The perfect South Walton vacation schedule includes plenty of beach time, of course – but any visitor here should schedule ample time for off-the-beach activities, too. From shopping to dining to ecosploring, our beach neighborhoods have tons of must-see sights on their streets and within their natural surroundings. We’ve lined up an off-the-beach travel guide to help you see South Walton in a whole new way.
Start your day on the quiet side – by taking a stroll along the residential streets of Inlet Beach. Quaint cottages stand beside modern villas, and sand creeps into the cracks of lovingly worn sidewalks. Shaded walkways will keep you cool as you soak in beautiful South Walton views.
For breakfast, head to Rosemary Beach’s Cowgirl Kitchen. From classic breakfast sandwiches to the favorite Migas egg scramble, this local hot spot’s menu can satisfy any type of appetite – and fuel you up for a nice long bike ride along the 18-mile Timpoochee Trail. Rent a cruiser at one of many nearby gear rental shops and start pedaling.
As you journey westward, you’ll bike through the beautiful butteries leading to Alys Beach. Park your ride and explore this walkable beach neighborhood by foot. Journey through Alys Beach’s 0.3-mile Nature Trail for a quick view of the area’s expansive nature preserve, where native flora and fauna can be found.
As you continue on, we’d suggest cooling off at Seacrests’s community splash pad, located in this beach neighborhood’s lively Peddlers Pavilion. While you’re there, find the perfect souvenir in one of the Pavilion’s boutique shops.
Next up is a journey through Deer Lake State Park, located in WaterSound. As you ride along the park’s short trails, keep an eye out for rare birds, fish, and plants.
When lunchtime rolls around, feast on a famous fried grouper sandwich at Seagrove Village Market Café or a gourmet ham and cheese at The Perfect Pig. See what the catch of the day is at the Old Florida Fish House, or go for round two of Cowgirl Kitchen at this restaurant’s Seagrove location. As you continue westward, grab some shaved ice at the Frost Bites Airstream trailer in Seaside or create a custom bag of sweet treats at The Candy Bar in WaterColor.
South Walton’s off-beach offerings continue in Grayton Beach and Blue Mountain, both of which host awesome art galleries and studios. Grayton Beach’s Studio Gallery has drawn in locals and visitors alike for more than 15 years; nearby, Justin Gaffrey’s studio and gallery displays this former Artist of the Year’s stunning works.
Continue westward into Santa Rosa Beach, where the sandy trails of Point Washington State Forest await you. Follow red, orange, and yellow signs to complete a three-, five-, or ten-mile loop on the popular Eastern Lake Trail. Make sure to wear bug spray!
Afterwards, hop off your bike and onto a paddle board. You can rent one at Gulf Place’s YOLO Board + Bike and ride it along the gentle waves of Oyster Lake, one of Dune Allen’s three treasured dune lakes.
After an active day in the South Walton outdoors, treat yourself to a refreshing session at one of Sandestin’s spas. While you’re enjoying a massage or facial at Fusion Spa Salon or Serenity by the Sea, young ones can expend last bits of energy at the rock wall, zipline, or ropes course at nearby Baytowne Wharf.
As your off-the-beach adventure comes to a close, make sure to sneak in a glimpse of South Walton’s sugar white sand as the sun sets. Head to the beach-facing patio of the Whale’s Tail to toast to a good day of exploration; and finish your evening with a plate of fresh seafood at Sushimoto or a Mexican feast at Pepito’s in Miramar Beach.