Van Ness Butler Jr Beach — Santa Rosa Beach: Best Beaches in Florida
Van Ness Butler Jr Beach is in-between the popular tourist towns of WaterColor and Seaside, Florida off of South Walton County’s scenic Highway 30A. It’s a best beach for couples, families, the disabled, and retirees.
Van Ness Butler Jr Beach Rating
Beach Personality: Convenient access in a highly touristed location.
Van Ness Butler Jr Beach
Van Ness Butler Jr Beach’s white sand, lapping turquoise water, abundant amenities, and varied activities are the same ones you will find right next door in Seaside or WaterColor. Except you will pay a lot more money in those towns to enjoy the beach. For example, high season (late May through mid-August) rates at WaterColor Inn start at $420 a day, and high season weekly rates for one-bedroom cottages in Seaside start at $1575. Access to Van Ness Butler Jr Beach is totally free, so you can splurge on other parts of your vacation or save for the future.
The London Sunday Times’ travel editors chose the beach at Seaside as one of their top beaches in the world in 2012! I obviously don’t agree with this ranking, but that certainly doesn’t take away from the editors’ choice as ranking beaches is highly subjective even with specific ranking criteria. I think you should consider Van Ness Butler Jr Beach as a less expensive, but equally nice, alternative.
- Walking on the beach
- Surf fishing (license required)
- Paddle boarding (SUP)
- Public bathrooms – Yes, across the street from the beach by the parking lot.
- Showers – Yes, by the restrooms.
- Parking – Yes, across the street from the beach.
- Food – Yes, within walking distance in Seaside or WaterColor.
- Lifeguard – Yes, seasonally from the first Saturday in March until the last Sunday in September.
- Dogs allowed on the beach – Yes, with significant limitations. See Walton County Clerk of the Courts for complete information.
Additional amenities – handicap accessible ramp to the beach, drinking water fountain.
The following businesses offer water sports equipment rentals and are located within driving distance of Van Ness Butler Jr Beach:
Southern Beach Bicycle & Water Sport Rentals, LLC (850-267-1107) is located at Gulf Place Town Center. They rent bicycles, stand-up paddleboards, surfboards, and kayaks. Southern Beach also offers free delivery and pick up in the surrounding area bounded by Hwy 30A. Ask if they have any beach chairs or umbrellas to rent. They often have a few available.
Sunny Days Bikes & Kayaks (850- 230-1974) is located at 5311 Hwy 30 A in Santa Rosa Beach. They rent bikes, stand-up paddleboards, and kayaks.
Big Daddy’s Bike and Beach Sports (850-622-1165) is located at 2217 Hwy 30A in Blue Mountain. They rent bikes and kayaks.
Butterfly Bike and Kayak (850-231-2826) is in Seagrove Beach at 3657 E. Hwy 30A. You can rent bikes, kayaks, scooters, and golf carts here.
To reach the public beach access point at Van Ness Butler Jr Beach, take Highway 30A from the east or west to the eastern border of WaterColor/western border of Seaside. Look for the public beach access sign directing you to Van Ness Butler Jr. Beach’s parking lot on the north side of Highway 30A, i.e., across the street from the Gulf of Mexico.
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin
Photos courtesy of Lisa Dworkin. More photos available on Flickr.