South Walton Festival Insider
Beyond the beach, South Walton is home to year-round travel-worthy festivals.
Kick the year off with over 250 live music performances in one festival at 30A Songwriters Festival. With big-name singers and local stars, the big secret is that you can catch some of the best shows in a coffeehouse or a restaurant – plus, the turquoise water and sugar-white sand backdrop put it head-and-shoulders above a typical music fest.
When February rolls around, insiders pair the 30A Wine Festival with the Sandestin Gumbo Festival – kick off your stay with a 4-day event featuring a wine dinner, Bourbon, Beer & Butts event, seminars and Sunday brunch. Then, end your vacation with a tasting of the area’s best gumbos in Sandestin.
Even the races are reason for a festival here – the Seaside School Race Weekend in March isn’t just your typical scenic run. The 3-day event is led by the foodie-paradise Taste of the Race, which is followed by the race expo and the main event.
More wine and food, you say? April has your back, with two in the same month! The Sandestin Wine Festival, known as the “Kentucky Derby of Wine Festivals,” this fest packs events, seminars, dinners and wine tastings into 4 days. And the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival presents a dazzling roster of dozens of celebrity winemakers, distillers, chefs, brew masters and entertainers for four-days of food and wine filled celebration.
May is Art Month, and one of the premier events each year is Digital Graffiti, a one-of-a-kind projection art festival in Alys Beach. Come see a little color added to the beach and check out one of the most striking events of the year.
Looking for the time to let your athleticism shine? The Sandestin Triathlon in September has been a staple for over 30 years, and gives you the chance to run, bike and swim along the picture-perfect beach – surely the most beautiful backdrop for a race.
In October, food and wine return in a big way, with the Harvest Food & Wine Festival, 30A Blue Crab Festival and Baytowne Beer Festival. Renowned winemakers, incredible local restaurants, the best blue crab in the world and over 200 beers – in October alone. (There’s also the 30A Half Marathon & 5K, if you’re into running off those calories. But naturally, it begins with a BBQ event.)
With the holidays around the corner, join the fun at the Flutterby Festival, featuring arts, crafts and science celebrating the migration of monarch butterflies through the area. Or top off your glass at one of Fodor’s Travel’s “Top 10 Can’t Miss Fall Wine Festivals” – the Seeing Red Wine Festival in Seaside.
Then, coast right into the holidays with the Old Florida Holiday and Winter Market. Visit with Santa, enjoy the lights and get into the holiday spirit at this particularly festive festival!