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South Walton / Santa Rosa Beach

Chicago, Illinois
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South Walton / Santa Rosa Beach

Looking to spend Spring Break - end of March - with two kids, 8 and 12 year old boys, in SRB for the first time. Can I assume it will be very crowded? What hotels would you reccomend that are family friendly and reasonably affordable? What and where can we go to enjoy our time there? Would be interested in exposing the kids to wildlife (dolphins, turtles, etc) and beach activities (shelling, boating, etc). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I'm sure we need to make our reservations now. Thanks!

Nashville, TN
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1. Re: South Walton / Santa Rosa Beach

We've visited SRB the past few summers and really love the area. However, you won't find many "hotels" along the beach in SRB. You'll find many condos instead from a number of price points and varied access to the beach. I'd recommend starting with a vacation realty company like Dune Allen Realty, Garrett Realty, or Wyndham (among many many others). Then maybe check VRBO to check individuals' condos listed without a realty company for comparison.

It's a very family friendly area. Seaside was recently named as one of the top family friendly beach by Travel and Leisure magazine. And since the area is right between Destin and Panama City Beach, it's close enough for all the "touristy" things that teenagers and kids like without being in the middle of it. SRB has a very laid back atmosphere, in stark contrast to the touristy areas of Destin and PCB...but it's good to know those things are very close by (25-30 minutes) if you want them.

As far as wildlife goes, there are at least 2 state parks in the area: Grayton Beach and Topsail Hill that serve as nature preserves. Shelling in this area, in my experience, isn't the best. However, nearby Shell Island (Panama City) would have everything you'd want for shelling. Panama City Beach also has a good aquarium (Gulf World) if you wanted to get up close to "wildlife" in captivity.

Hope that helps!

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: South Walton / Santa Rosa Beach

Thank you. I really appreciate the info and the effort in providing it.

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3. Re: South Walton / Santa Rosa Beach

We have stayed in the Sandestin and Destin area as well as the Grayton Beach area over the past ten Spring Breaks and/or summers. Our kids loved spending time on the beach, in the pool, at the Race Track, playing miniature golf, bike riding, going to Krispy Kreme to watch our donuts being made :), visiting Seaside to see the quaint cottages with white picket fences, the "Truman" house and getting snow cones from the Streamliner on the beach. We chartered a boat and went deep sea fishing one summer and enjoyed frying our freshly caught and cleaned fish. We've taken the kids to play golf and enjoyed many delicious meals out. We've never stayed in a hotel and I can't imagine doing so since we like to have some of our meals in our condo, especially breakfast and lunch. We've always felt safe in this family friendly area. It will be very busy at Spring Break, especially in the Destin area, but it's not unbearable! Keep in mind that it can be cool in the evening and the water in the ocean will be chilly at that time of the year. Enjoy your trip!

Dallas, Texas
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4. Re: South Walton / Santa Rosa Beach

Do you know if the weather will be too cool to swim/lay at the pool in mid-Feb?

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5. Re: South Walton / Santa Rosa Beach

I found this on the internet:

The month of February is characterized by rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs ranging from 61°F to 65°F over the course of the month, exceeding 71°F or dropping below 52°F only one day in ten.

If the pool is heated, you'll be fine to swim. We are going for Spring Break in March and expect it to be cool, even on the beach. It was chilly and breezy on the beach when we were there a few years ago for Spring Break. We couldn't get into the ocean since it was too cold for us. Still it was obviously worth going there to get away since we are going back soon!

Dallas, Texas
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6. Re: South Walton / Santa Rosa Beach

Thank you for the insight Wonderville!

7. Re: South Walton / Santa Rosa Beach

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