Top 5 reasons to Visit Grayton Beach, Florida
Nothing beats having "that" friend with a beach/lake/mountain house, does it? There is something whimsical about tucking into a private beach home for a week of surf and sun. It's nearly impossible to fend off the waves of relaxation when you're a 5 minute walk to beautiful white sand beaches. Here are 5 reasons that make Grayton, FL a great destination for your next beach house rental.
IT'S NOT A PARTY BEACH
Now, for a man who started a blog called Travel Silly, which peddles ridiculous antics, bad jokes, and irreverent tomfoolery, this may not seem like a selling point. But you see, when you bring the party with you ("Gremlins" as our actor buddy James Dewitt III calls us), there is no need for outside stimulus. It also doesn't hurt to have DJ named DJ in the group. This fellow Gremlin from Mississippi sure knew how to keep the heads banging into the wee hours of the morning. These beaches were inhabited by families and locals so there was always plenty of room for our motley crew to distance ourselves from those tiny impressionable creatures known as "children". It was also ideal because after sunset, the beach clears out and you have the place to yourself.
THERE IS A LAKE AT THE BEACH!?
The Western Lake of Grayton Beach State Park winds its way right down to the ocean. With heavy rains, it's possible for the lake and ocean to meet! Mind you, this Lake is a steamy 98.6 degrees and the color of Waffle House coffee -BUT- It's pretty neat to get the experience of a beach and a lake in one go. The lake was great for kayaking in the morning and floating in a tube to escape the wave action of the Gulf.
Sidenote: We witnessed 3 completely different oceans during our time there. Day 1 was brown and murky, other days were green, and then toward the end of the trip some the clearest aquamarine glass I've seen. In a word…this beach is like a mood-ring.
SMALL TOWN FEEL
This place took me right back to my childhood as we rollerbladed through the town's small grid streets each morning. White picket fences, friendly neighbors and quaint local food joints would make anyone nostalgic with a "Wonder Years" kind of charm. The beach-facing houses were a nice architectural addition. You'll pass in between these houses and the lake as you make your way to the beach on a quality boardwalk (complete with outdoor shower and beach facts engraved into the boards).
FOOD and DRINK
The Red Bar - A bit shocking to spend $240 for 8 orders of crab cakes, but the cakes were large, tasty and fresh. Service was very fast and did well with our large and somewhat rowdy group. I highly recommend trying The Red Bar at least once during your stay.
Chiringo - While we didn’t dine here, the "BILLIE OCEAN" is a must try frozen Rum and Pinnacle drink. We enjoyed the open air bar and back patio complete with corn hole and Adirondack chairs.
Publix - A local grocery store about 12 mins away served us well for homemade meals and beers. I'd recommend stopping here on your way down into the beach.
Pizza by the Sea - A hole in the wall pizza joint next-door to Publix. We ended up here on accident, but it was a welcome one. The buffalo chicken pizza and another create-your-own pizza were out quickly after ordering (even though they had a full house), and great quality. Pepperoni rolls and calzones were also tasty, and there was a nice little selection of local craft beers to pair with your meal.
THAT NIGHT SKY
Top of the list in my memory of this trip will be sitting out on the beach watching the milky way, late into the night. Tunes, breeze, quiet reflection and absolutely the largest shooting star I've ever seen worked in perfect compliments to each other. To top it all off, we stayed up all night to watch the sunrise while two great friends snuck off for an engagement proposal. This was the icing on the cake, and sealed the magic into this beach and my memory. Did I mention it's great to have a beach you don't have to share with hundreds of other strangers?
I'll affectionately remember this trip as an Adult Spring Break. Like paternal twins, this week had much in common with it's hormone filled college sibling but their differences made the former pleasant. All of the debauchery, dancing, silliness and sunburns of spring break were experienced here and without 1000s of sloppy co-eds, long lines for food or unfortunate sexual drama. Our group, about 15 strong, was a hodge podge of new and long-time festival going friends from Boston, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston and of all places…Jackson Mississippi (does anyone else spell every letter of Mississippi in their heads as the write it down?). Personalities ranged as wide as the open ocean but our similarities outweigh our differences. I'd highly recommend Grayton for a beach home rental with an intimate group of friends.