There are so many places and things to see and do when on vacation in our area. Here we made a list of 10 of our favorite things to see and do for both adults and children, while enjoying your vacation.
The list is in no particular order.
1. Beach Sunsets
The half hour or so just prior to sunset is unquestionably the most magical. The beach slowly begins to fill up again as spectators set up shop on beach chairs and blankets and wait for the show to begin. The mix of colors that appears on the horizon is simply gorgeous—it’s as if an artist blended drops of paint in colors of peach, dusty rose, coral, and salmon, and then brushed them across the sky. The goal for any sunset watcher is to spot the elusive Green Flash, which appears when the sun turns bright green at the absolute split second it slips below the horizon; the phenomenon occurs only on cloudless evenings. A popular place to view the sunset is at Bud and Alley’s Roof Top. If you guess the correct time of the sunset when they ring the 300 pound steam engine bell, you get a drink on the house! It’s long-standing, laid-back eatery on the beach with an eclectic menu. 2236 Scenic Highway 30A, Seaside, FL budandalleys.com 6.5 miles away Or Vue On 30A 0.4 miles away Fine New American dining in a modern, cream & beige waterfront spot with bar, lounge & views. 4801 County Rd 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 vueon30a.com
Every day of life should be full of fun and adventure so why not explore 30A by bicycling. There are over 200 hiking and biking trails in the area, winding through state parks and forests, passing dune lakes and preserves. Those who take the time to experience these incredible trails will enjoy scenic views of the area and will meander through the charming coastal 30A neighborhoods.
Trail-goers can rent bicycles at several places along the trail. If you’re staying in the area for a while you might want to consider renting your bike for the week because it’s such a fun and pleasant way to get around. They will pick up & deliver the bikes free.
Southern Beach Bicycle & Water Sports (850-267-1107). you can rent bikes, stand-up paddleboards, surfboards and kayaks in Gulf Place. Ask if they have any chairs & umbrellas to rent. They offer free delivery to our condo.
Big Daddy’s Bike & Beach Sports (8a50-622-1165) rents bikes and kayaks, located at 2217 Hwy 30A in Blue Mountain.
Sunny Days Bikes & Kayaks (850-230-1974) rents bikes, stand-up paddleboards, and kayaks, located at 5311 Hwy 30A..
Butterfly Bike and Kayak (850-231-2826) is in Seagrove Beach at 3657 E. Hwy 30A. You can rent bikes, kayaks, scooters and golf carts.
3. Visit Seaside
Before 1980 people could barely give land away in the area. In 1980 a new development was planned. It is acclaimed worldwide as one of the iconic examples of New Urbanism, offering a thriving town center with shopping and dining, all within walking distance to homes, cottages and offices. Consisting of more than 400 homes, the community offers 17 restaurants and eateries, and 37 shops, galleries and services.
A few fun facts about Seaside.
There are nine unique beach pavilions, cobblestone streets, quaint cottages, white picket fences
No two houses on the same street have the same type of picket fence.
It is estimated that the cottages in Seaside come in about 300 different colors.
The post office is one of the most photographed post offices in the country. Make sure to take your families photo out in front on the steps.
Seaside served as the setting for the movie The Truman Show featuring Jim Carrey that was released in 1997. Revenue from the movie was reinvested in the town to build Seaside Neighborhood School. Visit Modica Market, which was in the movie. Great Southern Restaurant, Sundog Books, Central Records, La Vie Est Belle (pearl jewelry) as well as many other shops. Sometimes they have concerts, movies or special events in the amphitheater. Make sure to check out Farmers Market every Saturday morning. If you are hungry or thirsty try out something from one of the Airstream’s lining Seaside on 30A. 6.2 miles away www.seasidefl.com
4. The Red Bar
This is a very funky, unique popular place for locals and visitors. It is set in an old general store in Grayton Beach, this open-late hangout offers Southern-tinged fare & live music. The menu is presented to you on a large chalk board and accepts cash only. 4.9 miles away
5. Discover a Songwriter
Hear live music at one of South Walton’s 30 music venues. From dive bars to outdoor stages, there’s always a fresh sound around the area. You just never know if some well know singer might pop in. Keep your eyes open!
Check for days & times on www.Sowal.com/events & music….but to name a few:
Growler Garage (ground floor of our condo) www.growlergarage30a.com
LaPlaya ( few steps away) www.laplaya30-a.com
Gulf Place Amphitheater (few steps away) Free concert every Sunday during the summer
The Perfect Pig (few steps away) www.theperfectpig.com
Marie’s Bistro 2.1 miles www.mariesbistro.com
Hibiscus Backyard of Love 4.4 miles www.hibiscusflorida.com
Stinky’s Fish Camp 1.6 miles www.stinkysfishcamp.com
Local Catch .7 miles www.localcatch30a.com
The Red Bar 4.9 miles www.theredbar.com
Old Florida Fish House 9.4 miles www.oldfloridafishhouse.com
The Hub 11 miles www.hub30a.com
AJ’s Grayton Beach 4.3 miles www.ajsgrayton.com
Treabeache’ 2.3 miles www.trebeache.com
Redds Fueling Station 2.0 miles www/reddsfuel.com
6. Visit Funky Art Galleries
South Walton is a treasure-trove for art collectors hunting for works by budding artists. It’s home to more than 60 galleries and studios featuring creations by locals, many of whom work in unusual mediums such as broken glass or paint sculpture. Visit The Shard Shop in Grayton Beach. 4.5 miles away www.shardshop.com
Van Gogh and Monet provided the inspiration for chef-turned-artist Justin Gaffrey. He “sculpts” vivid and whimsical three-dimensional paintings with layers upon layers of paint. Visit the Justin Gaffrey gallery on 30A it is an amazing gallery! 1.1 mile away www.justingaffrey.com
7. Beyond The Beaches
30A’s other natural attractions.
The area is one of the few places in the world with coastal dune lakes, “which are just a phenomenal ecosystem” with freshwater and saltwater species. Explore them by paddleboard, 30a.com/coastal-dune-lakes
Much of the land in the area is protected from development, and hike-and-bike trails run through these state parks and state forests. visitsouthwalton.com/hiking-biking-trails
Boaters and anglers (and even dolphins) love Choctawhatchee Bay. southwalton.com/choctawhatchee-bay
You can also spot alligators, bald eagles and osprey on eco-tours of Choctawhatchee River (30a.com/backwater-tours). It’s like being in the jungles of Costa Rica. It’s just like Old Florida.
8. Ice Cream
A visit isn’t complete without stopping at Blue Mountain Creamery or Frost Bites in Seaside at least once. The lines are an indication of what you are about to discover! Or maybe try out the new Pecan Jack’s on ground floor of our building for some ice cream with some flair! 2.2 miles away & 6.2 miles away
9. Fun Festivals & Runs
There is always something going on! Farmers Market is held every Saturday in Watercolor, Seaside and Rosemary. Be sure to check out the events calendar.
Download the 30A app to your phone for a complete and current and upcoming list of events.
A sampling of fun events:
Songwriters – up & down 30A
Art in the Park – Watercolor
Digital Graffiti – Alys Beach
4th of July Parade – Seaside
Rags to Riches Regatta – Grayton Beach
Halloweener Derby – Seaside
10. Shop ‘Til You Drop
Beside the 30A communities you can also find good shopping at the area malls.
Gulf Place Town Center – (just a few steps away) www.gulfplacefl.com
Publix – 2.9 miles 2038 US Highway 98W Santa Rosa Beach
Grand Boulevard in Sandestin 5.7 miles away www.grandboulevard.com
Silver Sands Outlets in Miramar 8.1 miles
Baytowne Wharf in Miramar 8.3 miles www.baytownewharf.com
Walmart – 5.4 miles 6712 U.S. Highway 98 W Santa Rosa Beach
Destin Commons in Destin 13 miles https://destincommons.com/
Pier Park in Panama City 27 miles www.simon.com/mall/pier-park
Make sure you pick up the iconic blue 30A sticker. As a South Walton original, the bright, sunny sticker represents a relaxing lifestyle and also has raised thousands of dollars for charity. You can get this at the 30A store in Gulf Place 393 & 30A or most local retailers have them at the check out counter.