Sometimes when you’re traveling, you just need a place to stop, breathe, and let the kids run free for a bit–without the physical or social confines of a hotel, restaurant, or another tourist attraction. That’s where parks come in, of course–but not all parks are equally valuable for traveling families. Fortunately, Santa Rosa Beach has a good number of clean, safe, well-equipped public parks that kids and parents all love.
Padgett Park is one of those havens for weary travelers and local families alike. It’s got it all: shade, picnic tables, clean restrooms, open green space, a splash pad, and some great playground equipment.
If you’ve grabbed take-out from one of Santa Rosa’s amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurants, you need a great place to eat it. And for many families with young kids, trying to keep everyone happy and contained inside a dine-in restaurant doesn’t sound like a good time after a day of travel. Pull up to Padgett Park with its many picnic tables. The kids can graze and run, and the adults can sit down and eat their fresh local grub in peace–and in the shade; there’s a covered area to help keep you cool while you enjoy your meal.
Padgett Park is also home to remarkably clean, well-maintained public restroom facilities–always a plus when you’re on the go and away from home. There’s ample parking in the lot, though it’s worth noting that the parking lot is a bit of a walk from the lot to the playground area.
A seasonal splash pad and large playground area offer something for kids of all ages, from slides to swings. Need a place to kick a ball around? You’ll find it here, too; there’s plenty of green space bordered by trees surrounding this spacious park, and it’s tucked back off the main road, so you won’t have to worry too much about balls (or children) dashing into the path of a vehicle.
There is a large, air-conditioned meeting room that’s available to be rented out for parties or events; that might be worth your consideration if you’re planning a birthday party or similar get-together during your vacation.
Padgett Park is also very conveniently located for many travelers. It’s nestled into a quiet neighborhood just a couple of blocks from the Hwy 331 Bridge. It’s a few blocks away from Santa Rosa’s top restaurants and shops, and it’s a convenient spot to stop at any point during the day when you need a short break.
You’ll find Padgett Park in Santa Rosa Beach on J.D. Miller Road. It’s two blocks from the Hwy 331 Bridge connecting the Santa Rosa Beach peninsula to the mainland.
Padgett Park has multiple grills installed adjacent to the picnic tables. You could easily bring along a bag of charcoal and some hot dogs and make an afternoon of it.