South Walton, Florida Beaches (30A)
Since I was a young child, I’ve been vacationing at the beaches of South Walton, Florida. Now, it’s such a treat to take my children to the same white sandy beaches I used to enjoy when I was young. Situated along highway 30A between the cities of Panama City and Ft. Walton, the beach towns between cater to families and are the perfect vacation spot! From Dune Allen Beach to Rosemary Beach, each seaside community is unique and offers a different experience. Some communities are more upscale, some are known for art and shopping, while others are more laid-back and relaxing. Boating, swimming, bike riding, fishing, outdoor concerts, and beach side dining are all activities your family can enjoy at the beaches on South Walton.
Families Should Know:
- For 13 miles along 30-A, there are paved bike paths. Rent bikes for the entire family and explore the area. The roads get congested during the summer months, so bikes are a great way to get around.
- Vacation rentals, hotels and resorts are plentiful, but they do fill up quickly with families that visit each year. Book early to get the best accommodations. Our favorite house to rent is Blue Moon Getaway in Santa Rosa beach. It is beautifully decorated, fully equipped, sleeps 16, and is a stones throw from the beach – a great rental for large families!
- The summers are hot, really hot and humid! You”ll probably want to skip the beach during the mid-afternoon, so plan other activities during this time.
- Jellyfish are common in the the Gulf of Mexico. Warn your children to steer clear and not to touch (even the ones that are washed up on the beach- they can still sting). If you do get stung, rinse the area with vinegar.
- The waters are generally calm, but pay attention to surf advisories and watch for red flags on the beach. Even when the surf seems mild, be careful of strong rip currents which can pull you away from the shore.
Relaxing and playing on the beautiful white beaches are our family’s favorite activity. Bring sand toys, floats, boogie boards and cold drinks for a fun day at the beach.
Our all time favorite kid-friendly restaurant is The Back Porch in Destin. Enjoy a seafood meal and a frozen drink from this beach side restaurant. After you eat, walk out to the beach and let the children play.
Waterparks, mini-golf, and car racing are all available in Ft. Walton and Panama City. Drive along the main strips and you’ll find all kinds of these activities. Ship Wreck Island waterpark in Panama City is a good one popular with families.
In Rosemary Beach, take a break and stop by the Sugar Shack for a sweet treat of ice cream and candies. I’m certain you and your kids will love this sweet shop!
The Old Florida Fish House Restaurant & Bar in Santa Rosa Beach is a wonderful choice for dinner. Its extensive menu, live music, and game room for kids makes for a fun dining experience.
The picture perfect community of Seaside Beach is a favorite among families. Walk or bike around town and you’ll find pristine beaches, shops, outdoor restaurants, art galleries, and tons of kid events such as puppet shows, kid concerts and pottery parties.