Park It: Walkable Walton County
Pull up in your car, park and leave it for the rest of your trip.
Walton County is designed to be accessible, and between walkability and bikeability, you won't think twice about your car while you're here.
New Urbanism in America was born in South Walton, Florida. An architectural and design movement centered on making neighborhoods walkable, bikeable and built on human scale, it first took shape in Seaside, before shaping WaterColor, Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach. With gridded street systems, town centers, parks and sprawling green spaces, New Urbanist towns are ideal for families. At their heart, New Urbanist communities encourage interaction between neighbors – a certain friendliness that helps to define your beach experience here.
But the New Urbanist movement doesn't mean everything is the same style. Buildings can be any style that fits within the building code, which only prescribes rules that clearly define the public space. That means that every building contributes to making a neighborhood feel like a neighborhood, rather than a collection of random houses.
Because each of our local communities is different, with varying styles and activities, walkability is all the more important. It makes it that much easier to explore local restaurants and shops – and of course, the beach.
Just north of the Choctawhatchee Bay, there’s plenty more to explore. Take, for example, the Historic Downtown District of DeFuniak Springs. Duck in and out of quaint shops ranging from Nook & Cranny with its antique and collectible treasures to Vault 46 and its variety of eclectic home decor, jewelry, art and gifts.
When you need a break for something to eat, there are plenty of unique eateries nearby. Perla Baking Co. offers fresh-baked pastries, croissants and desserts to accompany an assortment of organic coffees and teas. Fresh Gulf seafood and tasty cocktails complement the charming New Orleans-style ambiance at Café Nola. And H&M Hot Dogs is the oldest hot dog stand in Florida – now there’s some history!
When switching to pedal power, South Walton is exceptionally bicycle-friendly. Bike rental is a piece of cake, and cyclists are everywhere, so bike safety and respect are built into the culture here. The Timpoochee Trail, which runs the length of Highway 30A, is the perfect way to get up close and personal with nature while seeing the sights along the beach. Enjoy a breathtaking view of South Walton’s sugar-white sand and turquoise water along the paved multi-use path on Scenic Gulf Drive in Miramar Beach.
Want to let your bike do the work for you? Be sure to try out an electric bike from Pedego. Whether you are interested in exploring local bistros or nature trails, you’ll be well on your way to a day of adventure.
And speaking of electric, in promoting a culture that limits the need for driving, Walton County is working to support the use of electric cars and trucks. While you’re out refreshing your spirits on foot and by bike, your car can be getting its own much-needed recharge at one of the local stations listed below. Just be sure to always confirm these locations, and potentially the number of available plugs, prior to planning your travel.
Courtyard by Marriott: 100 Grand Blvd., Miramar Beach, FL 32550 (EV + Tesla)
Residence Inn by Marriott Sandestin at Grand Boulevard: 300 Grand Blvd., Miramar Beach, FL 32550 (EV + Tesla)
TOPS’L Beach and Racquet Resort: 9011 US Hwy. Miramar Beach, FL 32550 (EV + Tesla)
TOPS’L Commercial Center: 8955 Emerald Coast Pkwy., Miramar Beach, FL 32550 (EV + Tesla)
Embarc: 8626 Baytowne Ave. West, Sandestin, FL 32550 (EV + Tesla)
Seaside: 25 Central Square, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 (EV + Tesla)
Seaside: 2288 E. Co. Hwy. 30A Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 (Tesla)
Dunes of Seagrove: 396 Lakewood Dr., Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 (Blink)
Dunes of Seagrove: 396 Lakewood Dr., Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 (Tesla)
The Lofts at Seacrest Beach: 65 Red Bud Lane, Inlet Beach, FL 32461 (Blink)
Alys Beach: 9581 E. Co. Hwy. 30A, Alys Beach, FL 32413 (Tesla)
The Pointe: 10711 E. Co. Hwy. 30A, Panama City Beach, FL 32401 (Tesla)
30Avenue: 12805 U.S. Hwy. 98, Panama City Beach, FL 32461 (EV + Tesla)
Tesla Superchargers: Baldwin Avenue and 10th Street, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433
Mossy Head Industrial Park: 17834 FL 285, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433 (SemaConnect)
Infinity Hammock Bay West: 205 Hammock Trail East, Freeport, FL 32439 (Blink)