Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Grayton Beach, FL

  • Published 2022/05/31

Grayton Beach is a modest, undeveloped village in Northwest Florida.

It was the initial settlement in the now-named South Walton region.

Grayton Beach is where you can find Grayton Beach State Park, the Zoo Gallery, the Red Bar, and many other tourist attractions.

It all starts with Army Major Charles T. Gray, who lent his name to this little seaside village.

Grayton’s distinct heritage permeates the village, from the rickety wooden buildings, dirt roads, and leafy trees to the white sand beaches.

Grayton is the only beach where automobiles can drive up to the water’s edge and park for sunsets, beach days with friends and family, or launch fishing excursions offshore.

There’s a high chance you’ll see Grayton Volleyball set up a series of volleyball nets during the summer.

Here are the best things to do in Grayton Beach, FL:

Appreciate the Waters at Grayton Beach State Park

Daytime view of Grayton Beach State Park's beach

Joy Jahandar /

Grayton Beach is one of the prettiest and cleanest beaches in the United States.

Grayton Beach State Park is much more than a background for golden sunrises and shimmering moonlight afternoons.

Paddle your canoe or kayak along Western Lake, a 100-acre lake surrounded by State Park natural areas.

You can go fishing and canoeing at Western Lake.

Wooden steps leading down to Grayton Beach State Park

Jacob Boomsma /

Then, you can also trek four miles of paths throughout a coastal forest where the sea winds have bent and twisted scrub oaks and magnolias.

Spend your vacation in one of the well-equipped cabins or even a more rustic stay at one of Grayton’s small campsites.

Visit Grayton Beach State Park and engage in outdoor activities to make the most of your Grayton Beach vacation.

Nature trail at Grayton Beach State Park

Captainess_travels /

Stay at Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse

Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse is a vintage true romantic hideaway.

This spot has served the South Walton region with accommodations ideal for lone tourists, couples, groups, and families for more than thirty years.

Their guesthouse has 13 different housing choices, all equipped and designed in a classic “Old Florida” style.

Accommodations are available under one of four buildings on the site of this tourist spot in Grayton Beach.

They offer small queen-sized rooms to one-bedroom apartments, including a king-size bed and a complete kitchen.

Three rooms are pet-friendly, and one is designed specifically for wheelchair users.

In addition, your vacation includes a delicious breakfast from the onsite café’s menu.

Go on a Water Excursion with Captain Phil’s Charters

Captain Phil was born and raised at Grayton Beach.

He’s caught fish in the Gulf ever since 1986; he’s also highly familiar with the formations on the seafloor.

Captain Phil values personal service and is dedicated to providing you with an enjoyable and exciting experience!

A typical excursion starts with a pick-up from Grayton Beach, and you’ll be fishing within minutes.

They provide customers with as much fishing time possible while avoiding other charters’ longboat journeys.

You can catch fish like red and white snapper, grouper, triggerfish, vermillion and lane snapper, greater & lesser amberjack, and mahi-mahi.

Captain Phil’s Charters also help you catch Cobia and the king & Spanish mackerel.

Sometimes, you might even catch sharks and sailfish.

Discover Unique Items at the Zoo Gallery

Roxie and Chris met each other on the campus of Auburn University in the early 1970s, and they created the Zoo Gallery.

Every nook and corner is crammed with imaginative, one-of-a-kind, and stunning work from designers and artists all around the world.

The Zoo Gallery has tried to separate itself from the crowd since 1979.

It’s also a shop containing the oddest findings in the neighborhood.

You’ll discover an eclectic mix of ceramics, jewelry, prints, stationery, housewares, home décor, and some plain bizarre items in their shops.

Chris and Roxie want you to feel at ease in their stores, with exceptional customer service, fantastic music, and the chance to buy some of the Southeast’s most distinctive products.

Hang Out at the Red Bar

The Red Bar is perhaps the most popular indoor hangout in South Walton.

It’s in Grayton Beach, Florida, only a short drive between Destin and Panama City Beach.

It’s a terrific spot to hang out with friends & family while admiring the diverse design, enjoying live music, and eating and drinking delicious cuisine and beverages.

You can try crawfish and shrimp pasta, stuffed eggplant, crab cakes, chicken with mashed potatoes, fish, and salads.

The Red Bar Jazz Band performs almost every night.

After the meal crowd thins out, the party picks up a notch, generating a more colorful environment.

Grab a Delicious Meal at the Black Bear Bread Company

Friends and coworkers Dave Rauschkolb & Chef Phil McDonald have planned to start a business together for several years.

They founded Black Bear Bread Company in late 2016 at a charming Grayton Beach café with a shared goal for an authentic local bakery with fresh, organically leavened baked items.

They baked, tested, and adjusted recipes with their staff, developing delectable meals as a devoted client base grew.

Every day, they aim to rise to the challenge.

Their café cuisine is inspired by freshly made organically leavened wheat, seasonal produce, and responsible sourcing.

It serves breakfast and lunch on the run and for customers who wish to stop and dine in.

Black Bear Bread Company source their ingredients with care, provide only the freshest items, and share what they have with love.

Check Out the Underwater Museum of Art

The Underwater Museum of Art is the United States’ first and only permanent underwater sculpture garden.

The museum is in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Walton County, Florida, at a depth of 58 feet and a distance of 93 miles off Grayton Beach State Park.

It provides a much-needed refuge for local marine species and fisheries.

Likewise, it allows marine scientists, wildlife managers, ecologists, and students to research marine life to assess the influence of artificial reef systems on this Gulf environment.

Each year, the underwater garden hosts a juried exhibition of sculptural pieces from artists all around the world.

The sculptures attract a diverse range of marine creatures; these sculptures eventually transform into a live reef.

This eco-tourism destination attracts art lovers and divers from all over the world.

Enroll in an Art Class at the Shard Shop

The Shard Shop is a locally owned and operated make-your-own artwork shop inspired by glass.

They provide daily lessons in ShardWorx, a glass & resin art form.

Classes last around an hour and are appropriate for kids six years old and above.

Enjoy gatherings, girls’ nights out, family reunions, date nights, team building activities, baby showers, and more at the Shard Shop.

Visit the Shard Shop to have a good time, and if you like, enroll in a class.

Unwind at Grayton Beer Company

The Grayton Beer Company is where you bang out melodies on the dashboard, listen for the sound of laughing, and where you desire to hug the friendly, warm, saline air.

Grayton Beer Company throws spontaneous backyard gatherings and BBQs, and everyone is invited.

Their beer represents and compliments their way of life out there, and it reaches out to others who live outside the village.

You will undoubtedly enjoy Grayton Beer Company, its folks, and its traditions.

Taste Italian Food at Borago

Borago is a traditional trattoria with a modern twist, providing authentic Italian cuisine prepared from scratch.

At Borago, you can eat rich, powerful Italian food prepared by owner-cooks in the trattoria style while drinking the perfect drink.

Borago is famed for its trademark beverages, making it a neighborhood hangout where you’ll stumble into old acquaintances.

Bartenders squeeze out fresh juice every day, and you can taste the attention that goes into each cocktail.

Borago’s Italian cuisine is a local favorite, and it’s no surprise that it’s frequently ranked as one of Grayton Beach’s favorite Italian restaurants.

Purchase Furniture at Beau Interiors

Beau Interiors is a modern lifestyle store that captures seaside living as simple elegance.

Customers looking for a present or who want a comprehensive home design can choose from several options.

Their interior designers and sales associates have extensive knowledge and can easily guide clients through their alternatives.

Beau Interiors has specialists that aid with everything from several furniture pieces to accessories, works of art, or an entire house design.

Whether the clients come in after a day at the beach or plan a major house renovation, the company provides a tailored experience.

The shop sells home goods, outdoor furniture, art, and gifts, among other things.

See the Art at the Grayt Wall

Jerry Cloutier created the Grayt Wall of art in Grayton Beach.

Walking along the historic coastal community of Grayton Beach in South Walton, you’ll find an equal mix of art and nature.

The houses and tree-lined roadways weave together to form a tapestry that leads to the white sandy shoreline.

This peaceful luxury and vibrant nature combine into 80 feet of beautifully adorned wall, which the locals call the Grayton Beach Art Wall.

The wall features several pieces from strong hitters in the vibrant local art scene and young artists, including the three-year-old Finn Townsend.

The art wall is constantly changing and evolving, so stop by when you get the chance.

Get Fresh Juice Drinks at Chiringo

Chiringo is a laid-back seaside restaurant and bar that serves flavorful surf food.

They combine salty staples, enhanced meats, and fresh veggies to reproduce the bright and robust flavors.

You can find Chiringo in Grayton Beach’s soulful 30a neighborhood.

Chiringo’s laid-back attitude, fresh juice drinks, and enhanced beach cuisine menu make for an extraordinary experience.

Come to Chiringo and enjoy the cuisine along with the scenery.

Order a Delicious Meal at Roux 30a

Savor Roux 30a’s six-course set menu often changes and features local quality cuisine and a unique experience.

The Roux 30a restaurant believes that breaking bread with your family is the most intimate act you can do.

You’ll feel like family from the moment you walk into their cozy environment to the moment you depart.

They provide beautifully prepared feasts inspired by their seaside background using high-quality locally sourced foods.

They take exquisite dining to another level with a modern spin.

What are you waiting for?

Try it for yourself!

Check Out the Artworks at the Studio Gallery

Check out the fascinating Studio Gallery in the center of Grayton Beach.

The Studio Gallery features high-end artwork, jewelry, and collectibles, noted for its welcoming and approachable atmosphere.

The Studio’s 1,400 square feet of exhibition space showcases established, developing, and award-winning professional artists from across the Southeast.

You can find contemporary and traditional works in various styles and mediums, ranging from acrylic & oil paintings to seashell art and accessories.

The Studio Gallery can meet your specific art and home furnishing demands, whether you seek a Gulf Coast gem or an addition to your collection.

Visit the Studio Gallery and unwind in its relaxing environment.

Final Thoughts

Grayton Beach boasts a terrain unlike any other in South Walton with its tranquil, green state park.

Kayaking activities are also popular at Grayton Beach’s Western Lake entrance.

Likewise, Grayton Beach offers some of the best sandcastle-building opportunities in the region.

Come along for the ride, or meander along the warm white sand and look at other people’s artwork.

Now that you know the best things to do there, start organizing your vacation to Grayton Beach!

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