At the very end of County Road 283 S in Walton County sits the amazing little community of Grayton Beach.
The Island King and I love to wander around Grayton. It has an old Florida summer village, artist's retreat, slightly quirky feel to it that I can't get enough of.
The first home was built here in 1885 by Army Major Charles T. Gray and fortunately, those who followed appreciated the beauty of the area.
The village was built into a quarter mile square community and Western Lake, which borders Grayton to the East along with the Gulf of Mexico to the South, have provided natural barriers to large scale development.
The people of Grayton Beach like things just as they are and condominium projects have met with furious opposition from most of the community's residents.
The State of Florida has done its part to keep Grayton Beach small by virtually surrounding the village with park land.
In 1967, the state used its land east of the town to create the Grayton Beach State Recreation Area. In 1985, after years of lobbying by residents, Florida bought the village's beach front and the dunes and forest land to the west and north.
The village has an interesting history that you can read about here.
Despite more cars, tourists and modern conveniences, a walk through Grayton Beach takes you back to that old summer village feeling that seems to have been lost in most places.
Of course the surrounding scenery only adds to the charm.
And we can't forget the Red Bar, a really cool Jazz bar with great food and drinks.
Red Bar is such a cool place they'll get their own post one day soon.
If you're driving down Scenic Hwy 30A anytime soon, be sure to turn south on County Road 283 and spend a little time in Grayton Beach. You'll be glad you did.