Santa Rosa Beach: Gateway to 30A

One of the oldest beach towns that you will see when traveling through the Florida Panhandle, Santa Rosa Beach serves as the best gateway to the area of SR 30A. Extending northward past U.S. Highway 98, Santa Rosa Beach is a pleasant town that bears the official title of South Walton County, and true locals will claim that it lies between Blue Mountain Beach and Dune Allen Beach respectively.


The origins of Santa Rosa Beach date all the way back to the 16th Century when Spanish settlers began naming towns, rivers, and bays in the yet to be realized American colonies. A major bay in the area that is now called Walton County was given the name Santa Rosa Bay by the Spanish in the 17th Century. The British then changed that name to Choctawhatchee Bay in 1778.

During the time of the American Revolution, the British controlled East and West Florida as their 14th and 15th colonies. After the United States won its independence, Spain regained and kept control of the Floridas until 1821, when Andrew Jackson became Governor of the Floridas and George Walton, Jr. became West Florida’s Secretary of State. On December 29, 1824, Walton County would be officially formed.

The late 1800’s saw a steady increase in popularity the beach lifestyle in America as people slowly began settling in various parts of Florida. Steamboat trade and transportation were both very popular at this time, and towns could very quickly become heavily populated. As early as 1910, United States postal records show Santa Rosa as the name of the area’s post office. It wasn’t until April 1, 1955 when the Santa Rosa Beach post office received its official name.

When it comes to hurricane season, Santa Rosa Beach is historically known as a very high risk hurricane zone. Since 1930, a total of 56 hurricanes have been recorded in Santa Rosa Beach, with the largest hurricane being Georges in 1998.

What To Do in Santa Rosa Beach

Serving as the gateway to SR30A, Santa Rosa Beach has an abundance of things for you to do throughout the course of a day. You will have plenty of options no matter what part of Sanata Rosa Beach you turn to.

For starters, you will have no problem finding a unique restaurant to have a delicious meal in. Winner of TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award in 2021, the Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar is ranked as the 2nd best restaurant in all of Santa Rosa Beach, only behind the Chanticleer Eatery. Located on South County Highway 393, Shunk Gulley provides live music performances and a fantastic view of the Gulf of Mexico along with delicious food to order. While it offers a great variety of oyster-themed meals, Shunk Gulley also has on their full menu Quinoa Salad, Panzanella Salad, Tuna Poke and Duck Fat Gulley Fries as appetizers, the Avocado Chicken Club Sandwich, and Fried Sweet Tea Chicken Fingers.

Another winner of TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award in 2021 is a restaurant that specializes in American seafood cuisine. That restaurant is called Louis Louis, and it has an admirable character that not many other Florida restaurants have. Appetizers at Louis Louis include Smoked Tuna Dip, Smoked Salmon Plate, and Fried Green Beans. Entrees include Panne Chicken, Blackened Fish, and Smoked Salmon Salad. Doubling as a bar, Louis Louis also provides various drinks if you are in the mood for a Happy Hour event. Cocktail mixes include raspberry liquor, pineapple juice, agave nectar, and blueberry puree to name a few. 

However, one of the very first things to do in Santa Rosa Beach before you make any other pit stop is to check out the beach terrain itself. Santa Rosa Beach is one of the best beaches that can give you the fantastic view of the gulf that you dream of, and it is the winner of TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award in 2022. Surrounded by various hotels, condominium facilities, and golf rental places for transportation, Santa Rosa Beach is an ideal stomping grounds for casual beachcombing and relaxation.

Hogtown Bayou is a convenient body of water that introduces you to the Gulf of Mexico, and its quiet personality as a resting spot is attractive enough to keep you coming back. Located right next to County Highway 393 is the bayou.

Crime and Safety

Santa Rosa Beach generally does a good job combating crime and promoting safety. According to, Santa Rosa Beach receives an Overall Score of 19.24% in the Crime category, which is 80.76% lower than the national average. The town’s Violent Crime Score is only 6.92%, which is 93.08% lower than the national average. Santa Rosa Beach has a Property Crime Score of 47.99%, which is 52.01% lower than the national average. The only significant crime type in the area happens to be Larceny Theft, which has a score of 68.39%. Despite this score, it is still 31.61% below the national average.

Real Estate

Covering an expanded area along SR 30A, Santa Rosa Beach gives you multiple opportunities across various towns to acquire the type of real estate that is right for you and your family. If you have a small family and only need a 2-bedroom home, then there are affordable prices in Santa Rosa Beach. The average amount of space you can acquire in a 2-bedroom home in Santa Rosa Beach is 1,041 square feet. The average selling price for a 2-bedroom home is $763,967, and the estimated price per square foot is $733.98.

The interesting catch with the local real estate market in Santa Rosa Beach is that you actually save money on payments in the long run if you seek a house with more than 2 bedrooms. The average amount of space you can acquire in a 3-bedroom home in Santa Rosa Beach is 2,411 square feet. The average selling price for a 3-bedroom home is $669,500, and the estimated price per square foot is $277.69.

If you consider a 4-bedroom home, you would also see fair deals across the local real estate market. The average amount of space you can acquire in a 4-bedroom home in Santa Rosa Beach is 2,637 square feet. The average selling price for a 4-bedroom home is $677,400, and the estimated price per square foot is $256.88.

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