Grayton Beach is a small, undisturbed village in Northwest Florida and was the first community established in the area now known as the Beaches of South Walton. It’s home to a designated Blue Wave Beach and the 400-acre Grayton Beach State Park.
Once a remote settlement with dirt streets and wooden tin-roofed houses, Grayton Beach is the oldest community in South Walton. Founded in 1890 by former army officers and their families, evidence of the town’s history can be found in the mix of architectural styles that includes modern structures alongside authentic old Florida beach houses.
Grayton Beach Restaurants
Some of the early buildings that survived the ravages of time and coastal weather have been given new life in the town. For example, the old Butler General Store now houses one of the area’s most popular hangouts, The Red Bar, where it’s not uncommon to spot celebrities among the locals. Bathed in the glow of red lights, The Red Bar offers live music and a menu featuring locally caught fish, shrimp, crawfish, and pasta.
Across the street. it’s a dog’s life at Shorty’s Surfside and Topside which offers doggy art and tee-shirts, live music, and the only view of the beach. Stools and benches outside accommodate dogs and their people for a drink and a chat with neighbors. Inside the atmosphere is casual and the menu includes fresh fish, shrimp and grits, and a fried seafood basket
There are also a number of other popular restaurants such as Borago’s, for tasty Italian, Pandora’s Steak House for steaks and seafood, and the newest hot spot, Grayt Coffee House offering “grayt” coffee and pastries all day and blackboard lunch specials. There are more fun eateries north of town at the Shops of Grayton.
What to do in Grayton Beach
Surrounded by Grayton Beach State Park, the town embraces Western Lake, one of South Walton’s rare coastal dune lakes, making it a logical starting point for all kinds of eco-adventures from hiking to paddling to YOLO boarding. North of town, Grayton Beach State Park’s hiking trail connects to the Longleaf Greenway Trail in Point Washington State Forest for some extensive hiking, biking, and wildlife watching. Running parallel to Scenic 30A, the 19-mile long paved Timpoochee Trail is perfect for walkers, runners and bikers.
But the beach itself remains the biggest draw. Local outfitters can fix you up with a surf board or skim board as well as a YOLO stand up paddle board. Fishing charters leave from the beach (residents with a permit can drive on Grayton Beach) and will have you out in deep water in no time. Named best beach in America in 1994 by Dr. Beach, it remains one of the best beaches in Florida inviting beachcombers, anglers, and kids of all ages to play. After all, strange people want to have fun too.
Click the link below to read about our picks of the best Florida Beaches