Top 30A Beach Towns for YOUR Beach Vacation

Dreaming of white-sand beaches, sparkling turquoise waters, and the freshest seafood available on the Florida Panhandle? Start planning your beach vacation to 30A — a 24-mile stretch of beach towns between Panama City Beach and Destin along Scenic Highway 30A — offering every type of coastal getaway you could want in Walton County. Action-packed for the family, laid-back for the couple, eclectic for the unique traveler, a mix of it all…you can’t go wrong with a beach getaway to 30A on the Gulf Coast! 

Read on to learn more about some of the top 30A beaches along the Emerald Coast, including food, outdoor fun, art, music, and more! Plus, we have the scoop on top Florida beach rentals — including high-rise condos, beachfront vacation homes, and luxury townhomes — so you can stick close to the most beautiful beaches and friendly beach communities in 30A. 

Rosemary Beach

One of our favorite pearl-white beaches along Scenic Highway 30A, Rosemary Beach is one of the best places to enjoy sunset views over the rippling waves, walk along cobblestone streets, and dine at award-winning restaurants. With a touch of West Indies style and calming coastal vibes, this 30A beach town adds a little romance to your Florida vacation. 

Loads of local shops line the town square, and you can enjoy live entertainment, waterfront views, and outdoor seating at restaurants; some are even pet friendly! A few of our favorite dishes include the pan-seared redfish at Edward’s, grouper tacos at Gallion’s, and seafood paellas at La Crema Tapas & Chocolate. Between shopping for artworks and souvenirs or wining and dining in town, pamper yourself and your partner or friends with a deep tissue massage at Vivo Spa

Best of all, splash, sunbathe, and relax along the turquoise Gulf Coast at the warm and welcoming Rosemary Beach! Hold hands while walking along the sand with your partner and spot stunning seashells you can pick up and take home as mementos. If you’re looking for a romantic setting in Northwest Florida, retreat to the mood-setting Rosemary Beach. 

Santa Rose Beach

As the largest beach neighborhood in South Walton County, Santa Rose Beach beckons you for a luxury beach vacation in 30A. Featuring sugar sand and dazzling emerald waters, this beautiful beach is a great place to spend the day with family and friends. In town, enjoy incredible dining (great options below), indulge in local craft brews, peruse handcrafted works at the Artists at Gulf Place, and dip into attractive boutiques for a spell. 

Outdoor fun in Santa Rosa includes paddleboarding at the Topsail Hill Preserve, off-road bicycling and hiking through the Point Washington State Forest, and hanging out beachside, of course! Got history buffs in your group? Check out the historic Wesley Mansion (built in the 1890s) in Eden Gardens State Park. 

Filled with fun things to do for all ages and top-tier places to visit, Santa Rosa Beach is the perfect 30A beach to plan your family vacation or getaway with friends. 

Top Restaurants in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

  • 98 Bar-B-Que
  • Bayou Bill’s Crab House
  • Don Pedros Mexican Restaurant
  • Elmo’s Grill
  • Fat Daddy’s Pizza
  • Goatfeathers Seafood Restaurant
  • Local Catch Bar & Grill 
  • Louis Louis
  • Perfect Pig Grill and Fish House
  • Pizza by the Sea at Gulf Place 
  • Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar 
  • South of Philly
  • Stinky’s Fish Camp
  • Vue on 30A

Dune Allen Beach

Peacefully situated on the west end of 30A and Santa Rosa Beach in South Walton, Florida, Dune Allen is a secluded and serene beach with easy access to options for dining, shopping, drinks, and outdoor fun. It’s flanked by Blue Mountain Beach (about an hour away) and Sandestin (a little under 2 hours) in either direction and is known for its residential areas with lovely beach houses — far from a party beach town.

Dune Allen Beach boasts miles of trails to explore in Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Stinky’s Fish Camp (named one of the Top 10 Places to Eat by USA Today), easy access to the Timpoochee Trail, and 5 coastal dune lakes: Allen, Campbell, Morris, Oyster, and Stallworth. You can explore art galleries, stop by The Hidden Lantern Bookstore, go to a family movie night, stop by a farmers market, and more! 

If you’re looking for a peaceful beach getaway filled with relaxing days in the sand dunes, gorgeous blue water, outdoor exploring, and a great variety of restaurants, Dune Allen Beach is a wonderful choice for your 30A beach vacation. 

Grayton Beach

With a motto like “Nice Dogs, Strange People,” it’s no wonder Grayton Beach has earned a reputation for being funky, unique, eclectic, and a must-stay for those who love music, art, good food, and an escape from the typical beach vacation. One of its claims to fame is the Underwater Museum of Art, an underwater sculpture garden lying 58 feet below the surface and less than 1 mile from the shores of Grayton Beach State Park. Another unique part of Grayton Beach is beach launching for fishing, allowing visitors to start their fishing charter straight from the beach! 

If you love boutique shops and awesome food, Grayton Beach may be your perfect 30A vacation spot. Spend your days exploring the art galleries, sipping drinks at the famous The Red Bar, having outdoor fun along the pristine beaches in Grayton Beach State Park, and checking out area favorites including Crackings, Black Bear Bread Company, Chiringo, Grayton Beer Brew Pub, Grayton Seafood Company, Nanbu Noodle Bar, and Hurricane Oyster Bar.

Miramar Beach

Colorful and fun Miramar Beach is the place to be if you want a diverse and unique beach vacation in 30A. Spend days antiquing, playing beach volleyball, parasailing, riding jet skis, golfing, biking along the 3-mile Scenic Highway 98 Trail, taking tennis lessons at the Hidden Dunes Beach & Tennis Resort, and watching movies at the New Vision Theatres Boulevard 10 Cinema. Shopping options range from great deals at Silver Sands Premium Outlets to higher-end favorites like Anthropologie, Lilly Pulitzer, LuluLemon, and Williams Sonoma at Grand Boulevard. 

In this bustling beach community along the Gulf of Mexico, the food doesn’t disappoint either, with options like Emeril’s Coastal Italian, The Craft Bar, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Vin’tij Food & Wine at Grand Boulevard. Beachfront favorites include Pompano Joe’s Seafood House (featured on The Travel Channel) and The Surf Hut, serving up seafood, ribs, oysters, and beachy drinks. 

If you’re looking for a fun family beach town packed with plenty to do, book your 30A vacation rental and spend time on the gorgeous beaches — and in the bright blue waters — of Miramar Beach, Florida! As the closest 30A beach to Destin, consider staying at a breezy Destin vacation rental so you don’t have to travel far. 

Blue Mountain Beach

Another lovely residential area in 30A, Blue Mountain Beach is famous for its gorgeous turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and blue lupine flowers — from which it gets its name. It also boasts the area’s highest elevation, giving way to the second part of its name. Big Redfish Lake is a favorite for paddle boarding, and there are 2 public beach access points and rental options available for on-the-water fun. The Timpoochee Trail also runs through Blue Mountain Beach, offering 19 miles of paved biking trail! 

This classic beach town has all you need for a fun and laid-back beach getaway, from Big Daddy’s Bike Shop, art galleries, and scoops at Blue Mountain Creamery to great seafood, live music, and peaceful beaches. Whether it’s BBQ, seafood, tacos, or drinks, Blue Mountain Beach is a foodie’s dream!

Favorite Restaurants in Blue Mountain Beach

  • Basmati’s Asian Cuisine & Sushi 
  • Blue Mabel Smokehouse & Provisions
  • Blue Mountain Bakery 
  • Blue Mountain Beach Creamery 
  • Chanticleer Eatery 
  • Johnny McTighe’s Irish Pub
  • Red Fish Taco
  • Redd’s Fueling Station

Seagrove Beach

A historic beach town of 30A, Seagrove is lush with oak and magnolia trees. Many families come back to Seagrove year after year, enjoying boutique shopping, some wonderful restaurants (try Café Thirty-A or Seagrove Village Market), biking on the Timpoochee Trail (a favorite way to travel in the area), outdoor fun at Deer Lake State Park and Eastern Lake, more beautiful beaches, and live music and top-notch sushi at Old Florida Fish House. 

Seagrove also has a great new addition due to complete in 2023: the new Regional Beach Access! There will be a multi-use trail to stretch your legs, on-site restrooms, bicycle storage, and a boardwalk with scenic Emerald Coast views. This top 30A beach town just keeps getting better!

Seaside Beach

If you’ve done your 30A research, you’ve likely come across 2 standout features of Seaside Beach: colorful, pastel beach houses and the unique Airstream Row that adds to the beachy charm of the area. Seaside is called the birthplace of New Urbanism, an architectural design movement focused on walkability — showcased through the architect-designed walkways throughout the town. In fact, Seaside was the setting for the movie The Truman Show, showing just how picturesque it is!

In this gorgeous, welcoming beach town you’ll find art galleries, boutique shops, and great food — including 100-layer donuts, crepes, and BBQ — from the retro food trucks at Airstream Row. Spend days strolling along white sandy beaches, enjoying crystal blue waters from the boardwalk, and walking around this one-of-a-kind coastal town. 

Want to stay in the area this weekend? Check out our current weekend availability!

WaterColor Beach

If you’re looking for days spent on the water, check out WaterColor Beach. It’s known as one of the most scenic areas of the 30A beach area, home to the dune lake — Western Lake. Stop by WaterColor Boathouse to rent your paddleboard or kayak and head out onto the crystal clear waters. Or you can hike or bike through nearby Grayton Beach State Park or Point Washington State Forest. 

Looking for good food and a great view? Fishing Out of Water, located at the WaterColor Inn, boasts panoramic Gulf of Mexico views — some of the best in the area. The Gathering Spot is another favorite, and The Wine Bar is perfect for a girls’ night of cheese, brick oven pizza, and wine sipping. Need a break from the sand dunes? Spend the afternoon at Cerulean Park in the heart of WaterColor, which has beautiful water features, lush greenery, vivid flowers, and plenty of shady tree-studded areas. 

WaterColor Beach hosts the annual 2-night Mountainfilm on Tour Festival and the Harvest Wine & Food Festival, which features celebrity winemakers, dinners and tastings, and more than 250 wines. WaterColor gives you that charming small beach town feel with high-end eateries, lovely shops, and wonderful outdoor activities. 

MORE 30A Beaches to Explore

While we can’t stop gushing over our favorite 30A beaches, we certainly can’t leave off these beautiful Florida beaches along Hwy 30A! Food, entertainment, shopping, wine tasting, and attractions welcome you to visit.

  • Inlet Beach
  • Alys Beach
  • Watersound Beach
  • Seacrest Beach

Breezy Beach Rentals Near 30A

Stick close to breathtaking 30A beaches at a Destin or Panama City Beach vacation rental. Choose from breezy condos, luxurious townhomes, and beachfront rentals. With scenic views, entertaining amenities, relaxing extras, and homey conveniences, Florida CFY offers your beach home away from home along the Gulf Coast!

Florida CFY Amenities

  • Ocean views
  • Games
  • Beach items
  • Resort swimming pools
  • Big screen TVs
  • Fully equipped kitchens
  • King suites
  • Washer/dryer 
  • Air conditioning
  • FREE Wi-Fi
  • Keyless entry — self check-in!

Plan your ideal beach vacation along Scenic Highway 30A — and visit some of the best beaches in Northwest Florida!