Blue Mountain Beach is one of South Walton County’s scenic beaches located along the picturesque 30A state road. It’s the highest elevation on the Gulf Coast, providing some strikingly breathtaking views. Whether you’re paddleboarding down the rare coastal dune lakes, hiking the trails in Point Washington State Forest, sunbathing on the sugary-white beaches, or just enjoying some locally-made ice cream, you’re sure to fall in love with this welcoming community. With so many wonderful beach communities in the South Walton County, choosing just one area to look for Florida vacation rentals can be a challenge. Book a great deal on a vacation rental near Blue Mountain Beach and check out some of our favorite spots in the area.

1. Santa Rosa Beach

One of 30A’s oldest beach towns, most residents will tell you that Santa Rosa Beach is situated comfortably between Blue Mountain Beach and Dune Allen Beach, although the exact boundaries can be tricky to determine for sure. It’s a fantastic starting point if you’re looking for a vacation rental with convenient access to many of the area’s other local hot spots. The beach stretches roughly 17 miles, and it has that iconic pure, white sand, and clear aquamarine water that makes this area so special. If you’re looking for something a little outside the norm, check out the southern and northern shores of the Choctawhatchee Bay, where you’ll find quaint hunting and fishing cabins.

2. Seacrest Beach

Seacrest Beach is a laid-back residential community that’s conveniently located. Most people in the area get around town by walking, biking, or sometimes even by golf cart, giving the area a friendly, relaxed vibe. Spend the day sunbathing in the hot Florida sun, and then cool off in the neighborhood’s hidden 12,000 square foot pool. While you’re in town, head up to the peak of the sand dunes, where you’ll be treated to a breathtaking view — you might even see dolphins splashing!

3. Miramar Beach

Miramar Beach offers a little more hustle and bustle over most of the mellow 30A beach communities. This thriving community has plenty of designer shops and boutiques for you to explore, or you can do some budget-friendly shopping at the thrifty Silver Sands Factory. The area also boasts a variety of delightful restaurants and entertainment attractions. If you want to watch some real Florida Gators doing their thing, bring the whole family to Gator Beach. The Track Destin is a great place to bring the kids, as it features arcades, go-karts, mini-golf, bumpers boats, and bumper cars.

4. Dune Allen Beach

If you’re looking for that chilled-out Old Florida feel, Dune Allen has it. It’s just a few miles west of Blue Mountain Beach and Santa Rosa Beach, giving you quick and easy access to all of the area’s best neighborhoods from your vacation rental. Dune Allen is known for its beautiful nature and outdoor activities. Take a relaxing stroll through over 5 miles of picturesque trails and magnificent dunes at the Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. Other natural attractions worth visiting include Stallworth Lake and the Cypress Dunes.

5. Grayton Beach

Grayton Beach is an eclectic beach community with sugar-white sands and turquoise waters. The area is known for its unique shops, galleries, and restaurants, as well as its friendly locals. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find one of the area’s historic cottages available for rent. In the past, visitors explored the sandy beaches by horse and buggy. Today, you can ride around on a four-wheel drive vehicle or tailgate in your pickup truck if you have the proper permit. One of the most fun ways for adults to explore the area is by a pedal tour. It’s a portable pub on wheels that the whole group pedals about town.

6. Seascape

Seascape packs a bit more action than the typical laid-back coastal community on 30A. If you’re interested in just relaxing on a bench and watching the people go by, Seascape is the place to do it. The area has some tall penthouse condos that are perfect if you’re looking for a luxury beachfront vacation rental. If you feel like doing some shopping, the beautiful outdoor shopping center, Grand Boulevard, is just around the corner. The area boasts a number of outdoor amenities, including eight lit tennis courts, two golf courses, water sports, and bicycle rentals.

7. Seagrove Beach

If you’re looking for a vacation rental right in the middle of everything, Seagrove Beach is a wonderful option. Just a stone’s throw away to the west, you have Grayton, The Seaside, and WaterColor, and to the East is Rosemary, Seacrest, WaterSound, and Alys Beach. Of course, other popular communities like Blue Mountain Beach and Santa Rosa Beach are just 15 minutes away. The majority of the houses on Seagrove Beach offer stunning ocean views, and the majority of them get plenty of shade from the area’s robust oak trees. Be sure to explore the gorgeous Deer Lake State Park, where you can see rare plants such as the Gulf Coast lupine, golden asters, and spoon flowers.

8. Sandestin

You’re sure to find whatever kind of vacation rental you need in beautiful Sandestin. The area is home to 30 neighborhoods, each one unique in its own way. Choose from condos, villas, resort homes, and more. While this area is certainly diverse, it still manages to maintain a community-oriented atmosphere that you and your family are sure to love. Bring the whole family for a walk through The Village of Baytowne Wharf, a charming village that offers a wide range of eateries and shops.

9. Alys Beach

Source: Flickr / c.gardner

Inspired by the vernacular architecture of Antigua and Bermuda, Alys Beach’s courtyard homes are a strikingly pure white color. The elegantly designed area is truly a sight to behold, providing a surreal experience that you won’t soon forget. Besides the incredible decor, Alys Beach has plenty of charming places to visit, including a variety of exquisite restaurants and one-of-a-kind shops. Enjoy walking through the town on the area’s landscaped pedestrian pathways.

10. Inlet Beach

Source: Flickr / Jason Eppink

Inlet Beach is an authentic, sleepy “Old Florida” town with charm for days. The majority of the homes in the area are iconic, old-fashioned Florida cottages raised on stilts. However, modern homes are available too, some with a unique glass and concrete architecture. Head to Camp Helen State Park, and take a boat out for a leisurely spin through Lake Powell, Florida’s largest coastal dune lake. Stash your bicycles at your vacation rental, and then take them for a spin through Timpoochee Trail when the mood strikes. It’s a picturesque ride that’s fun for beginners and expert cyclists alike.