20 Best Things to Do in Rosemary Beach, FL

Rosemary Beach
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Charming, idyllic, and perfectly laid-back, Rosemary Beach in Florida is one of the prettiest vacation spots in America.

Named among the top six of America’s most romantic small towns by CNN, Rosemary Beach is the ideal location for a beach vacation for all sorts of travelers.

Whether you’re traveling with your partner, family, or friends, there’s something for everyone in this quaint little town in Florida.

Interested to know more about this stunning place?

Here are the 20 best things to do while vacationing on Rosemary Beach, Florida:

Stroll on White Sand Beaches

White Sand Beaches
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Situated right on the emerald-blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Rosemary Beach has one of the loveliest stretches of beach on the 30A.

The sand is incredibly soft and clean.

Beautiful view of the 30A Beach
Brooke.ramos, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are no shells, and pets are rarely allowed, so the beach stays clean.

Walk along the shoreline, settle onto the beach chairs, and relax.

Sunset at 30 A Rosemary Beach
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Dine at The Summer Kitchen Café

The first commercial kitchen on Rosemary Beach, the Summer Kitchen Café has moved around a bit in this charming little town.

Now located on Main Street, the Summer Kitchen offers a relaxed breakfast and lunch menu.

Towards the evening, the café offers a more refined dining style experience.

Locally sourced ingredients and beer from the local breweries make the Summer Kitchen central to the Rosemary Beach experience.

Shop at 30A’s Farmer’s Market

Wandering into 28N Barrett Square in Rosemary Beach on Sunday will lead you into the beautiful and bustling 30A’s Farmer’s Market.

The gorgeous location aside, the market boasts an array of produce from 40 – 50 new vendors weekly!

No matter how long you’re at Rosemary Beach, the Farmer’s Market is a must-visit for great food, fresh produce, and unique souvenirs.

Go Swimming with the Kids at Various Pools

Rosemary Beach has four stunning pools designed for the ultimate beach vacation experience.

The beachside Coquina Pool is a negative edge pool framed by palms along the Gulf Coast side and open to all residents.

The Barbados Pool, with its fountain and French West Indies architecture, is a visual marvel.

With its separate pool for children, the Cabana Pool is among the most family-friendly of the pools in Rosemary Beach.

The indoor heated Sky Pool is incredibly luxurious and the only year-round pool in Rosemary Beach.

It’s got dedicated swim lanes, lounging areas, heated walkways, and a motorized roof that can be opened or closed depending on the weather.

Definitely reason to include it in your itinerary!

Go Biking around the Town

Bike resting in Rosemary beach
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Designed to discourage cars, Rosemary Beach is one of the best places to go biking.

The Timpoochee Trail runs 18 miles from Dune Allen to Inlet Beach and is one of the best ways to experience the 30A.

Rosemary Beach is located on Mile 17 of the trail so that you can ride your bike back to Seacrest Beach for some saltwater taffy on Mile 16.

You could also ride ahead to Inlet Beach on Mile 18 for the best sea views.

Spend the Day Fishing

There’s nothing quite like fishing along the Gulf Coast.

From mahi mahi and king mackerel to trout – there’s an incredible range of fish that you could reel in when you go fishing here.

The Deer Lake State Park offers fishing with truly unique opportunities considering the mixing of waters at the coastal dune lake.

Bring the Family to an Outdoor Movie Night

Catching a movie under the stars along the Gulf Coast is an incredible experience that is part and parcel of vacationing on the 30A.

Great for families, groups, or date nights, catching a movie outdoors is easy in South Walton towns.

Rosemary Beach hosts their Moonlight & Movies and Face Painting at the Western Green on Thursdays.

The movie starts at 8:00 PM, but you might want to get there earlier if you're going to bring your kids along for the face painting.

The face painting starts at 6:15 PM.

Popcorn and hotdog vendors are guaranteed, but you must bring your lawn chairs and some bug spray!

Visit the Butterfly Garden

At West Kingston Road in Rosemary Beach is an elaborate garden with plants to lure in butterflies.

With a charming wooden walkway, this display garden is one of the best ways to experience the area's natural features in a contained space!

A new Butterfly Cottage has been set up between the Butterfly Garden and the Cabana Pool, for easy access to two of the loveliest spaces in Rosemary Beach.

Experience Horseback Riding

Horseback riding along the Gulf of Mexico is a great experience, no matter how old you are.

The horses kept for trail riding along the 30A in Florida are calm, well-broken into the trails, and in excellent health.

You won’t have to worry about getting lost with these horses!

Most owners are great horsemen themselves and will guide you through an unforgettable trail ride through the state forests, through areas you wouldn’t be able to reach on foot.

And there’s nothing quite like being horseback on the beach.

Explore Camp Helen State Park

Camp Helen State Park
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Like the Deer Lake State Park, Camp Helen at Inlet Beach, Florida, is very close to Rosemary Beach and bordered by one of the largest coastal dune lakes – Lake Powell.

A great place to go swimming, picnicking, beachcombing, birding, hiking, and fishing, Camp Helen is a tremendous 180-acre daytime getaway for everyone.

You can also explore the nearby Lake Powell through the kayaking eco-tours.

Go Paddleboarding

Leisurely paddling into the open water on a board offers an up-close and personal experience of the Gulf of Mexico that you wouldn’t get on a boat.

But paddleboard enthusiasts might use it for just about anything, including yoga.

Paddleboarding itself is also an excellent workout!

If you’re looking to take up an easy water sport while vacationing at Rosemary Beach, consider renting a paddleboard by the hour and pushing yourself out into the water.

It’s a great way to explore without having to swim, and you can engage your core trying to balance as you SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding)!

Be Pampered at Spa Pearl

There’s no treat quite like a spa, and Spa Pearl takes the cake in Rosemary Beach.

Located at 63 Main Street, Spa Pearl is situated in the historic hotel The Pearl presents itself as a space for pampering.

What better way to enjoy your vacation?

Their services are in-room, but if you’re at Spa Pearl, it’s always a good idea to settle into their private poolside treatment rooms for a truly indulgent escape from civilization.

After your treatments, you could swing by the Havana Beach Bar and Grill overlooking the Gulf and Main Street to round off a day of indulgence.

Dine at Edward’s Fine Food and Wine

Rosemary Beach is known for its fine dining, and Edward’s Fine Food and Wine is one of the town's most beloved fine dining places.

With great food, better service, and a relaxed attitude to appropriate, acceptable dining attire, Edward’s is an absolute must-visit for everyone vacationing at Rosemary Beach.

There are no reservations at this restaurant that works on ‘beach time’ in their own words.

So if you want to be seated, remember that it is first come, first serve!

They’re also pet-friendly.

Visit the Rosemary Beach Racquet Club

Rosemary Beach is the ultimate beach vacation for tennis lovers because of the Rosemary Beach Racquet Club.

One of the world's top tennis destinations, the Racquet Club has eight green clay courts, four of which allow playing till 9 PM.

So if you’re thinking of a quick game after dinner, this would be the place.

The Rosemary Beach Racquet Club offers Tennis Packages, instruction from pros, and the finest quality equipment in North Florida.

You can get a day pass or even a weekly membership if you plan to head to the courts daily.

The Club also has an observation deck if you’d rather watch a few matches instead of playing on your vacation!

Frolic at the Frank Brown Park Aquatic Center

Extend your water-based recreation from the coast to the Aquatic Center of Frank Brown Park Aquatic Center located north of US Route 98.

Panama City Beach owns this park 9 miles east of Rosemary Beach.

The aquatic center features a 5,000-square-foot splash park and kids’ pool.

Major swimming and diving competitions are hosted at this aquatic center’s Olympic-sized Pool.

Frank Brown Park, which spreads over 200 acres, is the largest in Panama City Beach.

The other park facilities include several playing courts and ballfields for tournaments, trails, and a kids’ playground.

Sate Your Sweet Tooth at the Sugar Shak

Reward yourself after a stroll on the Main Street of Rosemary Beach with a stop at Sugar Shak.

This old-school candy store is tucked in a cozy nook across from the Post Office and within walking distance of the beach.

It is more than a candy shop, though, as it’ll tempt you with its scoops of ice cream, cotton candy, and shaved ice.

Try its colorful Superman ice cream with a unique flavor and available in a cup or waffle cone.

Besides its vast candy selection, Sugar Shak also offers baked goods.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Tour the City of Seaside

Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Eight miles from Rosemary Beach is the city of Seaside, where the Truman Show was filmed.

A lovely community much like Rosemary Beach, Seaside features attractions like the gourmet grocery store Modica Market.

There are also nine unique beach pavilions to gather in and the best Shrimp and Grits from the Great Southern Café.

Food trucks and outdoor dining area at City of Seaside
Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

At the heart of Seaside is Sundog Books, a family-owned independent bookstore with a couple of readers clubs!

The daytime Book Club and the Sunset Book Club meet every month, but venues are subject to change depending on availability.

If you’re interested, head to Sundog to confirm the date and venue!

Buildings at the City of Seaside
Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Feast on Tacos at LaCo

The Latin-inspired restaurant LaCo is the destination for diners who love tacos.

Located along East County Highway 30A between Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach, this dining venue offers eight taco choices.

Served on a corn tortilla, these tacos revolve around picks on fillings of classic ground beef, pork belly, shrimp, fish, steak, veggie, lobster, or fish.

Pollo adobado and calamari are also must-try dishes in LaCo.

Try the restaurant’s selection of fresh-squeezed lime margaritas, house-made mojitos, and sangria for drinks.

Binge on Seafood at Bayou Bill’s Crab House

Your craving for seafood can be filled best at Bayou Bill’s Crab House, which has offered its specialties since 1986.

This seafood restaurant has one of its locations on Front Beach Road in Panama City, just 3 miles east of Rosemary Beach.

Bayou Bill’s Crab House serves seafood straight from the local Florida waters.

Your choices can start from the oyster bar of this restaurant and samplings later of its trademark special crab.

Bayou Bill’s Crab House offers other choices like grilled chicken and hamburger if you're not much into seafood, fish, and shellfish.

The restaurant provides a kid's menu and a full-service bar with wine, liquor, and beer.

Buy Gifts or Souvenirs at the Blue Giraffe

Drop by the Blue Giraffe on Emerald Coast Parkway (US Route 98 East) on Inlet Beach just east of Rosemary Beach.

This award-winning gallery's pitch, “Art & Gifts with Heart,” entices shoppers.

A mother-daughter tandem runs Blue Giraffe, so it’s a cinch there’d be plenty of style choices from this gallery’s shelves.

The picks Blue Giraffe offers include various handcrafted wares by local artisans.

These originals include handcrafted jewelry, interior accents, inspirational artwork artworks, as well as books.

Jeanie, the gallery’s charming blue-coat giraffe, stands on the shop’s door to welcome you.

Feel an Adrenaline Rush at Baytowne Adventure Zone

The original zipline and adventure zone in North Florida, Baytowne Adventure Zone, is a hop, skip and jump away from Rosemary Beach.

If you’re looking for adventures involving ziplining, bungy, or ropes for yourself and your kids, this is the right place.

All their activities will get your blood up and have the kids screaming in excitement.

All the adventures at Baytowne are challenging but perfectly safe, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Immerse in the Boardwalk Views of Deer Lake State Park

Sand dunes at Deer Lake State Park
Ken Schulze / Shutterstock.com

Open from 8:00 AM, the Deer Lake State Park is famous for its rare coastal dune lake.

The lake boasts an incredible ecosystem formed by mixing saltwater and freshwater, with potential sightings of wildlife like bobcats and coyotes.

A mile-long boardwalk to the ocean offers excellent views of the rare coastal dunes and the dune lake.

The Deer Lake State Park is also an excellent location for picnicking, but bring your food!

Final Thoughts

Rosemary Beach is a perfect destination if you’re looking for a vacation getaway.

Although it’s a small resort town by Florida standards, Rosemary Beach has unique attractions for couples and traveling families.

Various nearby points of interest also add fun to all the things to do in Rosemary Beach, making for a most fulfilling trip.

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