“30A” refers to a 24-mile scenic highway in the Florida Panhandle marked by Florida State Road 30A along the Emerald Coast. The name “30A” has become synonymous with the surrounding stretch of idyllic coastal communities nestled between Destin and Panama City Beach. Often described as the “Hamptons of the South,” only better weather, fishing, and golfing. The 30A corridor in South Walton County envelops a sequence of charmingly quaint beach towns, each with distinctive personalities yet harmonized by an alluring laid-back atmosphere. Let us be your local guide; we live here and love SoWal and our beaches along Highway 30A.
30A’s History of Stunning Beach Landscapes & Pastel Beach Houses
30A’s story begins with these unique seaside hamlets, including Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, WaterColor, Seagrove, Grayton Beach, and Seaside. Seaside is notably the birthplace of New Urbanism – a design movement that emphasizes compact, walkable communities. A sense of iconic permeates throughout this beach community, with stunning pastel-colored homes, perfectly manicured landscapes, spectacular sand dunes, a sugar-white beach, and pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets. These characteristics have been carefully preserved over the decades while respecting the region’s indigenous ecosystems with State Parks sprinkled along the Gulf Coast. Then, it merges with modern convenience and opulence to bring forth a luxury vacation experience like no other. See Our 30A Beach Guide.
30A’s Hidden Gems Merge with World-class Amenities
With its undeniable showstoppers of this hidden gem are the charming pristine beaches. The collection of beaches is often compared to those of the Caribbean, with ethereal white, sugar-fine sand and inviting crystal-clear turquoise waters. Grayton Beach, frequently recognized as one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States, gives a profound nod to 30A’s awe-inspiring divine shoreline. (My personal favorite:)
Essential to the 30A experience are the numerous upscale amenities designed for the discerning traveler. Resorts such as The Pearl Hotel, WaterColor Inn, and the Alys Beach Resort redefine luxury, offering world-class services with an intimate, personalized touch. Every detail is just right, from the premium bedding and tasteful coastal decor to the stunning poolside views and state-of-the-art spa facilities. The area’s luxurious 30A beach rentals provide a private and exclusive retreat that suits every taste, featuring grand oceanfront estates, cozy beachside cottages, and modern condos equipped with lavish comforts and stunning views. You just have to see it to believe it.
For example: “Rosemary Beach– World-class cuisine from award-winning chefs near one-of-a-kind collections of shops reflecting unique style and personality with distinctive, luxurious retreats, award-winning houses of quiet enclaves, spacious homes of elegance alongside a Town Hall and lush natural habitat with unique accommodations” -History & Culture
30A’s Dining Scene Options From Fine Dining to Foodies Delights
30A has an exceptional culinary scene, striking a balance between sophisticated, fine dining establishments and relaxed yet chic cafés with extravagant high-end menus or foodies delight takeout like Airstream Row in Seaside. Café Thirty-A, Restaurant Paradis, and the award-winning Fish Out of Water offer ever-changing menus inspired by local, seasonal ingredients with a focus on coastal-inspired cuisine. For something more casual, Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant captures the pure essence of Southern coastal deliciousness. Our Events Calendar provides local Wine Tasting and live Music options with our Top 12 Sunset Waterfront Restaurants.
30A’s Shopping & Outdoor Activities Destinations
Besides gastronomy, 30A nurtures a love for shopping among its residents and visitors. From high-end boutiques such as Alys Shoppe, Ann Hartley, and Nicole Paloma, each providing carefully curated fashion selections, to charming local vendors providing weekly farmers’ markets – shopping here is an enjoyable pastime.
Those thirsting for adventure are in for a treat with countless outdoor activities available. The area boasts some of Florida’s best golf courses, called …Golfing Along 30A, The “Crown Jewel of Florida Golf” like The Raven Golf Club, or Watersound’s amazing coastal courses like Camp Creek. Fishing, oh, you Anglers cannot resist the excitement of deep-sea fishing expeditions on The Gulf of Mexico or the tranquility of fishing along Choctawhatchee Bay. Destin boasts the title of “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” with seasonal big fish catches with Hook n Cook Dining Restaurants in our Fishing Guide. Nature enthusiasts relish the miles of hiking trails in Point Washington State Forest, while cyclists find solace exploring the nearly 19-mile Timpoochee Trail. Many more options for things To Do Outdoors with paddleboarding and bike rentals, and many State Parks like Top Sail Beach provide many beach vacations for years to come.
What is 30A? 30A is an adventure, not just a vacation – it offers an experience packed with opulent refinement, coastal beauty, excellent cuisine, unique shopping opportunities, and adventure, all gently woven into the fabric of local Florida charm, with plenty of Beach concierge services from private chefs and crib setups to beach bonfires. This best-kept secret destination undeniably redefines the terms of a luxury vacation to create an unforgettable and relaxing beach vacation. Experience 30A, where every moment is as indulgent as it is authentic.
What Does a Perfect Day on 30A Look Like
South Walton has so much to offer, so we thought to create some day-long things to do in an Itinerary for your Beach Vacation. Here are some Great 30A Luxury Vacation Recommendations from the SoWal Connections staff. Think of us as your Local Guides.