Your Guide To 30a Beaches

Scenic Highway 30a on the Emerald Coast ~ Florida Beaches with a Caribbean Feel


Don’t Know Why It's Called The Emerald Coast ~ You Certainly Will Upon Arrival

If you don’t know why the stretch of Scenic Highway 30A along the Florida Gulf is called the Emerald Coast, you certainly will upon arrival. That’s because the crisp green waters are impossible to miss, and the pristine, white sand is a gem in its own right. But while they may share the same sea, each beach community has it’s own distinct personality. Here are a few of the best Emerald Coast beaches to get up close and personal with…

Rosemary Beach

Walking or Biking ~ You Can Ditch The Car Here

  • One of the first planned New Urbanist communities in the area, Rosemary Beach is extremely walkable or bikeable. And the wooden boardwalks intermingling between the homes and various activities make it quite easy to navigate.  Get your gear here.
  • Arguably one of the most family-friendly neighborhoods on the Emerald Coast, it has something for everyone. The kids will love that no matter where you stay, you’ll never be further than a 7-minute walk or so to one of 4 community pools. After a quick dip, head over to the Eastern and Western Green or downtown Barrett Square. There, you’ll find plenty of local markets, unique festivals, outdoor concerts, and other special events that are sure to keep everyone happy.
  • Couples will want to head over to The Pearl Hotel at some point for an elegant meal, or just to keep it casual with a fancy cocktail in their rooftop lounge.

Cms rosemary beach

Seacrest Beach

Something For Everyone ~ Around Here

  • Seacrest is Rosemary Beach’s neighbor and just 5-minute walk from there. As such, you’ll find more condo buildings in this area. Perfect for smaller families.
  • Most homes in the community have access to the massive, 12,000 square-foot Lagoon pool. This is the place to be in the summer months.
  • If you don’t feel like walking to Rosemary, head over to Seacrest’s own town center – the Villages of South Walton’s Peddlers Pavilion. Rent a bike, grab a bite, take in a show, or if you happen to be staying here, you can just take in all the excitement from high atop your balcony.

Cms seacrest beach

Seagrove Beach

Seagrove Has Privacy ~ Down To An Art Form

  • Seagrove doesn’t always need to be the center of attention. That’s because it’s near the center of surrounding areas like Alys, Rosemary, Seacrest and Seaside Beaches.
  • You’ll find lots of stand-alone homes here, either sitting proudly on the beach or shyly nestled amongst the trees.
  • For families that want to get away from the hustle and bustle, Seagrove has privacy down to an art form.

WaterColor Beach

It's A Plentiful Palette ~ Of Beachside Activities

  • A bustling resort community, visitors come to WaterColor for its expansive green space, amazing beach club atmosphere and pool, and lot of sub-communities within it.
  • WaterColor is a very planned-out environment, so you will likely find yourself leaving the car behind and traveling by bike or foot.

Cms watercolor beach

Escape the Hustle & Bustle

Get Away From The Crowds ~ And Soak Up Some Rays 

Inlet Beach

You’re In Florida For A Reason ~ You Crave A Little Peace And Quiet

  • You’re coming to Florida for a reason. You crave a little peace and quiet. You want to bask in the warm sun. And you need the laidback atmosphere of a pleasantly sleepy community. Inlet Beach should be just your speed.
  • Those who truly appreciate quaint beach architecture will fall in the love with this area. From cottages right on the ocean and traditional houses on stilts to multiple-story homes that maximize your view, Inlet is the epitome of just how relaxing Florida can be.
  • The calm of the beach is the star, but for a little more excitement, you can keep up with all your favorite sports teams at Shades Bar & Grill. Or just stop by for a craft brew and a quick bite.

Cms inlet beach

Blue Mountain Beach

One Of The Less-Developed Communities ~ And Proud Of It

  • One of the less-developed communities – and proud of it – on the Emerald Coast, Blue Mountain is one of the more affordable options.
  • Enjoy a quiet jaunt through the great local shops, art galleries, and spas. There are less tourist attractions in Blue Mountain, giving you a more authentic feel of what a coastal town can be.

WaterSound Beach

Go Off The Grid In WaterSound

  • Another relaxing area is the gated community of WaterSound. This is fantastic spot for couples or snowbirds looking to not be bothered so they can focus on a little R&R.
  • To help move you along to that desired state of Zen, many head over to the rare, coastal dune lake. It is truly a serene experience, and one you won’t soon forget.
  • Those who don’t want to go completely off the grid can head down the boardwalk to the beach, and a community pool is always within reach.

Cms watersound beach

Can't Miss These Gems

Not To Overdue the Metaphor ~ But These Are Diamonds In The Rough

Alys Beach

A Little Taste of Bermuda ~ Stateside

  • This is the area of the Emerald Coast people come to for a little taste of the Caribbean. And with its tall, white buildings and meticulously groomed palm trees, you’ll soon find out why.
  • You’ll also find this community tends to be a little more on the upscale side of things. And the numerous high-end restaurants, frequent wine tastings, and one of the most elegant pools in the world – Caliza – certainly reflects that.

Cms alys beach

Grayton Beach

Join Your Neighbors For A Drink ~ Or Listen To Some Bluegrass

  • One of the more lively areas of all the Emerald Coast beaches, you’ll find a lot of locals here just hanging out. Join your neighbors for a drink on the beach or some live jazz and bluegrass music at the ever-popular Red Bar.
  • Looking for a little more action? You can also get a permit and take a 4WD vehicle out on the sand, one of the only Florida Emerald Coast beaches on which you can have such an adventure.


A Movie Star ~ Must See

  • Seaside is probably one of the more well-known beaches along Scenic Highway 30A. The Truman Show was filmed here, which makes Seaside a must-see destination no matter where you stay.
  • Beyond Hollywood curiosities, the area is known for its pastel houses and beautiful architecture. And as another early adopter of the New Urbanist philosophy, it’s easy to stroll around and get a glimpse of the diversity of homes and buildings.
  • If you do take that stroll, be sure stop downtown for some lunch. There are always plenty of food trucks waiting to serve you a quick, delicious meal.

Cms seaside beach

Gulf Place

The Entertainment Epicenter ~ Of Scenic Highway 30a

  • On the western side of 30A, Gulf Place is another very well-planned beachside community. You have all the shops and restaurants you need right within walking distance. There are also several condo complexes for all those necessary luxuries you covet on your vacation.
  • Check out the “artists’ colony” where local artists display and sell their work. Then head to the open-air amphitheater that often hosts various entertaining events, concerts and festivals.

Cms gulf place

So Many Choices

Which Beach is Best? ~ For Your 30a Vacation

As you can see, there’s a wide variety of choices for Emerald Coast beaches. These are the ones we deem best. We encourage you to choose the one that most closely aligns with the type of vacation you and your fellow visitors want to have. And if you can’t decide, there’s no harm in checking them all out. That’s the great thing about the beaches along Scenic Highway 30A. You’re never far from where any of them are.

Still Have Questions?

We have answers. Please don’t hesitate to contact a live InvitedHome vacation consultant via call or chat and we’ll make sure you have all the information you need. We’re always here to help.

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