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Things to Do Around Santa Rosa Beach

The prospect of living on or near some of the world’s most beautiful and pristine beaches is reason enough for homebuyers to explore luxury property in Santa Rosa Beach. Once they experience the region’s full spectrum of activities, culture and character, however, they soon realize a wealth of lifestyle opportunities exist beyond the perfect sugar sand coastline.

Fishing, Sailing and Water Sports

It’s almost impossible to be very far from the water in South Walton County. The Gulf of Mexico has an almost magnetic pull, but the vast Choctawhatchee Bay bordering Santa Rosa Beach to the north is an equally dynamic asset that offers additional unique ways for residents and visitors to indulge in offshore sport.

A handful of companies offer tours of the Bay’s various ecosystems and wildlife, including charters and guided inshore fishing excursions. Offshore ventures into the gulf are available as well, as are opportunities to charter sailboats or take sightseeing expeditions into the Choctawhatchee River basin and surrounding shoreline.

One of the most unique features of South Walton County is the occurrence of 15 rare dune lakes, pristine freshwater beachside bodies of water separated from the gulf by natural levees of sand. These stunning lakes—the only ones of their kind in the state—offer yet another way to connect with the water and are especially popular for paddle boarding and kayaking.

Shopping and Arts

Shopping in Santa Rosa Beach can be nearly as exhilarating as delving into the region’s natural environments. A series of artist communities at heart, Santa Rosa Beach offers over three-dozen galleries, boutiques, studios, farmers markets, clothiers and other locally owned and operated retail stores. Many are located in the Gulf Place shopping and business district on 30A while others are worth searching for in more out of the way enclaves. Happy hunting.

Restaurants and Nightlife

The communities along 30A boast some of the most admired and creative restaurants in Northwest Florida and, simply put, dining out is part of the Santa Rosa Beach way of life.

It’s challenging not to exclusively partake of the spectacularly fresh seafood from the bay and gulf that defines the regional menus, but the choice and variety of cuisine here is nearly endless from venerable family-owned restaurants to seasonal ingredient-driven fine dining, cafes, diners, pizza parlors, pasta joints and food trucks.

Some of the more popular spots include Stinky’s Fish Camp specializing in oysters, shrimp, crab and catfish; the upscale waterfront Vue on 30A; Café Tango mixing elements of France, Spain and Italy; and the Gulf Place district, home to local favorites like The Perfect Pig, La Playa and Pizza by the Sea.

Festivals and Events

Year-round sunshine, hot summers and perfectly temperate winters means there’s no real off-season in Santa Rosa Beach, especially when it comes to community events and festivals. Visitors and vacationers may go home at Labor Day, but that’s also when residents kick off a series of events that make fall and winter the most active and culturally entertaining time of the year.

Some of Santa Rosa Beach’s most popular attractions include the 30A Songwriter’s Festival in January, and ArtsQuest in May. Additionally, smaller arts and culinary events happen each week throughout various communities and establishments. No matter the season or where you are, there’s always something happening in Santa Rosa Beach. Schedules and calendars of events can be found at, and