Santa Rosa Beach beach vacation rentals
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Your guide to Santa Rosa Beach
Santa Rosa Beach is the largest of the 16 small communities that make up South Walton County along Florida’s Emerald Coast. The area is known for its stunning aquamarine waters and powdery, bright-white sand that, from afar, almost looks like snow. Spend your days relaxing on the beach and hiking the trails in nearby state parks such as Deer Lake, Grayton Beach, and Topsail Hill Preserve. You may have to dodge a summer storm, but Santa Rosa Beach has plenty of art galleries, boutiques, and theaters where you can pass the time. North of town, Choctawhatchee Bay is great for kayaking and fishing, and you can easily find a seafood restaurant to cook your catch while you sit back and enjoy the sunset with a cold, locally made craft beer.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Santa Rosa Beach?
Summer in the Florida Panhandle is famously hot and humid; in fact, the air conditioner was invented in Apalachicola, Fl, just 100 miles from Santa Rosa Beach. Memorial Day marks the start of the busy season, when the weather gets humid, temperatures climb into the high 80s and low 90s Fahrenheit, and families arrive at their beach vacation rentals. June ushers in hurricane season, which peaks in late summer and brings afternoon thunderstorms. Visitor numbers also spike over spring break in March, when the weather is warm and sunny and the coastal wildflowers bloom. But Santa Rosa Beach aficionados know that fall is the best time of the year here, thanks to temperatures around 70 degrees, low humidity, and waters still warm from the summer heat. Winters can get chilly and windy, but temperatures generally hover in the mid-50s, and the beaches are blissfully deserted.
What are the top things to do in Santa Rosa Beach?
Point Washington State Forest
This 15,407-acre preserve contains cypress swamps, pine flatwoods, coastal scrub, and sandhills, as well as more than 27 miles of trails to hike and bike, including a popular 10-mile loop. You might even be lucky enough to spot gopher tortoises, flatwoods salamanders, and American kestrels.
Eden Gardens State Park
Eden Gardens State Park sprawls across 163 acres and includes flower gardens, woodlands, and a reflecting pool. The park’s crown jewel is the renovated Wesley House mansion, which was built in 1897 and is now open for tours. Visit in mid-March when the camellias and azaleas are in full bloom.
Drive Highway 30A
Stretching for 28.5 miles along the Gulf of Mexico, scenic Highway 30A is lined with sugar-sand beaches, dune lakes, pine forests, saw palmettos, and pastel-colored cottages clustered into quaint villages, including upscale and artsy Gulf Place, mellow Blue Mountain Beach, the WaterColor vacation home community, and the design-forward planned communities of Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach.