Destination: 30A, Florida
Welcome to Scenic Highway 30A in South Walton County, Florida! Here the residents are noticeably passionate about food, art, entertainment, and time spent outdoors. The “30A lifestyle” is more than just an attitude. It’s a culture that extends through the many small communities dotted along the 26-mile stretch of white sand beaches bordering the Gulf of Mexico. Each town unique, each equally inviting, and all full of Southern hospitality.
The 30A corridor is conducive to an array of outdoor activities, whether taking a stroll along the beach, exploring the area’s biking trails, or canoeing on one of the many small inlets. The boutiques are as unique as the dining, with little treasures hidden around every corner.
Where is 30A?
County Road 30A, or Scenic Highway 30A, or simply “30A”, is a two-lane road located in the panhandle of Northwest Florida in South Walton county. Nestled between Panama City and Destin, the communities along 30A are unique and exceptionally picturesque, balancing natural landscapes like coastal dune lakes and state parks with stunning beach homes and low-density condominiums.
Getting to 30A is easy. Visitors from Nashville, Atlanta, New Orleans, and everywhere in between can find their way to 30A by car. Travelers will make their way to the I-10 corridor, then take the nearest local highway down to Scenic Highway 30A.
Traveling from further away, like Dallas or Chicago? Flying into a local regional airport and renting a car to your 30A beach vacation is a breeze. Just 30 minutes from Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in Panama City and about an hour from the Destin – Fort Walton Beach Airport, you’ll have your sand in the toes in no time!
Things to do on 30A
Can’t decide what to do on your 30A vacation? The options are many! How about spending an afternoon on the fairways at one of two dozen golf courses in the 30A area? Or, rent a beach cruiser, stand-up paddleboard, or kayak, to get out on the water. Whatever you do, don’t forget to explore South Walton’s thriving art community, with galleries sprinkled across South Walton beaches.
Water Activities on 30A
With more than 50 beach and bay access locations in South Walton, it’s easy to find your way to sugar-white sand and emerald green water. Swim in the Gulf, take a dip in a private pool or community pool, or explore one of the 15 named coastal dune lakes.
Family-Friendly Activities on 30A
The area has plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained no matter what time of year your visit. Pack comfortable clothes, sunscreen, and get ready for sunny days outdoors.
30A Farmers Markets
Farmers’ markets are a great way to sample the area’s offerings, and South Walton has several filled with vendor booths and fresh fare. Two to try are the 30A Farmers Market and the Seaside Farmers Market for delicious farm-to-table goods. Additional farmers’ markets pop up throughout the year, including those at Rosemary Beach and Grand Boulevard.
Walk, jog, or bike along the 19-mile Timpoochee Trail that extends between Dune Allen and Rosemary Beach. Explore the paved trail along the Gulf of Mexico with numerous beach access points along the way. Pack a picnic and bring your suits for a fun-filled afternoon!
Point Washington State Park
Point Washington State Park is a 15,000-acre park with 27 miles of trails. Hike, bike, or explore the three trail systems on horseback. The park features three, five, and a half, and 10-mile loops with trailhead access and parking on County Road 395.
Where to Eat on 30A
Mix a community of creative individuals, an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, and a drive to create unique, flavorful cuisine, and you’re bound to end up with something special.
Here are some of our favorite 30A restaurants:
Blue Mountain Beach and Gulf Place Restaurants
- The Perfect Pig – blackened grouper tacos, crab cake sandwiches, and shrimp and grits are just a tiny sample of menu offerings.
- Growler Garage – enjoy one of over 40 craft beers in this unique beer joint with a relaxed vibe.
- Blue Mabel – serving up bourbon-glazed pork belly, creole pickled shrimp, and mussel and scallop curry, settle in for brunch, lunch, dinner, or happy hour.
- Johnny McTighe’s – great spot to catch a game, enjoy a stout, and grab some pub fare.
- Blue Mountain Bakery – serving traditional bakery fare, including muffins, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and bread, but with frittatas, quiches, and wraps served up to go.
Grayton Beach Restaurants
- The Red Bar – a funky restaurant/bar with eclectic decor and a local favorite.
- Chiringo – enjoy sweet fried plantains, Caribbean-style chicken wings, and fresh juice libations in an open-air environment with great views.
- Hurricane Oyster Bar – raw, grilled, steamed, or baked oysters any way you like them and so much more.
- Grayton Beer BrewPub – for sandwiches, burgers, plate dinners, and signature cocktails.
- Chanticleer – for the pulled pork plate, jambalaya, and shrimp and grits in a cozy environment surrounded by lots of great art.
Watercolor and Seaside Restaurants
- The Wine Bar – features cheese plates, sandwiches, fire-roasted pizzas, and an extensive wine list.
- The Great Southern Cafe’ – for locally sourced, southern cuisine spun a whole new way. Try the mac and cheese with bacon and shrimp, an oyster po’boy, or the balsamic grilled salmon salad.
Seagrove Beach and Watersound Restaurants
- Pizza by the Sea – build your own or select from various offerings, including the spaghetti and meatball. Sandwiches, salads, and pasta are also available, with an excellent menu for the littles.
- Angelina’s – for pizza and pasta prepared so many flavorful ways.
- Old Florida Fish House – anytime but particularly for Sunday brunch overlooking Eastern Lake.
- The Big Chill – an expansive, open-air gathering spot surrounded by restaurants featuring movie nights and live music.
Seacrest Beach, Inlet Beach, and Rosemary Beach Restaurants
- La Crema – features a selection of wines, beers, and ports complemented by beautifully prepared tapas and chocolate.
- Cowgirl Kitchen – serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner with various dips, tacos, and pizzas.
- Paradis – spend the evening enjoying elegant, upscale dining with locally sourced and thoughtfully prepared selections.
- Seacrest Sundries – neighborhood market and one-stop-shop for cold beer, breakfast biscuits, and tasty sandwiches, then off to the beach you go.
- Big Bad Breakfast – as the name implies, hearty scrambles, skillets, omelets with sandwiches and wraps to boot.
- Shades Bar and Grill – offering up burgers and po’boys for lunch and flatbreads, wings, and specialty plates for dinner, all complemented by a crazy selection of draft beers.
- Amici Italian Kitchen – the whole crew will enjoy the homemade pasta, pizza, and gelato in a family-friendly setting.
- Goatfeathers – serving up all things seafood, much retrieved from their on-site market, freshly prepared and one of the most varied menus around.
The foundation of the 30A lifestyle is rooted in the great outdoors, and we encourage you to get out and enjoy!
- The 30A Art Walk is an opportunity to explore the varied work of local artists during extended business hours. Travel along 30A, visit participating galleries and gain insight by meeting local artists.
- The 30A Song Writers Festival, an annual three-day event, brings over 120 singers and songwriters to the area performing at 25 different venues scattered throughout 30A.
- If you’re a jazz lover, be sure to catch the Seabreeze Jazz Festival at nearby Panama City Beach, attracting over 20,000 fans for a weekend of smooth jazz.
- The Digital Graffiti Festival brings artists, musicians, designers, and filmmakers together for a one-of-a-kind experience, displaying digital and moving works of art in the white-walled community of Alys Beach for spectators to enjoy.
For additional activities, check out daily happenings for all things on 30A.
Weather along 30A is very mild throughout the year, cooling off late fall through early spring. Daytime temperatures vary from sixty to eighty degrees, with nighttime temperatures rarely dipping below forty degrees even during the coldest months. Rain showers are typically short-lived and intermittent, rapidly clearing away for sunny skies and outdoor play.
Although the beaches are what draw many to the area, it’s the 30A community that keeps them coming back. If this is your first trip, we’re confident it won’t be your last!