We did it! We navigated another fall, survived the winter and waited patiently through spring for this very moment — summer. The sugar-white sands of the beach and crystalline waters of the gulf await you, of course, but there’s much more to the Emerald Coast than sun and surf. Here are a few events you may want to check out and some “save the date” moments for the months ahead.
Click any of the events’ titles below to view more details.
Movies On The Beach: Al’s Beach Club on Okaloosa Island has big plans this summer. Besides pirate shows and live music, join them for family-friendly movies on Tuesdays. This summer, scheduled movies include Zootopia, Moana, Lightyear, The Mitchells Vs. The Machines, Jumanji and more. Gather the family, grab some food and enjoy movies on a giant inflatable screen right on the beach.
Fun in Alys Beach: From tie-dying T-shirts to watching performances by the Seaside Repertory Theatre, the Alys Beach Amphitheater is the place to be this summer — whether you’re staying in Alys Beach or beyond. Performances and fun last throughout the summer. View the events calendar to find your new fave.
Concerts In The Village: What goes better with movies on the beach than concerts in the village? Hosted by the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, these concerts run on Thursdays throughout the summer. Shows include “Journeyman: A Tribute to Eric Clapton,” Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and the Roman Street Party Band, among others.
Free Beach Bonfires: Sometimes the best plans are no plans at all, and these free beach bonfires throughout the summer are the perfect way to relax after a day of fun. These run every Monday and Friday at sunset, hosted by Royal Palm Grille.
Digital Graffiti: Get ready for a blend of technology, art and architecture in Alys Beach, when digital graffiti is projected on the community’s white-washed walls. Tickets are available here. This event takes place May 19-20.
Memorial Day Celebration: HarborWalk Village is the place to be to ring in summer, and this fun-filled event is sure to delight. It includes live entertainment, a vintage air show, fireworks and fire spinning. Stop by May 27-28.
Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam: An event that only gets larger with each passing year, this four-day event June 1-4 will feature performances by Kenny Chesney, Hardy, Miranda Lambert, Kane Brown and more.
Here Comes The Sun Summer Concert Series: Rosemary Beach is serving up summer fun music-style with free concerts on Monday nights through August 7. Bring chairs or blankets and enjoy the lineup on St. Augustine Green.
Crawfish Boil At AJ’s Grayton Beach: Is it even a beach trip if you don’t sample some crawfish? Crawfish boils run on Sundays through the end of June.
Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic: This five-day event from June 21-25 brings world-class, million-dollar boats and anglers of all skill levels to the area at the peak of the Gulf Coast’s blue marlin season. Live entertainment and activities along with the “big weigh-in” are fun for the whole family.
Red, White & Baytowne: Celebrate America on July 4 with live music on the events plaza stage followed by a fireworks show. Children’s activities will take place throughout the day, as well.
Fourth of July in Alys Beach: Stop by the amphitheater to celebrate Independence Day with live music followed by fireworks. Food and beverages can be purchased.
Book Bishes On The Beach: On July 15 at Embassy Suites by Hilton Destin Miramar Beach, meet and greet more than 60 romance authors. This even includes a general admission event, VIP access (currently sold out) and an afterparty.
Bubbly Baytowne: Sip and shop through The Village of Baytowne Wharf in this 21-and-older event. Check in by 5 p.m. for a free glass of champagne, a complimentary glass and a map showing merchants to visit. This event is on August 17.
July 1 – Chautauqua Winery Red Wine and Blue Celebration: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. There will be complimentary wine tastings, shopping and food. This event is free to the public and pet friendly, so bring your fur babies and enjoy the day with us.
- Website: chautauquawinery.com/redwineandblue
- Address: 364 Hugh Adams Road, DeFuniak Springs
- Phone: (850) 892-5887
July 4 – Seaside 4th of July concert and fireworks: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.Celebrate July 4th in Seaside with a block party in Central Square, a REP Theater performance, Huck and Lilly with a musical performance, Wild Bill’s hotdog eating contest, fireworks over the Gulf of Mexico and more.
- Website: seasidefl.com/events
- Address: 4730 Highway 30A, Seaside
- Phone: (850) 213-5500
July 4 – Alys Beach 4th of July concert and fireworks: 6-9 p.m. Come out and celebrate the 4th in Alys Beach. The Bay Kings Band will be performing in the Alys Beach Amphitheatre with fireworks to follow, weather permitting.
- Website: alysbeach.com/event/4th-of-july-concert-2/
- Address: 9581 Hwy. 30A, Alys Beach
- Phone: (850) 213-5500
July 4 – Grayton Beach 4th of July Parade: 8:30 a.m. Come join in the fun for the annual July 4th parade in Grayton Beach. Decorate your cars, jeeps, boats, bikes, scooters etc. No registration needed and everyone is welcome. After the parade meet up at Grayton Coast Properties for popsicles, watermelon and lemonade.
- Website: visitsouthwalton.com/events/grayton-beach-parade
- Address: 70 Hotz Avenue, Grayton Beach
July 29 – Walton County Sheriff’s Office Back-to-school Splash Bash: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.Walton County Sheriff’s Office is excited to host the annual Back-to-School Splash Bash and backpack giveaway. This event will be held at the Hammock Bay Sports Complex. Hot dogs, hamburgers and snow cones will be available for all who attend. Backpacks will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis along with basic school supplies. There will be inflatable slides, bouncy houses and kid’s activities for the whole family.
- Website: facebook.com/events
- Address: 563 Hammock Trail E., Freeport
- Phone: (850) 892-8111
Aug. 19 – Walton County Sheriff’s Office presents Cones, Cops and Cruisers: 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.Come out to the South Walton Sports Complex and get to know your District 3 and 4 Walton County Sheriff’s Office Deputies. We’ll have vendors, food trucks, games for kids and more. Walton County Sheriff’s Office will be featuring our specialty units such as the Beach Marine Unit and our Dive Team. Also, a local car club will bring out some classic cruisers and show cars for display.
- Website: facebook.com/events
- Address: 240 MC Davis Blvd., Santa Rosa Beach
- Phone: (850) 892-8111
Planning ahead? Mark these big events on your calendar and be sure to join us at the beach … again!
Boat Week on the Emerald Coast: Boats of all types will be in the water and on full display for this week-long event and poker run that benefits children’s charities supported by the Emerald Coast Foundation. Mark your calendar for August 11-12.
Moon Crush Pink Moon 2023: Hosted at Seascape Resort, this is a multiday festival Sept. 1-3, featuring Ben Rector, Switchfoot, Mat Kearney, NEEDTOBREATHE, among others.
Baytowne Art & Food Fest: Browse artwork from local and regional artists, enjoy live music and nosh on food from area restaurants and food trucks. Cap the night with a fireworks display over the lagoon in this event that runs Sept. 1-3 in The Village of Baytowne Wharf.
Perfect Hues: Baytowne Art & Food Fest: Each evening from 5 to 10 p.m., Sept. 2-4, browser artwork from local and regional artists and enjoy food from local restaurants in this event that culminates with fireworks over the lagoon.
Eggs On The Beach: The ninth annual iteration of this event returns to Seascape Resort on October 14. Try prepared bites, enjoy live music and vote for your favorite chefs in this event that benefits Fisher House of the Emerald Coast and Food for Thought Outreach.
International Coastal Cleanup Day: Join the Walton County Tourism Department and Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles to clean up at South Walton Regional Beach Accesses on September 17. Both locals and visitors are encouraged to participate. Click here for more details.
Emerald Coast Spirits Festival: Hosted by 30Avenue, Distillery 98 and the Florida Craft Spirits Association, you can sip, sample and enjoy spirits from craft producers all over Florida. Live music and shopping will also be available. This event runs from noon to 5 p.m., September 23.
Idyll Hounds Brewing Company Houndfest: Celebrate Idyll Hounds’ ninth anniversary in this event, with more details to come.
Seventh Annual Harvest Wine & Food Festival: Occupying the third weekend in October, this Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation event returns to WaterColor to delight both wine and culinary enthusiasts alike.
South Walton Celebrity Golf Classic: On the calendar November 2-4 at Baytowne and Raven golf courses, this event benefits Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center and Fisher House of the Emerald Coast. This event includes a casino night, a shotgun start and a celebrity gala and auction.
Seaside Seeing Red Wine Festival: Join in on November 9-12 for a masterclass on wines and the makers behind the bottles. This event also features live entertainment, local cuisines and vintners’ dinners.
Updated: June 15, 2023