Grayton Beach State Park is a must travel destination for those seeking the ultimate Florida vacationing experience. Located in Santa Rosa Beach on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico, this world-renowned state park has it all for tropical thrill-seekers. Regardless of your interests, it is impossible to be left without wonder as you enjoy your time on this sunshine state shore. Compiled here are all of the essential activities to make the most of your time at Grayton Beach State Park. So pack your beach bag and head to the sunshine state for the trip of a lifetime!
If you are planning a trip to Grayton Beach State Park, it is likely that you will be spending most of your time soaking up the sun on the shoreline. Florida’s gulf coast is famous for its white sand dunes and clear saltwater, and the miles of coastline residing in this state park is perfect for those looking to go for a swim and catch some rays. With bountiful parking, restrooms, hot showers, and picnic tables, this beach is designed and groomed to be the ideal beach experience for both individuals and families alike.
The sand beaches at Grayton Beach are perfect for beach sports such as football and beach volleyball, as well as aquatic attractions such as snorkeling and surf fishing. Although there are no major reefs located offshore, there is still plenty of wildlife to discover in the wake such as crabs, stingrays, smaller schools of fish, and even a sea turtle if you are lucky. Ultimately, there are countless ways to enjoy yourself on the expansive coastline of Grayton Beach State Park. As long as the weather is permitting, there will be nothing to prevent you from having your day of rest and relaxation. The only things to consider are the lack of lifeguards on the beach as well as the small $5 parking fee.
It should come as no surprise that hiking and natural sightseeing are primary attractions in a Florida state park. Grayton Beach has two primary trails that are popular for those that are seeking a hike to explore the natural environments throughout the state park. If you are looking for a novice trail or are a newer hiker, there is The Grayton Beach Nature Trail. This one-mile trail will take you on a winding path of pine Flatwoods and scrub oaks as well as beautiful magnolia flowers. This trail stretches all the way to the shore of the Western Lake, one of the few coastal dune lakes in the world.
For the more adventurous hikers and rangers, there is the 4.5 mile Grayton Beach Hike and Bike trail that weaves throughout the coastal forest and arrives at the opposing end of the Western Lake. Both of these trails are excellent on their own, but if you are seeking more thrills, the hiking paths branch out into other state trails allowing you to customize your hiking or biking experience. There are also plenty of nearby campsites if you are looking to spend a night or two out in the wilderness.
Kayaking and Canoeing
Grayton Beach is also home to some of the most renowned salt marshes in the world. Salt marshes are coastal swamplands that are frequently flooded by the nearby ocean in order to create an ecosystem that is entirely unique. Kayaking and canoeing are the popular methods to traverse these marshes, and there are many kayaking tours that are provided throughout the state park.
These tours will range from 2-4 hours and your tour guide will weave you through a maze of mangroves and other foliage in order to sightsee and witness the beautiful wildlife that resides in this one-of-a-kind environment. There are different tours that cater to different interests, such as dolphin spotting and bird watching. Find the perfect tour for you and enjoy the beauty that the marshes have to offer.
If you are an experienced kayaking aficionado, you are not limited to the tours provided within the state park. You are able to bring your own kayak and the open waters that surround the beaches are beautiful and free to explore at your leisure. If you are planning to spend a day paddling in the water, you can split your time between the open ocean and the salt marshes.
If the shore and marshes begin to become a little drab, Grayton Beach also offers many different boat rentals and tours that will allow you to explore the vast open ocean. If you are a licensed boater, renting a pontoon boat on the beach would be the ideal experience for those looking for a day of drinking and fishing on the water. Jet skis are also an option if you want something a little more fast-paced to get your blood pumping. There are also many seaside boat ramps available along the shore if you came equipped with a nautical vessel of your own.
Boat tours are ideal for visitors that have little to no boating experience. With different tours that will take you sightseeing, deep-sea fishing, or snorkeling there is a tour to satisfy any open water craving you may have.
Grayton Beach State Park is a textbook example of a beautiful beach destination that is not overly flashy or overwhelming. It hits all the essentials regarding both the natural and civilized aspects of beach life that anyone will be able to enjoy. If you are looking for a vacation destination that is not only one of the best in Florida but in all of The United States, this is the spot for you without a doubt. Pick a week or a weekend, come down to the beach, and kick back and relax.
And if you’re looking for some more recommendations on other places to visit in Florida, check out one of my other posts on the best beaches in Fort Lauderdale, romantic Florida beach destinations, or the best beaches in North Florida!