Best Festivals & Events on 30A, South Walton & Surrounding Communities
While our world-famous beaches draw many to unwind, relax, and recharge, there are also several unforgettable experiences centered around music, food, and art that let you explore all our beach towns in diverse, fun ways. Here are some of our favorite annual festivals you won't want to miss out on! 

30A Songwriters Festival

This world-famous event takes place in January and brings together talented songwriters from all over the world to perform their original music in various intimate venues throughout the beach towns along 30A. The festival features more than 175 songwriters performing over four days in various indoor and outdoor venues, including theaters, outdoor amphitheaters, bars, and even private homes. Along with live performances, the festival includes songwriting workshops, meet-and-greet opportunities with the artists, and special events like the "Songwriters in the Round" concerts, where several songwriters take turns performing and sharing stories behind their songs. Attendees can purchase tickets to individual shows or a weekend pass to attend multiple shows throughout the festival. 30asongwritersfestival.com

Sandestin Gumbo Festival

This February marks the 34th year of this mouth-watering festival in Sandestin, Florida. The main event has Gulf Coast restaurants competing for the title of 'Best Gumbo on the Emerald Coast." Vote for your favorite as the "People's Choice" winner as celebrity judges deliberate over who will take home the top prize. The afternoon will also feature live music and children's activities. The Best Bloody Marys at The Beach competition is BACK! Taste some of the finest bars and restaurants' Bloody Marys, AND you're the judge! Vote for your favorite and crown the "Best Bloody Mary at The Beach!"  sandestingumbofestival.com


Annual Community Wine Festivals


Alys Beach, Florida - 30A Wine Festival

A fun and elegant springtime event that celebrates the beauty and culture of the Gulf Coast region, as well as the art and science of winemaking. Enjoy a variety of wine tastings from top vineyards worldwide and delicious food pairings from some of the area's best restaurants. Experts also lead interactive wine seminars in the industry, where attendees can learn more about the history and nuances of various wines. In addition to wine tastings and seminars, the Alys Beach Wine Festival also features live music performances by top musicians and a silent auction with unique items and experiences. The festival takes place over several days, with various events held at different venues throughout Alys Beach, FL. Some of the festival's highlights include the "Grand Tasting" event, and the "Bourbon, Beer & Butts" event, which features a Southern-style barbecue, live music, and specialty bourbon and beer tastings. 30awinefestival.com

Miramar Beach, Florida - South Walton Wine & Food Festival

In the springtime, every April at Grand Boulevard, you can interact with dozens of celebrity winemakers, distillers, chefs, and mixologists who are there to wine, dine, educate, and entertain guests of the four-day celebration. There will be more than 600 wines to choose from paired with delicious small bites prepared by some of the area's best restaurants and live music performances by top musicians. There are also special events throughout the festival, including a VIP reception and a "Bubbles Brunch" featuring sparkling wines and brunch favorites. sowalwine.com

Seaside, Florida - Seeing Red Wine Festival

This long-established fall festival in Seaside, Florida, was first held in 1991, which means it has been taking place for nearly 30 years! Since its inception, the festival has grown in popularity and has become a beloved event in the local community and beyond. The festival attracts wine lovers from all over who come to sample some of the best wines from around the world, enjoy delicious food pairings, and experience the charm and beauty of Seaside and the surrounding area. Over the years, the festival has evolved and expanded to include various events, including wine seminars, live music performances, and special dinners. seasideseeingred.com

ArtsQuest

A fine arts & music festival held in the Spring, featuring over 100 exhibiting artists, art activities for children, and interactive public art projects. In 2023, ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival will celebrate its 35th year! As a juried show, artist categories will include ceramic, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, and much more. Produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and presented by Grand Boulevard Town Center in Miramar Beach, FL. culturalartsalliance.com/arts-quest

 Digital Graffiti

Held every Spring in Alys Beach, FL, the Digital Graffiti Festival is a unique and engaging event that celebrates the innovative use of technology in the world of art. Projections of digital artwork are displayed on the town's buildings, walls, and courtyards, creating a stunning outdoor gallery of light and color. This lively event also includes live music performances, interactive exhibits, and installations that explore the intersection of technology and art. Attendees can also participate in workshops and discussions led by artists and experts in the field of digital art. It is a must-see experience for anyone interested in exploring the intersection of art and technology. alysbeach.com/digital-graffiti

Mountain Film Festival

The MountainFilm Festival in WaterColor, Florida, is an extension of the original MountainFilm Festival, which takes place annually in Telluride, Colorado. It has showcased films focused on adventure, exploration, and social and environmental issues since 1979. The festival features a curated selection of films, along with panel discussions, Q&A sessions, and other special events that allow the audience to engage with filmmakers, experts, and other guests. 

watercolorresort.com/mountainfilm-on-tour

Seabreeze Jazz Festival

Held at Aaron Bessant Park in Panama City Beach, FL, every year in Spring. This 5-day music event brings some of the world's top jazz performers to the Gulf Coast for a weekend of music, food, and fun. During the festival, attendees can enjoy eclectic jazz music, including smooth, traditional, and contemporary jazz. The festival typically features several stages with ongoing live performances throughout the day and special events and activities. Some of the festival's highlights include the "Smooth Jazz Dinner Cruise," which offers a relaxing evening of smooth jazz and fine dining, and the "Seabreeze After Party," featuring live music performances and dancing late into the night. seabreezejazzfestival.com

Flutterby Festival

Each November, this festival celebrates the Monarch butterfly's migration, a beautiful and vital natural phenomenon in the area during this time of year. This family-friendly event in Watersound Origins, FL, features a variety of arts and crafts activities, live music, and delicious food. Children can participate in butterfly-themed art projects and games, and there are educational exhibits and presentations about the Monarch butterfly and its life cycle. The Flutterby Festival also features a butterfly parade, where children and adults dress up in butterfly costumes and march down Scenic 30A. There are live butterfly releases and guided nature walks through the nearby state parks. The festival is a fun and educational way to learn about the importance of protecting our natural environment and butterflies role in our ecosystem. culturalartsalliance.com/flutterby-arts-festival

These are just a few festivals and events here locally and throughout the year. No matter WHEN you visit, there is likely to be something exciting happening on and around Scenic 30A & South Walton beaches! Check out visitsouthwalton.com to see what's happening at the beach each week.

Posted by Robin Maynard on

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