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.
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.