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One Tank Trip: Visiting Walton County for Eco-Tours and Beaches

One Tank Trip: Walton County
Posted at 2:43 PM, Apr 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-14 11:46:47-04

SOUTH WALTON, FL (WTXL) - It's a little piece of paradise here in the Florida panhandle. The 26 miles of white sandy beaches, turquoise water, and gorgeous sunsets make South Walton a perfect destination for families and vacationers.

Nestled in the center of Highway 30A is the town of Seaside. Built nearly 35 years ago, the 80 acres of residential and commercial property is the first new urbanist community in South Walton. And what it features brings in thousands of visitors each year.

Lori Smith, the Director of Public Relations and Marketing for Seaside, said it’s only about a five minute walk to anywhere you want to go in Seaside. “It's a really great thing and plus, for a lot of people who come and say, I can park my car and I don't have to leave. I can attend events, go to the market, shop, or go to the beach, take surfing lessons, or just sit under an umbrella all day or just walk around and enjoy Seaside,” Lori told us.

If shopping and beaching are not your thing, no worries. The area is known for its eco-tours, fishing, hiking, biking, kayaking, and paddle boarding.

Tom Losee, the owner of YOLO Board Adventures, said paddle boarding is one of the fastest growing sports for all ages, and on a busy day, the Boat House Paddle Club will put close to 100 boards in the water. He added, “Going to the Gulf for the first time is challenging because the Gulf is sometimes rough or choppy. But starting in any lake is advisable, and it should be a lifelong sport. There's a lot to it and it's something you can do into your 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s.”

Highway 30A is a bike friendly vacation spot, featuring 18 miles of paved roadways with views of the Gulf and Coastal Dune Lakes. But for those looking for something off the beaten path, the Boat House Paddle Club rents out fat tire bikes that are great for the terrain in area state parks like Grayton Beach State Park.

“These fat tire bikes are mountain bikes on steroids, so I can go where mountain bikes can't either, so we can really challenge depending on the guest,” said Matt Lauderdale, who runs the Fat Tire Tours with Boat House Paddle Club.

With 16 beach neighborhoods, four state parks, and breathtaking views, South Walton is a perfect getaway destination for a road trip!