Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
No
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Grayton Beach is consistently named one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. Emerald and aquamarine-colored water meets sugar white sand originating from quartz in the Appalachian Mountains. Dunes covered in waving sea oats border the entire beach, providing critical habitat for nesting shorebirds and the endangered beach mouse. In addition to birds, sea turtles also lay eggs within the park's shoreline, and their nests are carefully marked with wooden stakes and bright tape. Swimming, sunbathing, stand-up paddleboarding, and surf fishing are all popular activities.

In 2015, Walton County constructed a brand new artificial snorkel reef approximately 350 feet from the shoreline. Pilings sunk into the sand sport concrete disks, together forming the shape of a turtle when seen from above. The reef will eventually be colonized by soft corals, barnacles, and sponges, while providing structure and habitat for grouper, snapper, flounder, and more. Currents can flow swiftly here, so only experienced swimmers should attempt to snorkel without a boat or other flotation device.

In addition to the beach, visitors can experience another rare and unique environment: a coastal dune lake. Western Lake periodically outflows into the Gulf of Mexico, creating an aquatic ecosystem with mixed fresh and saltwater that is home to an array of flora and fauna species. A boat launch into the lake provides additional paddling opportunities. 

When taking a break from the beach, hiking trails and a campground are available. The beach is close to the famous 30A area and multiple shops and restaurants.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Perfect for swimming. Nearby snorkel reef.

Cons

Limited parking in crowded summer months.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

ADA accessible
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Covered picnic areas
Potable water
Showers
Picnic tables
Boat ramp(s)
Wildlife
Shelters
Wildflowers
Bird watching
Sand Dunes
Fishing

Location

Field Guide

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