30A Florida | A Guide to a Guaranteed Good Time!
Updated: Mar 2
30A is a collection of tiny beachfront towns tucked away on the Florida coast 30A highway. I almost didn't write this to try to preserve the 30A magic because it is getting more crowded each year! Regardless of the crowds, it's definitely worth a visit!
When to Visit
- Off-Season: Cheaper rates and dramatically fewer crowds. If you visit in the off-season you might encounter yellow flies. Get this spray. It will make or break your experience.
- July 4th: Truly magical with the amazing firework displays along the beach all night
Where to Stay
Rosemary Beach A picturesque town with easy beach access, but more expensive and crowded than it used to be. Book with Rosemary Beach Cottage Rentals or stay at The Pearl Hotel
Watersound We expanded out of the Rosemary Beach comfort zone and stayed at the most wonderful vacation home called Vitamin Sea. We loved it! It comes with the coolest golf cart and central to everywhere we wanted to go. Will definitely be staying here in the future and highly recommend it for couples and families!
On my "Places to Stay" dream list but definitely the priciest rentals on 30A.
A quieter part of 30A with a laid-back vibe. I haven't stayed here but seems like an enjoyable stay!
Where to Stay Tips
1. Book early. People will book at least a year in advance for annual family trips.
2. Know your beach access: Where you stay impacts if you have private or will need to find public beach access points. (Private = a walkover with a gate code or required wristband to access that section of beach).
3. Beach chairs + Umbrellas: Most rentals come with beach chairs and an umbrella but you can rent chairs, a table, and an umbrella set-up (in advance) on any beach. I'm a do it myself kind of person, but renting beach chairs + an umbrella is worth it for your long sunny beach days.
4. Golf carts: If you can find a rental with one, do it! It makes getting around SO much fun. Golf carts are allowed anywhere on 30A except Rosemary Beach. Everyone has their own 30A town preference, the best way to find yours is to go!
Eat + Drink
Dinner time gets crowded on 30A, even in the offseason, so make reservations ahead of time, plan to eat super early/late, or cook in.
Great Southern Cafe in Seaside: Daily Happy Hour 3 - 5, grab a drink, and go sit on the beach!
Modica Market in Seaside: A Seaside staple with groceries, deli counter, and MUST GET mimosas (they have a 32 oz. size, you know I am getting!)
Black Bear Bread Co. in Grayton Beach: Our favorite bakery and cafe. My husband loves it so much he gets a t-shirt every time we go!
Restaurant Paradis in Rosemary: Great for a fancy dinner out!
Crackings in Grayton Beach: Delicious, southern breakfast...if someone says grits, I'm there!
Pescado in Rosemary: Beautiful rooftop to watch the sunset.
Raw and Juicy in Alys Beach: Great, healthy option for breakfast and lunch.
Cook: Stop at a Publix along the way and pick up the food you need for the week!
What To Do
Grab your chair, cooler, LOTS of sunscreen, and head to one of these Public Beach Access points. Parking is limited on 30A, so bikes and golf carts are the way to go. Once you enter Grayton Beach area, parking becomes easier.
Grayton Dunes: Go for an early walk on the beach and head to Black Bear Bread Co. after for the perfect way to start a day.
Dune Allen Access Point: Will need to drive there if staying closer to Rosemary Beach.
Blue Mountain Beach: Will need to drive there if staying closer to Rosemary Beach.
Seaside Access Point: A very small area actually available to the public. If you can snag a spot here, I highly recommend it. You can park your golf cart nearby and enjoy easy access to food and drinks in Seaside.
Deer Lake State Park: A beautiful, much quieter beach access point that is closer to Rosemary Beach. You do have to leave cash in an envelope to access the beach and the walkover is THE longest walkover to the beach I've ever been on - be prepared.
Town Hopping and Shopping
Take a break from the beach and do a little shopping! If you are visiting in the summer, expect slow-moving traffic, but nonetheless, it's fun to stop and wander around each town for the day!
I hope you enjoy what I consider the 30A essentials and can't wait to hear what other tips the #30ishcommunity has for this magical destination. Leave recommendations and questions below!