When people go on vacation, they usually want to feel like they’ve escaped. For our editor Carly Hill, her family and many others, “Scenic 30A” in Northwest Florida’s Walton County does just that. Highway 30A is a stretch of 28.5 miles that runs along the Gulf of Mexico coastline, composed of white sugar-sand beaches, charming communities and amazing restaurants and shops. Today, Carly is sharing some of the local favorites you can’t miss and why you need to discover this vacation spot for yourself!
- Ride bikes: One of the best things about staying anywhere along 30A is how easy it is to get around, especially by bike! Make sure to rent bikes during your stay to ride into town for lunch or to cruise through the picture-perfect neighborhoods.
- Take a beach walk: Nothing beats the smooth white sand on the beaches of 30A. Start your day with a morning beach walk or head down to catch the breathtaking sunsets with a cocktail in hand.
- Explore each town: The three main communities (Seaside, Alys Beach and Rosemary Beach) are all designed uniquely different. Seaside is known for its white picket fences and preppy pastel homes, Alys Beach for its chic and simple all-white modern architecture and Rosemary Beach for its European tudor-style buildings. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled all around the world while only going a few miles!
- Watch the sunset: As if we had to even tell you, but nothing beats a 30A sunset. Make sure to plan your day to guarantee you’re on the beach when those cotton candy sunsets roll in!
- Bud & Alley’s, Seaside: A 30A favorite, Bud & Alley’s not only has the best food around, but it’s also the place to be during sunsets to grab a drink. Also check out its Pizza Bar and Taco Bar restaurants located right next door!
- Fonville Press, Alys Beach: For your morning coffee, head to this picturesque coffee shop (which turns into a wine bar at night) and enjoy your cup of joe while walking through stunning Alys Beach.
- Charlie’s Donut Truck, Alys Beach: Mornings should always start with donuts! After grabbing your coffee, walk over to this adorable food truck and pick up a box of delicious donuts to enjoy before hitting the beach.
- The Shrimp Shack, Seaside: There’s no such thing as too much seafood while in Florida! Grab a lobster roll for lunch on the beach or shrimp to cook for an evening feast.
- Pop Stop, Seagrove: To satisfy that afternoon sweet tooth and help you cool down, try an artisan popsicle like Strawberry Basil or Chai Tea from this beachside popsicle shop.
- Great Southern Café, Seaside: You can’t come to the South and not have shrimp and grits! I can’t get over how delicious the savory Gouda grits are at this restaurant, and the endless options of mojito flavors available there aren’t too shabby either!
- The Red Bar, Grayton Beach: This quirky spot sports a live jazz band and a select menu of delicious pasta and seafood options for an extra-fun night.
- The Seaside Food Trucks, Seaside: Along the main Seaside Square, everyone can choose their favorites from each truck—from BBQ and smoothies to grilled cheese and snow cones. A favorite spot for families!
- The Seaside Style, Seaside: Stock up on vacation mementos, like cozy Seaside sweatshirts, to bring back home with you.
- Outpost, Inlet Beach: A perfect mix of beach and city chic, Outpost is filled with beautiful home goods, clothing, accessories and apothecary. The other added bonus? The pretty built-in coffee and wine bar to make shopping even more enjoyable.
- The Art of Simple, Seaside: If you’re in need of a housewarming gift or a special find to bring back home, this home and gift store is filled with chic pieces you won’t be able to resist!
- Willow + Mercer, Inlet Beach: With two additional locations in Rosemary Beach and Seaside, each Willow boutique focuses on a different Willow girl (city, country and beachy), but all guarantee to offer stylish designer pieces.
- Ophelia Swimwear, Seaside: There’s no better time to find a great new bikini for the beach than on vacation, so make sure to stop by here for the perfect new piece.
- Perspicasity, Seaside: Located in the heart of downtown Seaside, this adorable shop is all outside so you don’t have to feel guilty about missing out on the sunshine while shopping!
- Alys Shoppe, Alys Beach: If you’re in need of a date night dress or a unique accessory, this carefully curated boutique is filled with stand out clothing and home pieces you won’t be able to resist.
- Otium 30A, Inlet Beach: After a morning yoga class here at Otium, you’re sure to end up walking out with a few new workout pieces from its stylish boutique.
- Sundog Books, Seaside: Beach vacations should be filled with lots of reading, so if you finish a few books before the trip is over, head to this local favorite to stock up on some new titles. You can even pick up a few greetings cards, like our Thimblepress x Glitter Guide cards that Carly spotted!
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