15 Best Things To Do in Grayton Beach, Florida
If a typical beach town is laid-back, Grayton Beach is fully reclining—in a hammock with an ice-cold margarita. Settled into the wild, unkempt land that makes up the surrounding state park, this small town doesn't worry too much about whether you like it. As town squares and pastel cottages sprouted in areas down the road, Grayton Beach kept its shell-speckled, sandy roads, sea-weathered homes, and groovy attitude. There may be a new strip of stores and restaurants, but this tiny coastal village remains old-school. Here's everything you need to do, see, and eat on your next trip to Grayton Beach, Florida.
Where To Stay
Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse
"Go on out to the Backyard of Love," says a mellow woman behind the counter at Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse, a little bed-and-breakfast hidden beneath Spanish moss. She points to a shaded area behind the inn. Nailed to a tree outside is a rustic wooden sign that reads (she wasn't kidding) "Backyard of Love." Below it, another sign says, "Hug in...hug out."
You meander through a lush, fairy-worthy tapestry of ivy and narrow pathways forged throughout the B&B's history. Like most things in Grayton Beach, the Backyard of Love is nothing fancy and a little funky—the kind of place where you could imagine a Woodstock revival coming together. That suits a town with the unofficial slogan "Nice dogs, strange people."
WaterColor Inn & Resort
Choose the WaterColor Inn & Resort for resort-style amenities, with 500 acres of pristine, private beaches and rooms overlooking the Gulf. You don't need to pack any bikes or water sports equipment for this trip because the resort offers complimentary bicycles, kayaks, canoes, and beach bonfires.
Where To Eat
Black Bear Bread Co.
After a morning bike ride, trade dusty pedals for the whitewashed floors of Black Bear Bread Co. Once inside the cozy cottage, you'll be smacked with the pleasant aroma of toasty sourdough and Benton's bacon, mingling in perfect harmony with poached eggs. Warm, flaky croissants and cinnamon rolls tempt you as you wait to order at the counter. Enjoy a steaming plate of the weekend-only biscuits and gravy.
Named Bar Room, located next to Black Bear Bread Co., is a perfect place to end your evening in the area where your day began. You can close out your day with oysters, charcuterie, seasonal appetizers, and a selection of natural wines and local craft beer.
"I remember the days when we used to sit around a table and try to figure out how to get people to come down to 30A!" says co-owner Dave Rauschkolb. "We'd go, 'When are they going to discover this place?'" Nobody's asking that now.
The Red Bar
The Red Bar is a scarlet-lit, bohemian abnormality on the impeccably polished and planned Highway 30A. The Grayton Beach mainstay blends a 70s Parisian beatnik bistro with a beach vagabond vibe, and Southerners come for the perfectly blackened grouper and stick around for the house margaritas and live music by The Red Bar Jazz Band.
This laid-back restaurant is just Grayton Beach's style. Stop in for lunch at Chanticleer Eatery or dinner, and split a sandwich after a long morning in the sun. Check out their outdoor dining and enjoy all your favorite oceanside foods like crab cakes, jambalaya, and a seafood platter.
Head to Chiringo for gorgeous ocean views and a fresh Spanish-style menu, including fish sandwiches and tacos. Enjoy freshly made dips and a specialty 'Rita. Cocktails, made from freshly squeezed juices, are a great way to unwind while overlooking the pristine waters and clean, sandy beach.
Get your fill of seafood at Grayton Seafood Co., which has Southern staples like gumbo, fried green tomatoes, and New Orleans Praline Bread Pudding for dessert.
Eat like a local at Hurricane Oyster Bar & Grill. Grab oysters in any preparation: grilled, steamed, baked, and raw off the shell with specific international flavorings. Try the World Tour to sample one of each.
Where To Shop
Tribe Kelley Surf Post
On Hotz Avenue, Tribe Kelley Surf Post, owned by the wife-husband duo, Brittney and Brian Kelley (who makes up one-half of the country duo Florida-Georgia Line), offers clothing, jewelry, and trendy knickknacks. Shop and go home with something you can't find anywhere else. The team designs its off-duty chic collections right on the top floor of its beach abode.
Just steps away, you'll find plenty more shopping, such as Gypsea, a women's boutique featuring contemporary, bohemian, and resort-style attire.
The Zoo Gallery
The carefully curated artistic retreat, The Zoo Gallery, fills every inch of the space with eclectic, original artworks. Find everything from furniture and home decor to cards and prints.
Things To Do
Paddle Board or Kayak at Grayton Beach State Park
Highway 30A is home to some of the most stunning dune lakes, which you can fully experience at Grayton Beach State Park. Head out at sunrise or sunset with paddle boards from BOTE Grayton Beach or kayaks from Adventure 30A, and catch a coastal scene like no other. We're talking pastel skies and sparkling blue waters, folks. Once you're comfortable on the calm waters, try the ocean on for size.
Visit the Grayton Beer Company
Crack open a taste of local flair from Grayton Beach. The Grayton Beer Company started with two classic brews, an IPA and a Pale Ale, and vacationers and locals alike instantly fell head over hops. Visit the Taproom (with a tasty bar menu), hang out to place life-size Jenga, cornhole, or taste one of the more than 20 unique beers. It'll make your experience that much more authentic.
Captain Phil's Charters
Take the whole family fishing on a Captain Phil's Charters excursion. After a pickup at Grayton Beach, you and your family will catch fish in no time. Popular fish varieties include Red Snapper, Grouper, and Trigger Fish.
Dive Down to the Underwater Museum of Art
In the waters near Grayton Beach, the first U.S. permanent underwater sculpture museum sits about a mile offshore. It's a perfect exhibit for art lovers and environmentalists, and the "underwater garden" provides an artificial reef habitat for local marine life. The Underwater Museum of Art's mission is to help expand fishing populations and conserve the environment.