Located along a 26-mile stretch on Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, South Walton is an ideal blend of refined charm and pristine natural beauty. The area is comprised of 16 beach neighborhoods: Miramar Beach, Seascape, Sandestin, Dune Allen, Gulf Place, Santa Rosa Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Grayton Beach, Watercolor, Seaside, Seagrove, Watersound, Seacrest, Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach and Inlet Beach.
Year after year, families return to these 16 beach neighborhoods – often spanning into multiple generations. Each visitor tends to feel a sense of proud ownership, which informs the personal memories they create here. It speaks to the timeless nature of this place. While filled with plenty of modern amenities, South Walton is still anchored by the simple beauty of its sugar-white sand beaches and turquoise water.
Unique outdoor activities are abundant, with four state parks, a 15,000-acre state forest, 15 rare coastal dune lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. Beyond traditional sunning and swimming, adventurous travelers enjoy stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking or fishing on the Gulf of Mexico or one of the area’s coastal dune lakes.
More than 200 miles of trails invite nature lovers to observe rare birds while hiking through state parks and forests. The 19-mile Timpoochee Trail beckons runners and bicyclists past New Urbanist neighborhoods and panoramic views of stunning scenic beauty. Challenge yourself on the tennis court or tee off on a championship golf course.
Is shopping your passion? Browse an eclectic mix of chic and sophisticated boutiques and galleries, or indulge in some retail therapy at one of the nation’s largest designer outlets. Foodies will relish the fusion of flavors created by award-winning chefs showcasing fresh-from-the-Gulf seafood and locally sourced ingredients. As the sun makes its spectacular evening splash into the sea, enjoy live music and dancing at one of the local hot spots.
So, are you daydreaming about the next time you can sink your toes into the sugar-white sand? Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing virtual tours of all 16 unique beach neighborhoods. Till then, check out VisitSouthWalton.com/Neighborhoods or the video below to get a glimpse of how stunning and unique each of these neighborhoods is.
Explore South Walton’s Beach Neighborhoods
Seacrest welcomes those who want to relax without a worry. Lounge by a dune lake, bask on the beach or stroll to the shops. In Seacrest, you don’t need a set schedule. Head to this family-friendly spot to join a tight-knit community amidst all-natural surroundings, and also for shopping, dining, outdoor adventure and — of course — the beach.
Discover a carefully crafted world in Alys Beach. This beach neighborhood boasts striking architecture, boutique shopping and delicious dining — all of which are perfect accompaniments to the white sand and turquoise water just steps away. From its signature white buildings and palm trees to its secluded courtyards and 20-acre nature preserve, Alys Beach offers a breathtaking escape from everyday life. An oasis for beach lovers, art enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers and foodies, Alys Beach is immediately recognizable and totally unforgettable.
Discover award-winning architecture, acres of pristine natural land and some of the area’s most highly rated restaurants. Rosemary Beach’s breathtaking scenery and inviting atmosphere draw in beach lovers, art enthusiasts and foodies from around the world. Carefully planned and beautifully executed, Rosemary Beach’s signature look makes it stand out as one of South Walton’s most visually enticing neighborhoods. Named one of America’s most romantic towns by CNN, this New Urbanist community is the definition of charming.
Relax in pristine Inlet Beach, where a quiet neighborhood lays claim to the largest beach access point in South Walton, boutique shopping and a variety of dining gems. Variety is at the heart of Inlet Beach, where cozy cottages and modern villas can be found side by side. Simply pack a beach chair, sunscreen and a good book to enjoy your stay in this low-key beach neighborhood.
Feel welcomed in WaterColor, a vibrant beach neighborhood where you can make yourself at home. Paddleboard across a dune lake, dive into a swimming pool, or dig your toes into the sugar-white sand. The architectural stylings of WaterColor Inn & Resort are designed to enhance South Walton’s natural beauty. Wide porches and sweeping balconies showcase the beautiful South Walton sunset, while pastel and earth tones complement the colors of the sugar-white sand.
Praised for both its stunning architecture and its upbeat atmosphere, Seaside greets travelers with a warm welcome — and you’ll recognize it as soon as you see it. Perfectly pastel houses, white picket fences and manicured lawns look like they’re straight out of a movie. (And, in fact, they are — The Truman Show was filmed here.) Stroll or bike your way between restaurants, art galleries and boutique shops. Connect with family and friends at Seaside’s Central Square, the farmers’ market, shops at Ruskin Place, outdoor amphitheater or shaded pavilion. And if you need to pick up a few items to have on hand at the house, stop by Modica Market!
Discover the charm of Seagrove, a beach neighborhood that locals and guests love. The lush oak trees and magnolias give it a laid-back, all-natural vibe; its upscale boutiques, cafes and warm ambiance add a touch of luxury. Every day is defined by variety in Seagrove. Stroll along the sugar-white sand, wander into a boutique shop or choose from countless ecotourism activities.
WaterSound’s classic, all-American style mixes the colors and shapes of an Eastern seaboard town with the beauty of the South Walton beach. This private community offers hiking and biking trails, breathtaking scenery and a variety of restaurants, shops and natural retreats. Choose from maritime-inspired cottage homes or modern condos with beachfront views. Stroll along the boardwalks, sit down for a Gulf-to-table dinner and explore everything within walking distance.
Creative, casual and colorful, Gulf Place is a go-to destination for those looking to add variety to their vacation. Visit this lively beach neighborhood to enjoy shopping, dining, art and plenty of time outdoors. Start your morning off at Sunrise Coffee Co. and walk over to YOLO Board + Beach to rent a stand-up paddleboard. Take a stroll on the sugar-white sand, and before you go back home, make sure to pose for a picture by one of Gulf Place’s signature painted turtles.
Santa Rosa Beach
As South Walton’s largest beach neighborhood, there is something for everyone in Santa Rosa Beach. Variety is at the heart of this beach neighborhood — lush parks, sugar-white sand, craft breweries and amazing eats. Founded in 1910, Santa Rosa Beach has a rich history. This long-standing vacation destination remains a visitor hotspot years later — in fact, Santa Rosa Beach was recently named one of Travel + Leisure’s Top 5 Favorite Towns in America.
Blue Mountain Beach
Boasting South Walton’s highest elevation (a mere 65 feet!), this “mountain” of a beach neighborhood is laid-back and low key. Blue Mountain Beach beckons to adventure seekers, art enthusiasts and avid beachgoers. Named after the area’s brilliant blue lupine flower, this beach neighborhood offers a range of accommodations from cozy beach cottages to new luxurious homes.
Grayton Beach is one of South Walton’s original neighborhoods — and originality is something this community celebrates. Bustling with life, Grayton Beach’s eclectic vibe is complimented by art galleries, quirky restaurants and lively bars. This funky beach neighborhood is home to artists, musicians, chefs and longtime beach lovers who are always up for some laid-back fun. With so much personality, it’s no wonder this beach neighborhood’s unofficial motto is “nice dogs, strange people.”
Visit Miramar Beach and make your way through one of South Walton’s most diverse beach neighborhoods. From antique shopping to beach volleyball, this vibrant neighborhood has something for everyone. Sugar-white sand, handmade sushi, outlet shopping and so much more is in store for you in Miramar Beach.
Variety is the name of the game in Seascape. Spend your time relaxing on the pristine beach or change things up by diving into one of this beach neighborhood’s five swimming pools. Then, explore Seascape by foot — there’s plenty of space to cover along its walking trail and golf course.
Explore thousands of acres of beach, accommodations, pools, tennis courts, golf courses and more in this breathtaking beach neighborhood. With events and activities lined up year-round, there’s never a bad time to take a trip to Sandestin for the complete resort experience. This neighborhood is known for its fun, family-friendly atmosphere with a variety of options for groups at places like Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa.
Dune Allen is just the type of escape you’ve always imagined. Explore a natural preserve, embark on a hike or bike ride, then indulge in fresh Gulf seafood. This beach neighborhood boasts three coastal dune lakes, which are extremely rare bodies of water found in only a handful of places across the world. Dune Allen also offers more than five miles of breathtaking trails in Topsail Hill Preserve State Park — making it a dream destination for nature lovers. Come unwind and relax in the most inspiring setting.
Check out more amazing Southern travel destinations in our “Virtual Vacations” series. Click HERE!