Did you know that Seaside in South Walton is ranked as one of the Best Beaches for Families in the world by the Travel Channel? Not to mention, both Grayton Beach and Blue Mountain Beach in South Walton were also ranked in the top four Most Relaxing Beaches in the Florida Panhandle by the Travel Channel. But, don’t just take Travel Channel’s advice to book your next vacation in South Walton. Check out the local perspective of why South Walton is THE best beach vacation destination.
Obviously, the beaches of South Walton could easily be the main reason anyone would want to come spend a few days, a week, or even a month or more here. The sugar-white beaches and crisp emerald-green waters are one of a kind. Besides, they create the perfect backdrop for a breathtaking sunset photo. But, what really makes our beaches so special and alluring? Believe it or not, it’s the sand!
The sand on our beaches is made from pure white quartz crystals. These crystals came from the Appalachian Mountains at the end of the last Ice Age and were deposited into the Gulf of Mexico. These quartz particles give the sand a different look and feel. They also are the reason for that squeaky sound you hear as you parade along the beach. It’s the quartz that also contributes to the emerald-green waters found along the Emerald Coast, too. Moreover, what really draws people – unknowingly – to our beaches are the healing properties found in quartz. Quartz is known as the “master healer.” It draws off negative energy of all kinds and balances and revitalizes the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual planes. It also cleanses and enhances the organs and acts as a deep soul cleanser as well as stimulates the immune system and brings the body into balance.
South Walton hosts a plethora of restaurants and dining options from local fare to world-class fine dining. South Walton even boasts its own Wine and Food Festival every year to showcase the cuisine. But, next time you’re in South Walton, dine where the locals dine. You’ll surely be in for a treat. Check out some of our favorite local restaurants and eateries in South Walton!
With a tagline of “Food Worth Crowing About,” there’s no wonder Chanticleer Eatery is one of the most popular and most recommended restaurants among the locals since opening in 2012. Serving made-from-scratch dishes for both lunch and dinner, Chanticleer Eatery is the perfect dining option. It has a laid-back casual atmosphere that also offers indoor and outdoor seating. Chanticleer Eatery is truly a hidden gem in South Walton that never disappoints!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right?! So, start off the day with breakfast at one of South Walton’s newest additions, Black Bear Bread Co. located in Grayton Beach. Black Bear Bread Co. is everything you could ask for in a neighborhood bakery, coffee shop, and cafe. They offer freshly-baked, naturally leavened bread, seasonal produce, and sensible sourcing. Not to mention, you can stay and have lunch there, too!
Chicago and New York may be famous for their pizzas, but nothing compares to South Walton’s locally owned pizza parlor, Pizza by the Sea. They even have four locations in Gulf Place, Watercolor, Seacrest, and Sandestin to get your pizza fix. When you combine a fun, family-friendly environment with high-quality fresh ingredients and an amazing staff, there is no wonder they are voted Best Pizza on 30A!
It might be hard to imagine authentic, as well as delicious, Asian cuisine at the beach, but that’s exactly what Lin’s Asian Cuisine located in Miramar Beach offers. Lin’s Asian Cuisine prides themselves on their traditional and Southeast Asian style dishes and offers both dine-in and carryout. Locals and tourist alike love the quiet and enjoyable atmosphere along with the beautifully presented dishes.
South Walton may exude a laidback, casual coastal feel, but we don’t take fine dining lightly. When the time comes to dress it up a little, the locals head to Restaurant Paradis, nestled in Rosemary Beach. Restaurant Paradis focuses on coastal cuisine full of rich flavors that enhance each other to create unique and tantalizing dishes. Nevertheless, their menu changes with the season, so there’s always something new and exciting to enjoy.
World-class shopping isn’t just for the big city anymore. Nestled in all the seaside towns along 30A and in the nooks and crannies of South Walton are a smorgasbord of shops and boutiques. Some local favorites include Seaside, 30Avenue, and The Shops of Grayton – just to name a few.
South Walton also offers several mainstream shopping experiences, too. Located within walking distance of Residence Inn by Marriott Sandestin and Courtyard by Marriott Sandetin is Grand Boulevard. Featuring a movie theatre and new shops and restaurants just on the horizon, Grand Boulevard is a distinctive town center. It offers exclusive shops, fine-dining, a lush park, and plenty more for locals and visitors alike. Looking for name-brand and designer fashions, accessories, and home goods but don’t want to break the bank? Silver Sands Premium Outlets has you covered with over 100 designer and name-brand outlets, which makes them the premier shopping destination in Northwest Florida.
South Walton is a thriving, artistic company that encompasses both visual and performing arts. From live theatre to live music, not to mention the array of art galleries sprinkled throughout the area, South Walton is a colorful community with an abundance of creativity at its heart.
For starters, there is nothing like experiencing a live theatrical production and Emerald Coast Theatre Company located at Grand Boulevard in Sandestin and The Seaside Repertory Theatre in Seaside deliver outstanding productions for audiences of all ages.
Is live music more your style? Then hop on over to The Hub in Watersound for a world-class musical experience featuring styles from funk and jazz to jam and Americana. There’s no doubt, though, that South Walton has a musical style of its own such as local favorities like Forrest Williams Band, Dread Clampitt, Chris Alvarado, Graytones, and Luke Langford Band.
Finally, our sunsets aren’t the only thing that paints a beautiful scene in South Walton. The every growing visual arts community in South Walton exhibits the true essence of our community. It’s eveident in the numerous art galleries throughout the area. A favorite among locals is Foster Gallery located in Grand Boulevard in Sandestin. Named after the late Susan Foster who was one of the area’s first professional artists and gallery owners, Foster Gallery is a collaboration with the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County. Together, the CAA and Foster Gallery strive to support the local arts through leadership, advocacy, funding, programs, and education. Other favorites throughout South Walton include former chef turned artist, Justin Gaffrey (Blue Mountain Beach), coastal-inspired artist, Donna Burgess (Grand Boulevard), and glass artist, Mary Hong (Grayton Beach).
With all the things South Walton has to offer, there’s no wonder why more and more people are calling this little slice of heaven home and making it the best beach vacation destination. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg for what South Walton really has awaiting you. Come stay with us and live like a local – even if just for a day or two.