Destin area beaches and along 30A are unrivaled in natural beauty. No wonder readers of Southern Living voted Destin beaches as the Number One Beach in the South, for four consecutive years!
The beaches of the emerald coast have many unique attributes that shine above other vacation destinations. For example, the sugary-white, powder-soft sand is no ordinary sand. Its amazing color comes from millions of tiny Appalachian quartz that have filtered down from the mountains through the Apalachicola River. It is this spectacular stone, ground to a perfect oval in each grain, which makes the sand “squeak” when you walk on it.
The natural foliage is a delightful blend of delicate sea-oats, wildflowers, scented magnolias, sand pines and various palms. Many artists have tried to capture this distinctive mix of sub-tropical plant life, but nothing truly matches nature’s handiwork.
An impressive array of marine life can be found at any time of year. Dolphins frolic year round in the Gulf, bays and bayous, while sea turtles nest between April and November.
Pods of stingrays migrate in the early fall, and the often comical sea-gull is always around to provide entertainment.
The sun is also kind to vacationers and locals alike, providing us with an astonishing average of 343 sunny days per year! Destin’s Emerald Coast is so inviting... simply irresistible!
IS THE 30A LIFESTYLE FOR YOU ?
Alys Beach, one of the newest communities along 30A, stops visitors in their tracks for a second look. A bit Bermuda and a bit Antigua, the town brings to life white stuccoed walls and uniquely ridged roof tops. Guests are privileged to experience the most striking and elaborate swimming pool on 30A, the Caliza Pool which includes a 50' X 100' saltwater pool, a separate family pool, a spa whirlpool, a lap pool, and secluded cabanas.
Blue Mountain Beach was named for the Gulf Coast lupine which covered the sand dunes in blue leaves and flowers. At an elevation of on 345 feet, Blue Mountain Beach's tall sand dunes and many coastal lakes make it one of the loveliest areas on 30A. The Blue Mountain Regional Beach Access just south of 30A and CR 83 is a popular place for surfers and those who simply want to watch.
The recreational trail and bike path along 30A stretches throughout Dune Allen Beach, including several extensions that meander through adjacent areas in the Beaches of South Walton. Located along the Western end of 30A, Dune Allen Beach is a terrific location for experiencing the solitude of the 30A gulf beaches without being too far from Destin.
Dune Allen Beach is primarily a residential community made up of beach homes and cottages. The highlights of Dune Allen Beach include its handicapped accessible beach access with restrooms located on County Highway 30-A and the coastal lakes, including Stallworth and Oyster Lake.
Grayton Beach, a small, historic beach village, was the first community established along scenic 30A. Next to a large coastal lake, towering sand dunes, Grayton Beach State Park, and the Gulf of Mexico, Grayton Beach offers an eclectic mix of people and surroundings. Here you'll find modern, deluxe vacation homes next to two-room rustic cottages. Grayton Beach loyalists swear by the town's natural beauty, wide beaches, laid back lifestyle, great restaurants, and colorful people.
Favorite diversions in Grayton Beach include kayaking Western Lake, dinner at the Red Bar, gorgeous sunset picnics, fishing, surfing, shopping, and people watching.
Rosemary Beach Town Center offers shopping, restaurants, coffee, ice cream, bike rentals, and more. Be sure to stroll the peaceful boardwalks and footpaths while exploring this beautiful community of unusual architecture in serene colors.
Rosemary Beach visitors are immediately enveloped by the unique architecture and Caribbean feel of the community. Named for the dune rosemary, Rosemary Beach was established in 1995 and has quickly become a favorite of visitors and locals alike. In addition to the beautiful beaches, guests enjoy deluxe accommodations, private beach accesses, private indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, and tennis club.
Santa Rosa Beach along 30A is home to Ed Walline Park, Gulf Place, and the Santa Rosa Golf Club. Ed Walline Park along the Gulf of Mexico offers a gorgeous beach and a large parking lot, picnic area, restrooms, showers, and a handicapped accessible beach access.
You'll also find the Gulf Place development, home to a variety of accommodations, restaurants, ice cream, coffee, shopping, bike rentals, local artists, and more. Nearby is the Santa Rosa Golf Club with 18 challenging golf holes that wind through the 30A area and offer views of lush vegetation, tranquil ponds, and the Gulf of Mexico.
Seacrest is home to the beautiful Camp Creek Lake, a coastal dune lake typically exiting into the Gulf of Mexico. Here you'll find large sand dunes and a variety of wildlife, including many unusual wading birds in the marshlands. Kayakers and canoers can often be spotted enjoying a tranquil paddle on the lake.
Seacrest is also home to the Seacrest Beach community, which boasts one of the largest swimming pools in the area, complete with several cascading waterfalls. The area is also known for the interactive dancing fountain at The Village of South Walton development, a favorite of area children.
Seagrove Beach became popular in the 1940s and 1950s as an escape from the heat. Cooled by the constant gulf breezes and paddle fans, families spent lazy summers in cozy single-story cottages.
Today, the modest cottages have welcomed luxurious beach homes and condominiums. Seagrove Beach is now known for its variety of accommodations, clean public beach accesses - one handicapped accessible, tranquil Eastern Lake, and great restaurants. Seagrove Beach is a popular location for bike and kayak rentals, with several shops available to enjoy the 18-mile 30A bike path and tranquil gulf waters.
Seaside is a community of narrow shaded streets, white picket fences, and colorful Victorian homes. Founded by Robert Davis on land that he had inherited from his grandfather, Seaside is often cited as the first New Urbanest development. As seen in the movie "The Truman Show", visitors to Seaside enjoy private beach accesses, private swimming pools, and quiet streets for strolling the unique Seaside architecture.
Seaside's walkable downtown contains a market, a post office, a coffee house, art galleries, restaurants, ice cream shops, and quaint boutiques. Keep an eye out for the many surrey bikes, which are rented near Cinderella Circle.
Watercolor offers an inn, a resort, and a planned community of picturesque homes along the Gulf of Mexico. Watercolor is renowned for its coastal architecture, beautiful landscaping, and abundant amenities. Guests staying at Watercolor enjoy access to a gulf-front private beach club, boat rentals, swimming pools, tennis club, Camp Watercolor, walking trails, and numerous other amenities.
Watercolor's downtown offers everything from french pastries to fly-fishing. Enjoying a morning cup of coffee while watching the world go by along 30A is favorite pastime here. Just don't forget your newspaper and grab a seat early.
Watersound Beach is a gated, gulf-front community among pristine sand dunes, peaceful coastal lakes, and natural marsh lands. Watersound, towards the eastern end of 30A, offers a peaceful escape in deluxe accommodations. The resort offers condos, town homes, and single family residences. Many elevated boardwalks snake through the property on their way to the beach, offering the perfect spot for a sunset stroll.