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Exploring South Walton with a Tween

While younger kids love everything about South Walton, being a little older has its advantages when you’re vacationing here.

I’m only 12, so I can’t exactly drive yet. But what I might love the most is just getting to wander through these neighborhoods on my bike. My friends and I will ride over to check out a few cool shops, then wind our way past all the colorful rental houses lining the back streets and eventually over to the beach access. There are so many miles of paved pathways, including the Timpoochee Trail, so we don’t really need to worry much about cars.

Biking in WaterColor

One awesome place we like to stop is The Big Chill. It has a little of everything! There’s great live music, fun restaurants like Macho Taco and tasty treats from places like Super Freeze. Plus, they host all kinds of activities like kids’ yoga, family game nights and DJ dance parties.

Speaking of treats, no matter what end of South Walton you’re staying on, there are plenty of sweets to feast on. On the west end, Blue Mountain Beach Creamery is totally a dream! Their homemade flavors are the perfect way to cool off before or after the beach. And don’t forget to check out their Shake Shop out back.

Blue Mountain Beach Creamery

Most of my friends don’t know it (until now) but I’m an aspiring poet. So, I like to head over to the heart of Seaside for some lyrical influences. Here, I can spend hours flipping through pages at Sundog Books. And right upstairs is Central Square Records. They have the latest releases from my favorite bands, plus all kinds of vintage stuff on vinyl (my dad calls them “classics” and likes to brag about how he saw these bands in concert back in the day).

Central Square Records

For a little more inspiration, I like to soak in the amazing beauty of South Walton. Did you know that 40% of this place is preserved for nature?! One of my happy places is Eden Gardens State Park. There’s a beautiful, historic mansion, and I love to just read under those ancient live oaks. I think one is around 600 years old!

Eden Gardens State Park

Of course, all this independence works out for everyone in our family. I get to discover so much on my own, while Mom and Dad enjoy a little freedom themselves. They always just seem interested in watching the sunset together. I don’t quite get it, but to each his (and her) own. The best part about a sunset is that it leads to the next day of adventure!


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