Guide to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

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Welcome to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida – the perfect destination for a beach getaway! With miles of white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters, this small coastal town is ideal for relaxation and exploration. 

From kayaking in the Gulf of Mexico to visiting unique boutiques along Highway 30A, there’s something special about this slice of South Walton County, Florida. Santa Rosa Beach has it all whether you’re looking for restful days spent on the warm sand or exciting nights filled with live music and delicious food! Join us and experience all that this amazing place has to offer.

In this ultimate guide to everything Santa Rosa Beach, you’ll find the key spots to visit, outdoor activities to explore, local restaurants and bars to check out, and more! Get ready for a unique and unforgettable vacation in beautiful Santa Rosa Beach.

Hitting The Sand in Santa Rosa Beach

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, is a beach lover’s paradise. With miles of white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, it’s no wonder why so many people flock to this area every year. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day in the sun or an adventure-filled getaway, Santa Rosa Beach has something for everyone.

Blue Mountain Beach
One of the most popular beaches in Santa Rosa is Blue Mountain Beach, located on the far west end of 30A and Santa Rosa Beach. Blue Mountain Beach offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and plenty of activities to keep you busy. Spend a day getting sun or hit the water on a paddleboard or kayak. There are also a variety of shops and restaurants nearby if you’re looking for a bite to eat or some souvenirs.

Grayton Beach State Park’s Beach
Grayton Beach State Park is another excellent spot for beachgoers in Santa Rosa Beach. This park features 2 miles of pristine white sand beaches, hiking trails, picnic areas, and more. It’s also home to some of the best snorkeling spots in the area, so don’t forget your gear! Grayton Beach State Park is one of the many protected areas within the South Walton region.

Ed Walline Public Beach Access
If you’re looking for a more secluded spot, head to Ed Walline Public Beach Access. This beach is located on the east side of 30A and offers breathtaking views of the Gulf Coast. Here you can relax on the beach without the larger crowds you might find in other spots. The crystal-clear waters are ideal for swimming and snorkeling, and the area is also home to some beautiful natural habitats. Be sure to bring your camera!

Seaside Beach
Finally, Seaside Beach is another great option if you’re looking for a fun day at the beach. Located just south of Grayton Beach State Park, Seaside offers many activities, such as swimming, fishing, surfing, and more. Plus, plenty of restaurants are nearby if you need a bite to eat after a long day in the sun!

Beyond the Beach | Outdoor Activities in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Just because it’s Santa Rosa Beach doesn’t mean the sands are all this area is known for! There are plenty of outdoor activities that will fill your trip itinerary – from hiking some of the area’s best state parks to checking out some of the region’s most prominent nature preserves. 

Grayton Beach State Park
Grayton Beach State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida is an incredible destination for outdoor lovers. Spanning nearly 2,000 acres of stunning landscape, the park offers visitors a unique coastal experience with sunrises that shimmer across golden shorelines and moonlit evenings that glisten like silver. 

Nature enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as beach-going, biking, birdwatching, boating, freshwater and saltwater fishing, camping, and more. One of the highlights of Grayton Beach State Park is its 400-acre sand dune lake – a rare and picturesque sight. A nature trail weaves through this terrain, offering visitors the chance to explore native wildlife and vegetation up close.

Choctawhatchee Bay
Choctawhatchee Bay in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, is a breathtaking aquatic paradise. It stretches 30 miles and ranges between 4 and 6 miles wide. This magnificent body of water is teeming with lush marine life – redfish, speckled trout, flounder, and many other species of fish call these waters home. 

The Choctawhatchee River flows into the bay, leading out to the Gulf of Mexico via East Pass. The area around Choctawhatchee Bay has no shortage of activities to experience. With amazing fishing charters and kayaking tours, you can explore this beautiful bay with ease. 

Eden Gardens State Park
Eden Gardens State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, is a stunning 163-acre park that allows visitors to explore the rich history of the surrounding area. 

This beautiful park is home to the 2-story Wesley Mansion, which was initially built by timber baron William Henry Wesley in 1897 and has since been lovingly restored. Guests are invited to wander around the grounds and bask in the beauty of ancient live oak trees, manicured gardens that stretch down to Choctawhatchee Bay, and various outdoor attractions.

The park offers visitors many activities that can be enjoyed on-site, such as fishing, kayaking, and birdwatching. The Friends of Eden Gardens State Park also put together several educational programs throughout the year with topics ranging from local wildlife to ecosystems.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, is a breathtaking destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With 3 miles of white-sand beaches and towering 25-foot dunes, the landscape is like something from another world. Camping and picnic areas offer a perfect place to relax while swimming, fishing, kayaking, and hiking provide plenty of fun options for the whole family. The top-ranked RV park with large sites is another major draw.

Hogtown Bayou
Want to get some fishing near the area’s most historic spot? Check out Hogtown Bayou. This Gulf Coast estuary is home to a variety of species, including redfish, trout, tarpon, and more. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon of fishing or just want to explore the area, this spot is a must-see. Local legend holds that the spot was named after the large swarms of wild feral hogs that roamed the area!

The Best Places To Eat in Santa Rosa Beach

No trip to the area is complete without a visit to one of the top-notch restaurants in town. From seafood spots to steakhouses, you’ll find a local spot everyone in your party will enjoy. Here are some of the spots you need to add to your list when you visit Santa Rosa Beach.

Hit Gulf Place For A Bite
This colorful community provides many restaurants and eateries ranging from casual to upscale. Hit Gulf Place for an unforgettable experience with local and seasonal eats. You can also visit 30A – a regional shopping spot full of fun stuff to see and buy!

Visit Cafe Tango
Cafe Tango is a hidden gem nestled in a cozy cottage just off 30A. This charming eatery offers the perfect atmosphere for a romantic date night, an intimate anniversary dinner, or any special occasion. 

The beautiful interior exudes elegance with its rich wood accents and tasteful decor. It’s like stepping into a friend’s home – the hospitable staff and warm atmosphere make guests feel right at home. 

Stinky’s Fish Camp
A name can say a lot about a place, and thankfully, this spot on 30A in Santa Rosa Beach doesn’t quite live up to its moniker. If you’re in the mood for oysters, look no further; they offer 10 different kinds! 

They’re also known for their crawfish delicacies, including hot tamales, hushpuppies, pie, and étouffée with fried green tomatoes. The rustic cabin-like interior features floor-to-ceiling windows that view one of Dune Allen’s rare coastal dune lakes. It’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a meal!

Cafe Thirty-A
At Cafe Thirty-A, casual meets fine dining with an island-inspired menu consisting of surf-and-turf options and a wide selection of wines available by the glass. Their martini menu is also one of the most creative in South Walton. 

Winning the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and Open Table’s Diners’ Choice Winner for 2012, you can trust your palate will be pleased. Don’t forget to save room for dessert – their Banana Beignets are not to be missed!

Wine World At Watercolor
Are you in the mood for some world-class wines? Look no further than Chan’s Wine World. Here, you’ll find over 1,000 wines from around the globe, as well as a wine bar and cafe serving up delicious Mediterranean-style meals and tapas dishes such as fresh grouper, pepper-crusted filets, and some of the area’s best gourmet cheeses.

For a unique experience, check out their Friday night tastings – sample a few different varietals in an intimate setting outside at one of their market tables. In addition, this hot spot was even featured on the Cooking Channel show Emeril’s Florida – so it must be something special!

Nearby Cities To Check Out Near Santa Rosa Beach

While you are visiting the area, why not check out some of the nearby beach communities? South Walton is a great place to explore, with several unique towns and villages to visit:

Grayton Beach – This laid-back town has its own unique character, with a beachy atmosphere and plenty of activities. The Grayton Beach State Park offers excellent camping opportunities and is home to some of the best freshwater fishing in Florida.

Rosemary Beach – This chic village offers upscale dining, shopping, spa services, and nightlife. Make sure to stop by to get a feel for the New Urbanism at the heart of these nearby communities!

Seaside – This charming beachside town is a popular destination featured in the movie The Truman Show. It’s known for its unique architecture and shopping options, with plenty of art galleries and boutiques to explore.

Alys Beach – This stunning Mediterranean-inspired village has a luxurious feel and features some of the most spectacular beaches in the area.

Panama City Beach – This popular destination is known for its white sand beaches and vibrant nightlife. There’s plenty to do here, including snorkeling, parasailing, jet skiing, and more.

Destin – The prime spot for deep-sea fishing, Destin is home to some of the best charters in Florida. The area has plenty of exquisite seafood restaurants and nightlife spots on the harbor.

Inlet Beach – 25 minutes 

Miramar Beach – 15 minutes 

Fort Walton Beach – 45 minutes 

Navarre – 1 hour 

Pensacola – 1 ½ hours 

Where Should I Stay In Santa Rosa Beach?

Santa Rosa Beach – a gem on the Emerald Coast – is a popular vacation destination with plenty of accommodation options to choose from. And with quick access to both the beaches and the shopping around town, picking the right place to stay can make all the difference in your vacation.

At Florida Cabins for YOU, we know Santa Rosa Beach like the back of our sandy hands. We’ve got the best vacation rentals in the region – putting you in the heart of the action in the best beach neighborhoods. Each of our Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, rentals features high-class amenities and modern furnishings that make your stay comfortable and memorable. And with a variety of waterfront locations and beachfront locations, you can choose the perfect spot to take in all the beauty this area has to offer.

If you’re ready to experience all that Santa Rosa Beach has to offer, let Florida Cabins for YOU be your host. We’ll make sure that your stay is one you won’t soon forget. Our team is here to make your vacation planning process stress-free while you relax and enjoy your beach vacation. 

Contact us today to learn more about our Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, rentals! We look forward to helping you create a one-of-a-kind coastal experience.