Coast Parkway.

Sandestin Beach
Sandestin is a family-friendly beach town alive with activity along its shimmering shores. Snorkeling, fishing and relaxing are all enjoyed at Sandestin. You can also take advantage of great shopping, golf, tennis and excellent restaurants.

Dune Allen
Dune Allen is an established community that surrounds Stalworth Lake, the first of 15 coastal lakes which are unique to this part of the world. The lakes actually interact with the tides, forming their own biological communities. You'll see them dotted throughout South Walton County, just another cue that you are in a very special place. Dune Allen's other coastal lake, Oyster Lake, is actually shaped like an oyster shell, and was once filled with oysters.

Santa Rosa Beach
Located on Scenic Highway 30-A, Santa Rosa Beach is a stretch of rounded dunes and soft white sands. Nearby upscale shopping areas and restaurants make this a quiet, refined beach area.

Blue Mountain Beach
This beach is one of the highest points on the Gulf of Mexico in the U.S. Sitting at 45-feet above sea level, you can soak up the majestic views of the glimmering water and fabulous Florida sunsets. Blue Mountain Beach marks the beginning of the Eastern Lake Hike/Bike Trail, which ambles through the rest of South Walton's beach communities. Take it slow and enjoy the trip past coastal lakes, dense woodlands and architecturally stunning communities.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is named for the tallest dune in the preserve. When viewed from the Gulf of Mexico, the tallest dune resembles a ship's topsail. The park encompasses 1,640 acres of coastal ecosystem, making it a nature lover's paradise. Rare coastal dune lakes, quiet beaches, old-growth longleaf pines, sand pine scrub and a variety of wetlands can be found within the preserve.

Grayton
Located practically in the middle of the South Walton area, this small historic beach village is one of the oldest in the Southeast. The sand here is soft and white, and the beach is wide and inviting. Take a swim in the sparkling, turquoise water or take a nap on the beach. 

Grayton Beach State Park
Rated a "best overall" beach by Florida Travel Magazine in 2002 thanks to its large, mile-long stretch of white dunes, Grayton Beach State Park offers 356 acres of pine woodlands, freshwater lakes and white beaches. This 2,228-acre coastal park is a prime spot in which you can watch the migration of the monarch butterflies in the fall on their way to Mexico.

Deer Lake State Park
Deer Lake State Park is a 1,955-acre facility named after a freshwater coastal dune lake within its boundaries. Trails that access the Gulf of Mexico lead you to a magnificent dune field and a pristine section of beach. The park contains 11 distinct natural communities including beach dune, flatwoods, sandhill, scrub, basin swamp, depression marsh, dome swamp, coastal dune lakes, blackwater stream, estuarine tidal creek, and marine substrate.

Watercolor
One of the areas newest communities, the neighborhoods of WaterColor are a testimony to Southern coastal architecture, defined by color palette and architectural style. 

Seaside
Play in the clean, crashing surf and run along the shores of this beach community that is best known as the location for the film "The Truman Show" starring Jim Carey. You can't miss the main beach access under a tall gray structure that is a cross between a pyramid and lighthouse. Head down to the beach and enjoy a day in the sun, stop in one of the quaint shops along the beach or in the town center or take a bike ride along the beach road. It's a busting town that provides the perfect place to people-watch.

Seagrove Beach
A mile and a half long beach encircling a small cove, Seagrove Beach lures visitors with its beauty and serenity. Nature lovers will appreciate the seemingly untouched shoreline and nearby nature trails. Beach access is scattered along the beach road. Facilities are minimal.

Seacrest
Seacrest Beach begins after the big bend in the road on Scenic Highway 30-A. The road still follows the Gulf here, and passes through areas with an up-close view of just how wild and dense the coastal scrub can get

Rosemary Beach
With calm Gulf waters, soothing rays of sunshine, and silky sand beaches, Rosemary Beach is a great place to unwind and soak up the scenery. Rosemary Beach's unique architecture is what first captures your attention, with its Dutch and West Indies-inspired homes and commercial buildings. Rosemary Beach features unspoiled beaches where you can play the day away.

Inlet Beach
Inlet Beach has 19 acres of undeveloped shoreline to explore. The inlet on the eastern shore is a popular place to view marine life. Inlet Beach is located where Scenic Highway 30-A again meets up with Emerald Coast Parkway.

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4 comments
MW
MW June 2, 2013 10:22 PM
Where is Watercolor located?