Explore Santa Rosa Beach, Florida: Your Ultimate Travel Guide

Santa Rosa Beach is a beautiful coastal community located in the Florida Panhandle. With its pristine white sand beaches, emerald green waters, and charming small-town atmosphere, it’s no wonder why Santa Rosa Beach is a popular vacation destination. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an action-packed adventure, this beach town has something to offer for everyone.

Explore the Beaches

The main attraction of Santa Rosa Beach is definitely its stunning beaches. The crystal-clear waters and soft white sand make it the perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The beach stretches for miles and is never too crowded, providing ample space for visitors to spread out and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Here are a few beach access points that provide parking spaces for your vehicle:

  • Dune Allen Regional Beach Access: 5999 County Rd 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
  • Dune Allen Beach Access: 5707 W County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
  • Ed Walline Regional Beach Access: 4447 W County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
  • Gulfview Heights Beach Access: 186 Gulfview Heights St, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

Try Water Sports

Photo Credit: WaterColorBoathouse

For those looking for a more adventurous experience at the beach, Santa Rosa Beach offers a variety of water activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling. You can rent equipment from local shops or take guided tours to explore the waters and get up close with marine life.

One must-try activity is stand-up paddleboarding, which allows you to glide across the calm waters and take in the stunning views of the coastline. You can rent these at the WaterColor Boathouse, which is located on Western Lake.

Grayton Beach State Park

If you’re a nature lover, be sure to visit Grayton Beach State Park. This state park offers hiking and biking trails that wind through sand dunes, coastal forests, and salt marshes. You can also go fishing at Western Lake or have a picnic by the beach. The park is also home to unique plant and animal species, making it an ideal spot for wildlife enthusiasts.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Another must-visit state park in Santa Rosa Beach is Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. This park features over 3 miles of pristine beaches, as well as trails for hiking and biking. It also has a rare coastal dune lake, where visitors can go fishing, kayaking, or paddleboarding. The park also offers guided tours and educational programs to learn more about the local flora and fauna.

Deer Lake State Park

For a quieter and more secluded beach experience, head to Deer Lake State Park. This park is known for its untouched beaches, crystal-clear waters, and diverse ecosystems. Visitors can go swimming, fishing, or simply relax on the sand. The park also has a boardwalk that takes you through the coastal dune ecosystem, offering spectacular views of the surrounding nature.

Timpoochee Trail

Another great outdoor activity in Santa Rosa Beach is the Timpoochee Trail, a 19-mile paved path that runs along scenic Highway 30A. This multi-use trail is perfect for biking, jogging, or leisurely strolls while taking in the stunning views of the coastline and passing through charming beach towns like Seaside and WaterColor.

Visit Seaside

Seaside is a picturesque town located just east of Santa Rosa Beach. Known for its pastel-colored houses and charming storefronts, this pedestrian-friendly community is perfect for strolling around and exploring local boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. Visitors can also enjoy outdoor concerts, events, and festivals in the town square.


Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar

  • Website
  • Address: 1875 S County Hwy 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
  • Menu Highlights: Duck Fat Gulley Fries, Yellowfin Tuna Dip, Crab Claws

For a taste of fresh seafood, head to Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar. This beachfront restaurant offers a casual and laid-back atmosphere, perfect for enjoying delicious oysters, fish tacos, and other seafood dishes while taking in the stunning ocean views.

Stinky’s Fish Camp

  • Website
  • Address: 5960 W County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
  • Menu Highlights: Crawfish Pie, Po Boys, Shrimp and Grits, Key Lime Pie

For a more upscale dining experience, try Stinky’s Fish Camp. This restaurant is known for its delicious seafood and southern-inspired dishes, with a focus on using locally sourced ingredients. Be sure to make a reservation in advance as this popular spot fills up quickly.

Goatfeathers Seafood Restaurant

  • Website
  • Address: 3865 W County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
  • Menu Highlights: Catch of the day, happy hour cocktails

For a taste of the local seafood, head to Goatfeathers Seafood Restaurant. This family-owned and operated restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere and delicious dishes made from locally caught seafood.

Local Catch Bar & Grill

Local Catch Bar & Grill is another must-visit restaurant in Santa Rosa Beach. Known for its fresh seafood and creative cocktails, this beachfront spot offers both indoor and outdoor seating with beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico. Don’t miss their famous fish tacos and fried green tomatoes.

Grayton Beach Brewpub

Beer lovers should not miss out on visiting the Grayton Beach Brewpub. This local favorite features craft beers made on-site and a menu full of tasty pub food like burgers, sandwiches, and wood-fired pizzas. The outdoor seating area is perfect for enjoying a cold beer on a warm day.

Pazzo Italiano

This cozy restaurant offers a variety of classic dishes like pasta, pizza, and seafood prepared with fresh ingredients and traditional cooking methods. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, making it the perfect spot for a romantic date or family dinner.

Down Island Gulf Seafood Restaurant

For those craving some delicious seafood, Down Island Gulf is a must-visit. Their menu features locally caught fish and shellfish prepared in creative and flavorful ways. The outdoor seating area offers beautiful views of the Gulf, making it a great spot for enjoying a meal with a view.

Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant

Bud & Alley’s is an iconic restaurant in Santa Rosa Beach that has been serving up fresh seafood and coastal cuisine since 1986. Located on the beach in Seaside, this dining spot offers stunning views of the ocean while you enjoy their delicious dishes and handcrafted cocktails.

Chanticleer Eatery

  • Website
  • Address: 55 Clayton Ln, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
  • Menu Highlights: Shrimp and Grits, Grilled Cheese, Coconut Cookies

Chanticleer Eatery is another must-visit restaurant in Santa Rosa Beach known for its tasty Southern-inspired dishes. From fried chicken to shrimp and grits, this casual eatery uses locally sourced ingredients to create flavorful and comforting meals. Be sure to save room for their famous homemade desserts!

Places to Stay


Just a short drive from Seaside is WaterColor, a resort community famous for its beautiful beaches and luxury amenities. Spend their days lounging on the pristine white sands or taking part in water activities like paddleboarding or kayaking. The community also has several pools, parks, and trails to explore.

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