|South Walton, Florida is a 26-mile stretch of beaches on Northwest Florida's Gulf Coast are found among 12 beach communities: Dune Allen, Santa Rosa Beach, Blue Mountain, Grayton Beach, WaterColor, Seaside, Seagrove, WaterSound, Seacrest, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach and Inlet Beach. The sugar-white beaches and emerald green waters are a major attraction for vacationers. More than 40 percent of the Beaches of South Walton are preserved through state parks and forests. The area is ideal for hiking, biking, kayaking, or fishing.
The quiet beach towns that encompass the Scenic Highway 30-A area of Beaches of South Walton, FL are an alternative to the sprawl of typical beach destinations. Art lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will feel right at home on this section of the Beaches of South pristine coastal shores.
Scenic Highway 30-A includes the popular beach communities of Santa Rosa Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Dune Allen Beach, Grayton Beach, Seaside, Seagrove Beach, Seacrest Beach, Rosemary Beach and Inlet Beach. Come and experience the beautiful Beaches of South Walton, Florida.
Championship golf courses and top-tier tennis resorts have made the Emerald Coast a famous vacation spot for sports buffs. It also attracts outdoor enthusiast with its expanse of protected coastline and state parks. South Walton offers numerous nature trails, inland lakes, salt marshes, and bike paths ripe for exploration. Area fishing outfitters and nature conservancies offer guided tours, as do scuba and snorkeling companies.
Biking is a favorite area activity with locals and vacationers alike. Miles of protected shorelines and inland lakes also offer a wealth of opportunities for fishing, sailing and kayaking. Golfing is also a favorite past-time in this area.
Fostered from a unique blend of Native American and Scottish heritage, South Walton County was home to the Euchee and Creek Indians dating back to the early 1700s. Not long after the first native settlers moved into the area around Bruce Creek and Choctawhatchee Bay, Scottish pioneers also settled there. A peaceful co-existence was created between the two groups, with the Euchee teaching the colonists their ways of farming and hunting.
By the late 1800s the region had grown into not only an industrial area with timber mills, but also had its first inkling of its destiny to be a tourist destination with the platting of Grayton Beach.
Named for George Walton, secretary of the Florida territory from 1821 to 1826, Walton County was created in 1824 from portions of Okaloosa, Washington and Holmes counties. The first census taken in 1830 estimated the region’s population at 1,207 over a little less than 3,000 acres.
One of the fastest growing regions along the Emerald Coast, South Walton County has taken full advantage of the more than 24 miles of pristine beaches marking its western coast with the development of 16 certified Blue Wave Beaches.
Blue Wave Beaches must meet 33 stringent standards of cleanliness, safety and environmental conditions to earn the coveted designation. There are only 48 beaches with this classification in all of Florida, and a third of them line the coast of South Walton County.
Dune Allen: Classic style beach homes; Santa Rosa Beach: Known for luxury-type accommodations and entertainment area; Blue Mountain: Highest spot point along Gulf of Mexico is the site of long, sugar-white beaches; Grayton Beach: Century-old community with a rich history and culture; Watercolor: Southern coastal resort and residential community. Seaside: Cottage community where walking and cycling are the preferred modes of transportation; Seagrove: Located between the coast's dunes and oak trees; WaterSound: Dunescapes and home to the community of WaterSound Beach; Seacrest: Location of Deer Lake State Park and a place to explore nature; Rosemary Beach: Caribbean-type homes exist in this community. Rosemary Beach is connected to beach by boardwalks and footpaths; Inlet Beach: Also called Soldier's Beach for the WWII veterans who settled there, but Inlet Beach is the original and current name. The community has older Florida-style homes; Alys Beach features Mediterranean-style architecture.
Blue Wave Beaches of South Walton:
- Blue Mountain
- Deer Lake State Park
- Dune Allen
- Grayton Beach State Park
- Inlet Beach
- Rosemary Beach
- Santa Rosa
- Topsail Hill State Preserve
|Along with its reputation as a premier tourist destination, and even more recently for its distinctive residential communities, South Walton’s reputation as a film location is also growing.
Seaside, a landmark residential development unencumbered by staid building restrictions, is familiar to moviegoers as the backdrop to “The Truman Show” - the award-winning movie starring Jim Carrey and Laura Linney.
Unique among other resorts in the Florida Panhandle, beach communities in South Walton capture the nostalgia of pedestrian-friendly, white picket-fenced hamlets where life was simpler and neighborhoods more serene.
Walton County also has the distinction of being one of a very few places on earth to have dune lakes. Described by the Florida Natural Area Inventory as “extremely rare,” 16 such lakes exist in Walton County. Exclusive to the U.S., other than Walton County, dune lakes are only found on the island nation of Madagascar, Australia and New Zealand.
Dune lakes are distinctive in that they have characteristics of both fresh and saltwater habitats. Formed as much as 10 thousand years ago by wind, these lakes are hidden behind dunes that often grow to over 30 feet high, producing hollow, arid regions that fill with rain and ground water. Shallow passes form as the lakes overflow linking them to the open Gulf. Salt water mingles with fresh water, continually mixing the two creating a unique ecosystem.
South Walton Dune Lakes:
- Big Red Fish
- Little Red Fish
- Western (Grayton)
- Camp Creek
- Lake Powell
- Average yearly temperature: 78
- Hottest month: July and August – average high 91
- Coldest month: Jan. – average low 37
- Annual rainfall: 69 inches
- Monthly average rainfall: 5.8 inches
- Wettest month: July – 9.48 inches
- Driest month: Apr. 4.25 inches
- Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 each year
- Major hurricanes (Category 3 and higher) that have struck the Northwest Gulf Coast of Florida in the past 154 years: 14
|Book a beach vacation in South Walton, FL and reserve your ocean condo in a a gulf resort on the panhandle of Florida.