Image from Flickr
A 30A vacation is not restricted to one neighborhood or community. But those that have never been here before wouldn't know the intricate ecosystem that is "30A." 30A is essentially the sum of its parts, which just so happen to be some of the newest and nicest beach communities Florida has to offer.
Seagrove, Rosemary Beach, Seaside, and Blue Mountain Beach are just some of the unique and exciting neighborhoods found along 30A, and year after year these neighborhoods grow to accommodate more events, restaurants, shopping, and guests, while maintaining strict rules on over-development. The natural beauty of the Florida Panhandle shines through on every street corner, with natural foliage and traditional architecture replacing the South Florida-imported feel of many surrounding beach communities.
With so many things to do on 30A, it's a wonder the area has stayed a secret for so long. At TripShock.com, we are constantly fielding traveler's questions on this up-and-coming resort community. Read below for 7 Answers to 30A Vacation Questions.
1. What are the beaches like on 30A?
The beaches of 30A are slightly different than its Emerald Coast counterparts. 30A is known for large white-sand beaches, and mountainous landscapes comparable to the Pacific-Northwest coastline. Beaches are much less populated in this part of the coast, leading to plenty of space for sand castle building, Frisbee throwing, and beach picnics with the family. One stark difference you'll note in 30A compared to similar destinations is the majestic feel to the beaches. Many areas are still undeveloped, leaving beaches as they were centuries ago. If in need of a beach wheelchair to enhance your visit, 30A has multiple wheelchair accessible beach ramps, and TripShock offers 30A beach wheelchair rentals year-round!Image by Jack Gardner via 30a.com
2. Does 30A offer outdoor activities?
30A communities and the outdoors go hand in hand. Trails have been carved in many areas of undeveloped land, leaving a prime environment for biking, jogging, and hiking
. Thousands of walkers, joggers, and bicyclist take advantage of the natural surroundings and pedestrian friendly roads, with large side walks or bike trails spanning much of 30A. Water sports play a major role in the 30A lifestyle. Kayak rentals, paddle board tours
, and surfing lessons are offered to visitors, allowing the freedom to
tour the bay, bayous, and creeks protruding inland from the Gulf of
Mexico. Perhaps the most popular outdoor activity is fishing
. When deep sea fishing in Santa Rosa Beach
, you will enjoy the spoils of a growing commercial fishing industry, including man-made reefs, top-of-the-line vessels and fishing equipment and experienced boat captains who have been hunting down fish in the Gulf for decades.
3. What Are Some Good 30A Restaurants?
It's more unlikely to come across a bad 30A restaurant than good one! 30A is packed full of exciting eateries. Seafood is the star on most menus, with fresh fish and crustaceans caught locally, but anything from American to Chinese dining is easy find. Local restaurants rule the roost in this part of the Emerald Coast, with some of the most popular restaurants focusing on classic seafood dishes done right. A long drive down 30A yields plenty of delicious options, and with Destin, Miramar Beach, and Panama City a stones throw away, finding dining is easy as it gets.
Here are a few local favorite 30A restaurants:
Acme Ice House
-The Original Acme Ice House sports an impressive menu of American dining options. Like most of its neighbors, the Ice House carries seafood entrees and apps, but with the concentration set more on casual fare like wings, flatbreads, and good ole' fashioned burgers. Acme Ice House is also a great place to go for drink! The large cocktail, wine, mixed drink, and beer menu are sure to satisfy your taste buds after a long day at the beach.
723 Whiskey Bravo -
A new sensational Seagrove Beach seafood house on 30A is 723 Whiskey Bravo
. This upscale eatery is complete with an upstairs cocktail bar offering a scenic view of the Gulf. 5 different menu's offer lunch to liquor, with plenty of specialty items for adventurous taste buds.
Lots of 30A restaurants double as the hottest local music venues! Discover Where to go for Live Music in South Walton on your next 30A vacation!
4. Where is 30A?
State Road 30A spans west from Santa Rosa Beach, all the way east to Panama City Beach. This leaves 30A's neighborhoods centrally located to beach tourist destinations including Destin, Miramar Beach, and Panama City. 30A runs mostly along the coastline, veering north at times to guide drivers through sometimes heavily forested and hilly terrain.
5. What Are The People Like?
flops, friendly, and fun best describe South Walton residents. The
atmosphere in this beach-centric region is laid-back and artsy, with a
hint of small town charm. Sun dresses and board shorts are common
attire, and a friendly smile isn't hard to find. A strong sense of
community is felt on 30A, with many of the shops and restaurants along
the road owned and staffed by lifelong locals. If you happen to meet a
beach native, be sure to pick their brain for the best dining, shopping,
and things to do. Some of the popular activities in South Walton
that residents enjoy in their spare time are water sports like paddle
boarding, surfing, and fishing, listening to live music from local
musicians, and lounging at the beach!
6. Does 30A Have Places To Shop?
30A communities each offer an assortment of shopping destinations. From Gulf Place
to Silver Sands Outlet Mall
, the selections are endless! Clothes, accessories, antiques, hand-made wares, and so much more is found right on the beach leaving you to shop til you drop. Nearby in Destin and Miramar Beach, Florida, Destin Commons
and Grand Boulevard
provide an outdoor mall shopping center, with many popular chain stores at your fingertips. Be on the lookout for boutique shops up and down 30A for Emerald Coast styles at affordable prices. Image from sowal.com
7. Where Should I Stay On 30A?
The 12 neighborhoods that make up 30A are:
Dune Allen, Gulf Place, Blue Mountain Beach, Grayton Beach, Watercolor, Seaside, Seagrove, WaterSound, Alys Beach, Seacrest, Rosemary Beach, Inlet Beach
The beauty of 30A is the diversity offered by each of its communities. Watercolor offers more of a family fun resort atmosphere, where as Inlet Beach is more suited to a quiet vacation of beach lounging. Whatever your pleasure, 30A has a place for you! For 30A Beach Lodging, visit 30A Hotels & Condos