Located on the banks of the Hogtown Bayou in greater Choctawhatchee Bay, Santa Rosa Beach surely does not resemble the sandy white beaches south of U.S. Route 98 like Grayton Beach or Blue Mountain Beach. However, it offers a more rural, placid view of Florida’s Panhandle. The small unincorporated municipality is still considered one of the beaches of South Walton, although the shoreline along the bay is not a beach in the traditional sense. In fact, Santa Rosa Beach was originally named Hogtown after the bayou where the town quickly grew in the late 19th century.
From the Bay to the Beach
Since Santa Rosa Beach is so close to Hogtown Bayou and Choctawhatchee Bay, Santa Rosa Beach activities such as fishing, swimming and exploring the shoreline naturally come to mind. Thankfully, there are plenty of outfitters in the area which provide the gear for whatever type of water activity you choose. However, there are times when you wish to escape it all and visit the soft white sands of Grayton Beach or Blue Mountain Beach. Both beaches are located only 15 minutes away by car and about 30 minutes by bike. Additionally, Santa Rosa Beach is a superb starting point for excursions into Point Washington State Forest, a recreational area that has 10 different ecosystems.
Arts, Culture, and Other Santa Rosa Beach Activities
Like many other communities in South Walton, Santa Rosa Beach is filled with B&Bs, vacation rentals and other types of accommodations. Therefore, it can become quite sleepy and slow when night falls. However, the small bay community still has a few options that merit attention. Visit the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County to find out what is happening around town. This purveyor of arts promotes popular annual events such as the 30A Songwriters’ Festival, the Northwest Florida Theater Festival as well as the ultra-spectacular Underwater Art Museum. This museum is showcased underwater near the shores of Grayton Beach and it offers a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience to visit a permanent underwater sculpture exhibit.
Savory Stops to Enjoy While You’re in Town
While Santa Rosa Beach is a great place to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and sand, it’s likely that time spent exploring and enjoying will eventually lead to an appetite that demands attention. When this is the case, visitors are in luck. While Santa Rosa Beach is a 30A destination dedicated to fun under the sun, it’s also a locale where it’s easy to find plenty of savory stops to enjoy. Whether you’re in the mood for seafood, comfort food, or something that leans towards the sweeter side of life, you’ll find everything you’re looking for and more in Santa Rosa Beach and the surrounding areas. Here are a few recommendations when it comes to expanding your must-try list while you’re in town.
Located at 3906 US-98 in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, Los Rancheros is the place to be when you’re in the mood for some magnificent south of the border fare. This relaxed and laid-back destination is the ideal stop for those traveling with little ones as they feature a full menu of kid-friendly selections paired with options for adults to indulge in tacos, fajitas, quesadillas and beyond. As colorful and vibrant as it is friendly, guests to Los Rancheros will find it easy to settle into the fun dining room and enjoy their meal. More in the mood to grab a drink with friends? The full bar will do the trick and you won’t want to leave before trying the house margarita.
Take your culinary experience up a notch in Santa Rosa Beach by making sure to make time for a meal at Louis Louis. Found at 35 Mussett Bayou Road, Louis Louis is a stop that promises to be as artistically inclined as it is mouthwateringly satisfying. Guests to Louis Louis are often drawn by time and again as much by the menu as the décor. Inside, Louis Louis boasts a collection of floor to ceiling wall art combined with colorful lighting schemes and glass chandeliers hanging overhead. While the menu selection is packed with traditional American favorites, the draw of Louis Louis also lies in the fact that this locale is known for its live musical performances making a stop here as savory as it is entertaining.
If you’re the type of traveler that can’t imagine a getaway without attending to your sweet tooth, Pecan Jack’s Ice Creamery and Candy Kitchen in Santa Rosa Beach promises to do the trick. Stop in and grab a cone or two or fill a bag with goodies ranging from chocolate-covered peanuts to truffles, jelly beans, and beyond!
Everything at Your Doorstep
A stay in Santa Rosa Beach offers the best of both worlds, it has the all the white sand beaches minutes away as well as a more bucolic backcountry experience that beckons with magnificent coastal Pine Oaks and brackish marshes. Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter what location you choose, a rental booked through Paradise Properties is always the right choice for every beach vacation. Contact us today to browse our vacation properties, including our summer and fall rentals.
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