Home 30A Fun 5 South Walton Area State Parks You Need to Explore

5 South Walton Area State Parks You Need to Explore

by Adam Schlosser

The 30A Area is Loaded with Beautiful Florida State Parks

In an effort to promote safe and fun outdoor recreation, the Walton County Tourist Development Council is providing FREE access through Labor Day 2020 to beloved 30A area state parks. Nature enthusiasts, kayak / SUP lovers, beachcombers, and sunbathers alike can roll into Grayton Beach State Park and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park without paying a dime.Florida State Parks in the 30A Area

The Council’s decision allows simplified beach parking and promotes “ecosploring” awareness. Thus, there’s never been a better time to explore 30A’s sprawling, bio-diverse landscapes in as many ways as possible, including paddle-boarding, birding, photography, and fishing.

Five 30A Area Florida State Parks

Deer Lake State Park off Hwy 30A in Seagrove Beach

From Destin to Panama City Beach, there are seven 30A area Florida State Parks. While only two of these locales are entirely free to the general public, we feel that it’s essential to shine a light on three other State Parks in Santa Rosa Beach and Panama City Beach respectively.

Grayton Beach State Park

Grayton Beach State Park Photo Collage

Here at 30A Escapes, we know how vital physical fitness, “ecosploring,” and conservation is to this idyllic state and its inhabitants. There’s no better example of natural beauty, biodiversity, and thriving wildlife than Grayton Beach State Park, the pride of Santa Rosa Beach, FL. Grayton Beach remains one of the most heralded state parks in the nation (Named #1 Beach in the USA by Dr. Beaches 2020), thanks to its sugary sand, marshland walking paths, watercraft rentals, peaceful waterways, and those heartwarming sunsets.

Camp Helen State Park

Camp Helen State Park is on the western shoreline of Lake Powell, the largest coastal dune lake in Florida.  It’s located on the east end of Inlet Beach on the boarder of Bay and Walton Counties.  The park itself covers 180 acres, from the Gulf Of Mexico and its large beach to Lake Powell’s shoreline.  Fishing enthusiasts will really enjoy Lake Powell as it’s loaded with Speckled Sea Trout, Redfish and much more. Camp Helen State Park rents Kayaks (spring, summer and fall) and SUPs making it super easy to explore one of the largest coastal dune lakes in the world!  Many of our favorite hiking paths lie within the heart of Camp Helen.  Most of the paths are paved and their is plenty of parking making it a great place to bring your kids.  It’s easily one of the most underrated 30A area state parks, so, thankfully, you shouldn’t have to worry about overcrowding.

Deer Lake State Park

Deer Lake Sate Park 30A Florida

Located just off 30A in Seagrove Beach, Deer Lake State Park features one of the longest and most beautiful stretches of boardwalk in South Walton. You’ll not find a better place to take family photos than along the boardwalk at Deer Lake State Park.  The rolling, wind-swept dunes create quite the aesthetic. Beach-goers must trek along the southbound boardwalk to get to the fine-grained sand along the Gulf—a fun experience for the whole family!

Watch our “Deer Lake State Park” TikTok video below…


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♬ Fantasy – Alina Baraz / Galimatias

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park South Walton

Tall, powdery dunes, emerald waves, hidden lakes, old-growth pines, and colorful birds flank Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, a common landing place for those traveling in between Destin and Seaside. A lot of folks utilize the paved bike path for an hour or two of cycling. Otherwise, there’s perhaps no clearer water source in the area for snorkeling.  The main entrance to Topsail Hill State Park is off of Highway 98 just past Dune Allen Beach.

Eden Gardens State Park

Eden Gardens is a heavenly, 163-acre estate that was once a section of the 1896 Wesley family homestead. It’s easy to escape to a simpler time while strolling underneath moss-draped oaks near the two-story mansion. After over 120 years, the estate remains as enchanting as it did in 1900. Vibrant flowery, well-kept paths, and pristine ponds dot the landscape.  This State Park is on the southeast shore of the Choctawhatchee Bay and includes a pier that’s a great place to take selfies.  Eden Gardens State Park is a popular place to take family, wedding and graduation photos.

30A Florida Beach House Rentals

As we stated above, there are seven 30A state parks from Destin to Panama City Beach. All seven state parks are a short drive from all of 30A Escapes vacation rentals. We feature a wide variety of beach cottages, luxury condos, and homes in 30A’s many beach communities. Not only is nearly every rental within walking distance of the powdery shoreline, but luxe amenities include private pools, complimentary bikes, Gulf views, fully-equipped kitchens, and luxury furnishings. Please browse through our wide selection of homes and condos at 30AEscapes.com (or call today at 888-473-6830).

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