The first trip that David and I ever took together was to the 30A area. We had been dating about eight months, and were driving down to Disney World to meet my parents. We left a little early so we could stop for a couple of days at the 30A beaches. Neither of us had ever been before, and to say that we fell in love with it would be an understatement. We’ve come back countless times over the years, sometimes just the two of us, or other times with friends in tow. A guide to the area has been a long time coming. For those that don’t know what 30A is, it’s a string of small beach towns, about 45 minutes away from busy and touristy Destin. The beaches are unparalleled and the atmosphere of these quaint towns is the ultimate for relaxation.
The emerald coast stretches for miles: no matter what beach you go to on 30A, you’re guaranteed beautiful clear water and soft white sand. We’re including a few of our favorite options below.
If you go to the state park, there’s great parking and really clean facilities. The beach never feels too crowded because of the limited parking spots.
Sat in quintessential Seaside, the heart of 30A, you’ll enjoy picturesque white beach homes that frame the shoreline.
-Santa Rosa Beach
A great public beach option that isn’t as crowded as Seaside.
-Black Bear Bread Company
Black Bear Bread Company has it all: delicious food, coffee, and ambiance. We stopped here four times in four days on our most recent trip!
Another great coffee shop option.
-Raw & Juicy
If you’re looking for an açaí bowl, or a post-beach smoothie, look no further.
-The Perfect Pig
One of the best dining options in 30A, and right across from Santa Rosa Beach. Get the pork tenderloin with a nice glass of red wine – it’s life-changing.
Fresh seafood and excellent cocktails with beach views.
-The Great Southern Cafe
Famous for their mojito menu and shrimp and grits, but really you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
-The Donut Hole
Surprisingly, you’re actually coming here for the pie, which is bar none.
-Seaside shopping district
The cutest shopping center you ever did see. We always make sure to go to Sundog Books and The Seaside Style.
This beach town will make you feel like you’re in a posh European town for the day, with its master-planned building and cobbled stone streets.
If you head into Destin, Baytown Wharf is an entertainment favorite with outdoor films and live music.
More of a giant sandbar than an island, you’ll find Crab Island filled with boats, as people dock in the crystal blue water to enjoy some fun in the sun. We took a jet ski to get there and had a blast.
No matter how you spend your time, it’s impossible not to fall in love with 30A.