The 4th of July holds many fond memories for me. From grilling out, to making a patriotic cake, and fireworks. The 4th was always a fun and different holiday. Despite the inevitable heat, sweat, and occasional complaining en-route to our destination, my fondest memory was our annual homemade t-shirts. My mom was brave and ALWAYS let FIVE girls decorate their own white t-shirts. Freehand no less. With red, white, and blue fabric paint. Miraculously, every year those shirts were dry and ready to wear for the fireworks on the 4th of July. And we always received a million compliments.
Whether you’re looking for that Pinterest perfect patriotic celebration or you *just* want a place you can show up and guarantee your kids will have fun this 4th of July, we’ve got the best local spots to celebrate our nation’s birthday at the beach, from Destin to 30A !
4th of July in South Walton & Along 30A
Well established, quiet and not a high rise in site, Rosemary Beach has a “quintessential” 4th of July Celebration waiting for you! Complete with an annual DIY bike decorating contest (7:30am), a bike parade (8:30am), old fashioned family field day activities (9-11am), and live music (6pm) all before the fireworks (8:45pm)!
If you’re searching for an even more quiet and private Independence Day, search no further than Alys Beach. Stunning architectural design and detail in this Grecian feeling tiny town will leave you feeling like you’re not in Kansas anymore. But they have an All American evening planned on the 4th beginning at 6pm. Replete with live music, by The Bucktown All-Stars, and a fireworks display to follow (9pm). Concert is free and open to the public. Food and drink available to purchase.
If you live in Grayton there is a neighborhood parade on the 4th. All are welcome. Parade line up is in front of the Red Bar (8am). There will be watermelon, popsicles, and lemonade at the end of the parade. DIY balloon bikes, anyone?
If you’re Patriotism extends beyond the 4th of July, then small town USA, aka Seaside, is where you want to be! The Stars + Stripes in Seaside celebration includes a free concert featuring the Pensacola Philharmonic Orchestra planned for Monday July 3rd, Amphitheater (7:30pm). On July 4th festivities begin with their annual Parade from Seagrove to Downtown Seaside (8am). A second concert featuring the Victory Belles, Amphitheater (7pm). The two day long celebration concludes with “Fireworks Spectacular” over the Gulf of Mexico (8:30pm). Additionally, there will be a free shuttle service on the 4th from Grayton Beach Public Parking Lot (6am-midnight).
Also elebrating the 4th of July over two days, Watercolor (just west of Seaside) has plenty of patriotic choices! On July 3rd in the Cerulean Park Watercolor Inn hosts bike decorating for the sleepier crowd (10am) with the bike parade to follow (10:30am). Finish up the bike parade and enjoy music, face painting, & a water slide at the Family Carnival, Marina Park (10:30am-2pm). Wrap up your day at the Easy on 30a Benefit Concert, Marina Park (5:30-10pm). Silent auction and non perishable food donations will benefit the Alaqua Animal Refuge and Children’s Volunteer Health Network.
For an exclusive 4th of July Celebration, return to Watercolor for their annual Beach Picnic, WaterColor Beach (7-10pm). Replete with live entertainment, kids crafts, and a 20 minute Fireworks Display over the Gulf of Mexico (8:30pm). This event is by reservation only. For reservations or for more information, please call the WaterColor Beach Club, 850.534.5041. $75 plus tax per adult, $40 plus tax per child (10 and under).
4th of July in Destin & Sandestin
For a simple 4th of July evening celebration with dining and shopping options just a few steps away, The Red, White, and Baytowne Celebration is for you! Games, balloons, inflatables, and face painting (6pm). Live music on the Plaza Stage (7pm) by Donovan Keith and the Funky Feat. Concluding with fireworks “that will light up the night sky” (9:15pm).
In the heart of the Emerald Coast on Destin’s famous Harborwalk you can choose from a concert on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday evening with multiple shops to browse, restaurants to dine, or simply meander along looking at the boats. The HarborWalk Village Fourth of July Weekend Celebration starts July 1st The Moon Lagoons will perform (7-9pm). July 2nd the Dana Pointe Band (7-9pm). July 3rd Kane and the Saints (7-9pm). And finally on July 4th, January Noise will perform (7-9pm) and Fireworks (9pm) will be followed by fire spinning from Just Add Fire.
This takes place Monday, July 3rd from 5-10 p.m., and should be tons of fun! It kicks off at 5 p.m. with family entertainment, and at 6 p.m. BBQ lovers rejoice with $1 samples from 16 area restaurants. Participating teams partner to help raise money for local charities. It all ends with a fireworks extravaganza. Check their Facebook event page for all the details!