Fun in the Sun
There are over a dozen destinations that make up the beaches of South Walton. While they each have their own characteristics, they all have one thing in common: fun in the sun. This stretch of the Gulf Coast is known for fishing, kayaking, and other water sports. If you aren’t feeling so active, the golden beaches are perfect for sunbathing and sinking your teeth into a juicy novel.
When planning South Walton vacations, some travelers have a hard time narrowing down the choices to a single beach. If you choose a rental car you don’t have to narrow it down. The beaches all offer their own beauty and activities, so why not hop in the car and spend each day at a different beach? Some favorites include Sandestin, Miramar Beach, Rosemary Beach, Seaside Beach, and Grayton Beach.
Family-Friendly Activities in South Walton
This Beaches of South Walton Travel Guide will provide some great ideas on how to keep kids entertained during your vacation. First of all, the purity of the beach lends to many family-friendly activities. Get ready for a sand-castle building competition, an afternoon spent flying a kite, or pack a family picnic for the beach. These unspoiled beaches are heaven for getting back to beach basics.
Active families will love the chance to rent bikes, go on a kayaking tour, or try their luck at spotting a pod of dolphins on a boat excursion. Choosing a vacation rental will provide plenty of quality family time, from preparing family favorite meals in your own private kitchen to spending evenings playing card games or charades.
The Sophisticated Side of South Walton
South Walton vacations can provide endless entertainment for families, but they are just as fun for couples too. The best part about the beaches of South Walton is that they each have their own character. Some are known for being child friendly while others are all about architecture, style, and romance.
A quality beaches of South Walton travel guide will reveal that the three most luxurious towns are Sandestin, Alys Beach, and Rosemary Beach. Sophisticated pleasures here include championship golf courses, a wide range of fine-dining choices and upscale spas with soothing treatments. If you want indulgence on your vacation, you’ll find it in the beaches of South Walton.
The Wild Side of South Walton
South Walton vacations wouldn’t be complete without exploring nature and the local wildlife. This area of the Gulf Coast has a rich eco system that knowledgeable guides can help you to explore in kayak, boat, or on foot. Fishbone Charters offers both fishing and eco tours while Island Winds Sailing offers eco tours or sailing lessons for kids.
If your kids are especially curious about the local creatures that live in this region of Florida, treat them to a tour with Wetland Wilderness Adventures. You will see turtles, alligators, and birds of prey on this exciting eco tour. For a kayaking version of an eco tour, check out the options from Blue Sky Kayak Tours.
A Reputation for Architecture
No beaches of South Walton travel guide could ignore the incredible architecture that these communities have become known for. Architectural influences from all over the globe can be seen dotting this coastline, including touches from Cape Cod, influences from the West Indies, and inspirations from the style of Bermuda.
Explore State Parks
Beaches aren’t the only gorgeous landscapes along this coastline. Adventurous travelers might also want to hop in the rental car and check out some of the local state parks. Eden Gardens State Park and Deer Lake State Park are both ideal for a family picnic. Don’t forget to bring along your hiking boots!
Shop Until You Drop in South Walton
It is possible to spend every minute of South Walton vacations shopping. Each of these 15 communities has shopping to offer in some capacity. Whether you are looking for boutiques, outlet stores, or simply something to wear to the beach, you will be tempted by these stores. A few of the top shopping centers include Redfish Village in Blue Mountain, the Shops of Grayton in Grayton Beach, and the Merchants of Rosemary Beach in Rosemary Beach.
If you love a bargain, you won’t want to miss out on the designer outlet stores in the Silver Sands Factory Stores in Sandestin. For a quaint shopping experience, check out the unique shops and open-air market of Seaside. There are also endless options for antiques and art galleries spread throughout the communities.
Local Flavors of the Beaches in South Walton
This Beaches of South Walton Travel Guide will show that there is a restaurant here to meet any craving. The area of course specializes in fresh seafood, straight from the Gulf of Mexico, but also offers steakhouses, ethnic food, and casual dining options for those nights you feel like relaxing somewhere with a laid-back vibe.
Some visitors will choose one of the South Walton beaches depending on their dining options. Alys Beach, for example, has limited dining options, while Sandestin has many dining choices including Acme Oyster Bar, Bistro Bijoux, and authentic Mexican at Cantina Laredo.
Miramar also has a variety of popular restaurants including Buster’s Oyster Bar and Grill and the Copper Grill Steak House. The quaint beach towns of South Walton are also known for great coffeehouses, cafés, and stocked grocery stores.
Every traveler will have their own favorite time to visit the beaches of South Walton. This northwestern section of the state has much different weather than South Florida, so a little research is required to find your perfect match. The Gulf Coast of Florida experiences seasons in a way that south Florida does not. The beaches are most enjoyable from April through October. Summer can be hot, but a swim in the Gulf of Mexico will cool you right off. One time to beware of is hurricane season, peaking at the end of August when water temperatures are highest.
What to Bring on a Beaches of South Walton vacation
Expect a laid-back atmosphere at the beaches of South Walton. Even the best restaurants don’t require fancy attire, so pack clothes that are comfortable but smart. At the top of your packing list should be all your beach basics, including a bathing suit, sunscreen, flip flops, and entertainment for the beach. If you’re planning a family vacation, additional entertainment for the vacation rental, such as DVDs or board games, might come in handy.
Generations of families have been satisfied with the local services along this stretch of coastline. In the summer, local services are especially fantastic, including outdoor concerts, movies, and family-friendly entertainment. Basic services are available in all of the towns. Whether you need supplies for the beach, groceries, or an ATM, you won’t have a problem.
The Beaches of South Walton are all known for individual annual events. These events are not only fun, but they have become part of the character of each community. Some especially fun events include the Sandestin Wine Festival in April, the ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival in May, the Turn on the Town holiday celebrations at the end of November, and the Back to Nature Festival in mid-October.
There are two main ways to reach the beaches of South Walton: drive from home or fly. Travelers have two airports to choose from: the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport served by Delta and Southwest or the Pensacola Gulf Coast International Airport served by a variety of airlines. There are also smaller regional airports if you’re flying your own plane. Each airport has rental car facilities, and many visitors take advantage of this service as cruising along the coastline is a serious pleasure of visiting the beaches of South Walton.
After a blissful day of relaxing on the beach, what type of accommodation do you want to return to? The only appealing answer is a spacious place that feels like home. Many vacation rentals have ocean views and private outdoor space too. Extra conveniences and amenities such as a kitchen and laundry facilities will convince you that a hotel is completely inadequate for a beach vacation. Don’t cram your family into a teeny hotel room; this year give them the vacation rental they deserve.