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11 30A Beaches You Need to Visit

A short bike ride, drive, or even steps from your Legacy Beach Home getaway, South Walton’s sun-kissed white sand, turquoise waters, and beach towns are calling.

These idyllic stretches of sand consistently rank among the most beautiful beaches in the country. If this sounds like your kind of paradise, you’re in luck because we’re diving into the dreamy world of scenic Highway 30A on the Florida Panhandle, where flip-flops are the official footwear and relaxation is the top priority.

30A offers a ton of things to do. Its beaches are where you’ll leave your car behind to explore on foot or by bike. Here is your guide to exploring them all!

1. Miramar Beach

Photo Credit: Norm Lane
  • Best for: A family friendly day out
  • Address: 2396 Scenic Hwy 98, Miramar Beach, FL

The general vibe at Miramar Beach is lively, with plenty of restaurants, boutiques, and activities. Dolphin Reef, part of South Walton’s Artificial Reef system, is located about 800 feet offshore and teeming with marine life like colorful fish, sharks, stingrays, and even dolphins. Join a guided snorkeling tour or rent a kayak or paddleboard.

Need something to get your heart racing? Get a bird’s-eye view of the coastline with a thrilling parasailing adventure.

2. Santa Rosa Beach

Photo Credit: Rotorhead 30A Productions
  • Best for: A day full of activities
  • Address: Ed Walline Regional Beach Access, 4447 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Santa Rosa Beach is like a laid-back cousin to its flashier neighbor, Panama City Beach. Think family-friendly fun, nature adventures, and a touch of Southern charm. There is no shortage of things to do in Santa Rosa Beach. Rent an e-bike to explore bike paths like Timpoochee Trail, which runs from Dune Allen to Inlet Beach. If paddle boarding is more your speed, you can rent one to explore the waterways of Hogtown Bayou.

Visit Eden Gardens State Park in Santa Rosa Beach for serene hiking and fishing.

Don’t forget your dog sitter at home. Explore artistic treasures at Gulf Place Towne Center on 30A. It’s a vibrant hub with unique art galleries and shops showcasing local talent. Find the perfect souvenir or simply admire the creativity on display.

Savor fresh seafood with a view at Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar, a local favorite known for its fresh Gulf seafood, live music, and vibrant atmosphere.

3. Dune Allen Beach

Photo Credit: Kari Nousiainen via Flickr CC 2.0
  • Best for: Laid back haven for nature lovers
  • Address: 5707 W County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Dune Allen Beach is to the east of Destin on Florida’s Panhandle. Dune Allen Beach is known for shelling. Look for sand dollars, conchs, and other marine life.

Enjoy cozy bars with live music and friendly locals. Sip on a craft beer, listen to acoustic tunes, and chat with fellow beach lovers at Stinky’s Fish Camp.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is located just east of Dune Allen Beach and offers hiking, biking, fishing, and birding.

4. Blue Mountain Beach

Photo Credit: Rotorhead 30A Productions
  • Best for: Beautiful views
  • Address: 475 Blue Mountain Rd, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Blue Mountain Beach has the highest elevation (at 65’) along the entire Florida Gulf Coast. This vantage point offers breathtaking panoramic views of the emerald coastline.

During spring, the rolling dunes transform into a vibrant tapestry of blue lupine flowers, painting the landscape. This unique phenomenon adds to the beach’s natural charm and draws nature enthusiasts from afar.

The calm, turquoise waters are perfect for swimming, splashing, or building sandcastle masterpieces. Indulge in the legendary homemade ice cream at Blue Mountain Beach Creamery.

Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the calm coastal waters of Big Redfish Lake, 30A’s coastal dune lake.

5. Grayton Beach

Photo Credit: Rotorhead 30A Productions
  • Best for: Enjoying charming and eclectic history
  • Address: “Grayton Central” lot across from the Hurricane Oyster Bar

Soak up the sun or hike through the lush forest at Grayton Beach State Park. Kayak on Western Lake, or simply relax on the beach with the natural beauty as your backdrop. Don’t miss a stop at The Red Bar, made famous by its incredibly quirky atmosphere.

The free shuttle offers pick-up and drop-off near the West Beach access, running about every 15 minutes daily from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM or as needed.

6. Seaside Beach

Photo Credit: Tallmaple
  • Best for: Snorkeling
  • Address: Park at Grayton Central and use the shuttle

Seaside Beach spans approximately 1.5 miles along the Gulf of Mexico coastline and provides ample opportunities for outdoor beach activities. It typically offers a generous stretch of soft, powdery sand to enjoy.

Because of the stunning panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico, it’s a popular spot for photography, especially during sunrise and sunset.

Sea Turtle Reef sits about 800 feet off shore and has 58 individual reefs in the shape of a turtle. Expect to see schools of colorful fish, crabs, sea turtles, and perhaps even rays or small sharks.

When it’s time for happy hour, enjoy the sunset, a drink, and a bite at Bud & Alley’s.

7. Seagrove Beach

Photo Credit: Trong Nguyen
  • Best for: Easy access and amenities
  • Address: Eastern Lake Beach Access, 493 Eastern Lake Rd, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Seagrove Beach sits between mile 10 and mile 14 of the Timpoochee Trail. Biking is the best way to enjoy this stretch of community sand.

Seagrove Beach has a variety of dining options ranging from casual cafes to upscale seafood restaurants. Indulge in fresh Gulf seafood, savor flavorful Southern cuisine, or enjoy a refreshing cocktail with panoramic ocean views.

You can access Seagrove Beach from Hickory Beach Access, Headland Ave, Andalusia, Santa Clara Regional, One Seagrove Place Public Beach Access, Ramsgate, or Eastern Lake. Eastern Lake Access is best for kids if the Gulf rip currents are too strong.

8. Seacrest Beach

Photo Credit: Ron Tamondong via Flickr CC 2.0
  • Best for: Less crowded, small beach
  • Address: 8040 E County Hwy 30A, Seacrest, FL

Seacrest Beach is a quaint, sleepy beach. Parking is limited near Gulf Lakes Public Beach Access.

The town of Seacrest embodies casual elegance. Beyond its famed white sands and azure waters, it beckons with Seacrest Sundries for a quick bite and coffee before checking out local shops. When hunger strikes, indulge in culinary delights at LaCo. Adults can savor craft beer and fine wines at Beach and Brew.

9. Alys Beach

Photo Credit: Terry Kelly
  • Best for: A taste of Bermuda
  • Address: Along West & East Sugar Lump Lane / West & East Lagarza Lane

Alys Beach is known for its stunning white architecture. Its pristine beaches meet charming Bermudan-inspired houses, creating an atmosphere of elegance and tranquility.

The town’s architecture is heavily influenced by Bermuda’s traditional whitewashed buildings, which have pastel accents and distinctive rooflines. Alys Beach has garnered numerous awards for its architecture.

Parking for Alys Beach includes the paid parking lot behind George’s Restaurant, with validation available for diners, and the paid lot at Caliza Pool. Depending on availability, some limited street parking may be available in the Alys Beach Town Center.

10. Rosemary Beach

Photo Credit: Karen Culp
  • Best for: Charmingly European
  • Address: No Public Beach Access. Parking is available to visit shops at Barrett Square, Rosemary Beach, FL

The vibe at Rosemary Beach can be summed up as laid-back, family-friendly, and charmingly European. Pastel-colored buildings with wrought-iron balconies line the cobblestone streets reminiscent of Mediterranean villages. Think slow strolls along the beach, leisurely lunches on cafe patios, and evenings spent enjoying live music. Rosemary Beach is also known for its art galleries.

It’s a foodie scene for sure, with cafés like Amavida and restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, with a focus on fresh, local ingredients like Pescado and a touch of European flair at La Crema Tapas.

Pedestrian-friendly streets, calm waters, and a strong sense of community make it easy for families to relax and have fun.

11. Inlet Beach

Photo Credit: Pendaran Roberts
  • Best for: Laid back vibes
  • Address: Inlet Regional Beach Access Central – 50 spaces, 139 S Orange St., Inlet Beach, FL

Unlike its more bustling neighbors, Inlet Beach exudes an “Old Florida” vibe, attracting those seeking a peaceful escape and natural beauty. Inlet Beach offers a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for unwinding and soaking up the sun without feeling overwhelmed by crowds.

Inlet Beach has the largest regional beach access in Walton County. The nearby Camp Helen State Park offers hiking trails, biking paths, and opportunities to kayak or canoe through the serene coastal dune lakes.

Stay Near The Best 30A Beach Communities

From hidden gems to bustling towns, each 30A beach offers its own slice of coastal paradise for your beach vacation. Whether you’re a seashell hunter, a sun-worshipper, or a sandcastle architect extraordinaire, there’s a perfect beach waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Let Legacy Beach Homes be your home away from home while you explore. Book your stay today.