One place I had been dying to visit in Florida was the 30A area! 30A is a scenic highway that runs along the coast of South Walton County in Florida. Along 30A, you’ll find adorable, quaint beach towns including Seaside, Watercolor, Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach, Grayton Beach, and more.
Each town along the coast has its unique characteristics. For example, I felt like I was in Greece when visiting Aly’s Beach and in New Orleans when in Rosemary Beach. The architecture of the houses and buildings in each town were beautifully designed. To put it in another way, most of the time I was just snapping pictures of houses in these new urbanism spots.
If 30A is on your travel radar, this post if for you! I will be sharing my 30A tips on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do!
I consider this spot Florida’s hidden gem! These towns really transport you to make you feel like you aren’t in just any beach town. Each town along the coast has its unique style and vibe. The architecture is incredible, the beach is gorgeous, food is awesome, and the shopping is great!
If you live in Florida or the surrounding states of Florida, 30A is pretty easy to get to. There are tons of homes that you can rent for large parties, hotels to stay at, and even an airport nearby for easy transportation. If you are in search of a beach vacation, this spot should be on your list!
Notably, 30A is the busiest during the summer
WHERE TO STAY
My parents, Asher and I spent a few days in the town of Watercolor. We stayed at the Watercolor Inn and enjoyed the beach
The town of WaterColor is probably the best place to stay if you have kids with you. If you stay in WaterColor, you have access to multiple amenities. WaterColor offers a beach club, multiple community pools, a town center, parks and gardens, BoatHouse and Marina Park, tennis courts, trails and docks, and a gym. It’s definitely paradise!
Another favorite spot on 30A is The Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach. It’s located in the heart of Rosemary which allows you to walk anywhere. There is a pool, beach access, spa, bike rentals, and awesome dine-in options!
Have a larger crowd or want to have more space? Additionally, there are plenty of rentals along 30A that you can stay in! Most of them come with bikes and access to the beach or pools. The rentals in WaterColor were beautiful!
WHERE TO EAT
Before arriving, I had asked my followers on Instagram if they had any recommendations. There were tons of recommendations for restaurants! My family loves to try all the Trip-Advisor favorites wherever we go. Here are some of our stops…
- Perfect Pig: My parents LOVED this place! We originally thought it was a BBQ place but it is more for all types of southern dishes. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We ended up visiting the WaterColor location TWICE! Not to mention, the decor is super cute!
- Bud & Alley’s: This was one of the top recommendations! We got seated at the window during sunset which was absolutely gorgeous. If you can, snag a seat on the top level deck because people say it’s incredible! All of us enjoyed our dinner. This is a Seaside must!
- Black Bear Bread Company: I was obsessed with this place! The decor was super cute and my meal was amazing. I ended up getting the
a vocadotoast with a special latte called the Tan Line that had mocha and vanilla in it! It was incredible! You MUST get a cookie if you stop by – they were probably the best I’ve ever had!
- La Crema: Although we didn’t end up eating here, this place was adorable! We stopped to look at this little spot when we were in Rosemary Beach. It is small but I have heard the food is amazing! It will definitely be a stop next time I am there!
- Frost Bites: Along Seaside there ar
esome airstreams with food like BBQ, grilled cheese, crepes and then frostietreats! This stop was perfect on a hot day. One of the employees recommended mango and vanilla shave ice and it was SO good!
- George’s at Alys Beach: This was our first spot driving into 30A. Everything here is made with fresh, local produce. My mother and I got burgers. They were
- Amavida Coffee Shop: We stopped at Amavida in Seaside to grab a
coffeeand a sandwich after we browsed the Farmer’s Market on Saturday. This spot is a great way to cool off! In addition, their coffee is organic and the sandwiches were delicious!
- The Bay: I loved visiting this place! It is a true southern spot with gulf coast cuisine, sushi, beer, wine, and more. If you plan on watching a sports game, this is the place to go!
- Chanticleer Eatery: My Dad was set on visiting this spot due to the amazing reviews on Trip Advisor. We rode our electric bikes over to this place and were not disappointed. The food was great. If I remember correctly, the food is all locally sourced.
- Pizza by the Sea: Who doesn’t love pizza after a day at the beach?! We ordered pizza from the WaterColor Crossings location one night. It was great! This place also offers GF options!
Other times we ate were at the hotel. There are SO many options along 30A so it wasn’t hard to find a spot. Seaside Square food trucks all looked amazing. When I visit again, I definitely want to check out Pescado, Neat, North Beach Tortilla Co., and Caliza!
WHAT TO DO
- Beach: The beach is gorgeous! You’ll want to see the light sand and clear water! If you are planning on coming to 30A, I recommend it be during warmer months so you can relax on the beach or even go swimming.
- Pool: There were so many pools around the area where we stayed. Many hotels have their own pools so finding one won’t be an issue. Swimming is a must to cool down from the heat!
- Bike: I really enjoyed biking around the town. We even rented electric bikes from Pedego for half a day. It was so much fun having a little boost while riding. We took our bikes around Seaside, through WaterColor, and over to Grayton Beach. The sidewalks to Grayton Beach were open enough for us to let loose on the electric bikes and go pretty fast! Biking is a must if you visit 30A, it is so easy to get around!
- Farmer’s Market: Seaside has a Farmer’s Market on Saturdays while Rosemary Beach has i
tevery Thursday and Sunday. Before your trip, confirm which dates and times these markets are because they are fun to browse! It’s an awesome way to give back to the community and find special souvenirs.
- Explore! You can explore by car, bike, golf cart, kayak, paddleboard, boat, etc. This area really has lots of activities to do for lovers of the outdoors. Not to mention, everywhere along 30A is beautiful so why not explore?!
I really enjoyed roaming around 30A for a few days. My favorite part was seeing all the coastal homes. They were STUNNING. If you would like to see more from our trip, head to my “Seaside” Instagram highlight! I hope you add this area to your future travel list! It is definitely Florida’s hidden gem, for sure. I’d love to know your recommendations if you have been!
Thanks for reading, xx