Nestled on a barrier island in the northwestern corner of Florida is the Santa Rosa Beach community. This area of Florida is a haven for families and groups of friends looking for a beach vacation on the Gulf of Mexico with its white sandy beaches, calm waters, and moderate temperatures all year long. The town of Santa Rosa sits along the shorelines of Hogtown Bayou, which offers rentals along the water, as well as more modest accommodations just a few blocks from the beach. Up and down Florida’s Gulf Coast, beach communities welcome visitors with southern charm, cozy condos, great restaurants, and unique activities. Book a stay at one of many incredible Santa Rosa Beach vacation rentals today. Check out the top attractions in and around Santa Rosa Beach.

1. Santa Rosa Beach

Source: Pixabay/mikakaptur

Leave your worries behind when you take your family to Santa Rosa Beach for a long weekend or a summer vacation. Visit Santa Rosa Beach for a day of splashing in the water, playing in the sand, and catching up on your reading while soaking up the sun, or hire a boat for a trip out on the bayou for fishing or on the Gulf of Mexico for dolphin watching. Stop by the Point Washington State Forest to stretch your legs on one of the three hiking trails.

2. Sandestin

palm trees at the golf course
Source: Flickr/Jozef Arthur

To the southwest of Santa Rosa Beach lies the Sandestin beach community. With condos on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico, Sandestin offers your family the chance to slow down and spend quality time together. This planned community has a tram system to take you from your vacation rental to the community pool, tennis courts, or the local beach. Four championship golf courses, including the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and the Burnt Pine Golf Club, let you get some practice on your swing.

3. Miramar

beds at the beach side
Source: Flickr/blgrssby

Moving west along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Miramar offers your family upscale condos with spacious accommodations and stunning views. Hire a local company to have chairs and a beach umbrella waiting for your family as you arrive on the beach. Pass the days playing on the beach, shopping in the local stores, or biking around the area. End each day at a local restaurant such as Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood or Fat Clemenzas, with seafood so fresh it was swimming that morning.

4. Grayton Beach

grasses and pines
Source: Flickr/Tim Parkinson

Slow down and take life as it comes with a vacation rental in the low-key beach community of Grayton Beach. Explore the 2,000 acres of Grayton Beach State Park with its winding trails made for hiking and biking, or just take it easy on the pristine beach. Spend your days fishing, biking, kayaking, and flying kites on the beach. Check out the manicured gardens at Eden Gardens State Park, and end the day with a tour of the mansion on the property.

5. Seaside

tennis lawn
Source: Flickr/Michael

The Seaside is a welcoming planned community with a variety of vacation rentals ranging from luxury homes to spacious condos along the beach. Pass the days shopping in the local stores, window shopping at the art galleries, and enjoying scrumptious meals at one of the local eateries, such as Great Southern Cafe and Fish Out of Water Restaurant. Make time in your schedule for lazing on the beach, or visit the community pool.

6. Seacrest

swimming dolphins
Source: Flickr/shankar s.

Southeast of Santa Rosa Beach, the coastal community of Seacrest invites you and your family to slow down and relax. Close to Deer Lake Park, the community offers a lot of outdoor activities, including fishing, boating, kayaking, and hiking. Stop by Flippers Dolphin Tours and Boat Rentals to watch dolphins frolicking.

7. Alys Beach

relaxing seats under the palm trees
Source: Flickr/Jason Eppink

Treat yourself and your family to a luxury vacation rental in the upscale community of Alys Beach, and wake up each morning to stunning beach views. Hop on a bike to explore the local shops and unique boutiques, and then grab a snack at one of the cafes or ice cream shops. While staying in this beach town, spend a day at the Caliza Pool’s infinity pool filled with salt water.

8. Rosemary Beach

windy beach scene
Source: Flickr/Richard Elzey

Chill out and spend your days relaxing on the beach or playing in the surf when you select a vacation rental in the upscale community of Rosemary Beach. At Camp Helen State Park, you and your family can wander around the historic building, follow the nature trails, and enjoy some bird watching along with your typical day-at-the-beach fun.

9. Laguna Beach

entrance to the fair
Source: Flickr/Ming-yen Hsu

While away your days on the beach, on a bike, or on foot exploring the shops and art galleries in the downtown area. Throughout the spring and summer months, this town plays host to a variety of musical and dance festivals for your family to have a toe-tapping good time, including the Laguna Beach Music Festival, Art*A*Fair, and the Laguna Dance Festival.

10. Panama City Beach

flag raised at the pier
Source: Flickr/dconvertini

Except during spring break, families love to settle into a vacation rental along the beach in Panama City Beach. This Florida Gulf Coast hot spot has something for everyone in your family. Take the kids to the Gulf World Marine to watch live shows and swim with dolphins, or while away the day fishing on the Panama City Beach Pier.