A small, historic beach village in Florida, Grayton Beach is nestled inside Grayton Beach State Park and spans all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. Located between Destin and Panama City, Grayton Beach is the central point of South Walton County, which contains a 20-mile stretch of diverse beach towns that include Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Seagrove, Seaside, Blue Mountain and Sandestin. Almost half of the land in South Walton is protected as state forest and state parks, and Grayton Beach features a fin mix of modern homes, historic cottages, great restaurants and shopping. The tourist season kicks off in March for spring breaks and continues through October.
One of the most popular local spots is The Red Bar, which is located on Hotz Avenue and features funky décor, good food, and great drinks. Many people come here to check out the Red Bar Jazz Band. Café Hibiscus, which is over on DeFuniak Street, is a great breakfast spot to start your day and enjoy an assortment of muffins, pancakes, smoothies, and lattes. If you’re looking to enjoy a nice beach day, Grayton Beach has clear, blue waters, and it also has a lake that extends to the right of the beach, making it a great spot for families with young children to swim and plan next to the calm Gulf surf. Grayton is one of the many freshwater lakes in the area that open to the Gulf, increasing the variety and abundance of fish and marine life. At Grayton Beach State Park, visitors can enjoy camping, cabins, boating, fishing, hiking and outer outdoor activities.
Mexico Beach, Florida, is located 20 minutes east of Panama City, an hour east of the South Walton area, and is easily accessible via car or airplane. It is located on a stretch of beach in Bay County, FL and makes for a great day trip. Mexico Beach has plenty of fun activities, including swimming, boating, kayaking eco-tours, jet ski rentals, and parasailing. To get here, all you have to do is drive east on Highway 98. Panama City is 50 minutes away from Grayton Beach, and there are many things to do here, including a visit to Shipwreck Island Waterpark, Gulf World Marine Park, Man in the Sea Museum, and Camp Helen State Park.
There are many homes and condos for rent along scenic Highway 30A, which is home to some of the world’s most beautiful white sand beaches and coastal dune lakes. In total, there are 16 neighborhoods in South Walton, and each has something to offer. Rosemary Beach homes have ocean views, lots of restaurants, and was even named as one of America’s most romantic small towns by CNN. WaterColor is another popular beach community with lots of luxurious spas and boutique shops, and it is home to Point Washington State Forest and Western Lake. Blue Mountain is named after the blue flowers that fill the area and sits at a slight incline compared to the rest of South Walton, offering a range of cozy beach cottages and luxurious new homes to choose from.
Grayton Beach is just a few minutes away from both major airports: Norwest Florida Regional Airport and Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. Beachside Express is a shuttle that provides transportation to all of the different beach towns located in South Walton. The Sunshine 30A Trolley is a public transportation system that offers free rides along Highway 30A, and runs seven days a week. Other transportation options include car rentals and taxis.
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