If you and your family find yourselves visiting or traveling along the Gulf Coast of the United States this summer, you will probably be looking for fun and relaxing ways to spend your days, and the coastal community of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida should be one of your prime destinations.
Santa Rosa Beach is a small, laid-back beachside community in the Florida Panhandle with a population of just under 15,000 people, located just off of U.S. Route 98. Even though Santa Rosa Beach is a quiet community, it is within easy driving distance of bigger cities like Pensacola just 65 miles to the west and Panama City only 40 miles down the coast to the east.
Nestled on a pristine strip of coastline between Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Santa Rosa Beach offers an exciting and seemingly endless mix of exciting destinations and ways to spend your summer days, from hiking through state forests to relaxing on the miles and miles of gorgeous, world-famous beaches.
So, if you and your family find yourselves in northwest Florida this summer, or if you’re checking out the glorious real estate in the area with Bay Real Experts real estate team, be sure to check out these fun things to do in Santa Rosa Beach.
Visit Grayton Beach State Park
This state park sits on over 2,000 acres of coastline, making it perfect for a wide range of activities, including relaxing on the beach, swimming in the inviting blue water, hiking the dunes, or watching the wide variety of wildlife in this beautiful natural space.
Spend a night or two camping in one of the dedicated camping areas nestled within the coastal trees right next to the water of Western Lake. Nature trails through the forest offer ideal fun for hikers and bikers. Stay until nightfall to watch an incredible sunset turn the sky a gentle orange over the warm sandy shores for a memory you’ll cherish forever.
Visit Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park offers a truly unique camping and recreation experience in a setting with a stunning variety of environments, from the more than three miles of white sand beaches that make this region famous to huge dunes that rise over 20 feet tall, to the shores of three rare freshwater lakes nestled within the dunes.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is less than 10 minutes south of Santa Rosa Beach, but if you visit, you will almost certainly want to camp in one of the cozy, fully furnished cabins. If you are traveling by RV, pull into the Gregory E. Moore RV Resort, featuring water, electrical, sewer, and TV hookups. Walk or ride a bike to the immaculate beaches, take a hike through the dense pine forest to watch the native birds and wildlife, or fish along the shores of the freshwater lakes.
Golf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
If you happen to be an avid golfer, then your idea of fun probably includes spending your summer days mastering the greens of a world-class golf course. If you find yourself in Santa Rosa Beach, then you cannot pass up the opportunity to play at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.
Spread across four championship courses are 73 professionally designed holes that will keep any golf enthusiast coming back for more fun, day after day. With awesome views of the ocean and winding through the coastal pine forests, you’ll have no trouble focusing on your game in this comfortable setting.
But, the excitement doesn’t end with golf. The whole family will have endless opportunities for recreation, including tennis on one of 15 courts, swimming, lounging, or paddleboarding at the beach, riding jet skis or renting a pontoon boat, or experiencing theme park-style thrills at the Baytowne Adventure Zone. Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort has everything you and your family could possibly dream of to spend your days relaxing in style and luxury.
Fine dining is available at more than 20 restaurants and eateries, which are sure to have more than enough for your liking. Numerous rooms, condos, and villas with sweeping views of the white sand beaches and gentle blue seas are available to keep you and your family living in comfort under the warm Florida sunshine.
Take a culinary tour along Route 30A
If you are in Santa Rosa Beach and want to fully experience the sights and attractions of the northwest Florida coastline, including the huge range of delicious foods waiting to be sampled, then taking a drive along County Highway 30A is a perfect way to spend a day or two.
County Highway 30A runs along the pristine coastline overlooking the dazzling emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and the drive alone makes for a relaxing way to see the gorgeous dunes and forests that make this region such an attractive destination. Sampling the best of the region’s culinary choices is easy while driving this stretch of coast and is a great way to entertain the whole family.
Get away from the heat with sweet and creamy frozen yogurt and delectable ice cream at Blue Mountain Beach Creamery. Relax over brunch at the Hibiscus Coffee House in Grayton Beach. Sample some famous southern barbecue at Barefoot BBQ, featuring a range of delectable sauces.
The list of incredible dining options goes on and on, and a day spent driving the coast with your family in search of the perfect treat will make memories that will last forever.
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*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock