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30A, Florida [Part 1]

My Life, Travel

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One of our very favorite places we’ve vacationed in the last few years is 30A which is a cluster of beaches right between Destin and Panama Beach, Florida. We typically travel to Destin a few times a year but had never stayed in the 30A area until last fall. It’s really hard to get a rental house down there and they only have a few hotels and since we are usually last minute travelers, we weren’t ever able to find anything that fit out needs. Luckily, we were able to find a great house for Fall Break in the Watercolor area and went down for about 10 days. This will be part 1 since we didn’t get to experience everything in the time we stayed there and plan on going back again soon.  

30a is made up of several little beach villages which include Dune Allen, Gulf Place, Santa Rosa, Rosemary, Blue Mountain Beach, Grayton Beach, Watercolor, Seaside, Seagrove Beach, and Prominence. We didn’t have a chance to visit all of these areas but did spend quite a bit of time in a few and can’t recommend them enough.

Watercolor

If you book a rental home in Watercolor then you get full access to use all of the amenities, which is quite a long list if you ask me. Camp Watercolor is the newest amenity which includes a main pool with a waterslide, a zero-entry pool with a smaller slide, a lazy river, lifeguard on duty and full service food and bar. There is also a store in the front if you forget pool toys, sunscreen or even swim diapers which is so convenient.

Also included in Watercolor is full access to Watercolor Inn resort pools and beach access. The pool deck includes 3 pools and several restaurant and bar options. You also have access to enter to the beach from here too and can book chairs through the rental company right on the beach (no need to bring your own if you book ahead of time.) 

Fish Out Of Water is a great restaurant in Watercolor and is attached to Watercolor inn. I highly recommend their Oysters, Gulf Coast Fish Dip, Shrimp and Grits, Grouper Tacos and the Bottomless Mimosas. 

The Wine Bar is another great place in Watercolor. The food is amazing and the atmosphere is even better. Even though it’s called The Wine Bar, kids are also allowed and they even have Goldfish as a snack option on the menu. We ate there several times during our trip. I highly recommend getting one of their Charcuterie Boards, Smoked Snapper Dip, Crusted Fish Picatta or the Gulf Catch. The kids got a Pizza and loved that as well. The wine list is very extensive and they also have a little shop where you can get bottles to go. 

Watercolor also has tons of walking and bike paths throughout the whole area. We rode our bikes almost everywhere and it was so relaxing. Also included in the amenities is several tennis courts and a gym. We didn’t try either one of these since we had limited time and 3 kids to take to the beach each day but definitely was nice to have as an option. 

Seaside

Seaside Village was probably the cutest area that I have seen in a very long time. The main area has fun little Shops and Boutiques, Coffee shops and a Bookstore, An Open-Air Amphitheater, Food Trucks and tons of great restaurants.

The Great Southern was phenomenal food and a really fun place to eat right in the heart of Seaside. We didn’t have reservations so we only got to try the small bites and sit in the bar area but just the few things we tried was amazing. This place stays packed so highly recommend making a reservation on their website before your trip. We tried the Gumbo and Oysters and both were incredible. They also serve breakfast!

The Meltdown on 30A was one of the food trucks we tried that served Grilled Cheese, Turkey Sandwiches and so much more. It was great for a quick and casual lunch.

Pickle’s was a super fun restaurant in the heart of Seaside. My kids LOVED their Fried Pickles and the Milkshakes. The Burgers were great too but super filling so would only recommend it if you are in the mood for a greasy meal.

The Taco Bar is right beside the beach entrance in Seaside and was very popular. The line was long the night we went there but the food was worth it. I always love a good Shrimp Taco on the beach.

Bud and Alley’s was also a super popular and packed restaurant. We didn’t get to eat inside but did get it one night to-go. We tried the Grouper and Crab Cakes and both were pretty good.

The Seaside Style is the best place to get your Seaside tees and gear for the week. They also have a kids store too right across the street.

Rosemary Beach

Rosemary seemed to me like it was a whole other country and not a typical coastal town in Florida. The area was filled with fun shops and restaurants. 

Pescado is a rooftop seafood and grill in Rosemary. We dined there one night and had an amazing view of the sun setting over the ocean. The menu was on the smaller side but still had great options. We tried the Scallops and the Fish of the Day.

Watersound

We only spent the afternoon in Watersound at the Hub Area but the kids had a great time. It has tons of food options, shopping and a large pavilion area with a Movie Theater size screen. They typically have movie nights or livestream sports on the TV. The kids loved running around and playing with other little kids while the dads watched football. It was a Win/Win! 

Grayton Beach

We went to Grayton Beach one morning at sunrise for family photos and it was one of the best beaches I’ve ever been to. It was such a beautiful and clean beach and the sunrise was stunning to see. We wanted to go back one night at sunset but didn’t find the time to make it back.

Crackings was a fun little breakfast cafe near Grayton. We went there right after our morning beach photo session and the menu was filled with options. It was located right in the middle of a fun shopping area too. 

I shopped at a local boutique and got my nails done at Happy Nails 30a.

One thing I highly recommend if you are traveling to this area with a small child is to rent the baby gear you need through Rent Gear Here. We rented a crib, high chair, bouncy seat and stroller along with our bikes for the week through this company. They deliver anywhere in Seaside and also over to Destin. We have used this company for a few years now and never have had any issues. They simply drop off the items the day you check in and pick them up when you leave. It’s that simple and saves you so much space and even money on checking items if you are flying. 

30A, Florida is definitely a place I will travel to again in the near future. There is so much to do and our family loved every minute of it. Stay tuned for a Part 2 soon!

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