- June 13, 2023

Travel Beyond Texas – Take Flight to Walton County Florida This Summer


Schools out and it’s time to travel! 30A and the rest of Walton County, Florida have always been popular places for Central Texans to travel. There’s even a direct flight.

Yep, that’s right. There are more non-stop seasonal flights back and forth to ECP now available on both Southwest and American Airlines. Since the flight is just under two hours and the destination is in the central time zone, it’s easier than ever for Austinites to escape to Florida!

The Best Things To Do In Walton County, Florida

On our most recent trip, we spent the majority of our time in the southern half of the county known as South Walton. This gorgeous area is made up of 26 miles of sugar-white sand beaches, turquoise water and 16 acclaimed beach neighborhoods (including Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach, Seaside, and Miramar Beach). Here are all the things we saw, did, and most importantly, ate.

walton county florida

Where to Eat & Drink in Walton County

No matter what part of the area you stay in, there are tons of food and drink options. We tried a handful of spots all over the county. Here’s where we went.

Distillery 98 in Santa Rosa Beach

Distillery 98 is one of just a few craft distilleries in Florida. Their Florida panhandle corn vodka is filtered through a one-of-a-kind Florida oyster shell filter.

The Citizen in Alys Beach

Inspired by coastal cuisine around the world, The Citizen is a seaside tavern in Alys Beach. We tried the fresh oysters, whipped feta, and ricotta gnocchi and all three were perfection!

Café Nola

The Café Nola in DeFuniak Springs features the flavors, sights, and smells of the Caribbean and New Orleans. Reminiscent of Rick’s Café in Casablanca, the restaurant has a robust selection of custom drinks and an adjacent Bourbon Street Lounge.

Old Florida Fish House

Located steps away from The Lodge 30A, Old Florida Fish House is a family-owned restaurant with a vast menu showcasing coastal flair. Be sure to make a reservation because this place gets packed. It’s also a fun spot to hang after dinner. During both nights we were there, dueling pianos rocked the bar from 8 p.m. through closing time.

The Perfect Pig

Located in the Seagrove Beach neighborhood, The Perfect Pig is super cute and tasty to boot. Their eclectic menu is filled with upscale southern comfort food.

walton county florida

The Red Bar

The Red Bar is the place to eat, drink and be merry while taking in all the eclectic decor. They also host great live music. We recommend heading there for brunch. Parking is limited so take the free tram into Grayton Beach. And be sure to check out the street art while you are there!

Where to Stay

The Lodge 30A

Located in Seagrove Beach, The Lodge 30A is brand spankin’ new. The boutique hotel is nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and the Point Washington State Forest. That means there are all kinds of hiking and biking trails nearby. Of course, no hotel is complete without restaurants and shops nearby and there are those. You’ll also find bike and watersport rentals on site as well as the hotel’s amenities which include a fitness center and outdoor pool.

What to Do in Walton County

Of course, if you’re there in the summer you’ll be spending most of your time at the beach. But if you’re looking for a break from swimming and sunning, here are some options.

South Walton County Florida

Visit DeFuniak Springs

A hidden gem of North Walton County is historic DeFuniak Springs. Classic Victorian-era structures still stand around Lake DeFuniak, an almost perfectly circular 40-acre lake at the center of the DeFuniak Springs Historic District. It is one of the two almost perfectly round circular spring-fed lakes in the world.

The DeFuniak Springs Library is a must stop. Opened in 1887, it is the oldest continuously run library in the state. The library includes many books from their original collection as well as a signed copy of “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

Rent a Board or Bike

Stop by a YOLO rental spot to add a little adventure to your experience. Whether you like to paddle, pedal, or pour, YOLO has everything you need. We rented a 30A Electric Cruiser and it was oh, so fun.

Walton County Florida vacation

Sunset Beach Bonfire & Dinner at Inlet Beach

30A Blaze Beach Bonfires is a veteran owned small business started with the desire to bring quality beach service to you. Whether your party is big or small, you will receive superior service. The evening included dinner, drinks, s’mores, and the most lovely sunset. The best part? We didn’t have to lug anything down to the beach. Simply show up and let 30A Blaze handle everything!

Wander Around Seaside

The 1998 comedy-drama film, The Truman Show, was filmed in a unique setting—Seaside, a master-planned community in the Florida Panhandle. This quaint town provides a stunning backdrop for many scenes, with its white sand beaches and lush greenery surrounding a medley of colorful shops and homes.

Find an Event

When we visited in the spring, we were lucky enough to attend the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival but there are events all year long in the communities of South Walton. From fishing tournaments and other activities to funs runs, holiday markets, theater and music productions, you never know what special event may be happening during your visit.

Looking for more places to travel beyond Texas? Here are some ideas: