By Lynne Christen
All beach towns are not alike. Here’s a quick glance at the 15 delightfully diverse beach communities along 26 miles of the Beaches of South Walton; where there’s something for everyone.
To the east, historic Inlet Beach
lies at the junction of scenic Highway 30-A and Emerald Coast Parkway (Hwy. 98). WWII veterans vied for land there through a 1947 Bureau of Land Development lottery. Sample the flavors of the West Indies at upscale Rosemary Beach
. Sparkling new Alys Beach
is like stepping into a picture-perfect postcard from Bermuda or Antigua. Seacrest
is characterized by lazy beach days and eco-friendly golf. Watersound
boasts a lush natural setting and eco-tourism, coastal dune lake activities. Seagrove
attracts families seeking an authentic “old florida” experience.
Continuing west on 30-A, Seaside
draws international attention. Publications like Time, Southern Living and USA Today cite the popular planned community’s new urbanism design and vibrant community lifestyle. Enjoy an upscale refuge at Seaside’s next door neighbor Watercolor
with its centerpiece AAA Four-Diamond WaterColor Inn and Resort. Grayton Beach
is a colorful artsy beach community.
Don’t miss a night at the funky Red Bar! Blue Mountain
draws its “un-beachlike” name from towering white sand dunes carpeted with waving sea oats and fuzzy-leafed bluish lupine plants framing emerald green Gulf waters. Santa Rosa Beach
boasts championship golf at Santa Rosa Golf and Beach Club and is home of elegant Eden State Gardens. Dune Allen Beach
surrounds Stallworth Lake, one of 17 coastal dune lakes, which are unique to this part of the world.
Along Highway 98 West, Sandestin
is best known for the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and the elite new Grand Boulevard shopping and dining complex. Serious shoppers give credit cards a workout at Silver Sands Factory Stores at Miramar Beach
. And, westernmost Seascape
features championship golf and top-ranked tennis.
Stay awhile to explore all of our Emerald Coast communities.
Images credit: Beaches of South Walton/TDC