Gulf Coast Beach Tips & FAQs
We get asked a lot about our beaches from questions on how our sand is so perfectly white, what does the purple beach flag mean, and how to prevent being burnt to a crisp during our sunny days. We hope you find the following answers to some of our frequently most asked questions!
WHAT KIND OF SAND IS OUT THERE?
It is fine quartz, so fine that it squeaks under your feet! We can thank the Appalachian Mountains and the Apalachicola River for making these beautiful beaches for us way, way, way back in the day.
CAN I SET UP A CANOPY TENT ON THE BEACH?
Yes. It is advised to set up canopy tents behind the rows of beach service-designated chairs and umbrellas.
CAN I BRING GLASS TO THE BEACH?
No – this includes glass bottles and cups. Glass items are lawfully prohibited. It is suggested to only bring plastic or cans, just remember to take your trash with you!
WHERE CAN I SET UP ON THE BEACH?
The beach is a first-come, first-choice basis. However, if you are setting up a canopy tent, it is advised to set up canopy tents behind the rows of beach service-designated chairs and umbrellas.
CAN I LEAVE MY BEACH ITEMS OVERNIGHT?
No. South Walton has a Leave No Trace policy that deploys a group to pick up left-behind items from our beaches every night and every morning – these items are discarded. For more information about the Leave No Trace policy, click here.
WHERE DO I RENT CHAIRS AND UMBRELLAS?
All beach services have a small hut or kiosk that you can approach in-person to reserve chairs and umbrellas. Gibson Beach Rentals also provides two lightweight, foldable beach chairs and a beach umbrella stored in every unit, free for our guests’ use.
Refer to South Walton’s Beach Safety Tips here for more information about County Beach Rules, staying safe by knowing the beach flag warnings, what happens during sea turtle season, and avoiding tickets and fines.
KNOW AND FOLLOW ALL BEACH FLAGS
They’re here to keep you safe and sound during your vacation! CURRENT FLAG CONDITIONS
HOW TO DEAL WITH SEA LIFE
Sometimes we get jellyfish visitors in our waters, but don’t worry! If you are ever stung, use warm water to rinse the sting. It is advised to not use ice as it will aggravate the pain of the sting and release venom from the stinging cells. For more information, refer to this very informative article on How to Treat Jellyfish Stings.
WEAR SUNSCREEN AT ALL TIMES
It only takes less than a half hour with our sun to get a potential sunburn. We recommend using a broad spectrum sun tan lotion with a high SPF rating. Also, be sure to check the water resistance time, as they may vary widely by product and should be reapplied after each time you get out of the water.
WRITE DOWN YOUR DOOR CODE
If you don’t bring your phone to access your door code while you’re out on the beach, remember to write it down somewhere!
BAG UP YOUR ELECTRONICS
Keep your devices in a bag or at least protected in a plastic zip lock bag just in case any water-based accidents occur.
MIND YOUR NEIGHBORS
Everyone likes a little space, be mindful when shaking out your beach towels, and running past any sunbathers. The sand is nice, but only when it’s welcomed!
IF YOU’RE NOT SURE WHAT TO PACK
Feel free to download this handy checklist to give you some ideas.