Is Watercolor, Florida, worth it? 12 Reasons Why I Love It

Are you considering a trip to Watercolor Resort but are unsure whether it is worth the cost? I understand- I’ve spent years visiting 30A and had always eyed the resort but wasn’t sure if I would like it. So is Watercolor, Florida, worth it? I recently returned from a lovely vacation there and realized it is 100% worth the time and money.

30A is a majestic stretch of beaches along a scenic highway on the Florida panhandle between Destin and Panama City Beach. Small communities dot the landscape, and Watercolor is centrally located on 30A. 

Watercolor is a planned community with terrific amenities that my family and I adored. Guests can stay at the Watercolor Inn or vacation rental. The community appeals to groups of all ages, with numerous activities available. 

I’m excited to share my latest trip to Watercolor and why the community is a great place for a beach vacation. 

Watercolor

Tips to Save Money

Watercolor is one of the pricier communities in the area. Below are some tips for saving money and making a vacation here more of a possibility-

  • Stay in the off-season! Spring break and the summer are the high season so that the rates will reflect that. For lower rates like January/February, go in some less popular times. 
  • Shorten your trip if you are determined to go in the high season, OR consider splitting a rental with family or friends. 
  • Book a vacation rental with a kitchen and cook most meals at home instead of eating out. Goatfeathers Seafood Market sells fresh seafood daily, and you are close to Publix. 
  • Find a rental with beach toys, chairs and free bikes.

🏖️🏖️Short on time? Book the Watercolor Inn or a condo within a short walk to the beach.🏖️🏖️

Beach Supplies

beautiful beaches of Watercolor

Watercolor Amenities

The community’s amenities are one of the best features of Watercolor. I knew they had some walking trails and pools from previous visits to the shops and restaurants, but until I stayed, I had no idea how impressive it was.

It is one of the great options on 30A but stands out due to its upscale amenities. Rosemary Beach has nice community pools, too, but Watercolor’s pools are more impressive. I’m excited to show you why a vacation in the Watercolor community is worth the cost compared to some of the less expensive areas of 30A. 

1. The Beach Club

Perched above the tranquil Gulf of Mexico, guests can relax, sunbathe, swim, and dine at the Watercolor Beach Club. Guests can choose from three tiers of pools- a shared pool, an adults-only pool, and a kids’ pool. These pools are heated in the winter, which is a fantastic perk when traveling with kids. 

Most importantly, guests are greeted with complimentary beach towels when they enter the club- as a mom of 3, this was a game changer. I didn’t have to carry heavy towels for the entire family or worry about washing them each night. 

The Beach Club makes Watercolor worth it

Watercolor’s Beach Club

Towels are available for all guests during the time at the club. Guests can order food from the bar or fun frozen drinks like a mango daiquiri. A little kids’ counter is selling burgers and milkshakes by the kid’s pool. 

The facilities are beautiful, with large umbrellas over comfortable lounge chairs—the pool deck’s upper levels grant guests majestic ocean views. 

We loved hanging out at the Beach Club, and you will too! The Beach Club is one of the best places on the property and enhances the value of your stay.

Watercolor Beach Club pool drinks

2. Camp Watercolor

Another pool complex, Camp Watercolor, is located towards the back of the community. Here, your kids will enjoy three separate pools. Two have slides, and the toddler pool has zero entry for little ones, which makes it easier to enjoy the pool.

One zero-entry pool includes a lazy river for kids and adults to float in. Our kids had an absolute blast spending time here. There’s also a bar for food and drinks and large, clean bathrooms. 

Camp Watercolor

Outside of the facilities, kids can enjoy a playground or play basketball. My boys enjoyed an afternoon on the basketball court.

Overall, the amenities offered at Camp Watercolor add to the value of your stay in this community on the Emerald Coast. 

Pro tip- Although this is great time for kids, it can be miserable in peak summer times. Florida is hot; the further away from the beach, the hotter it gets. If you are here in the summer, aim to go in the morning or at night when it has cooled off. Pack bug spray, too.

3. Pools

Several smaller pools are quieter and less crowded in the community than the two large complexes. This option is excellent, especially if you visit in the busy season.

4. Beach

beaches makes Watercolor, Florida worth it

One of the activities I truly enjoy on 30A is indulging in a delightful day at the pristine white sand beaches and taking a refreshing swim in the azure waters. Watercolor provides numerous access points to the beach for guests equipped with wristbands (scanners are available at the gates for wristband verification).

For an additional charge, you can arrange for beach chairs and umbrellas to be set up daily or even plan a beach bonfire in the evening. Should you forget your beach toys, both Watercolor and the Beach Club have shops where you can purchase them. Some vacation rentals include beach gear such as toys and chairs. 

Staying at Watercolor gives guests private access to the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, which is one of the best aspects of the community. Many 30A vacation rentals don’t have beach access, so it’s nice not to worry about fighting for space at a public access point. 

Is Watercolor, Florida worth it? For these beaches, yes!

Take advantage of witnessing at least one sunset during your trip! Be sure to check the sunset times, find a comfortable spot on the beach with a chair, and savor the breathtaking spectacle.

5. Nature Trails

Walking trails crisscross the community, offering guests boundless vistas of the surrounding natural splendor. These pathways are color-coded and marked with distance indicators. You’ll find signposts with arrows guiding you to the correct path along the route.

Each morning, we enjoyed a short walk with the kids. Selecting a different trail every day brought excitement as we explored areas like the shores of Western Lake, tranquil ponds adorned with lily pads, and glimpsed deer among the trees. While we chose to walk, others also jogged or rode bicycles.

walking trails in the Watercolor Community

6. Bike Rentals

Visitors enjoy renting bicycles, given the convenience of biking to various attractions such as pools, beaches, the town center, and Seaside. The Watercolor community is generally flat, ensuring a pleasant and effortless biking experience. There are biking trails throughout the community.

While many accommodations offer complimentary bike rentals, convenient rental options are near the boathouse.

Watercolor Boathouse

Helpful suggestion: Seek vacation rentals that include bike rentals, potentially saving you money. For a family of five during a February visit, renting bikes for two days could cost around $250. If you’re traveling by car, consider bringing your bikes or at least packing bikes for the kids to reduce expenses.

7. Boathouse

Guests can rent paddle boards to explore a rare coastal dune lake, Western Lake.

8. Tennis Center

The community includes five clay tennis courts for guests to use. If you forget any supplies, don’t worry; there’s a Pro Shop.

9. Restaurants

breakfast at Scratch Biscuit Kitchen

In the Watercolor community, there are several restaurants to choose from. Regardless of whether we stay in Watercolor, we love Fish Out of Water. The dining room overlooks the Gulf of Mexico; if you are lucky, you can snag a table on the outdoor covered patio. 

On our last trip, we tried Scratch Biscuit Kitchen for breakfast one morning, which was delicious. Their biscuits are massive and can be made to order. My kids enjoyed their muffins and french toast sticks. 

Adults will enjoy the Wine Bar with its extensive wine list. Beach Happy Cafe sells coffee and smoothies too. 

10. Shopping

downtown Watercolor

Old Florida Outfitters

In the town of Watercolor, guests can peruse numerous shops. It is a great spot to check out local shops and purchase beach gear. It is also within walking distance of the Beach Club and the Seaside Square. 

Our favorite spot is Old Florida Outfitters for their outstanding collection of sandals, hats, and swimwear. The Watercolor kids’ store is adorable, but check it out before you take your littles in! I learned the hard way when I took my youngest in, who picked out numerous bracelets and purses. 

There’s also a candy store, but beware, it is costly! Honestly, I would avoid it next time.

candy shop in watercolor

Check out my guide to Watercolor, Florida!

Watercolor’s Location

Watercolor is in the center of the beach communities in South Walton. Seaside neighbors the east side, while Grayton Beach State Park is directly to the west. You can easily bike or walk to either place, and the charming town of Grayton is just a short drive. 

Driving from one end of 30A to another can take a while, especially during busy seasons like Spring Break and Summer. With Watercolor in the center, guests have easy access to all the towns along 30A. Watercolor’s location really adds to the value of the community.

11. Seaside

Seaside

Adjacent to Watercolor is the charmingly designed community of Seaside, just a short walk or bike ride away. Many visitors appreciate Watercolor’s proximity to Seaside, allowing them to shop, dine, and explore without lodging there easily. However, it’s worth noting that crowds can become quite dense during peak times such as spring break and the summer season.

Pro tip: If you’re visiting during the busy season, consider heading to Seaside in the morning to avoid the crowds. Additionally, if you’re staying in the rear section of Watercolor and need to drive, paid parking is available behind the town center. Finding parking is easier in the morning than in the afternoon.

12. Grayton Beach State Park

Is Watercolor, Florida, worth it? Yes, for its close proximity to Grayton Beach State Park

Grayton Beach State Park stands out as a treasure among Florida’s state parks, often earning the title of the most stunning park in the state. We enjoyed a delightful afternoon exploring this park during our recent visit to Watercolor.

The park boasts a variety of attractions, including walking trails, birdwatching opportunities, paddleboarding, and camping facilities. I wholeheartedly encourage you to spend some time here – its a remarkable beauty!

Staying in Watercolor, Florida

Watercolor Inn

The Inn offers traditional rooms and two-bedroom condos located directly on the gulf. The Inn grants guests easy access to the white sandy beaches and the Beach Club, shops, and restaurants. You are also in close walking distance to Seaside.

Perks of Staying at the Inn

  • twice daily housekeeping
  • complimentary towels at the Beach club
  • access to Fitness Center
  • zero-entry pool just for hotel guests
  • complimentary bike rentals & kayak rentals
  • discounted stand up paddle board rentals

Book Watercolor Inn by clicking HERE!

Watercolor Inn

Watercolor Inn

Vacation Rental

Although I love a luxury resort, I prefer a vacation rental when I travel with my kids. We just returned from a trip in a cozy two-bedroom condo off Cerulean Park and within a short walk to the Beach Club. Our rental slept 8 people and came with beach chairs, a wagon and sand toys. For guests traveling with kids, this is a nice perk and well worth the extra cost of staying there.

Book a great 2-bedroom condo by clicking HERE!

In Conclusion: Is Watercolor, Florida, worth it?

I just love Watercolor, and I hope my post on Is Watercolor, Florida, worth it, helps you make a decision about your next beach trip. Once you book, check out my guide on Watercolor to help plan the details.

30A Resources
Best 30A Beaches
Best 30A Tours
Breakfast in 30A
Ice cream in 30A
Best Seafood on 30A
30A State Parks
30A Winter
30A Fall
Christmas in 30A
Spring Break on 30A
How to Vacation at 30A on a Budget
Vacation Rentals on 30A for Families
Beach Packing List for Families
The Best Review of Seaside vs Watercolor, Florida
Ultimate Guide to Watercolor, Florida
Is Watercolor, Florida, Worth it? 12 Reasons why I love it
Best Things to do in Rosemary Beach