Florida Gulf Coast Beaches Within Driving Distance From Atlanta

One of my favorite places to be is the beach. Every year our extended family gets together and heads to the Gulf Coast of Florida. Over the years, we have visited many of the beautiful beaches along the Emerald Coast and the popular highway 30A. With most of the beaches within a 7-hour drive of Atlanta, it is well worth the trip for a week at the beach.

Florida Gulf Coast BeachesThe Best Beaches on the Florida Gulf Coast


Destin is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Florida. It is famous for its sugar-sand beaches and crystal blue water. As a popular vacation spot, Destin has plenty of beach accommodations, restaurants, and attractions. If you are looking for a vacation filled with activities and people, Destin is for you. If you like a slower pace, another Emerald Coast beach might be a better fit.


We have never stayed in Seaside, but we try to visit it at least once while we are at the beach. Seaside is the cutest little seaside (ha, get it?) town with beautiful shops, restaurants, and plenty of entertaining events. Seaside also has a beautiful and distinctive boardwalk to the beach. Seaside can get pretty packed with tourists -especially on Saturdays- so if you are staying close by, I would recommend biking over to visit. This is another perk of the 30A beaches; many are situated close enough that you can tour various spots while biking.

Seagrove/Rosemary/Inlet Beach

Just a few minutes from Seaside is Seagrove Beach and just a little further down 30A is Rosemary Beach and Inlet Beach. These beaches are just as beautiful as Destin and Seaside but are a tiny bit less crowded and a little more family-oriented. However, when you are searching for your beach rental, you may want to check out the beach access. In some areas, the beach is at the bottom of a drop-off, so the beach access may be comprised of steep stairs. The beaches are still beautiful with sugar-white sand and crystal blue water.

Panama City Beach

Personally, I haven’t visited Panama City in years; however, we do drive through it occasionally on our way home from the beach. Panama City is full of high-rise condos and tons of activities and attractions. Seemingly even more popular than Destin, Panama City is a great destination for those seeking an action-packed vacation.

Cape San Blas

Just an hour east of Panama City is my favorite spot on the Gulf Coast, Cape San Blas. The beautiful Emerald Coast beaches extend into Cape San Blas. Another part of Cape San Blas’s beauty is the remote location. Cape San Blas’s atmosphere is vastly different from many of the other locations on the Gulf Coast. There are only a few shops and restaurants, but there is ample space to spread out on the beach. Also, located on Cape San Blas is Weber’s Little Doughnut Shop. They make the best doughnuts! They are open early most mornings and stay open until they sell out. You want to get there early if you want to be able to snag some doughnuts; they sell out quickly! (Also, they only accept cash.) Cape San Blas is a lovely vacation spot if you are looking for some peace and quiet to enjoy family and friends or nature and a good book.

No matter which place you choose, a week at the beach is never a bad choice! Looking for beaches right here in Georgia? Be sure to check out this list of Georgia Coast Beaches.

gulf coast beaches near atlanta

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Dana Herndon
Dana Herndon is a writer, blogger, middle school teacher, and a lifelong resident of Georgia. She and her husband have enjoyed living in the Atlanta suburbs for over 20 years. They have three children, who are 21, 18, and 12. In addition to teaching and writing, Dana loves to read, paddleboard, and sometimes run. She shares about faith, family, and enjoying everyday life at danaherndon.com.



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