Home > Blog > July 2016 > Best Family Attractions in South Walton and along Hwy 30A

Best Family Attractions in South Walton and along Hwy 30A


As any local will tell you, there’s more to South Walton and Hwy 30A than our infamous sugar white sand beaches and turquoise water. There is so much to be discovered for every age and every interest. When planning your next beach vacation, here are some of the top things to do with families in South Walton and along Hwy 30A: 

Grayton Beach State Park and Turtle Reef

The Grayton Beach Artificial Reef is one of the newest attractions to come to South Walton. You can access it from Grayton Beach State Park. This underwater attraction can be explored on your own or with a guide (check out Grayton Scuba Company for guided tours). For experienced swimmers, it is close enough to swim or paddle to on a kayak or stand up paddle board. For divers, snorkelers, and anglers seeking to explore the waters off the coastline of 30A, this is a welcomed addition. If you visit the reef on your own, make safety a priority. Pay attention to weather conditions, the flag warning system, use a dive flag, and always be aware of your surroundings.

To access the reef, enter Grayton Beach State Park $3 per vehicle). Follow the boardwalk to the beach and look for the flag on the beach. The reef is due south (approx.. 350 ft. from the shoreline).  Once out near the reef you will see several marked buoys. Each reef boasts a 10’’ diameter fiberglass piling sunk deep in the seabed and springing up to a maximum profile height of no more than 10 ft. at the deepest water depth. The placement of these reefs forms the shape of a sea turtle. The design is geared toward snorkelers and divers wanting to enjoy sea life close to shore. 

After almost a year after deployment, the Grayton Beach Turtle Reef is already bursting with life. It is so exciting to see up close, the schools of fish who have made the Reef their new home. Keep your eye out for Trigger fish, Blue Tangs, sea urchins, turtles and other sea life.  
If you’d like to book a scuba or snorkeling tour of the reef, contact Grayton Beach Scuba OR use Newman-Dailey's Be Free Bundle and recieve a 10% discount on stand up paddle board or kayak rentals with La Dolce Vita and visit the reef on your own. See you at the Reef!

The Village of Baytowne Wharf and Adventure Zone

The Village of Baytowne Wharf is definitely a local favorite. There is always something going on there. There are restaurants to grab a bite to eat, the frozen daiquiri bar, Fat Tuesday, to snag a margarita “to go” while you and your family participate in one or all of the activities Baytowne has to offer. 

The Baytowne Adventure Zone has a huge playground, a carousel, Baytowne LIVE with music and entertainment, Blast Arcade and Laser Maze. You can also check out the Zip lining, Eurobungy, Sky Trail ropes, tower climb and more. 

Lastly, Baytowne hosts free seasonal events, including movies under the stars, fireworks, concert series, magic shows and more. Check out the Village of Baytowne Wharf events page for all the activities so you can explore like a local.

Horseback Riding in Santa Rosa Beach with Arnett’s Gulfside Trail

Want a break from the beach and other water-themed activities? South Walton has a bounty of State Forests, trails and other parks for exploration. Discover Point Washington State Forest on horseback with a guided tour at Arnett’s Gulfside Trail in Santa Rosa Beach. This activity is perfect for families that love horses and nature.  Arnett’s boasts a 20 acre horse ranch that is only a half mile from the Gulf of Mexico, along Scenic Highway 30A, and not far from the Destin beaches. It is in close proximity to vacation rentals at San Remo, Sanctuary at Redfish, and Adagio. The ranch adjoins the 13,800 acre Point Washington State Forest, featuring miles and miles of open trails to enjoy. After your ride, kick off your boots, and head down to the beach to put your toes in the sand. Visit Arnett’s Gulfside Trails online to book your next family adventure. 

Family-Friendly Vacation Rentals

Ready to book your next South Walton Beach vacation? View our premier South Walton vacation rentals online or visit our South Walton Resorts websites including Hidden Dunes Beach & Tennis Resort in Miramar Beach and Sanctuary at Redfish in Blue Mountain Beach. For questions or to expedite your search, contact one of our friendly, local vacation speclalists at 1-800-225-7652.

See you @ the beach!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

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