|Florida Nature: Grayton Beach|
Beach, Florida is well known for the incomparable natural beauty of the
Grayton Beach State Park, which spans the Gulf of Mexico and most of
Western Lake. Grayton Beach State Park is a Florida State Park located
between Panama City Beach and Destin, near the unincorporated area of
Grayton Beach, on CR 30A, in northwestern Florida. Its sister park is
Deer Lake State Park. Golden in the morning sun, silvered by moonlight,
Grayton Beach has consistently been ranked among the most beautiful and
pristine beaches in the United States. A suburb, mile-long beach of
brilliant white sand awaits visitors to this interesting park. The beach
provides an idyllic setting for swimming, sunbathing, and surf fishing.
Behind the beach, high barrier dunes stabilized by sea oats and scrub
overlook the clear green and azure waters where dolphins are often
spotted. The appeal to swimmers is obvious!
Fishermen may surf cast, primarily for whiting and king mackerel. Western Lake, behind the dunes is popular for boat fishing. The second largest coastal dune lake in the Florida Panhandle, Western Lake, is the perfect location to paddle a kayak and explore the lake’s diverse eco-system. The lake and its outfall to the Gulf of Mexico provide the perfect feeding ground for birds. Visitors can paddle a canoe or kayak on scenic Western Lake to get a closer look at a salt marsh ecosystem. A boat ramp provides access to the lake's brackish waters for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
For those interested in wildlife there are two trails, the 15 minute Pine Loop, and the 40 minute Barrier Dune Nature trail. The latter provides markers keyed to entries in a trail booklet, which explains many of phenomena of the shoreline ecosystem.. All through the park plaques identify various plant species. Raccoons and alligators are common sights through out this 365 acre expanse. In the summer loggerhead turtles nests may be found on the beach. Foot traffic is prohibited on sand dunes and in nesting areas.
The Park has two sheltered picnic areas and a campground. Options for overnight stays include modern cabins and a full-facility campground. On the west side of the park, there are 30 cabin duplexes each with 2 bedrooms 2 baths, along with screened in porches and barbecue grills. The cabins offer guests a unique experience, with their own private entrance and acres of untouched wooded areas
Grayton Beach, Florida was the first community established in Beaches of South Walton, some time in the late 19th century. If you walk down one of Grayton Beach's oyster-shell roads, you may have the feeling things don't change very fast here. Pine and oak trees surround many of the natural old wooden homes. Grayton Beach which celebrated its 110th anniversary July 4th, 2000 still maintains that same “small cozy town” character with narrow tree lined streets and friendly people with funky art galleries, antique and specialty shops, a general store, and the infamous Red Bar. The most popular indoor destination in Grayton Beach, the Red Bar is a favorite for fun with friends and family while taking in the eclectic decor, listening to great live jazz music and enjoying great food and cocktails.
The Grayton Beach hiking trail is one of the most scenic in the area, circling sand dunes, skirting the coastal dune lake, and cutting right through a dense scrub hammock. Take a walk along the trail nicknamed the “Hobbit Hole,” through the dunes where you find yourself enveloped in the scrub oaks and finding yourself becoming one with nature. Flowering spiderworts and blue lupine provide colorful highlights along the trail. Walk a bit further and you will be taken aback by a panoramic view once you reach the vista at the top of the dunes. This incredible view is quite famous, as it has been painted many times by local artists, and become the quintessential signature view of Scenic 30A. You will often see blue herons, cattle egrets, royal terns, common terns and laughing gulls along the lake’s outfall.
Grayton Beach Florida
Grayton Beach, Florida is well known for the incomparable natural beauty of the Grayton Beach State Park, which spans the Gulf of Mexico and most of Western Lake. Grayton Beach has consistently been ranked among the most beautiful and pristine beaches in the United States
If you like Floridian nature, you will love Grayton Beach! Grayton Beach provides an idyllic setting for swimming, sunbathing, and surf fishing. Behind the beach, high barrier dunes stabilized by sea oats and scrub overlook the clear green and azure waters where dolphins are often spotted. For those interested in wildlife there are two trails, the 15 minute Pine Loop, and the 40 minute Barrier Dune Nature trail.
Written by: Floridian Nature
Date published: 10/22/2013
5 / 5 stars