When I am not traveling to watch golf, 30A is my most desired vacation spot! I shared my love for Seaside (you can read more here), and I’m so excited to share about a few of the other beach towns in the area!
Seaside’s next-door neighbor is a beautiful community called WaterColor. Streets lined with pastel homes (hence the name), lakes, and miles of trails, WaterColor is the perfect getaway for travelers of any age! Spread over nearly 500 acres, Watercolor offers so much to see and do!
Situated on Highway 30a, The Wine Bar is the perfect place for a casual lunch or dinner! The menu includes salads, sandwiches, fire-roasted pizzas, charcuterie, and of course wine! The best part? They have a daily happy hour special: a carafe for the price of a glass from 11am-6pm! I recommend grabbing a seat on the patio and ordering the Chicken Pesto Panini! Stop in the shop for a great wine and cheese selection to pack a picnic for the beach or to take home! JC’s Gourmet Snapper Dip and Pimento Cheese are two of my favorite snacks to grab.
Located at the Watercolor Inn, seats on the patio at Fish Out of Water look out over the gulf. We love coming up from the beach to have lunch at the bar. The grouper tacos with the heirloom tomato salad as a side has become my favorite order. They serve a yummy breakfast, too!
Voted best pizza in South Walton, this pizza joint is an easy dine-in or take-out option after a glorious day at the beach!
If you are staying in WaterColor and don’t want to miss one second of sunshine, have lunch at The Beach Club Grill! You also might like to grab a cocktail for the beach! The Rosemary Lemonade is my favorite, so refreshing! *The Beach Club Grill is located within the WaterColor Beach Club, a private club available only to WaterColor guests and homeowners.
Indigo is a must-stop shop for me every time I visit 30A. The boutique is just steps from the Watercolor Beach Club and filled with cute women’s clothing and accessories. Not at the beach? Shop their Instagram or online store – they ship!
Book a room at The Watercolor Inn, a beautiful beach-side hotel with stunning gulf views.
Rent one of the watercolor-hued homes or cottages!
Hit the beach!
Rent beach chairs and spend the day on the beach!
Looking for adventure? Rent surfboards, paddle boards, kayaks, and boogie boards by the hour directly on the beach!
Visit the Boathouse!
Located on Western Lake, The Boathouse has paddle boards available to rent, in addition to paddle board lessons! Outdoor fitness classes are also offered at the Boathouse!
Go on a bike ride!
Many rental homes include bikes, but you can also rent bikes at the Bike Barn, located right by the Boathouse! There are countless trails to ride or stick to the streets and cruise the beautiful neighborhood!
Go to the pool!
Visit one (or all) of the six pools located within the WaterColor resort! The Camp Watercolor pool has a slide and a lazy river! *Access for WaterColor guests and homeowners only
Have a bonfire on the beach!
Beach bonfires are a great activity for the whole family! Beach chairs, s’mores, and bottled waters for up to 30 people are provided with the cost of the bonfire!
To Grocery Shop:
Publix is conveniently located in the shopping center adjacent to WaterColor! It is an easy bike ride from many of the homes in the community!
This beach community has an Old Florida feel and is definitely the quirkiest of the little towns on 30A. Drive down the streets of Grayton to find funky art, free-spirited people, and cars on the beach! Grayton Beach is the only place in the area that you can take a 4-wheel drive vehicle right out to the beach (with a proper permit only)! Head over to Grayton Beach where their unofficial slogan is “Nice dogs, strange people”!
The Red Bar is a hot spot for visitors and locals alike. It is the definition of funky! Known for its eclectic décor, live music, and delicious food, The Red Bar draws large crowds, but is worth the wait! The simple, but varied menu is written on a giant chalkboard. My favorite menu item is the blackened grouper on a bacon cheddar grit cake with sautéed spinach served with a side salad topped with tomato basil vinaigrette. The Red Bar accepts cash or check only, and there is an ATM conveniently located inside the restaurant.
Black Bear is the greatest new addition to the area! It’s a seasonal café, bakery, and coffee shop serving Stumptown Coffee! My favorite menu items are the Grains Bowl and the Banana Tartine with whipped ricotta, local honey, and mint! Smylie loves their Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit. They also serve lunch, wine, and beer.
Chiringo is a colorful, open-air restaurant with Spanish flair. Pull up to the bar for the most amazing fresh squeezed cocktails! The menu is packed with fresh gulf seafood and local seasonal produce. I love ordering the Grayton Beach Bowl and adding Blackened Shrimp.
For impeccable Italian, Borago is a must! In this cozy setting, the wait staff is awesome and eager to offer suggestions when choosing items off the menu to suit your taste. My favorite dishes are the Angel Hair with Pan Seared Shrimp and the Bolognese served over Tortellini. I recommend making a reservation. You can bring your own wine for a corkage fee of $25.
From the name you may not guess this, but you can find some of the best cocktails on 30A here. Kyle, one of the bartenders, is one of the most beloved and talented on 30A. Try a Scorched Earth or Smoked Old Fashioned and be prepared to be amazed! It’s also a great place for casual dining and sports watching.
There has been a lululemon showroom in Grayton for over four years, but now there is an official lululemon store! 30A is a very active community and local fitness experts have been named ambassadors to help organize classes and promote a healthy lifestyle within the beach community and for visitors! I included this because I love the fact that I am able to bike to a lululemon store on 30A!
Watch the Rags to Riches Regatta
On the Fourth of July, take a stroll down Grayton Beach to see colorful sailboats race from Grayton to Seagrove! There is no better way to catch a glimpse of the locals in their element.
Seagrove Beach community is just east of Seaside and also celebrates an Old Florida feel! Seagrove is full of character and boasts over a mile stretch of sugar-white sand beaches! If you choose to stay in Seagrove, you will be centrally located on 30A and have plenty of homes to choose from, both old and new!
Situated on 30A, Surfing Deer is a delicious, upscale restaurant in Seagrove. The Clothesline Bacon appetizer is super popular with quite the presentation and you can’t go wrong with any of the entrees! The Sesame-Coconut Crusted Snapper is a favorite of mine. Surfing Deer is great for larger groups and they take reservations.
A healthy way to to begin the day! Prema is an organic cafe with so many fresh, delicious options. I love their smoothies (Green Love is my favorite), their coconut yogurt bowl, and their egg muffins. Also, grab some pesto chicken salad and peanut butter energy balls from the case before you leave.
If you are in search of a fabulous fine dining spot, Café Thirty-A is the place for you! Wonderfully delicious, creative steak and seafood options are offered nightly and favorites such as the jumbo lump crab cake and grilled Georgia quail with creamy grits have been on the menu for years! End the night with the banana beignets served with homemade macadamia nut ice cream! The restaurant offers a two-for-one entrée special every night from 5-6pm or join them on Tuesdays and Thursdays for ‘Tini night, where martinis are $5.00 at the bar! Reservations are recommended.
For fresh gulf seafood to cook at home, this market is a one-stop shop! Everything you need to prepare a delicious seafood meal is available: housemade cocktail sauce, seasoning, spices, crackers, lemons, pasta, vegetables and even key lime pie! Fresh grouper and shrimp are my go-to choices! Also, their smoked tuna dip makes a great appetizer!
Seagrove Village Market has been a beloved staple in the community since 1949. They recently opened a new location just down the street from the original location, and it has continued to be a favorite for many! This market provides a great setting for a laid-back, southern lunch or dinner. Burgers, po-boys, and fish tacos are some of the most popular items on the menu! A take-out window was added to the new location, making it easy to grab and go!
“Praise the Lard!” for a great breakfast spot on 30A. The Perfect Pig serves breakfast classics in a relaxed dining room among a mix of antiques and farm tables. They also serve lunch and dinner! The tomato avocado stack is as tasty as it is beautiful!
A couple more restaurants that should not be missed!
The Bay gives another glimpse of the beauty of this area with gorgeous views of the Choctawhatchee Bay. Chef Jim Shirley, who is also the chef at 30A favorite, Great Southern Café, has created a mouth-watering menu that includes seafood, steak, and sushi! Both indoor and outdoor seating are available. This restaurant is an ideal setting for sunset!
Basmati’s is the most delicious Asian cuisine tucked away in Blue Mountain. The Truffled Tuna Sushi Roll, the Spring Rolls, and the Rice Paper Wrapped Salmon are a few of my favorite menu items. Reservations are recommended.
If you find yourself on 30A this summer, I’d love to hear about your experience!
Always finding joy,
I have visited 30A long, long, long before it became a tourist destination. Growing up in south Alabama it was everything an old Florida setting should be. Today I love to take the family or have a girls weekend on the stomping grounds that have changed so drastically. Our favorite is the Old Florida Fish House (favorite, favorite place ever!!!!). Luke Bryan was actually there the last time we were. Also love Seagrove Market for lunch! Thanks for highlighting such a special place and War Eagle!