Grayton Beach is one of my favorite beach towns on Highway 30A in Florida. Nestled between Watercolor and Blue Mountain Beach, it is the kind of place (like much of the South) where time seems to slow down. Most of the locals are friendly and laid back, and there are a lot of people from out of town who visit with their families for vacation. I have so many great memories here with friends and wanted to share some insight from a local’s perspective. All photos are my own.
WHERE TO GO FOR THE BEACH
About 200 yards off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park there is a fairly new artificial reef. It is a great place to paddle board and free dive. I would recommend going on a calm day and being aware of purple flag warnings (dangerous marine life). If you don’t want to pay for parking, you can park near The Red Bar beach access and walk or paddle board from there.
Another scenic, photo worthy spot on 30A is Western Lake in Grayton Beach. Some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen have been over Western Lake. Great for kayaking, fishing, and paddle boarding. Swim at your own risk-( or don’t), as there are alligators in the lake. The beach on the opposite side of the lake is usually very calm and allows locals with beach permits to drive their cars on the sand. This spot is one of my favorite scenes to paint. Click here to see my painting of Western Lake.
WHERE TO EAT + DRINK
Another Broken Egg- Amazing brunch. The Huevos Rancheros are my go-to. I would also recommend the Hey Lucy Omelette and City Grits.
Bad Ass Coffee- Strong Kona coffee. The way coffee should be.
The Craft Bar- “The Craft Bar Burger”. All I can say is- HOLY. COW. And I just might mean that literally. Hands-down, the best burger I have ever had in my life. Delicious veggie sides. Wide selection of craft beer.
The Red Bar- This restaurant/jazz bar has such a new orleans feel. The decor is very eclectic and folksy. They have live music in the evenings and amazing seafood. Only a short walk from the beach, you can go here in a coverup and flip flops or dressed to the nines and fit right in.
WHERE TO SHOP
Andy Saczynski Studio Gallery– Unique, striking, funky art. Andy is creative with his mixed media pieces, and his works are truly one of a kind. I own a few of his prints and would love to have an original someday. To view his art, click here.
Beau Interiors- This place has gorgeous, coastal-style interior decor. I could spend all day in this serene store looking at the furniture, rugs, and art. Definitely check this place out if you want to spruce up your home (or someone else’s). It’s in the shopping center adjacent to The Craft Bar, Another Broken Egg, and Bad Ass Coffee. To view their website, click here.
WHERE TO STAY
Hibiscus Coffee and Guesthouse– This bed and breakfast is adorable and only a half mile from the beach. It is surrounded by lush plants and trees with hanging moss- very “Secret Garden”-esque. The cafe has delicious vegan options too for those who want to stop in for a snack. Click here to go to their website.
WHAT TO PACK
This area of Florida is pretty warm year-round, i.e. this past January I was still paddle boarding in a bikini and cooling off by getting in the water. The summer it is very hot and humid- even at night- so make sure to pack breathable items like dresses, shorts, linen, and sandals. December-March cools down slightly, especially in the evenings so I would suggest bringing jeans or pants, layers, a light jacket, and boots. It rains just about every other day, so if you have a waterproof jacket or shoes I would suggest you bring them. And, last but not least, bring a LOT of bathing suits. I used to live in them. Have a fun visit and I hope this guide was helpful!