Guests who are staying along Scenic 30A are able to enjoy gorgeous scenery and experience the awesome wonder of Mother Nature. Thousands of acres of pristine preserved forests and state parks hug the shimmering shoreline along South Walton's Scenic 30A with dazzling views that make you gasp with delight. Exotic Coastal Dune Lakes nestle up beside the glittering gulf, which is a rare treasure since they are found hardly anywhere else on the planet. There are a few state parks to choose from along the way, but one of the best is Grayton Beach State Park. Here are the reasons why:
Grayton Beach State Park Acclaim
After the recent completion of exhaustive nationwide research by Forbes Magazine, this park was named the Third Most Beautiful Beach in America. The all-encompassing criteria for this study included natural beauty, sand quality, cleanliness, annual weather temperatures, number of sunny days, average water temperatures, sand color, water color, the width of the beach, varieties of wildlife, vista views available and on-site amenities. This distinction is an incredible tribute since the United States coastline covers 12,383 linear miles. Grayton Beach State Park also regularly receives recognition as a "Blue Wave Beach" by a national program that also conducts extensive research. This kind of environmental certification is awarded as the nation's highest acclaim for cleanliness and pristine beauty. The park fee for the day is only $5, and it is open from 8am untill sunset.
Grayton Beach State Park Trails
This 2,000-acre park includes an extensive forest with towering Lob Lolly Pine Trees, Scrub Oaks, Magnolias, Clusters of Palmetto Palms, Rosemary Bushes, Blue Lupine and other Wildflowers. A nature trail meanders on a nine-mile round trip loop along the shoreline and through the woods for adventurous hikers a well as heavy-duty bicyclists. You may spot wildlife that includes Deer, Grey Foxes, Squirrels, American Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Snowy White Egrets, Pelicans, Ducks, Osprey, and sometimes even Alligators or Florida Black Bears.
Grayton Beach State Park Fishing
This enchantingly beautiful beach park includes forested shores that embrace Western Lake which encompasses 100 acres. The northern shore can be seen from Scenic 30A as it crosses over an isthmus into the aptly named coastal village of Watercolor. The views provide a glimpse of heaven as it extends over to the bright white dunes that border the jeweled waters of the gulf. Coastal Dune Lakes of this kind are only found in Madagascar, parts of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Northwest and here where they parallel the coast along Scenic 30A. This lake has a close proximity to the gulf that's separated by sugary dunes with a creek that intermittently opens and closes due to tidal action. This estuary creates a unique magical blend of fresh and salt water that supports a vast habitat for wildlife, indigenous plants, and FISH! There are both salt water and fresh water fish available to catch including Bass, Bream, Catfish, White Speckled Trout, Redfish along with Flounder. A fishing license covering three days is available for $17 while one for seven days costs $30. Licenses may be obtained at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or by calling 888-347-4356.
Grayton Beach State Park by Kayak, Canoe & Paddleboard
You may want to fish along the lake's shoreline, but it can be even more fun boating out on the water. Visitors are allowed to canoe, kayak or paddle board across the lake to explore the natural salt marsh ecosystem. A boat ramp is provided for launch, which can also include small engine trolling fishing boats. Canoes may be rented through the park ranger's station nearby at $15 for five hours use or $25 for the whole day. Reservations are not required. A ranger will set you up with life jackets, paddles and a map of the lake. You will often see families and groups of friends enjoy the spectacular sparkling scenery as they experience the serene waters of Western Lake while paddling past the forested grassy shores while heading off toward the sugary gulf dunes.
Grayton Beach State Park Cabins
Basic cabins are available at the park along with campgrounds. Cabins rent for as much as $160 per night and campgrounds spot go up to $42 per night. Cabins include a kitchenette but do not have TVs or Wireless Internet and do not allow pets. Pets are only allowed on designated trails throughout the interior portions of the park but not on the beach.
Grayton Beach Vacation Rentals
You may experience having the best of both worlds as our guest. You don't have to "rough it!" We have a massive array of exceptional Grayton Beach vacation rentals that border Grayton Beach State Park along the forested shores, on the beautiful beach, and in the charming historic village center. Instead of a cabin in the woods, you can be right on the beach or very nearby. Our gracious homes and condos are comfortably furnished and have lots of creature comforts. Many are also Pet-Friendly and come with a private pool. Take a look here on our very user-friendly website to see vivid images of these rentals, detailed descriptions of each, aerial location views, lists of amenities, seasonal rates and availability calendar dates.