Our Top 30A Activities Beyond the Beach
April 25, 2022
We all know the best part about a vacation on 30A is basking in the Florida sunshine; it’s not called the Sunshine State for nothing. But sometimes, we need a break from all the beach bumming to hit the shops, try a new restaurant, check out a local event, and ultimately show off our fresh tan. Luckily, 30A offers plenty of activities beyond the beach for your entire vacation crew. Get ready to hop from Gulf Place all the way to Inlet Beach as you spend your trip enjoying brand new sights and sounds in your favorite destination. Here are our top 8 activities to enjoy beyond the beach during your next vacation to 30A.
30A is home to some of the world’s most incredible artists who draw inspiration from their picturesque surroundings. Throughout 30A, there are more than 25 art galleries, and many participate in a monthly First Friday Art Walk. Galleries from Miramar Beach to the east end of 30A open their doors each month for visitors to walk through and admire their artistic treasures. It’s an excellent opportunity to see and purchase new art to commemorate your trip, meet local artists, and experience a new side of your preferred beach town. Some galleries are only open seasonally, so call ahead and confirm they are participating in the Art Walk during your visit.
It’s time to shop until you drop on 30A. Different shops offer everything from beach gear and surf fashions to high-end furniture and home décor. Plus, there’s even a Lululemon in Grayton Beach! Shops like the Tribe Kelley Surf Post, famously owned by Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line fame, will keep you shopping for hours with unique jewelry options and high-quality clothing. If you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind gift for a loved one back home, look no further than the Zoo Gallery. An institution of Destin and 30A, the Zoo Gallery has been in business since 1979 and offers locals and tourists alike beautiful and artistic items.
Saturday and Sunday mornings on 30A are for visiting the farmers market for fresh baked goods, flowers, coffee, and produce. Rent a bike and hop on the Timpoochee Trail, a 19-mile paved path running parallel to the Gulf of Mexico that courses through the small coastal communities. On Saturdays, hit the Seaside Farmers Market, hosted in Seaside Square. We recommend stopping in at Modica Market or B.F.F for a mimosa or frozen cocktail to sip while you stroll through the market. The farmers market heads to Rosemary Beach on Sunday and offers the same fantastic assortment of local goods. Both markets are year-round and run from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on their respective days. JC’s Gourmet’s Snappy Dip and Noli South kombucha are our top picks for local favorite farmers’ market finds. Pack up your goods and head to nearby Point Washington State Forest for an afternoon hike and picnic among the native pines and sandy flatlands.
Beers and the beach: name a more dynamic duo. 30A offers a few great breweries and taproom options as you responsibly travel down the coast. Grayton Beer Company is well-known for its 30A Beach Blonde, and the brewery offers flagships, small batches, and a rotation of fun beer releases. Grab a flight while you’re there to enjoy the tastes of all the different options. Idyll Hounds Brewing Company is right down the road on the north side of HWY 98. Idyll Hounds brews up everything from fruity sours to dark and chocolatey imperial stouts. The brewery offers ciders and hard seltzers if beer isn’t your thing. Shades Bar and Grill in Inlet Beach and Growler Garage at Gulf Place both offer a wide selection of beers from near and far to try out if you’ve already imbibed at the local breweries.
It’s always fun to revisit a restaurant you know you love, but why not try something new? If Stinky’s Fish Camp is your go-to, maybe venture down the beach to FOOW or experience a different waterfront view at the Bay restaurant. Both offer fresh seafood and a perfect atmosphere. If you really want to get off the beaten path, Pickle Factory in Grayton Beach offers a truly mesmerizing mix of flavorful pizzas and some authentic Thai dishes. The restaurant is full of mismatched furniture, and the Kee Mao is not for the faint of heart when it comes to spice, but you won’t be disappointed in any of the dishes you try. For great food with some lively entertainment thrown in, try Old Florida Fish House on Eastern Lake, one of 15 named coastal dune lakes along Scenic Highway 30A. Enjoy fresh, coastal cuisine served alongside the Dueling Pianos, a fun sing-along that encourages audience participation as part of the show.
Visit a Local Coffee Shop
Coffee lovers can rejoice in the deliciousness of the numerous coffee shops on 30A. Amavida Coffee Shop is the place to go for some deliciously roasted coffee. No matter where you are staying on 30A, you’ll be close to an Amavida Coffee Ship since they have locations in Seaside and Rosemary Beach. Another great coffee shop to stop by is Sunrise Coffee Co. This shop offers a fun place to enjoy a cup of coffee and a variety of other menu items, from fruit smoothies to quesadillas. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s always available for a morning, afternoon, or evening pick me up.
Live music is offered just about everywhere on 30A, including restaurants and bars. If you head out to eat or to grab a drink somewhere, you’re bound to find a solo artist or band performing. AJ’s Grayton Beach typically offers live entertainment during the weekend and Sunday brunch each week. 30A Songwriters Festival in January each year brings dozens of artists to the beach for live shows all day every day of the festival. Put on your dancing shoes or kick back and relax while the artists perform.
Stay In for Dinner and Board Games
Sometimes a night in is the perfect way to wind down from spending a day playing in the waves and building sandcastles. Order in from your favorite restaurant or whip up a meal in your rental kitchen, then break out your favorite board game and challenge your vacation pals. A spirited game of charades can have everyone in a fit of giggles and create memories that will last a lifetime!
A day at the beach is a day well spent, but when you need a break, there’s still plenty to do to make the most of your trip to 30A!
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