Orlando Magazine

Best Beaches in Florida: Santa Rosa Beach

Santa Rosa Beach

Photos by David Bailey Photography

This Florida gem, boasting a 26-mile coastline, was established in 1910, making it the oldest and most expansive among South Walton’s 16 beach communities. Over time, its dynamic landscape has been enriched with parks, restaurants, and an array of outdoor activities, transforming Santa Rosa Beach into a versatile destination. Nestled between the Choctawhatchee Bay to the north and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, it spans from Sandestin to Inlet Beach, offering a diverse range of experiences. Regardless of preference, visitors will find something to enjoy in this idyllic locale.

Three state parks—Grayton Beach State Park, Deer Lake State Park, Eden Gardens State Park—and Point Washington State Forest are found in Santa Rosa Beach. These sites provide ample opportunity for hiking and biking enthusiasts who enjoy traversing trails and immersing themselves in nature’s beauty. Indeed, Santa Rosa Beach, with its miles of immaculate sand and crystal-clear waters, is a beach lover’s sanctuary, drawing multitudes each year seeking either restful sunbathing or exciting escapades.

Among the many attractive spots, Blue Mountain Beach stands out, located at the westernmost part of 30A and Santa Rosa Beach. It offers breathtaking Gulf of Mexico views and a wealth of activities, from sunbathing and water sports such as paddleboarding and kayaking, to exploring nearby shops and eateries. Grayton Beach State Park is another favorite for beachgoers, featuring two miles of pristine beaches, hiking trails, picnic spots, and some of the region’s best snorkeling locations, reaffirming South Walton’s status as a protected area.

For those seeking tranquility away from crowded spots, Ed Walline Public Beach Access, situated on 30A’s eastern side, provides a stunning view of the Gulf Coast. Here, visitors can lounge on the beach, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and snorkel, all while taking in the surrounding natural habitats. A camera is a must-have to capture these moments!

For those seeking an active beach day, Seaside Beach is an ideal choice. Positioned south of Grayton Beach State Park, Seaside offers various activities like swimming, fishing, and surfing. An abundance of restaurants also dots the vicinity, perfect for those needing to refuel after a sun-soaked day.

Orlando magazine’s dedicated editorial team is taking the guesswork out of your next beach day! This chart will show you the best Santa Rosa Beach’s amenities to fit your needs. 


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