I have been fishing from the beach around the St. Joe Bay, Mexico Beach area for some years in June. If you just want to fun catch some fish the lady fish off the beaches can be fun. Take a 6 to 7 foot medium heavy with a 2500 series spinning reel spooled with 20 lb test braid, 40 lb flouro leader, 1/4 ounce heavy hook jig coupled with Berkeley Gulp 3 inch shrimp in white or new penny and you'll catch plenty. The faster you twitch and move it the more they like it. Poor mans tarpon, they call them. Jump like crazy. Wade out, make long casts and twitch it back. We have even caught small permit on this rig. I wouldn't take anything real expensive to fish the surf as the salt plays havoc on anything you use. Be sure and rinse your equipment in fresh water when you finish every day. The heavy leader is because everything has big teeth and will cut and chafe light leader.
One other thing I have seen a few guys do is shark fish off the beach with pretty good success. It takes much larger equipment. 8-9 foot rod and 5500-6500 series reel. 65 lb main line. Braid again works well attached to a shark rig. Cut bait or whole ladyfish on a 10/0 hook. Kayak the bait out on a 8 ounce weight and drop it. Early and late low light bite is best. Decent articles online explaining techniques, equipment, safety and such. Google surf shark fishing. Good luck and have a great vacation. I'll be down there 17-24th with the family for our summer vacation.