Favorite Beaches Along Highway 30a
Florida's Gulf Coast
Grayton Beach State Park
Being that we both love natural beauty and quiet beaches a State Park is always a great choice. The water was stunning and with no resorts around it was fairly empty. We actually went to this gem twice over our trip and the second time was quite an adventure. We had to check out of our place at 10 am but our flight wasn't until 6 pm.
So, what better to do than pack up everything, a few snacks & water and head to the State Park. At the park we had access to a bathroom and showers to "freshen up" before our flight. It was one of my favorite memories from the trip. We even auctioned off our cooler, water bottles and some leftover carrots and hummus we couldn't take with us on our flight, haha!
Keep in mind that State parks do have an entrance fee usually between $2.00 to $10.00.
VRBO you know it is a great way to "live like a local" without going through a vacation reality company. But, these properties can be hit or miss so it is important to do some research.
We visited Seaside a few times for dinner/lunch on the water as it is one of the few places along 30a you can get a view of the ocean from a restaurant. The beach accesses in the center of town do not require an pass code but some of the side street accesses where gated.
This was the beautiful view from our very last seafood meal at Bud & Alleys.
Only about 200 yards from our front door, it's safe to say this beach is a gem. The water seemed to get clearer and more blue during our stay compared to our first day. The beautiful Rosemary houses line the dunes and with the limited beach accesses, it wasn't too crowded during our stay.
Blue Mountain Beach
This beach was a quick sunset stop after a dinner out and I am so glad that we did. Definitely a must see for the emerald blue water and white soft sand. It also has a public beach access with a parking lot, which surprisingly is not a common thing along 30a.
Definitely the farthest away and hardest to get to but a beautiful place none the less. Shell Island is a part of St. Andrews State Park which you can take a ferry to from the park. We learned that is is important to go at high tide when the water is coming in for the best visibility, fish and even dolphins.
We of course didn't learn this until we got there and arrived at the beach just as the peak high tide and transitioning to low tide. This caused the not-so-clear (brown) sound water to hinder the visibility. But it was still a great island! No cars, bathrooms, water fountains so be sure to bring everything with you, including shade.
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