Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in America, and it not only offers a fun way to stay physically fit but also fosters a myriad of brain health benefits.
From enhancing brain plasticity to promoting socialization, this hybrid sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong to create a unique experience that improves both physical and cognitive well-being.
As with any form of exercise, pickleball has been shown to increase levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in the brain.
BDNF is a vital protein that helps maintain the health of nerve cells, promotes the growth of new neurons and synapses, and improves the overall function of the neural network.
Pickle ball courts are beginning to sprout up around 30A and South Walton. It’s quickly become one of the most popular sports and athletic pastimes in the area. Pickleball rules!
Let’s take a look at the best pickleball locations near 30A and surrounding areas.
Walton Sports Complex
Four lighted pickleball courts can be found near Dune Lakes Elementary, off Highway 98 W in Santa Rosa Beach. The courts are open from 8am – 9pm. Lights are automatically turned off at 9pm. All levels of play are welcome. Skilled players typically play between 8am and 11am.
240 Mc Davis Loop, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Call Sandy Gulak for more info at (845) 341-8582.
Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast
Open recreation pickleball. Six courts available.
Wednesdays and Thursdays 9:30am – 12:30pm
Location: 80 Boys and Girls Way, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Cost: $5 to play or join the Fall Ball League for $75.
Seaside Swim and Tennis Club
Three courts have opened at Seaside and are available to rent. Rentals are $48/hr if reserved in advance and $50/hr for walk-ins.
Homeowners’ Collection members are eligible for one complimentary hour daily. Membership card required.
394 Forest St, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Call 850-231-2214 to book your court.
For pickleball lessons, contact Tracy at [email protected].
Camp Creek Inn
The all new Camp Creek Inn is now accepting reservations for travel dates beginning August 1st. The Inn offers 8 brand new pickleball courts (pictured below).
WaterColor Tennis by MatchPoint
Open since 2018, the tennis courts of WaterColor offer pickleball reservations for homeowners and guests staying in WaterColor.
Lessons are available to anyone inside or outside of the community.
Call the Pro Shop at 850-400-3696 to prepay and reserve your court. Reservations can be made up to 7 days in advance. Drills and lessons can be reserved any time.
Court Cost – $30/hr per guest
Paddle Rental – $10
Legion Park in Miramar Beach
Location: 226 Ponce De Lean Street, Miramar Beach , FL 32550
More information coming soon…
Sandestin Tennis Center
The Sandestin Tennis Center offers 12 hydrogrid clay and 3 hard tennis courts in addition to 6 pickleball courts. One local pickleball player tells me that you can reserve a time slot and it’s only $5/hr per player. That’s quite a deal.
Driftwood Estates Park
275 E. Shipwreck Rd, Santa Rosa Beach
This location is available, but NOT a recommended pickleball court. Locals and visitors have complained that the courts have lots of cracks and would not recommend it.
However, it’s listed in case you are really on the hunt for a free pickleball destination and the other options are too busy.
Performance Pickleball Emerald Coast
West of Destin, located in Fort Walton Beach, is Performance Pickleball Emerald Coast. Private, semi-private, and group lessons are available at Performance Pickleball. In addition to lessons, they have an excellent player match maker service that will match you with players, pros, courts, and activities.
Beginner and New Player Lessons:
1 hr lesson – 1 on 1 or up to 4 people $25-$40
90 min lesson -1 on 1 or up to 4 people $35-$60
1 hr. lesson 1 on 1 or up to 4 people ($35-80)
90 min lesson-1 on 1 up to 4 people ($60-$100)
Advanced Player Improvement:
1 hr session (1 or 2 players) $65
1.5 hr session $95
21 Racetrack Road NE, Destin, FL
Buck Destin Park
If you happen to be in Destin shopping or visiting other attractions, you’ll find several pickleball courts. One option is at Buck Destin Park.
The courts aren’t fancy. But you’ll find pickleball lines inside the tennis court.
724 Legion Drive, Destin, FL
Open 8am – 9pm
ECT Pickleball Courts
If you happen to be visiting Niceville, just north of the Bay from Destin, you’ll find pickleball courts at ECT.
1214 Oakmont Dr, Niceville, FL 32578
Connect with the local pickleball community
For more information about local pickleball matches, activities, and events, join the SOWAL Pickleball community on Facebook.