Few things capture the essence of a beach vacation like the stretch of Florida coastline known as the Emerald Coast with emerald waters and white sand beaches. Scenic Highway 30A—also known as just ’30A’—offers over a dozen unique beach towns with white sand beaches and state parks. You’ll find perfect picnic spots, tranquil beach accesses, and services that can enhance your beach experience. Check out this list and explore the richness and diversity of this fantastic location.
Some of the Best Picnic Spots on The Emerald Coast and 30A
The Emerald Coast has a great many amazing picnic spots where you can take in the beauty of the environment while enjoying delicious food. Each spot offers a unique blend of natural beauty and amenities from oceanfront to sand dunes to trails to your own unique spot. Check out some professional beach set-up companies to help with picnics, family events small or large, or a romantic “pop the question” memorable day at the end of this article.
- Destin: The iconic beach city of Destin is loaded with beautiful picnic locations from Henderson Beach State Park to the sands of Crystal Beach with amazing beachfront rentals. Parking and facilities for $6.
- Rosemary Beach: This beach town’s charm lies in its cobblestone streets, gas lanterns, and a network of footpaths. Enjoy your picnic surrounded by an architectural haven with West Indies and New Orleans flavors.
- Alys Beach: The sophisticated coastal town of Alys Beach is known for its stark white buildings contrasted with turquoise waters. A picnic here means soaking in the luxury and serenity this town offers. See our Perfect Day on 30A itinerary.
- Blue Mountain Beach: Imagine having a picnic amidst rolling dunes topped with blue-green sea oats—a serene and tranquil setting that will make every bite a treat.
- Inlet Beach: If a quaint yet modern vibe is your style, Inlet Beach is the place for your outdoor feast.
- Gulfview Heights & Santa Rosa Beach: Picnic with a view at these beaches, overlooking the emerald green water and trails winding through dunes and vegetation, offering solitude amidst vibrant surroundings.
Prettiest and Most Secluded Beach on 30A
When it comes to the prettiest beach on 30A, each has its own appeal. However, if we had to pick one, Grayton Beach often tops the list with its pristine white sands, coastal dunes, and clear turquoise waters. The idyllic setting of this beach is perfect for sunset chasers and provides a great backdrop for memorable photographs. Local favorite restaurants include Chiringos and The Redd Bar.
As for the most secluded beach, Dune Allen Beach is often overlooked, making it perfect for those seeking solitude. Its peaceful nature, sea oat-covered dunes, and small freshwater lakes known as “dune lakes” make it a perfect secret getaway for a tranquil day on the beach.
State Parks with Quiet Picnic Areas and Hiking Trails
The Emerald Coast and 30A are home to some of Florida’s top state parks, perfectly suited for both picnicking and hiking. You can kayak or paddleboard in these pristine eco-friendly lakes, which are unique to this area in South Walton. These are perfect for a romantic day on 30A.
- Topsail Hill Preserve State Park: With over three miles of pristine beach, rare coastal dune lakes, old-growth pine forests, and wetlands, Topsail offers a variety of secluded picnic locations, along with a network of fantastic trails.
- Grayton Beach State Park: The immaculate beaches extend into a picturesque park where picnicking under the dunes and exploring the accessible trails are some of the quintessential activities.
Complete information about the parks and their amenities can be found on the Florida State Parks website.
Best Beach Setup Companies in SoWal
Here are a few of the best local group beach setup companies to help you create a memorable beach vacation here in South Walton along our beautiful Emerald Coast. These companies allow you to enjoy your beach day without the hassle of setup. They create dream beach events—picnics, proposals, and even weddings—with everything tailored to your precise needs.
Beach Picnic 30A offers the complete package, from event setups to free photo sessions with selected packages. You can book beach picnics, surprise picnics, and elegant beach event arrangements tailored for any occasion. Each package offers customization for a personalized experience. Check amazing options on their what’s included page.
• Event Setups from Start to Finish
• Free Photo Sessions with Selected Packages
• Book Beach Picnic
• Surprise Beach Picnic
• Elegant Beach Event Arrangements
• Decor and Photo Sessions
• Customized picnic options include Classic Beach Picnic, Customized Beach Picnic Experience, Romantic Beach Picnic, Bring Your Own Food & Drinks, Bonfire Beach Picnic, Winter or Summer Bonfires on 30A.
Salty Girls Beach Setups: Salty Girls offers luxury beach picnics, date night picnics, bonfires, and much more. Enhance your beach experience with add-ons available, such as games, flowers, hammocks, and food! They are also equipped to plan themed special events and weddings for a memorable beach experience. Class and style to make for a very memorable day in South Walton. Lots of picnic packages and special custom events for the romantic dream date!
• Event Planning with Special Themed Events and Wedding Planning.
• Salty Beach Packages & Custom Event Planning & Bonfire
• Luxury Beach Picnic
• Date Night Beach Picnic
• Boho Bonfire on The Beach
• Beach Picnic & Boho Bonfire
• Add Games, Flowers, Corn Hole, Coolers, Hammocks, Umbrellas, Bocce, and food options at Salty Girls.
Coastline Picnics: This company specializes in dreamy beach picnic setups in Miramar Beach and Santa Rosa Beach. They bring along a Bluetooth speaker for ambiance and handle all the necessary event permits. They can add games, arrange food and booze, and set up tee-pees to make your picnic even more special.
• Proposal Picnic Dream Setup
• Beach Picnic Sunset Views
• Miramar Beach & Santa Rosa Beach (30A)
• Backyard Picnic on your patios, porches
• Bluetooth Speaker
• Walton Count Event Permits
• Event Add-ons, games, Food and platter options, Booze Pickup, Tee Pee, Photographer if needed.