There is this beautiful city along Scenic Highway 30A on the Gulf Coast of Florida, named Seaside.
Today, we are going to go over all of the awesome and wonderful things you can do in Seaside. We will talk about the best beaches along the 30A and more.
It is a beautiful Northwestern Florida resort town that offers something for everyone, it has gorgeous colorful homes that line the streets, making it the ideal setting for some very gorgeous postcard imagery!
If you do not want cliché Florida, Seaside, Florida has a very pleasant small-town vibe but still has plenty of fun things for you and others to do.
It is the perfect getaway from everyday life and stresses allowing you a chance to really relax on your vacation.
So, let’s look at what you can do on your vacation to Seaside, Florida
This is a popular beach on Scenic Highway 30A. It has many different public beach access points over the length of the beach.
It is right in the heart of Seagrove, and the San Juan Beach Access only has a tiny parking lot, so if you need to park it is best to get there nice and early.
There is also not a massive amount of amenities here, but the view certainly does make up for that fact.
It is an ideal beach for going for a swim, or better if you just want to have a calm and relaxing time with your family.
You could even make a nighttime trip to the beach and enjoy a bonfire. This is something that can be done at Seagrove Beach, but is not allowed at Seaside.
If you want to head to the San Juan Beach Access, then head to 3458 County Highway 30A.
Topsail Hill Beach
If you want to visit a more adventurous beach, with more ‘out there’ things to do, go to Seaside, Florida’s Topsail Hill Preserve.
This is a very unique spot out of all the Florida beaches, offering everyone the best they could hope for.
It is a state park that makes for the ideal location to enjoy a wide array of water sports, this includes Kayaking, fishing, swimming, biking trails along some scenic paths, or going paddleboarding along the Gulf of Mexico.
There are over 1,000 acres, and it protects the water resources and the land. There are plenty of areas which are set just for camping, with picnic tables, a lighthouse, shelters, and wildlife viewing areas.
This specific beach is also home to one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful collections of sand dunes in the whole state. So, if you want a beach that has a variety of different family fun options, this is the one for you!
To head to Topsail Hill Preserve, put into your GPS:
75725 West County Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 34259
Van Ness Butler Beach
Van Ness Butler Jr. Region Beach Access route is the best place to stop off. It is on the border of Seaside and WaterColor. There are plenty of amenities and so much scenery for you to wrap yourself up in.
It is well manned, with lifeguards on duty during the hours of the busy season, and it is even handicap-accessible when you use a ramp.
The parking lot is huge, and totally free! There are also free-use restrooms across the street at 20 Western Lake Drive.
Nearby you will also find the town center, rife with shops and food trucks, so you won’t go hungry, even after a really long and tiring beach day!
To get to the parking lot put into your GPS:
1931 E Scenic Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.
Santa Rosa Beach
Santa Rosa Beach through the Ed Walline Beach Access is a great beach that has easy access for tourists and locals.
This is a free, enjoyable public park that has picnic tables, restrooms, parking, a viewing platform, and pavilions, and there are lifeguards on duty during the peak season.
So, if you are looking for somewhere to kick up and relax, enjoying views of the Gulf Coast, while soaking up some rays of vitamin D, perhaps with family or friends, then Ed Walline Beach in Santa Rosa Beach is the place for you to be! Like… Right now!
This is one of the best things for you to do in the Seaside area, and with it being only a short walk across the street from Gulf Place restaurants and shops, it could not be better suited to a calming and enjoyable visit to this area.
Want to go here? Pop this into your GPS:
4447 W County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Blue Mountain Beach
This beach is a bit of a hidden gem. Not many people actually seem to know this even exists, which makes it all that much better.
You will find this just to the NorthWest of Seaside. It has beautiful sugary-white sands, and rippling emerald waters.
Near here is also some of the best food you could hope for.
The name of the beach actually comes from the massive sand dunes which surround it.
They actually put this area at the highest elevation in South Walton The ‘Blue’ part of its name also comes from the blue flowers which grow in the dunes.
Nearby you will find trails for those who enjoy biking or hiking.
This beach is actually ranked as being one of the best of the 30A beaches in Florida, and it is not exactly surprising why.
Do not forget to enjoy some frozen yogurt or ice cream on your visit by visiting the Blue Mountain Beach Creamery. To get here pop the address into your GPS:
475 Blue Mountain Rd, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.
Dune Allen Beach
Dune Allen Beach is only a short drive from Seaside, found on the Western side of Scenic 30A.
There are lifeguards there seasonally, good parking, coastal dune lakes, restrooms, and parking, all near several beaches.
The access to the beach gives you an unspoiled, gorgeous beach for you to enjoy in Santa Rosa Beach.
There is plenty of parking for cars, with the restrooms very nearby. Lifeguards are only maintaining the beach in the summer, however.
The real positive of this beach is that there are several dune lakes nearby which make for amazing kayaking and fishing spots.
There are also picnic tables at this spot, with a gorgeous stretch of white soft sand for a good bit of relaxation while you watch the sunset, or just enjoy the sun.
To get here, put into your GPS:
5753 West County Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 34259
Enjoy Central Square
One wonderful way to enjoy Seaside, Florida is to make some time to visit Central Square or check (see also: When Should You Visit Japan? Check Out The Best Times To Enjoy The Snow)out the Farmers market.
You will find Central Square right between the food tricks by Modica market and the Seaside shops.
Central Square is a glorious grassy park with plenty of space for kids to play, and for you to catch a stunning sunset.
On a Saturday come here for the Farmers Market and other events in the year, such as the Food and Harvest Wine Festival.
There is also an Amphitheater here where you can catch a show or a movie around the holidays.
Bring your own lawn chair, or sit on the grass on a picnic blanket and enjoy an evening with the family.
Check Out The Landmarks
In spite of this area being so small in comparison to other areas in Florida, there are so many things you can do, and there are plenty of iconic landmarks for you to visit during your stay.
Here are some.
The Truman Show House
This is one of the most popular attractions here. It was in the movie “The Truman Show” which was a box office classic with Jim Carrey. If you enjoyed that movie, it is well worth checking it out.
In the movie, the city was called Seahaven, and on an island, and while the name is similar, Seaside is not an island.
To go here, the address is 31 Natchez Street, Santa Rosa Beach, FL, 34259.
Florida’s Seaside is a pretty special vacation destination, it also has a great deal of design and architecture that make it special.
With 9 pavilions that work wonderfully, doubling as beach entrances and landmarks.
These pavilions are best maintained by the associations through the community, which in itself is unique, but also note how each of the pavilions looks different from one other too.
The Chapel is found near to the center of the town. You can find it behind Ruskin Place Park.
This is a great place to snap some family photos, as the Chapel is gorgeous, and the architecture makes for a beautiful background.
It is no wonder it is also a very popular wedding spot too! Find it at 658 Forest Street, Santa Rosa Beach, FL, 34259.
The Seaside Post Office
It might sound strange that a post office is a landmark, but it is actually one of the oldest buildings in the town, and it also makes for an idyllic photo spot too.
However, historically this building is very important as it is the most important way in which the town made itself a legitimate city!
You can find it at 99 Central Square, Santa Rosa Beach, FL, 34259.
Get A Bite From A Food Truck
You can be as classy as you want, as posh as the Queen of England, but a food truck is always awesome. Food on the go revolutionized the way we eat, but food trucks just do it better.
What is best about some of the food trucks here is the range, sure you get the classics of hot dogs and burgers, but there are other options too, perhaps a vegan food truck, some gyros, even beers, or a grilled cheese.
These are amazing ways to eat on the go and try some new food. Most of it is also freshly cooked and made. You could enjoy any food, and try something new.
So why not grab a bite to eat and enjoy a picnic on the grass with your loved ones.
There is plenty of space, but if you’re really peckish, hang around and try different food truck foods! It’s a new way to experience food if you haven’t already!
However, if you aren’t feeling like eating from a food truck today, then pop across the street and go to Cocina Cubana if you want some Cuban food.
There is Pickles who do great burgers, shakes, and chili dogs (and fried pickles of course!)
There is also Shrimp Shack for some seafood and the Great Southern Cafe for some southern foods.
Simply put, it is foodie heaven here!
Enjoy Shops & Art Galleries
If you are near the town square, take a look around at their different shops. There are plenty that will be perfect for souvenirs, or some unique retail.
Or if you are more artistic, go to Fusion Art Gallery, who have been serving their community for 20+ years, giving artists a great opportunity to showcase their work off. You can see glass art, ceramics, jewelry, sculptures, paintings, and so on.
150 visual artists showcase here from all around the world, so it is worthwhile visiting.
You can also find bookshops, record shops, fashion outlets, and some other vintage and small business shops that are sure to pique your interest.
Go To Grayton Beach
We have already mentioned most of the beaches, but we wanted to talk about this one as well. It is just a few minutes of a drive from Seaside, and is known as Grayton Beach.
It is a beachfront town that is well known for activities along the 30A highway. It is not always included in the list of 30A beaches, but we don’t want to miss it out.
It is a little more out of the way, but it is a gorgeous white sandy beach. An easy block away from popular restaurants, and with a lot of art nearby. There is also AJ’s Grayton Beach and the Pub nearby as well.
It is best known for the State park which is famous for having miles of hiking and biking trails, cabins, paddling, and campgrounds as well as a glorious little beach.
Ride A Bicycle Around The Town
When you decide to take a trip to Seaside for a while, consider how you will get around.
Renting bikes is one way, and it is probably the cheapest, and easiest way to commute, but is also one of the best ways to see a lot of the scenery and really experience Seaside.
Seaside, WaterColor, and Seagrove Beaches are all close, and with so many great restaurants, shops, and beaches in these areas, cycling is a great way to see as much as you can.
Seaside sits between Seagrove and WaterColor, and each is only a mile apart, so cycling the trip won’t actually take that long! Do not worry about beach access either as most will have bicycle racks, and there are many in public spots like shopping areas too.
You can get a bicycle for this purpose from Peddlers, Seaside Transit Authority, or the 30A Bike Rentals Company.
E-bikes are also an option if you want to enjoy some extra easy travel around the town!
Visit WaterColor Shops & The Many Restaurants
One of the best things to do whenever you visit a new place is to check out what is around it too. So, when you go to Seaside, visit neighboring restaurants and shops.
Only a short walk away is WaterColor, where you will find shops, boutiques, and restaurants all by the Gulf. It is one of the area’s secrets and has a cozy small-town vibe to it.
Cozy little eateries and restaurants make it a lovely and relaxing place for you to visit. Check out Scratch Biscuit Kitchen and 30A Beach Happy Cafe.
However, if you are hankering for some casual dining, The Wine Bar offers you a great casual fine dining experience.
Should you fancy something that comes with a view, Fish Out Of Water is another option that will take your breath away while you chow down.
There are also some awesome activities locally, such as kayaking and fishing. Western Lake is very close for these activities, but if you are not a fan of the water, take a walk around Cerulean Park.
Try Out Kayaking
If you like the idea of kayaking, then there are plenty of options for you. The Emerald Coast is better experienced when out on the waters anyway.
When you are in Seaside, there are plenty of awesome options for going kayaking. You could go kayaking on the beach, at Eastern Lake at Point Washington, or at Western Lake Grayton Beach State park.
There are some epic opportunities for water sports here, and some of the most amazing landscapes you will ever set eyes on, however, please be sure to always exercise caution and be safety conscious. Even these emerald waters can be dangerous.
To rent out a kayak or paddleboard, look at Yellowfin Ocean Sports and WaterColor Boathouse!
Explore The Point Washington State Forest Trails
Perhaps you are an outdoorsy type who enjoys nature, or maybe you just want to get away into the natural world for a little bit. Point Washington State Forest is the place to be if this describes you.
This is a glamorous park, it offers endless opportunities for biking, hiking, and horse trails too.
If you are into hunting and fishing you will find your fill here, but camping overnight in one of the many available campsites is also a wondrous experience.
You can run away from modern life for a little while into the beauty of this State forest.
There are other state parks nearby as well, so if The Point Washington State does not feel like the right fit, take a look at; Eden Gardens State Park, Topsail Hill State Preserve, and Grayton Beach State Park.
Dine At Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant
Ever heard of Bud & Alley’s? This place has been around for at least 3 decades and is the top choice for exquisite dining in Seaside, Florida.
The restaurant is a waterfront establishment, you can watch the sea, and enjoy the views while you enjoy your food and drinks.
It is cozy inside and makes for a super relaxed environment where you can enjoy some drinks and seafood.
But, nothing quite beats sitting up on their rooftop terrace overlooking out onto the water as the sun sets.
While you do that, be sure to check out their extensive wine list, specialist cocktails, and craft beers.
Curious about their menu, well, being a waterside establishment they have to have the fish of the day on their menu, but you can also find dishes such as steaks and some other seasonal specials.
Their food is prepared fresh with local ingredients whenever they can.
However, if this sounds like a bit much for you, and you would prefer something a little more casual, then there are some outdoor eateries next door as well.
You could enjoy their taco Bar or their Pizza bar & Trattoria, all technically under the same name of Bud & Alley’s.
It all depends on what you are craving.
If you fancy a bite there, you can find them at
2236 E W County Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL, 32459.
Take the 30A Scenic Route
One thing that you may not consider doing when you go to Seaside, Florida is just journeying around, taking a drive, and enjoying the scenery around.
However, it is one of the best things for you to do, you get to see so much, and it opens up all the options for you as well. Explore the Santa Rosa Beach area by taking the 30A scenic route.
As Highway 98 will take you from Destin all the way to Panama City Beach, (see also: Choosing The Ideal Vacation Location On Florida’s Panhandle: Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Or Destin?)if you take Highway 30A, it runs parallel but takes you along the much more scenic route along the coast.
It starts off at Santa Rosa Beach and takes you through the Gulf Coast towns such as Blue Mountain Beach, Alys Beach, Dune Allen, Grayton Beach, Seagrove Beach, Rosemary Beach, WaterColor Seaside, and more.
Since there are so many different parks, beaches, shops, and access points along this 20 or more-mile stretch of Highway, the 30A is 100% worth taking a look at.
Who knows, if you pay enough attention you may find a hidden treasure for you to end up telling us about! Wouldn’t that be something!
Where Is Seaside, Florida?
So, where exactly is Seaside? We know it is in Florida, well, Seaside is actually a part of the Santa Rosa Beach area, and is actually quite close to a couple of Florida’s major cities, including Panama City Beach and Destin.
It is a 40-minute drive east of Destin, and a good 45-minute drive west from Panama City Beach.
This absolute gem of a vacation getaway spot is hidden away on the scenic Highway 30A. You may not even know about it until we told you!
There are so many great beaches along this Highway that runs along the Gulf Coastline.
It is located in South Walton County, Florida. So, you better start packing your bags because there is just so much to be looking forward to, especially if you are an outdoorsy, beach-going enthusiast.
Finding Somewhere To Stay
Okay, so this all sounds great right? But, where are you going to stay? Well, you will be happy to know that there are several different beach resorts that are available along the Gulf Coast.
There are plenty of hotels and vacation rentals in Seaside, and the surrounding area for you to choose from.
You could choose to rent a cottage in Seaside through an agency. Expedia holiday bookings are jam-packed with options for you but capture the quick, they will not last long.
If you are more of a resort person, you might benefit from staying at the WaterColor Inn & Resort, a large establishment where you can really pamper yourself, and enjoy some really gorgeous beach views at the same time!
We recommend taking a look at some of the major booking sites, look on Expedia.com and Booking.com, but, if you like something that feels a little cozier, try Airbnb, there are always quirky options and who knows… You might find the hidden gem that really makes your trip amazing!
As we have shown you today, there is so much that you can enjoy when you take a trip to Seaside, Florida.
It is something of a gem, hidden along Highway 30A. So, while everyone else you know is trapped in tourist crowds at the major cities and resorts, try something different.
Seaside has a cozy vintage village feel, it is unique, and it has small-town vibes so while you are soaking up the sun, you really do feel like you have got away from the hustle and bustle of modern-day life. A true escape.
Which of the things on our list do you want to do the most? We think kayaking at one of the beaches sounds amazing right now!
Frequently Asked Questions
When Is Best To Visit Seaside?
It is best to visit Seaside, Florida in the October through April months. The weather will be a bit cooler and humidity levels are much lower which makes it more tolerable.
However, you also miss all the summer crowds, and travel and accommodation prices are much more reasonable!
Where To Fly When Visiting Seaside?
When you are flying to Seaside it is best to fly to Northwest Florida Beaches Airport which you can find in Panama City Beach, it is only 45 minutes away.
Pensacola International Airport is also not too bad at 2 hours away from Seaside.
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