It’s the perfect time of year to make a trip to the 30A area of Florida and hit the beach. Before you start packing your swimsuit, however, it’s a good idea to do a little homework. This goes for locals, as well, in fact. South Walton County is a popular area for beachgoers year after year, and because of this, they have a number of regulations that you’ll want to be aware of. These regulations aren’t meant to make the vacation less fun, but rather to ensure that the beach stays safe for everyone.
Keep the Beach Clean
The cleanliness of 30A beaches is important not only to other beachgoers, but to provide a safe environment for the many sea turtles who come ashore to nest every year. For this reason, glass containers are prohibited on beaches throughout South Walton. It’s also important to make sure you pack up all items when you leave the beach. Anything left behind will be removed and discarded at the end of the night.
Have the Right Permits
For the most part, driving any vehicle along the beach is prohibited throughout 30A beaches. However, for residents or property owners, Grayton Beach and Inlet Beach will allow you to drive your vehicle…with the proper permit. Locals will also need a permit to bring their dogs to the beach. This permit lasts all year and renews on August 1.
There are permits, however, that are available to visitors as well as locals. Residents and non-residents alike can acquire a permit for saltwater fishing. For residents who fish from land, there’s the resident recreational saltwater shoreline fishing license. For visitors, there are 3-day or 7-day saltwater fishing licenses that allow you to fish from a pier, bridge, or jetty, along with a pier license. There are also temporary beach bonfire permits for tourists, although when you rent a beach bonfire from a company like The Rental Shop 30A, the permit is typically included.
Planning a beautiful beach wedding? Great idea! Just make sure you have a permit for the event first. The cost of your beach permit depends largely on the group of people in your party. It can be as low as $50 for groups of less than 10 or as much as $1,000 for groups of 76 or more. For more information, check out the Waterways and Beach Activities Ordinances.
Respect the Environment
Beaches in 30A offer stunning views and a chance to relax in the sun, but don’t forget this is also a natural ecosystem that should be protected. It’s important to stay off the sand dunes. These dunes protect the beach from storms and surges. Foot traffic can work to wear them down, making the beach more vulnerable. Removal of sand and water is also prohibited throughout 30A beaches, in order to conserve the natural environment.
Ultimately, most beach guidelines come down to ensuring that the beach is clean and safe for all beachgoers, yourself included, as well as the natural vegetation and animals that dwell there. Check back to Think Local 30A’s blog for more information about making a beach trip to 30A and other attractions.