Great Article on Visitsouthwalton.com under Tips and Trips for a South Walton Vacation titled “Beach Like a Local in South Walton”
If you live in the moment, you’re always on time. Nice dogs, strange people. Lights off for turtles. You only live once. Slow down, you’re here. Peace, love & sandy feet. You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
Beach like a local.
What does it mean to “beach like a local?” It depends on whom you ask, and answers vary almost as much as the tides. To one person it might mean knowing the perfect stretch of beach with no one else around. For another it might mean knowing where to find the liveliest late-night hotspot.
Many choose to visit South Walton and a lucky few never leave. In between are all those who spend their time away from their favorite beach trying to figure out how they, too, can become a local. Beaching like a local is a dream that many beachlovers share. But as the locals will tell you, it begins with a state of mind. So, how to get started?
If you’re headed to South Walton, here’s a tip – ease into the beach frame of mind while you’re still en route. Put on your favorite beach tunes and start breathing deep, so that as soon as you get here you’re relaxed and ready to tan, or surf, or bike along the Timpoochee Trail. More than anything, beaching like a local means slowing down. Driving slower, moving slower, thinking slower, being slower. Once here, stop in your favorite beachside bar or lunch place and strike up a conversation with one of the staff. They’ll be happy to give you the scoop about where to go and what to do. All South Walton locals have their own list of must-dos. First on everyone’s list is to simply relax and hang at the beach. Doing it like a local means not taking too much with you, and not leaving anything behind. Locals love to keep the beaches clean and uncluttered. Leaving no trace tops the list for being a good beach bum.
Second on the list is good food and drink. Mosey on over to Red Bar in Grayton Beach. It’s part bar, part diner, part museum, and part music venue. But mostly it’s just a cool place to hang out to get some great grub. And you can go out back and have a stroll on the beach. What could be better?
There are so many great events in South Walton that some folks plan their visits around their favorites. But it can be hard to choose between the 30A Songwriters Festival in January, the Sandestin Gumbo Festival in February, the Seaside Marathon in March, ArtsQuest in May, Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach in June, 4th of July fireworks, MountainFilm on Tour at WaterColor in November – the list goes on. After a while you realize that you just might have to move here to catch all your favorite events in the place you’ve fallen in love with.
Want the top insider’s tip on how to beach like a local? It’s timing. Enjoy summer days at the beach, of course, but be sure to return to South Walton in the fall when the beaches are less crowded, the weather is sublime, and great rates are available. October is the locals’ favorite month, but we often have perfect days in November and December, too. So what do you think? Are you ready to beach like a local? You’ll know the answer when you bite into the perfect grouper sandwich, hear a local band playing the best tune you’ve ever heard, or find yourself strolling along the sand without a care in the world. If you’re especially lucky, you might catch sight of a pod of dolphins playing, butterflies migrating, or dragonflies buzzing the dunes. Just let nature be your guide and you’ll know what the locals know: South Walton is truly the place to find your perfect beach any time of year.
Story, courtesy of SoWal