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10 Most Beautiful Small Towns You Must Visit In Florida’s Emerald Coast

Florida’s Emerald Coast is where the sizzling white sands meet the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is one of America’s best beach destinations, renowned for its tropical island settings. Although the beautiful Emerald Coast is a popular tourist destination, visitors can run to a few untapped areas for peace of mind without fearing overcrowdedness. This list perfectly balances the range of peaceful and bustling beach towns, so read on to learn more about what Emerald Coast city you want to visit this summer. 

Destin

Florida

Opening our list of the best small towns in Florida’s Emerald Coast is a gem renowned for its sugar-white sands that stretch further than the eye can see. Destin is on this list for being one of many state locals’ favorite beach escape towns. Destin offers a compact version of what to expect in the Emerald Coast’s small towns, taking beautiful elements from each neighboring village. Big Kahuna’s water and adventure park is one of the area’s most popular attractions, along with the HarborWalk Village and Destin Harbor Boardwalk. An entertainment complex with gift shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Fort Walton

florida

Fort Walton is yet another entertainment-centric and family-friendly haven for beach lovers. A popular vacation destination that makes up almost every list of the best small towns in Florida. The town is a year-round fishing hotspot and is most busy during the summer for its tourist-targeted entertainment options. Some of the town’s most popular attractions include. The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park and stunning Okaloosa Island beaches are where kids and adults can immerse themselves in marine wonders. The Indian Temple Mound Museum offers a glimpse into the area’s Native American heritage.

Seaside

Florida

Seaside is a vibrant town known for its colorful, small beachfront rentals. Art galleries, unique boutiques, and a laid-back beach atmosphere. Stroll through the Seaside Farmers Market and catch a movie night at the Seaside Amphitheater. In addition to its chill atmosphere, Seaside offers a distinctive experience for the impact of welcoming locals. You feel the difference in the town’s family-owned businesses like the Parisian lifestyle store, An Apartment In Paris lifestyle store, and Central Square Records, where you can learn about local artists and the Seaside’s music scene.

Panama City

Florida

Adding to the ultimate list of Beautiful small towns on Florida’s Emerald Coast is the lively, bustling town of Panama City Beach a resort paradise of southern vacationers. Amusement parks, entertainment complexes, and a vast expanse of pristine white sands make it the vibrant coastal hub that is. Panama City Beach is especially popular among people from the Southern states. Florida State Road 30 and US Route 98 are the two main roads that pass through the town. 

Grayton Beach

Grayton Beach

Nature enthusiasts find solace in Grayton Beach’s coastal dune lakes and state parks. This famous Florida town is an escape for nature lovers seeking more than just one side of the Sunshine State’s beauty. Fishing, picnicking, and fresh-air wilderness hikes add to the charm of the beach town, constantly earning Grayton Beach a title as one of the prettiest Florida towns. Some of the best hiking trails in town include The Western Lake and Timpoochee Trail in the town’s state park.

Rosemary Beach

Rosemary Beach 1024x768 jpg

Architectural elegance meets coastal allure in Rosemary Beach. Pristine beaches, cobblestone streets, and upscale dining provide the perfect backdrop for a leisurely getaway. Discover the European-style town center and explore the scenic surroundings by bike or walking. Find secluded homes on the waterfront of a town specifically designed to elevate the typical small-town beach experience. Cowgirl Kitchen, La Crema, and The Summer Kitchen Café are key destinations for a well-rounded taste of local cuisine. 

Miramar Beach

Miramar-Florida

Luxury resorts, premium outlets, and exquisite golf courses combine in Miramar Beach to create an alluring shopping haven. Jet skis and kayaks are great ways to explore the coastline of Florida around Miramar Beach, with water tours offered at Miramar Beach Parasail AND La Dolce Vita Sport services. Additionally, several world-class golf courses are located in and around Miramar Beach, so whether you’re a beginner or an experienced pro, there’s a place for you to put your skills to the test. On the top of the best golfing destinations are Indian Bayou Golf & Country Club, Regatta Bay Golf, and Raven Golf Club.

Niceville

Niceville florida

Niceville is one of the largest population centers in the rural panhandle, and its main natural attractions are the Gulf of Mexico, Boggy Bayou, and Choctawhatchee Bay. Friendly locals and a range of outdoor activities characterize this quaint retreat. Explore Turkey Creek Nature Trail for hiking and swimming, and take a scenic drive along the nearby Choctawhatchee Bay. Pounders Hawaiian Grill, The Fort Walton Beach Flea Market, and The Garnier Post Office Museum are local icons to visit in Niceville.

Navarre florida

Unspoiled and serene, Navarre is on the calmer side of this list, offering a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle. Quiet beaches and parks make for good creative thinking and meditating spots, while the Navarre Beach Campground and Hidden Creek Golf Club call for a nature-rich adventure. Extraordinary experiences in the area include the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center and Navarre Beach Marine Science Station, a perfect place to learn about wildlife and the ocean ecosystem.

Pensacola Beach

Pensacola Beach

History and culture thrive in Pensacola Beach, with historic forts like Fort Pickens built to protect America in the 1800s and the town’s vibrant small business and culinary scene. The Pensacola Beach Gulf pier is 1,471 feet long, conveniently located on Casino Beach, and is a fishing pier with the best views in the area, an Instagrammable must-see for any visitor. Locally acclaimed dining options include Water Pig BBQ, Red Fish Blue Fish, and Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar. 

Port St. Joe

Port St. Joe

Laid-back and inviting Port Joe was initially a bust port town. However, the town’s economy slowed when the port was damaged during Hurricane Michael. Today, Port St. Joe is the go-to fishing destination for fishermen from all over. The small beach town is where visitors instantly feel like a local. Rent a distant beach bungalow, go kayaking, and cast your line down the old port to catch some of the town’s endless treasures of Flounder and Red Drum Fish.  

Apalachicola

Apalachicola

Nicknamed Alpach by locals, this town sits slightly east of what is known as Florida’s Emerald Coast and is steeped in maritime history that complements its coastal charm. Explore the John Gorrie Museum State Park, honoring the inventor of air conditioning, and stroll through the historic downtown area. To state locals and neighboring towns, Apalachicola is known for having some of the best oysters in the area. 

Carrabelle

Carrabelle

A gateway to the untouched beauty of Dog Island, Carrabelle accentuates a calm beach town atmosphere of limited visitors; still, it remains more lively than its neighboring island. The tranquil environment makes Carrabelle one of the best fishing towns on this list, with a vast array of hotspots like Yamaha Reef, Carrabelle Reef, and Colts Ledge. For over 100 years, Carrabelle has played a significant role in the Emerald Coast’s seafood industry. Additionally, the town links to a significant 750,000-acre forest for hunting, hiking, and off-road riding.

Perdido Key

Perdido Key florida

For those seeking tranquility, Perdido Key’s secluded shores and natural preserves provide a serene refuge away from the summer crowds. The town’s name translates directly to “Lost Key” to Spanish settlers’ difficulty accessing the town’s land by water. Perdido Key is a narrow strip of pristine sugar-white beaches with a range of waterfront rentals and resorts. Top-rated resorts and hotels to stay at during your visit include Purple Parrot Village Resort, Beach Colony Resort, and the iconic Turquoise Place. 

Ultimately, the Emerald Coast is a true gem adorned with 10 breathtaking destinations that paint a masterpiece of relaxation, adventure, and pure bliss. As you journey through the hidden coves, sugar-white beaches, and enchanting communities, you’ll find that the Emerald Coast isn’t just a place. It’s a collection of unforgettable tropical memories waiting to be created. 

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