30A Vacation Journal
1st May 2017
“Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.” ―Gail Tsukiyama, Dreaming Water
With Mother’s Day around the corner, it is important to remember that there can be no excess of pampering for the special woman who raised you. There is a special bond created between mothers and their children, and we cherish this relationship at Exclusive 30A. What could make for a more special day than treating your mother like royalty she is, by staying in one of our professionally designed luxury beach rentals? Waking up on Mother’s day to a beautiful view of the Gulf Coast, in a setting of pure peace and tranquility is truly the optimal gift.
Endless Summer Vacation Rental
While staying in one of our heavenly beds all day might be enough for some, the 30A community offers many great activities for active mothers. Featuring an abundance of excellent restaurants in the area with all day specials, boat cruises along the Gulf Coast, Garden tours, or just a simple beach walk, there is sure to be something to enjoy for every mother.
Here are some links to plan your Mother’s Day getaway:
Caliza’s for Brunch – http://www.alysbeach.com/event/mothers-day-brunch-2/?instance_id=4702
Tim Creehan’s Cuvee Brunch – http://cuvee30a.com/about-cuvee-30a/mothers-day/
The Bay for Brunch – http://www.baysouthwalton.com/
Garden Tours and Brunch – http://www.visitsouthwalton.com/events/mothers-day-garden-tour-and-shrimp-boil-0?date-start=20170514
Boat Cruise – https://www.sunquestcruises.com/destin-dining-sunset-cruises/destin-florida-events/
Let Exclusive 30A help you make plan the perfect day for the special mother in your life. We are experts at finding the most desirable vacation rentals along 30A. Call (844) STAY-30A or (844) 782-9302, email us at exclusive30A@gmail.com or contact us through our website here: http://exclusive30a.com/contact/. We’d love to hear from you!
1st April 2017
Are you dreaming of tying the knot in a beach wedding along 30A? We love the beach as a wedding venue because it provides a natural, always perfect backdrop which requires little décor to make it your own. The beaches along 30A offer a wide variety of stunning natural settings, extraordinary architecture and world-class amenities.
WaterColor Beach Club
Spring is here and with it a flurry of excitement about upcoming showers, bridal parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, weddings, wedding parades, receptions, and all of the anticipation that goes with planning the big day. Luckily, there are countless event venues along 30A from which to choose. Elegant gulf front venues, beachside lawns, dune front properties, natural parks with moss-draped oaks and world-class restaurants are just some of the possibilities for weddings on Scenic 30A and South Walton beaches.
Exclusive 30A offers families and friends a dream destination wedding getaway; many of our properties would be perfect for large wedding groups. One such vacation rental is in private and pristine Inlet Beach neighborhood. The Inlet Beach Reunion House sleeps up to 24 with six Master Suites and two additional bunk rooms that sleep up to 12. Additional amenities include 8.5 Bathrooms, a private pool, and fully equipped game room. It’s only a one-minute walk to the beach and a two-minute walk to Rosemary Beach.
This Inlet Beach vacation rental home is centrally located to the best event venues, dining and other amenities as well as easy access to the beach, Panama City and the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.
Here are some wedding planning resources to get you started planning the wedding of your dreams.
• South Walton Wedding Venues – http://sowal.com/weddings/vendors/venues
• 30A Wedding Resources – http://30aweddings.com/
• Beach Wedding Inspiration – https://www.pinterest.com/exclusive30a/weddings-at-the-beach/
• Exclusive 30A Vacation Rentals – http://exclusive30a.com/rentals/
We would love to help you experience an enchanted wedding by the sea. We are experts at finding the most desirable vacation rentals along 30A. Call (844) STAY-30A or (844) 782-9302, email us at exclusive30A@gmail.com or contact us through our website here: http://exclusive30a.com/contact/. We’d love to hear from you!
1st March 2017
Seaside is a noteworthy community that is located in the central part of the Florida panhandle, near the Gulf Coast. It is noteworthy for two important reasons. First, Seaside is a master-planned community that has received national attention and recognition for its beauty and construction. What sets Seaside apart from other planned communities is that it was designed using the principles of New Urbanism. New Urbanism promotes walkable neighborhoods, diverse in use and population and the architecture and landscaping is in accordance with local history, climate, building materials and environment. It promotes public transit with the idea of reducing traffic and highly values historic preservation, safe streets and eco-friendly buildings. Learn more about New Urbanism here.
Seaside is also noteworthy for the natural beauty of its beaches. The breathtakingly beautiful white sand beckons from beyond the city pavilions that anchor the streets, inviting you to remove your shoes and feel the sand between your toes. The foamy sea waves summon you to dip into the tepid water and swim to your heart’s content. Take a moment to notice the intricate pattern the crab tracks make along the shoreline and the iridescent shells and masterful sand castles that line the beach.
Seaside is a fairly young town, at least in the lifespan of most towns; its founder, Robert S Davis inherited the land and initiated the community in 1979. At first glance, it may appear to be a much older community. By regulation, Seaside architecture must be wood-shingled, clapboard and board-and-batten with deep front porches and shiny tin roofs like those in rural America. The windows are predominantly tall and narrow; living areas are two-stories high; and old-fashioned cupolas and towers signal a by-gone era.
In contrast, the interiors of Seaside homes are open, light and airy. Built for natural air-flow to utilize the cooling effect of the afternoon breeze, the tall windows characteristic of the architecture are so numerous that the light that emanates from them illuminates the town at night. Make no mistake – the houses may seem old-fashioned in design but are built with all of the amenities and conveniences expected in today’s modern homes. Furthermore, the properties offered by Exclusive 30A are far from being outdated; they are upscale, luxurious and extremely comfortable.
Exclusive 30A Seaside (and nearby Seagrove) vacation homes offer extravagances not always easy to find in beachside homes. Enjoy private porches and balconies, outdoor grills and dining areas, private pools, sumptuous courtyards, plush furniture, en suite baths with spa-inspired showers, flat screen televisions and touch-button gas fireplaces. Kitchens are amenity-laden with Thermador warming drawers, multiple dishwashers, convection ovens, drink chiller drawers and top-quality cooking pots, pans and utensils.
Entertain guests with tasteful serving trays, platters and gorgeous place settings. Walls are decorated with true one-of-a-kind art pieces and beds are made with fine Italian linens. Decorations are comfy, chic and plush.
We invite you to visit the extraordinary town of Seaside. Take in the sights, sounds and sense of community like nowhere else. There are so many things to see and do; click here for a list of annual events in the area.
What interests you the most about Seaside?
1st February 2017
Looking for a cure from the winter weather blues? With freezing temperatures across the county, record snow falls and winter storms approaching, now is a great time to plan your next warm weather vacation. Or better yet, pack your suitcase and come on down!
Many people think of the beach as a summertime place, but there are four seasons of beautiful weather here and a year-round list of events and festivals to attend while you’re here.
No matter what time of year you visit 30A, even in the winter, you’ll find pleasantly warm temperatures. In the coolest months of December – February, the area along 30A enjoys an average daily high of 62° – 65°. Nights cool off but the temperature rarely dips below 45°. During the warmest months, July and August, the average low is 71°; upper average is 89°. We’d call that perfect, summertime weather.
September through May tend to have less rain than the months of June, July and August, but even during the “rainy season” we may only have a brief sun shower and then it dries up. While winters can be dry and summers can be warm, a gentle sea breeze keeps everyone cool and comfortable. There really isn’t a “bad” time to visit 30A.
While you’re dreaming of warm turquoise-blue waters and sugar-white beaches to wriggle your toes in, take some time to explore all that the 30A beaches have to offer.
Alys Beach – Featuring dramatic architecture and a casual culture, Alys beach is at the intersection of simplicity and luxury.
Blue Mountain – A great retreat for outdoor enthusiasts, Blue Mountain is filled with outdoor adventures like hiking through cypress swamps and pine groves and biking the famous Timpoochee trail.
Grayton Beach – Home to the vastly diverse ecosystems of Grayton Beach State Park and Western Lake, Grayton Beach is a haven for fishermen, boaters and beachcombers alike.
Dune Allen – One of South Walton’s most naturally stunning beach neighborhoods, Dune Allen boasts three rare dune lakes, an abundance of walking trails, and plenty of beach access points.
Gulf Place – Gulf Place is quickly making a name for itself as a complete vacation experience. With more than 200 options for vacation rentals, you’re almost guaranteed a unique view of the clear Gulf waters, tranquil ponds or several wonderful swimming pools.
Rosemary Beach – Named by CNN as one of the most romantic small towns, Rosemary Beach will sweep you off your feet! If you’re seeking a low-key but luxurious beach vacation getaway, you’re bound to fall in love with Rosemary Beach.
Santa Rosa Beach – Named one of the “10 Best Beach Destinations” by Yahoo! Travel, Santa Rosa beach is praised for its “lapping waves, cool sand and endless array of outdoor activities.”
Seacrest Beach – Enjoy this beach neighborhood’s beautiful beach views, and then head to The Village to join in the Seacrest community. From boutique shopping to upscale dining to self-serve sweet treats, Seacrest’s central gathering space has something for everyone.
Seagrove Beach – Seagrove has a well-balanced menu of beyond-the-beach activities that range from biking along 30A to browsing the one-of-a-kind beach shops and restaurants.
Seaside – Hailed as one of Travel + Leisure magazine’s “Best Beaches on Earth”, this picture-perfect community has plenty of personality to go with its beautiful design.
WaterColor – With nearly 500 acres dedicated to natural beauty and preservation, WaterColor is a place where breathtaking views abound. WaterColor seamlessly weaves award-winning restaurants, shops, and more amidst its natural landscape, creating a perfect mix of indoor and outdoor adventure.
WaterSound – As a place that both reflects and complements its surroundings, WaterSound allows guests to enjoy relaxing beach getaways at their own pace.
Keep toasty warm with pleasant thoughts of a balmy seashore getaway on 30A.
What are your favorite beachside sunny-day activities?
1st January 2017
Here at Exclusive 30A we want to make sure that your stay is as comfortable as possible. We strive to bring you the best vacation rental homes along 30A. Due to this commitment we offer Live Well 30A concierge service. Come enjoy the splendid emerald coastal waters and world-famous sugar-white beaches found along the Gulf Coast and relax knowing you will have insider access to the very best in restaurants, night clubs, fun activities, local services, local information and much more!
What Amenities Does Our Concierge Service Provide?
Our concierge is a local area specialist that is available to enrich your vacation experience and tailor your beach adventure to the perfect vacation for YOU!
Considering taking a bike ride? Going golfing? Maybe relaxing on the beach or even enjoying a bonfire on the beach?
Live Well 30A offers:
• bicycle rentals
• beach chairs
• beach fires
• golf cart rentals
• YOLO board rentals
• kayak rentals
• paddling trips
• volleyball net and ball
• bocce ball
• ping pong tables
• corn hole game
Need transportation to and from the airport? They offer a shuttle or taxi service.
Fishing is a great way to explore the Gulf. Live Well 30A can set you up with bay fishing, beach surf fishing, flounder gigging, sight-seeing, dolphin tours, and many other fishing options. The area offers some of the finest fishing in the world; grouper, snapper, trigger fish, king mackerel, cobia and other sport fish are all popular fishing bounty.
Live Well 30A is available to take care of your grocery shopping with 72 hour notice. They’ll buy, bag and deliver your order directly to your rental home. Offering such conveniences to our guests frees up more time for you to enjoy your 30A vacation!
Have a Baby or Young Child?
Live Well 30A concierge service is able to build a baby equipment bundle based on your needs. Don’t bother hauling all those bulky accessories with you. They have cribs, pack n plays, high chairs and baby gates.
Live Well 30A is able to make arrangements and take care of everyday tasks and errands that will help your vacation go more smoothly. They have insider knowledge of what’s available in the area and can access exclusive events, resources and services.
Most clients will say that the main benefit of using a concierge service is to free up precious time, enabling them to experience the things they love instead of spending time researching, sourcing and making the arrangements.
We are always looking out for the best of everything to recommend to our clients, so you will have access to that inside scoop and expertise. Live Well 30A adds value, to your Exclusive 30A vacation rental, making YOU a VIP and creating that perfect holiday for you.
Ready to book an incredible vacation on 30A? Visit our website, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-433-7646. After booking with us, we will put you in touch with your dedicated Live Well 30A concierge to plan every aspect of your 30A getaway.
1st December 2016
Do you like shoveling snow? Who does?! When the white stuff starts to fly, it’s time for a Florida vacation! While the temperatures in South Florida can be unbearably hot and humid – even in winter – the moderate temperatures and Gulf Coast breezes in Northwest Florida are pure perfection.
Hiking and Biking
With sunny skies and average highs in the mid-60s, the outdoor activities that are plentiful here are even more enjoyable! Moderate temperature enable you walk or bike on the numerous hiking and biking trails with spectacular views of the water, foliage and abundant Florida wildlife without breaking a sweat. Everyone will enjoy the fresh air and spending time together.
Winter is also an exceptional time of year for fishing, which are especially active with the weather is cooler. Find a spot along the shores of Choctawatchee Bay or the numerous coastal dune lakes that span the Santa Rosa Beach area to catch Pompano, Redfish, Flounder or Speckled Trout; or charter a boat for deep-sea sport fishing. Grouper, Cobia, Wahoo, Red Snapper, King Mackerel, Flounder, Jack Crevalle, Amberjack, Trigger Fish, Spanish Mackerel, Blackfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi are just some of the species you can encounter in your Gulf fishing adventure.
The season’s temperate breezes, the warm sun shining on your back, and a refreshing beverage are the ideal accompaniment to a pleasurable day on the water. Start planning your outing with this complete list of local fishing guides: http://30afishingcharters.com/.
Although we don’t have snow, 30A home and businesses do get dressed up to celebrate the holidays. What’s more beautiful than palm trees decorated in twinkling lights? Find the best holiday light displays here: http://30a.com/christmas-lights/. You won’t miss the white Christmas when you can step outside in shorts and a t-shirt and still feel the spirit of the holiday season.
If your 30A vacation spans New Year’s Eve, there are so many fun ways to ring in the New Year! Spectacular fireworks shows, outdoor concerts, fancy dinners and all-night parties are scheduled throughout 30A’s neighborhoods, bars and restaurants.
Stay in Style with Exclusive 30A
Is a low-key evening more your style? Invite some friends over for cocktails and hors d’ouevres in your Exclusive 30A vacation rental. Many of our homes are designed with open floor plans, enclosed porches or balconies, and dedicated spaces for entertaining.
Our luxury 30A rental properties are in high demand, so book early to find a home with the right bed/bath configurations and amenities for your group. Browse our full portfolio here: www.exclusive30a.com/rentals, and then call, email or book online today!
1st November 2016
We give thanks every day to be able to work and play on 30A. But as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we spend a little more time to reflect on the things we’re most thankful for here on the Gulf Coast.
First of all, we are thankful for surroundings that are best described as paradise. Emerald green waters and soft, white sand make our beaches some of the most beautiful on earth. If you’re seeking pure relaxation from your 30A vacation, just frolic in the surf and sand, and soak in the sun.
Want to add a little adventure? Boating, windsurfing, parasailing, kayaking, YOLO boarding, and any water sport you can imagine is offered here on the Gulf coast. There are even plenty of ways to enjoy our beaches at night; a bonfire on the beach is the perfect way to top off a fabulous day on 30A.
We are thankful for the endless outdoor living and leisure activities available on 30A. Discover the numerous biking and hiking trails. Golf lovers will be inspired by our golf courses with scenery that is second-to-none. If you love to fish or want to learn, charter a fishing boat! Explore art and fashion in the area’s many boutique shopping outlets; and sample farm and sea-to-table cuisine in our world-class dining destinations.
We are thankful for 30A’s charming neighborhoods with unique architecture. The homes here feature authentic construction materials, charming details and inviting style, with large, airy porches or balconies, well-appointed kitchens, and exceptionally comfortable bedrooms and living spaces. We represent the finest luxury vacation rentals in all of 30A.The homes are immaculately decorated and offer all of the latest amenities you desire from a luxury vacation.
Last but certainly not least, we’re thankful for the guests who choose an Exclusive 30A property for to make their 30A vacation unique, special and memorable. We wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and hope to see you on 30A this holiday season.
1st October 2016
Photocredit: Jack Gardner Photography
Coastal lakes are freshwater lakes that are found within 1 or 2 miles from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. There are 15 coastal dune lakes along the shoreline of Walton County. What makes coastal lakes special is that they actually connect to the Gulf of Mexico, a larger body of water. When the lakes reach flood level they forge a channel through the sand, breaking through to exchange water with the Gulf, creating a brackish water system.
When the channels open, the water bursts through the sand dune lines, along the beaches; the salt water then immerses into the freshwater lakes, giving the wild animals, birds and sea life in the area the opportunity to exchange healthy food supplies. This unique interchange of fish and other sea creatures into the coastal lakes produces an abundant eco-system that is extraordinary.
Photocredit: Jack Gardner Photography
Another unusual and remarkable feature of these coastal dune lakes is that the salinity of the lakes is constantly changing, making the eco-system of each lake distinct and beautiful in its own way. The lakes and beaches in the area are relatively untouched by time; they are still in their natural state. The area has been protected so that it will remain as unaffected as possible. Rains in the area cause the lakes to flood, which causes the channels to be formed, just as it has happened for thousands of years.
There is a local advisory board that advises the county on matters related to the coastal dune lakes. The goal of the council is to preserve the natural wonder that is the lakes. They assess building project applications, offer education and resources to the public, and keep a watchful eye on the area.
Introduction to the Dune Lakes by Natural Wonders of the World – www.CoastalDuneLakes.org
Many people think of the dune lakes as the “jewels” of the area. One is a diamond, another a ruby, another a sapphire, delicately set along the coastline. The water is magnificent in its jewel-like emerald coloring; the stillness of the lakes juxtaposed against the constant movement of the Gulf waters creates a rare experience of peace and serenity for many visitors. The quietness and natural setting creates a landscape that is conducive to reflection and introspection. Sunsets and sunrises add to the color; the coastal dune lakes on 30A are one of the most spectacular sights in the world.
Exclusive 30A invites you to visit and explore the natural beauty here along 30A. We offer unparalleled amenities, concierge service, luxurious bedding and ultra-plush settings – both inside the home and out. Contact us today to plan your next 30A vacation. Visit our rentals and book online or call us at (844) STAY-30A / (844) 782-9302.
1st September 2016
Photocredit: Emerald Coast Science Center
There are so many fun things to do at the Emerald Coast Science Center that it’s hard to know where to begin! Fly and land a model airplane in a wind tunnel. Play with a laser spirograph or a Van de Graaff generator (the thing that makes your hair stand up on end). Come face-to-face with tarantulas and millipedes. Who says science can’t be fun? This unique museum for children and families features more than 250 interactive exhibits.
There are fun seasonal exhibits, such as:
• Little Bits of Engineering
• K.I.T.S in the Kitchen
• Science of Beer
• Tea Talk with Baron’s Tea House
On the third Thursday of every month there is a planetarium show. The exciting show lasts approximately 45 minutes, plenty of time to be completely entranced with the amazing beauty and complexity of astronomy.
Photocredit: Emerald Coast Science Center
The regular exhibits are organized according to:
This all-new, exciting exhibit features two robotic arm units, two underwater exploration units, a planetary probe, cybernetics display, in interactive health robot and two information displays.
2. Engineering/Physics/Electricity/Energy Bike
Have fun experimenting with bottle lightening, electricity, hand batteries, and an energy bike!
Meet Tickles the snake, explore microcosms with Wentz scopes, discover Rosy the tarantula and experience wild and crazy parakeets!
4. Color and Light
The color and light exhibits are so much fun and beautiful to see! Experience a room filled with a kaleidoscope of light, color and modern technology. See amazing life-like holograms, light split into a rainbow of colors and the physics of reflection.
Photocredit: Emerald Coast Science Center
Here is a fun video to give you a taste of the Emerald Coast Science Center:
Emerald Coast Science Center is fun for the entire family. Make a point to visit while you’re in the area on vacation; bring your camera – there are memories to be made! This is also a wonderful kid’s birthday party venue – check out their party packages here. Visit the Center for fun, adventure and learning like you’ve never experienced before. To stay up-to-date on schedules, exhibits and events, follow them on Facebook.
1st August 2016
Photocredit: Florida State Parks
There’s still time to enjoy the great outdoors this summer and Falling Waters State Park is the perfect place to spend some time exploring. Falling Waters is a unique place to visit. Located in the northwest panhandle of Florida, this park is perfect for the whole family, with cascading waterfalls, breathtakingly beautiful sinkholes and lots of fun things to do.
Falling Waters State Park offers fishing, shaded picnic areas, a playground, camping and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities in some of the rarer habitats of Florida. Falling Waters is the type of place where lifelong memories are made.
The main attraction, the waterfall, boasts a 73-foot drop, the highest in the state of Florida. The largest sinkhole in the park is at the base of the waterfall. The sinkhole, known as Falling Waters Sink, is a 100-foot cavern, and can be accessed by visitors via a paved trail and boardwalk.
The entire park has an extended system of underwater caves, sinkholes and springs. The park lies on a bed of limestone that has eroded due to the acidic rainfall in the area. At times the waterfall is just a trickle and at times it is a raging torrent, all dependent on the amount of rain in the area.
Photocredit: Falling Waters State Park, TripAdvisor
There are three short nature trails that visitors can follow throughout the park. The trails lead around 100 ft deep sink holes, the waterfalls and many other points of interest. Hiking the trails provides a wonderful opportunity for guests to experience a mixture of habitats and natural features. There is an upland, pine forest, a hardwood hammock, and a 3 acre lake perfect for swimming and fishing.
30A is rich in sites of historic significance and Falling Waters State Park is no exception. The sinkholes were used as hideouts by the Native Americans during the Seminole wars; the park is the site of a Civil War era gristmill and, later, a distillery was constructed on the site. The park is also the site of the first oil well in Florida. There are many interpretive exhibits at the park to help tell the rich history of this unique part of Florida. The park is known for it’s Campfire Circles, where the friendly park staff give interpretive programs on a wide variety of subject matter, from snakes to long leaf pines.
Falling Waters State Park is known for its natural beauty, varied habitats and geological uniqueness. It is set aside as a wildlife preservation because over 400 species of plants and animals reside there. It is an official site along the Great Florida Birding Trail.
We encourage you to consider visiting the truly astounding Falling Water State Park and we would love to have you stay with us while you’re in the area. For more information about the park visit Florida State Parks. For more information about Exclusive 30A or to book a rental online, visit Exclusive 30A.com.
1st July 2016
While the rest of Florida heats up – with temperatures in the high 90s and humidity off the charts – here on 30A the average temperatures range between 70 and 80 degrees. Despite our picture-perfect weather, things sure are heating up on 30A!
July 4th is a big deal around here. We celebrate Independence Day with special events and fireworks happening up and down the 30A corridor. It’s like one big party along the beach. 30a.com has a complete schedule of July 4th events for those of you who are in town celebrating with us!
30A hot spots like the Seaside Amphitheater, The Green at Gulf Place, Alys Beach Amphitheatre, and The Hub host live music all summer. In fact, there are activities happening daily for kids, families and adults, so check out their online calendars for the latest happenings during your stay.
The breezes that help to moderate the summer heat aren’t the only great thing about life along the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf offers an abundance of opportunities for fishing and boating. If you prefer staying closer to shore, try YOLO boarding or kayaking the coastal dune lakes. Our concierge partner, Livewell 30A, can make the arrangements for a charter or rental.
Photocredit: Jack Gardner Photography
Hiking or biking are fun and free ways to enjoy a 30A summer without working up too much of a sweat. Hundreds of miles of trails along the water or amongst the flora of our state parks offer gorgeous surroundings for a two-wheeled adventure. Many of our rentals come with bikes, or you can rent them for the entire duration of your stay from our friends at Livewell.
Photocredit: Jack Gardner Photography
Speaking of adventure, an airboat eco-tour of Choctawhatchee Bay is a splendid way to spend an afternoon! Or sign your kids up for Camp 30a, a new and exciting day camp to experience the best outdoor activities that this beautiful part of Florida can offer, and enjoy an adult-only respite on the beach or at one of our exceptional Gulf-front bars and restaurants.
After all that outdoor fun, you’ll love returning home to your beautiful Exclusive 30A rental. Wind down with a nightcap on the porch, enjoying the sweet Gulf breeze, or take a dip under the stars in your private pool or hot tub*. At the end of the night, sink into your comfortable bed and have sweet dreams about your next fun-filled day on 30A!
1st June 2016
It is always amazing to hear from guests who have traveled the world that 30A is one of their favorite vacation destinations on the planet. TripAdvisor travelers agree, naming two local beaches to their list of Top U.S. Beach Destinations in 2016. Tucked between them, like a hidden treasure, is the 28.5 mile corridor called 30A.
By far, the reason we hear most often as to why 30A tops our guests’ lists is that our beaches are pristine, peaceful, and relaxing. Given the beautiful stretches of white sand and emerald green waters, that’s no surprise to us!
The second most common thing that we hear which draws our guests to 30A is that it’s family friendly. There are plenty of activities for kids of all ages during the day and a vibrant beachside nightlife for the adults. All summer long, we have live music venues, outdoor movie screenings, and some of the grandest holiday celebrations you’ve ever seen.
Finally, the third reason most often reason given for why our guests choose 30A over all the other places you could spend your vacation, are the beautiful homes for rent. Everyone knows that staying in a vacation rental is way better than a hotel. Not only do you have all the comforts of home, it’s private and affordable, especially with a crowd.
While the reasons for choosing 30A may differ, one thing our guests agree upon is that a 30A vacation is so special that they want to relive it again and again. A large percentage of our guests are repeat visitors. Some book the same property every year while others stay in different homes each time they come.
When you’re planning your summer vacation, start a tradition on 30A. Considering all it has to offer, 30A should be at the top of your list too!
28th May 2016
When you and your family are on the perfect 30a vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is what to eat. It’s your time to relax, so why should you be sweating over a stove? Luckily, you don’t have to as there are myriad dining options available all along the sun-kissed coast of 30a South Walton. Here are some of our favorite eating spots that you’ll also surely love.
The Perfect Pig – Santa Rosa Beach
Great service, top-notch food and brilliant atmosphere are the hallmarks of The Perfect Pig. It’s a café and gourmet restaurant located in Gulf Place and truly brings the delicious magic of the deep south into the sunny shores of South Walton. Expect biscuits, gravy and of course, delectable pork dishes.
Bijoux – Mirmar Beach
Coastal dining meets modern flair with Bijoux. This formal restaurant is elegantly designed and made for that special person in your life, as the mood is intensely intimate. The food changes on the daily and includes gems such as Tempura Fried Asparagus with Jumbo Lump Crab and Hollandaise Sauce or Red Snapper Ceviche with Mango, Avocado, Serrano with Fried Plantain as daily options.
Vue on 30a – Santa Rosa Beach
Many restaurants can claim to be the “best the coast has to offer” but Vue on 30a has literally been voted the Best Waterfront Dining and Best Place to watch as Sunset by various Florida lifestyle magazines. Where else can you watch the dolphins play as you tuck into some of the finest food Florida has to offer? Vue on 30a is open from Brunch to Dinner and we can highly recommend the Lobster and Crawfish, a pair of the restaurants best foods.
Cafe Thirty A – Santa Rosa Beach
For over twenty years, some of the best fine dining has happened over at Cafe Thirty A. It’s one of the premier restaurants of the Emerald Coast and is ideal for gatherings large and small. The main courses are well priced (from $35 and up) and include freshly caught fish dishes (such as chili dusted grouper) and melt in your mouth filet mignon.
Fish Out of Water – WaterColor
WaterColor is one of the most scenic regions of South Walton and one of the more popular 30a vacation rental options. Fish out of Water follows this trend by being one of the all-time best restaurants along the aquamarine coast. The food is farm fresh, with only the most tender cuts of meat and juiciest fish making its way to the diner’s tables. The restaurant is AAA Diamond rated, kid friendly and practically every view is of the ocean.
These and the many fine restaurants on 30a will ensure that your 30a vacation is nothing short of a culinary delight.
For all your holiday rental needs and so much more, visit Exclusive 30A and view the best in South Walton accommodation. Contact us today to inquire about rates.
25th May 2016
Why is the 30a community such a magical place to live and enjoy life? Is it the incredible beauty of the 30a rentals that line the magnificent beaches of South Walton, or is it the people who create such a wholesome and sought-after atmosphere? It’s a little bit of both really, plus the incredible shopping opportunities that a 30a vacation presents. There are some outstanding outlets to shop, dine and unwind at for those who want to indulge in the good life (and perhaps pick up a slick new leather bag as well). Presenting, the most fabulous shopping options of South Walton!
Grand Boulevard (Sandestin)
Are you looking for the most exciting events as well as some down-to-earth shopping experiences? The Grand Boulevard is for you then. Events such as the South Walton Food and Wine Festival plus South Walton Fashion Week are held at the Grand Boulevard on an annual basis and there are many other special weekly events that simply can’t be missed out on. Besides this, all your much-loved shopping and food destinations such as P.F Chang’s, J. McLaughlin and Cantina Laredo are all waiting for you!
Gulf Place (opposite Scenic Highway 30a)
This is both an artistic and shopping hub for the young at heart. One of the best restaurants in the district, namely La Playa is the ideal place to stop and drink your worries away as you drink cool cocktails around an open fire. For the artist, Gulf Place has many pop-up huts which will inspire you (to purchase as many beautiful trinkets as you can).
Silver Sands (around Miramar Beach)
Silver Sands is a variety of ultra-luxurious outlets for the true shopaholic at heart. Pick from Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, J.Crew, Calvin Klein, Banana Republic and so much more. For those looking for premium deals, there are sales held throughout the year, so keep an eye out for these, as the discounts go as deep as 80% on top-tier brands!
The 30a vacation community knows how to shop! You too can be part of the shopping extravaganza. Simply contact us today to discover how 30a can become your home away from home, plus offer a darn fine shopping experience to boot!
21st May 2016
The local beauty of South Walton County is indeed something to behold. Those who have enjoyed a 30a vacation can attest to this. For those who have yet to experience the true serenity of 30A South Walton County and its fine, snow-white beaches, we’ve selected a delectable set of the finest local photographers who truly know how to wring beauty out of the 30a coast.
Elizabeth Laird Photography truly knows how to combine family with these famous beaches such as Seagrove Beach, Grayton Beach, Watercolor Resort, Seaside, Santa Rosa Beach and much more.
Shelly Swanger Photography has captured some true gems of the Santa Rosa Beach
Finally, two more gorgeous family shots by Candice K Photography that truly encompass the warmth, friendliness and fun-loving nature of the people who live on the South Walton coast.
It would be impossible to have a collection of South Walton images without featuring the incredibly talented Jack Gardner Photography.
What are you waiting for? Make your own picture perfect moments and inquire about a 30a vacation rental today!
All photos are property of their respective owners.
16th May 2016
Want to know where the must-see 30a rentals are? We’ve got you covered with our selection of the five most striking beach towns of 30a.
Seaside is one of the most “innovative” beaches and a true jewel of southern living. Seaside offers a harmonious experience as the town that surrounds it has no less than nine beach pavilions. As a matter of fact, the hit movie from many years ago, The Truman Show, was filmed in and around the area of Seaside. With a bevy of outdoor concerts and some incredible spots to eat at, Seaside is a journey no 30a vacationer should do without.
Imagine, a beach so serene it takes your breath away every time. That’s what WaterSound has to offer, as well as golfing options that are almost too good to be true. The homes are also especially grand, with many having been built decades ago and truly show off the style of a forgotten era.
Want to visit somewhere a little more remote, a little more… out of the way? Then Inlet Beach is ideal as it feels totally removed from modern society. You’ll found old piers simply wasting away (although it looks gorgeous) as you relax in the sparkling clear, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The dunes that surround the beach are also mighty spectacular, so ensure that your phone or fancy DSL camera is fully charged, as there will be plenty of pictures worth taking (and posting to social media to make your friends jealous).
This is an area influenced by Bermuda itself and it shows. Alys Beach also features a true throwback to the past and in a time without refrigeration, folks of “ye olden times” used butteries to store their perishables. These butteries can still be seen in many of the properties on Alys Beach. The area itself is remarkably beautiful with a fine selection of activities for the entire family to enjoy.
Blue Mountain Beach
Blue mountain beach is one of the most breath-taking beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and anyone going on 30a vacation would do well do visit its sandy-white shores. The name is said to originate from the flowers, blue lupine which grow in abundance near the homes and around the dunes. It’s also a brilliant beach for biking on as its exceedingly quiet most days of the year, making it ideal for those looking to just vanish from society for a while.
There’s nothing quite like the beachfront experiences along the 30a coast. Visit them now, and create unforgettable memories while relaxing with family, friends and loved ones on one of the most visually arresting spots on earth.
Come to 30A and visit these and other amazing beaches. Our luxury vacation properties are in high demand, so book NOW to ensure you find the right home for your needs. Browse our full portfolio here: www.exclusive30a.com/rentals, and then call, email or book online today.
1st April 2016
Celebrating Earth Day this month reminds us to appreciate the treasures that Mother Nature offers. Our earth has picturesque snow-capped mountains, lush rainforests, vibrant tropical islands, and serene desert landscapes, but we think that 30A is the most beautiful on place on Earth.
30A is home to unique ecosystems not found anywhere else in the world. The 28.5 mile 30A corridor has four state parks, 27 miles of greenway trails and 11 rare coastal dune lakes. 30A also provides a habitat to nesting sea turtles.
30A has become a unique sort of “habitat” for us humans as well! Nature’s treasures provide a spectacular backdrop for outdoor activities like sun bathing, YOLO boarding, bicycling, hiking, and bird watching – not to mention “people-watching!”
With all the beauty that surrounds us, it is important to remember to appreciate and preserve both the natural and manmade resources that 30A offers. Whether your visit coincides with the celebration of Earth Day or any time you visit, be sure to take a moment during your visit to do something to leave 30A in better shape than you found it.
Tips for an earth-friendly vacation on 30A:
• Enjoy a picnic on the beach, but don’t bring glass containers and be sure to clean up after yourself.
• Bring a reusable water bottle on your trip to avoid creating plastic garbage, or – at the very least – recycle your disposable water bottles.
• 30A is known for its rare coastal dune lakes. In order to maintain this unique and fragile ecology, keep off the dunes.
• Stay on established trails and use dune walkovers to avoid damage to vegetation, which will lead to erosion.
• Observe wildlife from a distance, especially nesting sea turtles and birds.
• Contact the Southeast Region Stranding Network 24-hour toll-free hotline 877-WHALE HELP (877-942-5343) or Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (850) 650-1880 to report sick, injured or deceased animals that have washed up on the beach. For your safety and theirs, do not attempt to assist these beached animals yourself.
• Participate in one of South Walton’s annual Coastal Clean Up days (held in July and September). Contact Visit South Walton for dates and more information.
7th January 2016
After all the excitement of the holiday season subsides, winter trudges along without much to look forward to. We finally get a break with a long President’s Day weekend, and, of course, we LOVE celebrating Valentine’s Day, but sweet relief comes in the form of a week-long Spring Break vacation!
It’s a great feeling to have something to look forward to, so the sooner you start planning your Spring Break vacation on 30A, the sweeter the anticipation will be! Spring Break 2016 will be your best vacation ever when you come to 30A, one of America’s Top 10 Destinations on the Rise according to Trip Advisor.
Everyone knows that the first step to planning a vacation is reserving a place to stay; smart travelers also know that vacation rental homes are WAY better than hotels! Between the space, the privacy and comforts of home, you have all the ingredients for a luxury vacation experience. Furthermore, when you break down the cost of renting a hotel room versus to the cost per night in a vacation rental home and add in all of the amenities, a 30A vacation rental is a much better value!
Exclusive 30A is known for its collection of the best luxury vacation rental homes in all of 30A. Our boutique agency is extremely selective about the properties we represent, and our homes are upgraded and professionally decorated before entering the rental market.
Choosing a vacation rental home also allows everyone in your family or group to stay together. Even man’s best friend – the family dog – can join you in our pet-friendly vacation rentals! You’ll have a full kitchen, comfortable indoor and outdoor living spaces, and multiple master bedrooms with en suite bathrooms if needed. You can even reserve a home have your own private pool and hot tub.
But you better book fast, because our 30A vacation rentals are filling up for Spring Break dates. Check our availability calendar and book online instantly, or call or email us to learn more about any property you are interested in. We look forward to spring and seeing you on 30A!
22nd August 2015
Photocredit: Jack Gardner Photography
One of the best ways to experience 30A is by bicycling. There are over 200 hiking and biking trails in the area, winding through state parks and forests, passing dune lakes and preserves. Those who take the time to experience these incredible trails will enjoy scenic views of the area and will meander through the charming coastal 30A neighborhoods.
Trail-goers can rent bicycles at several places along the trail. If you’re staying in the area for a while you might want to consider renting your bike for the week because it’s such a fun and pleasant way to get around.
Photocredit: Jack Gardner Photography
Here are some of the most popular trails according to visitors and locals alike:
Eglin Reservation – East Trail
Elgin Reservation – East trail is a 32.9 mile trail that is rated “difficult.
Bay Loop Paved Multi-Use Trail
Bay Loop Trail is located on the north side of the Choctawhatchee Bay, in the quaint town of Freeport. The trail takes hikers, bikers and joggers past the historic Freeport shipyard, which was the hub of this city when settlers came to the area in 1830.
Beach Tram Path
Located in Santa Rosa Beach, this 1 mile trail is rated easy and is a birding trail. Dogs are allowed on leash.
Eastern Lake Trail – Red Loop
The Eastern Lake Trail – Red Loop is a 3.69 mile trail rated moderate. It is also in Santa Rosa Beach.
Longleaf Greenway Western Trail
This 2.1 mile trail is rated easy. It is located in Santa Rosa Beach.
Eastern Lake Trail – Orange Loop
This moderately-rated trail is 6.9 miles long. It is located in Santa Rosa Beach.
The Turpentine Trail is in Santa Rosa Beach. It is an easy, .75 mile trail with lake access, fishing and birding.
Campbell Lake Nature Trail
The Santa Rosa Beach Campbell Lake Nature Trail is an easy 5.20 mile trail. Camping is available as is fishing; dogs are allowed on leash. This trail is wheelchair accessible.
The multi-use Greenway Trails are in the Santa Rosa Beach area. They are wheelchair accessible with paved trails and timber bridges, giving everyone the opportunity to view the wetlands and native vegetation. Nearby, a 2-acre off-leash dog park called Alaqua Unleashed is sure to satisfy your four-legged friends.
Deer Lake State Park
Deer Lake State Park shares its name with the coastal dune lake within its boundaries. Southern magnolias, golden asters, woody goldenrod, and scrub oaks can be seen in this coastal dune habitat. A boardwalk across the dunes offers easy access to the beach where visitors can picnic, swim, and fish. It also offers a spectacular view of the dune ecosystem, one of 11 natural communities found in the park.
Nokuse Plantation Trail – Florida Trail
This is a 17 mile, moderately difficult trail in the Santa Rosa Beach area. Nokuse Plantation is the vision of M.C. Davis focusing on conservation, preservation and restoration. There is an education center located on Hwy 20, east of Freeport.
No Name Trail
Easy 1/10ths mile long trail in Santa Rosa Beach.
The Timpoochee Trail is a crowning jewel of 30A, tracing the Gulf shoreline and running parallel to 30A. It is a 19 mile long trail, perfect for bicycling, that meanders through state parks, dune lakes and charming 30A neighborhoods.
Longleaf Greenway Middle Trail
This Santa Rosa Beach trail is 3.07 miles long and rated moderate. Dogs are allowed on leash.
Western Lake Loop
Western Lake Loop is located at 357 Main Park Road in Santa Rosa Beach. It is .70 miles long and has a moderately difficult rating. Camping, birding, beach access are the amenities and dogs are allowed on leash.
Longleaf Greenway East Trail
Rated moderate – 2.10 miles long in Santa Rosa Beach.
Flatwoods Trail, Santa Rosa Beach, is a 3.81 mile long moderate trail. It offers beach access, birding, camping and dogs are allowed on leash.
Eastern Lake Trail – Yellow Loop
Eastern Lake Trail is an easy-moderate trail that is 3.27 miles in length. There are bathrooms along the way, a birding trail and dogs area allowed on leash.
Deer Lake Trail
Deer Lake Trail in Santa Rosa Beach is 1.46 miles long with bathrooms, beach access and dogs allowed on leash.
Choctawachee River Paddle Trail
This 57 mile trail runs from Morrison Springs to the opening of Black Creek near the Choctawhatchee Bay. Amenities include:
• boat ramp,
• Paddle Trail,
• pets allowed,
• picnic pavilion,
• bathrooms available,
• wildlife viewing,
• overnight camping facilities along trail stops.
Old Growth Trail
The Old Growth Train in Santa Rosa Beach is a difficult 1 mile trail. It offers birding, bathrooms, camping, fishing, lake access and dogs on leash.
Morris Lake Trail
Another Santa Rosa Beach trail, Morris Lake Trail is a difficult 2.5 mile path with bathrooms, beach access, birding, camping, fishing, lake access and dogs on leash.
Salamander Pond Trail
The Salamander Pond Trail is an easy bike ride or hike, with 1.1 miles on the path. There are bathrooms, beach access and lake access. This is part of the birding trails in the area with camping and dogs allowed on leash.
Morrison Springs Park
Morrison Springs is one of the most popular diving spots in northwest Florida and well-known throughout the southeast. This 161-acre park was acquired by the state in 2004 and has been leased to the county to maintain and preserve. The highlight of the park is a 250-foot diameter spring pool that produces and estimated 48 million gallons of crystal clear water each day and has been recorded to produce up to 70 million gallons a day. Three cavities allow Morrison’s frigid waters to surface from the underground aquifer. The deepest of these cavities, at approximately 300 foot in depth, eventually terminates in an underground chamber of unknown dimensions.
Local biking trails along 30A are a wonderful way to spend the day with your family and friends, an ideal way to get some exercise, and are a lot of fun!
8th August 2015
Photocredit: Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort
Plan your next 30A vacation during some of Northwest Florida’s most inspired and favorite local events: our run/walk/bike/swim races.
This summer, more than 800 people will participate in the 29th Annual Sandestin Triathlon, one of the biggest athletic traditions in the area. On August 22, 2015, participants will compete in a half-mile Gulf of Mexico swim, a 20-mile bike ride along Scenic Highway 30-A, and a four-mile run through Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort‘s beach and bayside community.
Triathlons and other race/run/walk events are incredibly fun! Some races are perfect for the whole family. There are, however, a lot of details to keep in mind. Here is a video with tips and tricks for race day:
• How to put on a wetsuit
• How to prevent sunburn and chafing
• How to set up your transition area
• Bike Course Do’s and Don’ts
Here is a list of race events that occur throughout the year on 30A:
1. Grayton Beach Hydrobike Adventure, Shrimp Boil & Bonfire
Grayton Beach (Repeats)
8/5/2015 – 2:30 – 9:00 pm
8/12/2015 – 2:30 – 9:00 pm
8/19/2015 – 2:30 – 9:00 pm
8/26/2015 – 2:30 – 9:00 pm
2. Sandestin Triathlon
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
August 22, 2015
3. Alys Beach 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run
September 6, 2015
4. Blue Mountain Beach Half Marathon & 10K
October 10 & 11, 2015
5. 30A 5K & 10 Mile Run
Santa Rosa Beach
October 10 & 11, 2015
Register here: https://endurancecui.active.com/event-reg/select-race?e=12997451&int=29-110-2
6. 30A Triathlon at Gulf Place
Gulf Place Green
October 11, 2015
7. Treasures of South Walton Adventure Run
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
8. 30A 5K and Kid’s Run
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26, 2015
9. Seaside 5K & Half Marathon
10. Taste of the Race
Kicks off the Seaside 5K & Half Marathon
Joining in on local race events can be a fun and exciting part of your next 30A vacation adventure. It’s a great way to see our beautiful coastal forests and beaches. There are events for every ability level. We’d love for you to stay with us. These event weekends book up fast so contact us right away to plan your next 30A getaway!
1st August 2015
Photocredit: Bill Clevlen
Experience the fascinating world of marine animals at the Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City Beach. Gulf World is an educational facility dedicated to educating kids (and kids-at-heart) about the amazing world of marine life.
Here are some of the exhibits and learning opportunities that Gulf World offers:
Swim With Dolphins
The park houses bottlenose and rough-toothed dolphins. These rescued mammals have found a home at Gulf World, where they learn new skills and interact with their trainers through positive reinforcement training.
Want to get close up and personal with the dolphins? Book a swim date with the dolphins and you’ll get to experience the amazing power and playfulness of these mammals in chest-deep water. You will experience a “dorsal fin pull around,” a dolphin kiss, a dolphin handshake and more. The experience lasts 45 minutes to an hour; your dolphin encounter includes a professional photograph with the dolphin. Learn more: Swim with a Dolphin Encounter
Feed and Pet Stingrays
Gulf World just opened a new habitat for stingrays, Stingray Bay. The 20,000 gallon habitat is in the Tropical Gardens, where you will also find flamingos and macaws. The park allows you to touch, feed and interact with the stingrays. Learn more: Stingray Interactive Program
Kiss a Sea Lion
Enjoy an interactive experience with a California Sea Lion. Sessions are scheduled daily and are available every day Gulf World is open. Learn more: Sea Lion Meet N Greet
Shark and Turtle Feeding
Learn about sea turtles, nurse sharks, black tip sharks, stingrays and other marine fish in this exhibit. Watch as the animal care staff feed the animals. Ask questions and enjoy being close to these amazing animals. Learn more: Shark and Turtle Feeding
Trainer for a Day
Perfect for animal lovers and the brave-at-heart! Shadow the Gulf World trainers for a day and go behind the scenes to work with these highly educated, trained staff members. You will assist in feeding the animals, training sessions and make an on-stage appearance in the Dolphin Show. Learn more: Trainer for a Day
You are in for a treat when you spend the day at Gulf World. Enjoy exhibits showcasing sharks, penguins, sea turtles, alligators, flamingos and much more. Stay late and enjoy the nightly concerts, magic shows and special events.
For more information visit Gulf World Marine Park’s website.
25th July 2015
Summer is a grand time on 30A and there’s always lots of things to do. While 30A may best be known for its gorgeous beaches and turquoise water, there are wonderful activities to complement the serene surroundings that will pique your interest and ensure you have the time of your life on 30A!
Interested in water sports? 30A has some of the world’s best water sports opportunities. Whether you enjoy kayaking, surfing, water skiing, wakeboarding, paddle boarding or YOLO boarding, the beaches along 30A or the coastal dune lakes are great places to practice or go full board! Love to sail or spend time on the water? There are sailboats or fishing boats for rent; try a yacht tour or go parasailing and feel the wind beneath your feet! Book a cruise from Sandestin’s Baytowne Marina on the Solaris for a truly special experience.
There are plenty of places to bike and hike, and nature trails and campsites in state parks throughout the area to explore. Want a guided tour? Try one of the eco tours in the area. Other fun things to do in nature include dolphin cruises, zip lines and rock climbing.
Are you a golf enthusiast? There are 16 golf courses along 30A and many of them are world-class. Tennis fanatics won’t have any trouble feeding their craving here on 30A. Rosemary Beach is well-known for its world class facilities: WaterColor, Seaside, Sandestin, Seascape and Miramar Beach also have great tennis courts.
Ready to discover places to visit? Try the Museum of Man in the Sea Scuba Diving History & Science, the Science and Discovery Center of Northwest Florida, or the Destin History and Fishing Museum.
Love biodiversity and the animal kingdom? Visit the world-renowned E.O.Wilson Biophilia Center, Navarre Beach Marine Station, the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Zoological Park or the Alaqua Animal Refuge.
Interested in cultural pursuits? Try the Visual Arts Center of Northwest Florida, the Cultural Arts Association of Walton County or the Seaside Repertory Theater. Look for specialized unique shops and, of course, the famous New Urbanism architecture for which 30A is famous.
Looking for something geared for the kids in the family? Water parks, remote control boat amusement parks, and zip lines are all fun for the younger set. And don’t forget all of the fun to be had right on the beach – what kid doesn’t love building sandcastles, collecting seashells, or flying kites in the warm afternoon breeze?
There are lots of fun events coming up along 30A. There are always farmer’s markets, festivals and unique events planned. Ready to test your fitness level? The Sandestin Triathlon will be held August 22nd, 2015. Looking for something a little more laid-back? The 4th annual Alys Beach 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run is coming September 6th and has something fun for everyone!
And don’t forget the magnificent dining prepared by some of the world’s best chefs. Whether you are hungry for some casual grub or ready for a truly fine dining experience, 30A some of the best to offer. Check out this diverse list of restaurants in South Walton for a taste of the flavors of 30A.
Whatever interests you, 30A is sure to please. We’d love to have you stay with us on your next visit to 30A. Give us a call at (844) STAY-30A / (844) 782-9302 or visit our website and book your property online and come join the fun on 30A!
18th July 2015
Santa Rosa Beach is a world-class travel destination, known for its natural scenic beauty, turquoise waters and sugar sand beaches. Travel + Leisure magazine recently named Santa Rosa Beach as one of the “Best Beaches on Earth” for families. In 2011, Yahoo! Travel named Santa Rosa Beach one of the “10 Best Beach Destinations.”
Santa Rosa Beach is located along a 26-mile stretch of Northwest Florida’s famed Emerald Coast, along 30A on the panhandle. It lies on the southern shores of Choctawhatchee Bay, more precisely Hogtown Bayou.
Santa Rosa Beach is one of 16 district beach neighborhoods in South Walton County, each with its own traditions, charm and visual style. The community of Santa Rosa Beach offers luxury beach houses, upscale dining and the unique artist colony known as Gulf Place.
Santa Rosa Beach offers several access points into Point Washington State Forest, a 15,000-acre preserve with more than 10 natural communities. Point Washington offers three trail systems that are used for hiking and biking. The Eastern Lake Trail System was the first trail established in the forest; it consists of three double-track loop trails with 3.5, 5 or 10 mile loops.
Many people like to go camping at Eastern Lake Campground located near the head of the Eastern Lake Trail. There are four primitive campsites available. The area is ideal for paddle boarding on Eastern Lake; The Gulf of Mexico is also accessible from the campground area.
Topsail Hill Preserve Park is also a popular summer destination, especially for families. The park has over three miles of white sand beaches, lakes, unique plant life and wetlands. Topsail Hill, the namesake of the park itself, stands nearly 25 feet above sea level. Topsail Hill Preserve is home to a wide variety of animal life, including endangered species such as the Choctawhatchee Beach mouse.
Topsail Hill Park is knows for bicycling, birding, fishing and hiking. Full service camping facilities are also available.
The main attraction to Santa Rosa Beach is, of course, the beautiful beaches. Families love to set up their chairs and umbrellas and spend the day building sand castles, jumping waves, walking along the beach, riding boogie boards and skim boarding. There is easy beach access with plenty of benches nearby that make it easy to rinse off. Beautiful sunsets are a common end to wonderful days spent on the beach!
Interested in booking a vacation at Santa Rosa Beach? Check out this beautiful sanctuary away from the crowded beaches! Enjoy the panoramic views of the emerald green waters in this cozy one bedroom condo. Step outside right onto the beach! Contact Exclusive 30A at (844) STAY-30A / (844) 782-9302 or visit our website for convenient online booking!
11th July 2015
“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.” ~Kate Chopin, The Awakening
There is nothing quite as wonderful as a lazy day spent on the beach, especially when the weather is warm and a quiet breeze brushes against your body, gently caressing you and keeping you comfortably cool. Gazing across the sugary-white sands of the 30A beaches, your eyes drink in the turquoise blue green waters of the Gulf of Mexico and suddenly you know this is going to be an exceptional day. You take a moment to survey the beach and decide which empty umbrella and chair you want to occupy. The scene is so inviting, the colors so vivid, so brimming with warmth and happiness and life, you never want this day to end.
You remove your flip flops and enjoy the pleasure of the heat of the sand beneath your feet and the sensation of the warm sand between your toes. You make yourself comfortable in your seat under the shade of the beach umbrella. You prepare for your day – sunscreen, ice water, a cooler with ready-made sandwiches and snacks. You instinctively reach for your sunglasses, your favorite book and a refreshing beverage.
The laid-back luxury of the beach seems to mimic the casual, relaxed elegance of the communities along 30A. Such is the pace of life here; the temptation is to simply do nothing. But opportunities for activities abound, and it would be a shame to waste them. So you pull out your notebook and begin planning for the rest of your vacation.
A middle-aged couple arrive and set up for the day under the umbrella next to yours, having made their way laughing in the easy way that long-time couples do. The sense of wellbeing and peace you feel as you deeply inhale the salty sea air, surrounded by the cacophony of crashing waves, children shrieking in delight and family members calling out to one another, mirror the easy, happy, relaxed mood of your vacation stay.
After so many hectic vacations running to and fro, here and there, it’s an unexpected, delicious experience to let the stress drop away and embrace the lazy contentment of a day on the beach. Quite possibly, like the unforgettable spectacle of sand and sea, a lazy summer day spent on the beach might be a day you will never forget.
4th July 2015
There’s something for everyone when you go shopping on 30A. The shopping experience along 30A is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. The unique features and character of each beach neighborhood are showcased by the local merchants in each area. There are countless amazing treasures just waiting to be discovered in the local shops.
Rosemary Beach is no exception to the exceptional shopping that’s available along Scenic Hwy 30A. The charming old-world town center is the hub of merchants in Rosemary Beach. Explore the town and you might find a secret boardwalk, old-style gas lamps and delightful fountains to inspire your imagination. Rosemary Beach offers a unique shopping experience. Here you’ll find truly remarkable items, appetizing dining, spas, and shops for kids.
August + Brill – Clothing that evokes the timeless style of southern culture.
Bombora Sun & Surf – A surf shop that offers designer swimwear, apparel & gear for the entire family.
Fitz & Emme – A Children’s Shoppe – Exclusive children’s styles that offer quality, comfort and durability. Fitz & Emme offers clothing, toys and accessories that are classically modern, made from premium materials and featuring fine craftsmanship.
Gigi’s Fabulous Kids’ Fashions & Toys – Much more than a store, Gigi’s is a place where kids and grown-ups alike can have fun and be silly. Everyone is invited to dress up, make a friend, watch the train chug, play make-believe and become a superstore! Gigi’s offers clothing, accessories, baby gifts, costumes, games, puzzles, art projects and more.
Hissyfits Boutique – Fashionable jewelry, purses, apparel and lots of great gift items for all occasions.
Moonpize – Great selection of affordable and adorable shoes for women of all ages. Unique fashion apparel, handbags and jewelry as well.
Willow – A beach boutique that offers distinct designers such as Rebecca Taylor, Tory Burch, Haute Hippie, Mara Hoffman, Tibi, Lauren Moffatt and Raquel Allegra. Willow also carries highly sought styles from Vince, CP Shades, Hudson, J Brand, Bella Dahl and Citizens of Humanity.
Rosemary Beach hosts a farmer’s market on Sunday mornings where you can find locally grown produce, homemade cheeses, baked goods and more.
Take a break from shopping and enjoy a casual eatery, upscale restaurant or an elegant bar. Stop by Summer Kitchen Café for a quick, casual lunch or satisfy your sweet tooth at the famous Sugar Shak. Try happy hour at Havana Beach Bar & Grill at the Pearl hotel for a delicious cocktail and a gorgeous view.
Visit the Merchants of Rosemary Beach for an extraordinary shopping experience. Book your next 30A beach vacation today and look forward to discovering a truly sublime shopping experience.
27th June 2015
Golf is a passion shared by amateurs and professionals alike. Everyday hundreds of golf lovers set out for the excitement, challenge, exercise, relaxation and camaraderie that come with the grand old game.
The sun shines most of the time on 30A, and that means any day is a good day for playing golf! There are 16 golf courses along 30A, many of which are world-class courses. Designed by golf course greats such as Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus, these courses provide challenges for all skill levels. They also offer scenery that is unbeatable – pine forests, marshes, ponds, lakes, stream, and, of course, the sugary white sand beaches for which 30A is famous.
Golf packages are available through the courses and local resorts. Package deals are often available and may include everything from green fees to cart rentals.
Here is a list of 30A Golf Courses (from west to east):
1. Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club – Santa Rosa Beach
2. Camp Creek Golf Club – WaterSound
3. Origins Golf Club – WaterSound
4. Island Golf Center – Fort Walton Beach
5. Sandpiper Cove Par Three – Destin
6. Indian Bayou Gold & Country Club – Destin
7. Kelly Plantation – Destin
8. The Golf Garden – Destin
9. Regatta Bay Golf & Country Club – Destin
10. Emerald Bay Golf Club – Destin
11. Windswept Dunes Golf Course – Freeport
12. Seascape Resort Golf Course – Miramar Beach
13. Sandestin Golf – Sandestin
14. Shark’s Tooth Golf Club – Panama City Beach
15. Holiday Golf Club – Panama City Beach
16. Edgewater Beach Resort & Golf Course – Panama City Beach
17. Hombre Golf Club – Panama City Beach
18. Signal Hill Golf Course – Panama City Beach
Exclusive 30A has several vacation rentals designed especially for golf enthusiasts! One of our properties, The Puttering Place (in WaterSound) is located directly on the 18-hole Puttering Park! Click here to learn more about this gorgeous 4 bedroom / 5 bath home that includes a golf cart (no more lugging anything to the beach!)
As you plan your next trip to 30A, consider spending a day or two on some of the finest golf courses around. 30A is home to some of Florida’s top-rated golf courses making it a golfer’s paradise.
13th June 2015
Panama City is located in the “panhandle” of Florida on St. Andrews Bay. St. Andrews Bay surrounds much of Panama City and provides a protected harbor for the growing Port of Panama City.
Incorporated in 1909, the city now boasts 36,484 in population. According to Panama City history, the town was originally named Harrison. The city’s developer, George Mortimer West, decided to change the name because a straight line between Chicago and the capital of the country of Panama intersected with the Florida town.
Panama City is a highly desirable area that is compatible with a variety of tastes and lifestyles. People who have visited the city find it is a highly attractive area. They most often cite the following reasons they love the area:
• Has a pleasant climate,
• Attractive housing opportunities,
• Lots of fishing and water sports,
• Plenty of arts and entertainment events,
• A pleasing small town environment for families.
Panama City has a nearly ideal climate. The average annual temperature is 68.8°. The average water temperature of the Bay waters is 72°.
Panama City Beach was named one of “The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches” in 1995 by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, coastal authority. Vacation shopping, restaurants, outdoor cafes and coffee shops are abundant in the area. Weekday bus service is available to the Panama City Mall and all other major shopping centers in the nearby area.
St. Andrews State Park has over 1,200 acres of beaches, sand dunes, nature trails, pinewoods, and marshes to explore. Panama City beach, perfect for family fun, is just minutes away from the park with a beachside amusement park complete with arcades, miniature golf, gift shops, sidewalk cafes and restaurants.
Panama City Beach is known for its sugary white sand, which is actually quartz crystals that have broken down over time, been polished and deposited on the shoreline.
Exclusive 30A offers properties in the Panama City Beach area. We hope you’ll decide to visit us and enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful – and popular – beaches. Feel free to contact us at 844-STAY-30A or visit our website for more information on our vacation rental properties.
6th June 2015
There will be a multitude of entertaining Independence Day Celebration events happening in and around 30A and the beaches of South Walton this year. Enjoy fun in the sun and an evening that lights up the sky and family activities. Families visiting the area will be treated to truly spectacular fireworks displays which are scheduled in most of the beach communities along Scenic Highway 30A. There’s also an annual 4th of July Parade that starts in Seagrove Beach and follows 30A to Seaside.
Join in the fun at the Independence Day Parade along 30A. Festivities start at 8 am. Afterwards, head down to the Seaside Amphitheater and enjoy a fun day of activities for the whole family. The parade starts at Seagrove Plaza and heads west to Seaside. For more information visit the Seaside website.
Enjoy the spectacle of decorated bikes, scooters, golf carts and floats – lots of laughs guaranteed! After the parade has ended there will be music, face painting and other family fun.
For those of you visiting the wonderful and funky town of Grayton Beach, the traditional July 4th parade starts at 8:30 am at the Red Bar. For more information visit Grayton Beach 4th of July Parade.
Rosemary Beach welcomes everyone to join them for a bike parade, family field day, BBQ and a concert on the green. Fireworks display will start at 8:45 pm. For more information visit the Rosemary Beach website.
Alys Beach will be hosting the Atlanta Allstars followed by a firework display. Celebrate the 4th with live music followed by fireworks! Piper’s will offer food and beverage. For more information, visit the Alys Beach website.
Join Sandestin for its beautiful 4th of July celebration during Red, White and Baytowne, July 4th from 6 – 10 pm. Baytowne will light up the sky over the lagoon with a 4th of July fireworks display at 9:15 pm. For more information visit the Baytowne Wharf website or call 850-267-8117.
Interested in colorful shopping choices, local treasures and unique gifts for all ages? You’ll find everything from resort apparel and children’s toys and clothing to local offerings and more at the annual 4th of July Sidewalk Sale at the Sandestin Family Retail Shops. The sale will take place July 2 – 5 from 10 am to 9pm in the Village of Baytowne Wharf.
Can’t wait for the Fourth of July for fireworks? You’re in luck! A private group at the WaterColor Inn and Resort has planned a fireworks display for Saturday evening. The fireworks are planned to begin around 9:30 pm and finish up by 10 p.m. Come out and join the show.
We hope you’ll join us for the 4th of July festivities on 30A. Visit our rental page and book your next vacation with us. We have pet-friendly properties and now you can book your home away from home using our easy online booking option. Just visit us at Exclusive 30A Rentals and get your reservation today!
30th May 2015
Photocredit: Jack Gardner Photography
There’s always so much to do on 30A that there’s never time to get bored when on a vacation to this beautiful area. Summer is an especially fun time to visit 30A. Of course, 30A is a very popular summer destination because of the beautiful emerald gulf waters and sugary, pristine beaches. Everyone loves the beach. After all, what’s not to love about swimming, surfing, wake boarding, fishing, snorkeling and building sandcastles?
As much fun as playing on the beach can be, at times sun fatigue may set in and you and your family may be ready for some other types of adventures. 30A is abundant with many festivals, events, state parks, playgrounds and unique shops.
Photocredit: Jack Gardner Photography
Here are some fun activities to do along 30A this summer:
• Watch a play, musical, drama, comedy, puppet show or take your kids to story hour at the Seaside Repertory Theater.
• Visit one of the dazzling Outdoor Amphitheaters in Rosemary Beach, WaterColor, Alys Beach, Baytowne Wharf and Seaside.
• Go biking along Scenic Highway’s 30A’s 29 mile bike bath. Discover South Walton’s rare coastal dune lakes by bicycle.
• Visit the farmer’s markets in many communities along 30A.
• Book a round or two at one of the local golf courses. 30A is home to some of Florida’s top-rated golf courses.
• Rent a boat. Whether you’re into a flat boat in the grassy shallows, or a 100-foot yacht launching from Baytowne Marina, you’ll always find a safe (and fun) harbor in South Walton.
• Visit the Alaqua Animal Refuge and see animals that were once homeless, lost and abused now run and play in sun-soaked pastures, swim in clean, cool ponds, relax on breezy, screened porches and graze in lush, green fields.
• Go on an Eco-Tour. A great way to learn about 30A is to take a kayak or YOLO board across Western Lake.
• Experience New Urbanism for yourself. Known for its diverse architectural styles, you will be amazed at the beauty and urban planning of towns like Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach and WaterColor.
• Take a cruise on the SOLARIS, a unique, family-owned yacht that features two dining salons, a full-service gourmet galley and a full-service bar.
• Go YOLO boarding and see for yourself how easy it is for anyone to pick up, on their very first try.
• Charter a deep-sea fishing excursion and try your hand at catching Grouper, Cobia, Wahoo, Red Snapper, King Mackerel, Flounder, Jack Crevalle, Amberjack, Trigger Fish, Spanish Mackerel, Blackfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi and other fresh treasures.
• Rosemary Beach is well-known for tennis facilities and annual tennis tournaments that lure players and pros along from all over the U.S.
• Go camping at the Topsail Hill Preserve State Park that boasts shaded lots, full hook-ups, cabins, exceptional amenities, vast miles of hiking and biking trails and access to over 3 miles of state-protected beaches.
• View the spectacular Choctawhatchee Bay, home to a teeming abundance of fish, dolphins and endangered species. Visit the lively harbors lined with fun restaurants and bars for boaters to enjoy.
• Explore the remarkable E.O. Wilson Biophilia educational and environmental facility just north of Choctawhatchee Bay.
• Dine along 30A. 30A has all of the necessary ingredients to whip up that perfect beach dining experience, and as such, its home to some truly exceptional restaurants. Whether it’s a romantic 4-star white tablecloth affair, a cheeseburger in paradise, or just a beach bucket full of freshly fried goodness, Scenic Highway 30A’s diverse menu offers something for every appetite.
Photocredit: Jack Gardner Photography
There’s an endless supply of fun and memorable experiences waiting for you, your family – and yes, your pets – along 30A. Book your vacation rental today with Exclusive 30A and discover how much fun a vacation on 30A can be!
23rd May 2015
The Digital Graffiti Festival at Alys Beach is the world’s first projection art festival. This year’s event will be held Thursday, June 4 through Saturday, June 6 in Alys Beach, Florida.
Photocredit: Lori Ceier / Walton Outdoors
Digital graffiti is an emerging art-form that gives the viewer a sense of being immersed in the visual world. DigitalGraffiti2015 is a place where artists use the latest digital technologies to project original works of art onto the white walls of the architecture of Alys Beach.
Underground artists around the world have been experimenting with the intersection of design, animation and projection technologies to create this new art form; many have been projecting onto skyscrapers and other urban structures as a way to experiment and create new art. Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach is a festival that attempts to bring together the best digital art talent together in one place to celebrate and experience the unique art of carefully selected talented artists.
Photocredit: Digital Graffiti Festival
Digital graffiti has been described as “social cinema.” What happens when you experience digital graffiti is that you begin to associate your own memories and experiences with the visuals; many viewers find they become immersed with the images and create their own interpretations of the digital graphics.
The unique architecture of Alys Beach lends itself to digital graffiti. The large, blank, white walls, combined with the doors, courtyards and pedestrian paths allow the artists to create new and innovative concepts. The festival attracts digital artists, filmmakers, musicians, interactive designers, photographers, VJs, producers, celebrities, agency executives and fans of art, technology and architecture from all over the world.
Photocredit: Digital Graffiti Festival
DigitalGraffiti2015 is an opportunity to experience a one-of-a-kind stunningly beautiful multi-media festival. Exclusive30A invites you to join the communities of 30A as we gather together to revel in the artistry and elegance of this incredible event.
To book a vacation home on 30A please visit our website at http://www.exclusive30a.com/rentals/.
16th May 2015
Photocredit: Jack Gardner Photography
Known for its breathtaking views, endless adventure and entertainment for all ages, WaterColor is a favorite vacation getaway for families. There are nearly 500 acres dedicated to natural beauty and preservation in WaterColor offering natural trails, parks, and – of course – beachside activities for you and your family to explore.
One of its most appealing characteristics is the expert planning of this “new urban” community. Filled with luxurious accommodations, a diverse mix of restaurants and plenty of indoor entertainment, there is something for everyone here. The award-winning community is known for its perfect balance of indoor and outdoor adventures, including appetizing restaurants, a potpourri of shops and a magnificent natural landscape.
Here are some fun activities that are fit for all ages to add to your WaterColor itinerary for your next vacation to 30A:
1. Explore Western Lake. Western Lake has a great deal of scenic beauty and natural elements to enjoy. Stroll around the Timpoochee Trail or go on the water in a canoe, kayak or stand up paddle board. Make sure to snap a family photo on the bridge over Western Lake; continue on by foot or by bike to Grayton Beach State Park.
2. Dine in a family-friendly restaurant. Most eateries in the area cater to families because WaterColor is known as a family-friendly beach neighborhood. Here are a few well-known dining spots in WaterColor:
• The BeachClub Grille at the WaterColor Inn & Resort Beach Club – perfect for a casual and delicious lunch
• Pizza by the Sea for fresh-baked pizza pies
• Fish out of Water – has a romantic but casual feel
• The Gathering Spot – where parents can splurge on oysters and steaks and kids can enjoy items from the kids menu.
• Wine World – welcomes all ages and offers a upscale wine bar, groceries and a separate family space.
3. Relax in Cerulean Park. Cerulean Park is a beautiful, well-manicured green park. Kids will love the thriving butterfly community while grown-ups will enjoy the shaded walkways and wide footpaths.
4. Spend the day shopping. WaterColor boasts a number of boutiques and shops for you to enjoy looking for the perfect souvenir, kid’s toy, accessory or outfit. Check out Little Red for one-of-a-kind children’s clothing, Fuss Boutique for a stylish women’s ensemble, and The WaterColor Store for family t-shirts and souvenirs.
5. Plan your wedding or next anniversary celebration. WaterColor is the perfect romantic getaway. There are wonderful venues for a wedding, vow renewal ceremony or other important event. Find your perfect spot on sugar-white stretches of sand, quaint gardens surrounded with color or amazing venue with stunning architecture. You’ll love the area’s picturesque beaches and turquoise water, dining, shopping, golfing and outdoor fun.
Exclusive 30A offers incredible luxury accommodations in WaterColor and nearby areas. See our vacation rentals here: http://www.exclusive30a.com/rentals/. Now you can book your vacation through our website using our online booking application. Once you’ve found your property and selected the date range, just click on “Book Now” to continue the online booking process.
9th May 2015
It’s not hard to see why so many people love to celebrate their special occasions on 30A. When you come to this quiet coastal area, you escape to one of the most pristine landscapes in the nation. The breathtaking views and serene environment provides you and your family the opportunity to get in touch with the great outdoors, while staying active and enjoying much needed quality time with your friends, family or colleagues.
Staying at an Exclusive 30A vacation rental home will leave a lasting and memorable impression on your family and guests. Known for our chic, luxurious, high-end and ultra-comfortable getaways for guests of discriminating tastes, you will enjoy unparalleled amenities, concierge service, luxurious bedding and ultra-plush settings.
Here are some suggested events that would be perfect for an Exclusive 30A retreat:
• Arrange a vacation home for your fraternal organization or association
• Arrange fun and exciting corporate retreats and incentive trips
• Host a fundraiser, gala event or holiday affair
• Bar / Bat Mitzvahs – Bar/Bat Mitzvahs are the most important event in a young adult’s life. All the dreams and visions you imagine will soon unfold to become a wonderful reality with the guidance and assistance of local event planners or concierge service. Enjoy a balance of fun and tradition while visiting 30A.
• Galas – Your festive event can become a truly dazzling affair with the setting and luxury touches we ensure in our vacation homes. Take your event up a notch and make it really special held in a spectacular Exclusive 30A vacation home.
• Personal celebrations – A home on 30A guarantees you will celebrate in style, whether the event is a milestone birthday, graduation party, anniversary party or reunion.
• Recognition – Show your appreciation and esteem for someone in your life – a co-worker or someone who works for your company perhaps. Whether it’s a retirement party or celebration of an accomplishment, an event in their honor can show you how important they are to you and your company.
• Weddings, Bridal Parties, Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties – 30A offers some of the most gorgeous wedding and wedding party venues in the world! The beaches along 30A offer a wide variety of stunning natural settings, extraordinary architecture and world-class amenities. Plan the Perfect 30A Dream Wedding
• Holidays – Let Exclusive 30A help make your holidays truly meaningful and unforgettable! We offer world-class chef kitchens in many of our properties so you enjoy those food-centric holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving while being on a memorable vacation getaway.
We’d love to have you as a guest in one of our unique and exclusive vacation homes. Click here to start viewing our listings.
2nd May 2015
There is no doubt that 30A is a very special place. Known for pristine sugary-white beaches, crystal turquoise water and natural scenic beauty, 30A offers amateur and professional photographers alike amazing opportunities for stunningly-beautiful photographs.
For budding photographers inspired by the beach communities, coastal dune lakes, state forests, parks, artificial reefs and many other exquisite photography opportunities, here are a couple of tips from professional photographers in the area:
1. When using your smartphone camera, always shoot in landscape mode to capture the best image. You can crop away parts of the image later that you want to scrap, but start with a full landscape image.
2. The best times for outdoor photography in the area are early morning and late afternoon, right before dusk. These times of the day offer pretty golden glow lighting and will enhance the natural beauty of the area.
3. Avoid shooting photographs mid-day to avoid the glare of the sun.
Wondering where to go for some of the best photography shoots in the area? Here are our top ten suggestions:
1. Topsail Hill State Preserve – http://www.visitsouthwalton.com/topsail-hill-state-preserve
2. Western Lake – http://www.lakelubbers.com/western-lake-1456/
3. WaterColor Boathouse – http://30a.com/locations/watercolor-boathouse/
4. Seaside – http://www.seasidefl.com/
5. Grayton Beach State Park – https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Grayton-Beach
6. Point Washington State Forest – http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Our-Forests/State-Forests/Point-Washington-State-Forest
7. Eden Gardens State Park – https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/eden-gardens
8. Blue Mountain Beach – http://www.visitsouthwalton.com/blue-mountain
10. Inlet Beach – http://www.visitsouthwalton.com/inlet-beach
Take advantage of the native beauty along 30A and shoot spectacular photographs that you will treasure forever.
What’s your favorite 30A photography location?
25th April 2015
Santa Rosa Beach is the oldest beach neighborhood in the South Walton area. Founded in 1910, Santa Rosa beach is still one of the most loved beaches on the Panhandle. Now a living before-and-after picture of a rich past and vibrant present, Santa Rosa Beach has been on the forefront of its transformation from a quiet stretch of sand to a world-class vacation destination.
Named one of the “10 Best Beach Destinations for 2011” by Yahoo! Travel, Santa Rosa Beach is recognized for its lapping waves, cool sand and endless array of activities offered. Santa Rosa Beach is also known for its luxury beach homes, upscale dining and beautiful Eden Gardens State Park.
Here are 10 things to do in the Santa Rosa Beach area:
• Play a round or two of golf at one of the many exquisite courses found in South Walton, including the spectacular Seascape Golf, beach & Tennis Resort
• Kayak, canoe or YOLO board on one of the rare coastal dune lakes in the South Walton area.
• Rent a couple of bikes and take a slow ride down Scenic Highway 30A.
• Take the family out for a delicious seafood dinner at Bayou Bill’s Crab House, featuring a raw oyster bar, crab feast, shellfish, fish and classic po-boy sandwiches.
• Attend a free concert, movie or performance staged in one of the local neighborhoods.
• Explore Topsail Hill Preserve, a secluded beach area in Santa Rosa Beach that spans over 3 miles of beaches, sand dunes, lakes, plant and animal life, wetlands and more.
• Enjoy a relaxing horseback ride through Point Washington State Forest in Santa Rosa Beach.
• Celebrate a special occasion at the Vue on 30a fine dining café with water views. The Vue is the only restaurant on Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A that has been voted as having the Best Waterfront Dining by Florida Travel + Life Magazine and most recently the “Best Place to Watch a Sunset” by the readers of Destin Magazine.
• Visit Eden State Park, a part of an estate owned by the Wesleys, a wealthy Florida timber family. Tour the beautiful turn-of-the century Wesley Mansion, tucked away on the shore of the bayou.
4th April 2015
Photocredit: Laurie Ausley, GraytonStatePark.org
Grayton Beach State Park epitomizes all that is wonderful about 30A. Consistently a gold medal national park winner, Grayton Beach is known for its breathtakingly-beautiful pristine beaches, coastal dune lakes, forests and access to the Gulf of Mexico. Residents and visitors alike describe their enjoyment of the heavily wooded shoreline and variety of birds and wildlife. The unique geography of the narrow peninsula lying between the Gulf and Choctawhatchee Bay offers unlimited access to the ocean and has become a favorite vacation spot for those lucky enough to have discovered it.
Photocredit: Taylor Lyn, GraytonStatePark.org
The beach offers a picturesque setting for swimming, sunbathing and surf fishing. Visitors are regularly treated to dazzling sunrises, sunsets and silver moonlit evenings. The southern portion of the park is protected from development, allowing all visitors to experience the Gulf and the lake in its natural state.
Grayton Beach State Park offers a 4.5 long biking / hiking trail (9 miles round trip.) Bicycling is a favored mode of transportation along 30A. The park is right between Seaside, Grayton Beach and WaterColor; these communities are all with a ½ mile of each other and are easily accessible by bicycle. The towns are picturesque; with many art galleries, specialty shops and bikes. Boardwalks and water features are prevalent; shopping is upscale and arts are on display everywhere, including blown-glass cattail lighting on bridges.
Coastal dune lakes are only found in a few locations in the world, and Western Lake is one of them. The lake is connected to the sea through an inflow/outflow channel. However, the outflow does not exchange water all of the time; the actions of the sand, wind and tides close off the outflow at times, allowing more freshwater to build up from rainfall and ground seepage. Once the water becomes high enough to force the channel to open up, which permits more tidal action to occur. Western Lake encompasses 214 acres, making it one of the largest dune lakes in the world. The result of this unique waterway and brackish water is one of the highest occurrences of rare wildlife species in the state, some of which are found nowhere else in the world.
Photocredit: Robert MacRae, GraytonBeachPark.org
Grayton Beach State Park maintains a boat launch ramp on Western Lake; canoe rentals are available. Incredibly, both fresh and salt water fish are caught. The most common fish are red fish, speckled and white trout, bass and bream. The water is stained dark due to tannins but is actually quite clean.
The most common watercraft on the lake are canoes and kayaks. Yoloing, a popular type of stand-up paddle board sport, is a common sight here. Sailors and ocean-going boats can access public marinas on Choctawhatchee Bay at Horseshoe Bayou approximately 15 miles from Western Lake. Charter fishing can be arranged with numerous captains along the Emerald coast.
Bald eagles are seen often here, as are owls, egrets and osprey. A variety of shorebirds can be viewed from the self-guided nature trail system, as well as the varied ecological systems. The extensive trail system criss-crosses the area, where visitors may see gopher tortoise, many bird species, alligators, deer quail and turkey, among other wildlife. The Choctawhatchee Beach Mouse is an important part of the ecosystem here. Nearing extinction a few years ago, conservation has helped them make a comeback. Here is a great video about this unique local species.
Grayton Beach is an ideal spot to enjoy Florida beaches and wildlife. Come and relax on the beach and experience the uniqueness of this area. To many already, Grayton Beach is paradise. Visit Grayton Beach and you will have memories to treasure that last a lifetime!
21st March 2015
The sea turtles that nest along 30A are essential members of our local ecology. Sea turtles have been called the “coal mining canaries” of the marine system because the health of sea grass beds is dependent upon them. Many species of fish and shellfish depend on sea grass beds; the condition of sea grass significantly affects the rest of the marine ecosystem. View Sea Turtle Documentary video.
ENDANGERED AND THREATENED
Local sea turtles are on the endangered and threatened species list. They have existed since the dinosaur era; now their numbers are dwindling due to human habitat destruction, artificial lighting and pollution. The loss of sea turtles would mean a loss of many species that could make life vulnerable for all of us.
Loggerhead Turtles. Photocredit: NatureWorldNews.com
FIVE LOCAL SPECIES
There are five species of sea turtles on the beaches of South Walton – Loggerhead, Kemp’s Ridley, Green, Leatherback and Hawksbill. This is the only known place in the world where all five species co-exist. All are on either the endangered or threatened species list and are protected by federal law.
Sea turtles are protected by the Endangered Species Act. There is a $2,500 reward for information leading to the conviction of anyone who touches sea turtles, their nests or hatchlings.
Nesting season runs from May 1st through October 31st. During this time the South Walton Turtle Watch, a group of volunteers, walk along the beaches looking for turtle tracks every morning just before sunrise. The mother turtles, who are returning to their own birthplace, leave telltale tracks in the sands, easily identifiable due to the type of white sands in this area.
Once they find the adult turtle tracks, the volunteers will mark the nest. It’s important for everyone to stay away from any place with marks (flags.) After 50 days the nests are closely monitored for signs of movement (indentation.) Only about 1 out of 1,000 baby turtles make it to adulthood. Turtle hatchlings face many dangers and can die from dehydration or predator attack if they don’t make it to the safety of water fast enough.
Sea turtles face an overabundance of obstacles for survival. Mother turtles who are trying to lay their eggs may become startled by humans; if frightened, they will not nest. Objects in the sand, such as beach chairs, toys, tents, umbrellas, flotation devices, trash, etc. create barriers they may have a hard time navigating around. Hatchlings, as well as the adults, can get trapped by the obstructions and may perish as a result.
Holes in the sand, although fun for kids to dig, can be deadly to sea turtles that can fall in and get trapped. If you or your kids dig holes, please fill them up when you are ready to leave the beach.
Artificial lights create another challenge for sea turtles. The turtles instinctively are drawn to the brightest light they can find. Traditionally, this would have been the reflection of the moon on the sea, but in populated areas this may mean local streets, in people’s carports or any number of areas where bright lights may lead them astray. If you visit our beaches during turtle nesting season, it is really important for you to turn off any beach facing lights at night and use a red light flashlight at night. Turtles can’t easily see light in the red spectrum so they are considered safe during this time.
Here are some guidelines to follow if you encounter a sea turtle during your 30A beach vacation.
1. Call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission Division of Law Enforcement if you find hatchlings wandering in a direction other than towards water. The number is 1-888-404-FWCC or South Walton Turtle Watch Leader Sharon Maxwell at 850-685-6281.
2. If you find hatchlings on the beach watch from a distance, allow them to crawl to the water on their own (they need to imprint their own home beach), leave them in their nest and keep all lights off.
3. If you see a female sea turtle nesting please stays behind her, keep your distance and remain quiet. Don’t use any lights, including flashlights, flash photography or video equipment. Don’t put your hands on or near the turtle. Any distractions may frighten or disorient her, causing her to return to the water before completing nesting.
4. We can’t emphasize it enough – if you find a stranded turtle please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission Division of Law Enforcement if you find hatchlings wandering in a direction other than towards water. The number is 1-888-404-FWCC. Or you may call South Walton Turtle Watch Leader Sharon Maxwell at 850-685-6281.
For more information, contact South Walton Turtle Watch here.
Have you ever seen a Sea Turtle nest or hatchling? Where were you?
14th March 2015
Brush off those winter doldrums with a positively delightful Easter vacation in the sun! Easter is becoming an increasingly popular vacation holiday, especially for those traveling to 30A. And for good reason! Spring is a beautiful time of year to visit the beaches along 30A; many local venues have planned events to help locals and vacationing families celebrate the Easter holiday.
There are fun Easter-related events happening along 30A this year. Local 30A activities in the area include colossal egg hunts, delectable brunches, Easter Bunny visits, family Easter celebrations and much more!
Non-denominational church services, starting at 8:30 am, will be held on the Eastern Green at Rosemary Beach. A low-rise chair is recommended. Then at 9:45 am an Easter Egg Hunt will be held on the Western Green (rain or shine.) The Pearl Ballroom will offer a full buffet (traditional holiday fare) with wine available for purchase. Havana Beach Bar & Grill will offer an Easter Lunch and Dinner menu with complimentary amuse-bouche and a special menu with dessert buffet. For more information call 850.588.2881.
Photo credit: The Pearl RB
Free (and open to the public) WaterColor Easter celebrations will be held at The Lakehouse this year at WaterColor Inn Resort. The Easter bunny will be walking around the property from 9:00am – 2:00 pm. He (or she) will arrive at the Boathouse Dock at 12:30 pm, kicking off an afternoon of Easter festivities for the whole family. Face painting, crafts and Easter egg hunts are planned. More information
Seaside will hold its famous annual Seaside Easter Celebration in the Amphitheater. This year there will be 15,000 eggs for the kids to find! The First Annual Duck Olympics (benefitting the Special Olympics of Florida) will be held from noon – 3:00pm. There will be 5,000 rubber ducks racing in a giant lazy river. The Duck Olympics is a free event with prizes awarded to winning ducks. The event will include music, refreshments and activities for the kids. More information
From classic fine dining to casual coastal culinary experiences, the restaurants on 30A will be offering delicious Easter brunch specials. Chef Shane Quinlan, The Beach Club at WaterSound, will prepare a full brunch buffet, including a full-service, chef-attended omelet station. More information
Marie’s Bistro, Santa Rosa Beach, will offer a special Easter brunch with Matt Hall. The brunch menu is traditional break fare with special features each week. Brunch includes a complimentary Mimosa. More information
Caliza Restaurant, Alys Beach, offers poolside dining. Caliza Restaurant will prepare a special Easter brunch on Easter Sunday. More information
Vue on 30a, Dune Allen beach, will host a special Easter brunch on Sunday, April 20th from 10 am – 2 pm. The buffet will feature an array of hot and cold selections, including a raw bar with oysters, shrimp, mini lobster tails, house-cured salmon, shrimp étouffée over rice, roasted prime rib of beef, custom omelets, grits and mashed potato bar, an assortment of desserts, and more. View menu here
At the Marina at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, the SOLARIS will set sail for an Easter Lunch Cruise on Sunday, April 5 (1-3 p.m.) After taking in the warm coastal breezes and panoramic views from the sky deck, guests will indulge in a three-course meal that begins with a gourmet Baby Spinach and Mushroom salad with a warm Bacon Vinaigrette topped with a Deviled Egg. Entrée choices include Beef Croustades (tender slices of filet mignon and portabellas inside a puff pastry), Southern Shrimp & Grits, Chicken Cordon Bleu and Vegetable Lasagna. The meal ends with Peter Cottontail’s Carrot Cake. A children’s menu includes chicken tenders, macaroni & cheese and chef’s vegetables. Reservations can be made online or call 850.650.2519.
Want an updated list of 30A Easter events? 30A.com compiles and updates a listing here.
Want some colorful Easter beach inspired ideas? Check out our new Easter at the Beach Pinterest board. There are innovative Easter baskets, egg coloring & designing creative ideas, beautiful Easter place settings, sea-themed brunch menu ideas and much more!
Whether you decide to take your family out to one of the exciting Easter events along 30A, or enjoy a quiet Easter celebration at your Exclusive 30A vacation rental, the team at Exclusive 30A wishes you a very happy and sunny Easter weekend!
21st February 2015
Looking for an intimate, small town getaway in the Florida panhandle along 30A? WaterColor is a delightful beach community that eases into its natural surroundings with a Southern simplicity and grace. Tucked between the beautiful beaches of the Emerald Coast and Western Lake, WaterColor is a town rich in natural beauty.
WaterColor, FL is a planned community. It was designed by Cooper, Robertson & Partners for the St. Joe Company, a real-estate developer that has owned the 499 acre land area since 1927.
WaterColor homes are designed using the vernacular architecture style. This style focuses on local needs, construction materials and reflects local traditions. It tends to evolve over time to reflect the environmental, cultural, technological, economic and historical context in which it exists.
Although each house is unique, the architectural style of the homes in WaterColor are known for large wraparound or screened porches, wood columns, wood siding and metal roofs with deep overhangs. These luxury homes are characterized by their charming details and inviting style.
Warm gulf breezes, neighbors gathering on welcoming front porches, children laughing and riding bikes all create a sense of place that is familiar and comfortable. A diverse collection of award-winning amenities make this a desirable vacation spot.
Here are some of the local area features WaterColor has to offer:
Parks & Gardens
Trails & Docks
View an interactive map of the WaterColor area amenities here.
WaterColor is one of many neighborhoods in the area that are nestled in the sugary-white sands of the Gulf Coast. It is located in Walton County, which has hilly terrain, beautiful lakes and is fringed by the emerald Gulf waters.
Consider booking your next vacation in the timeless, authentic and welcoming town of WaterColor. Visit our website, do a Search for “WaterColor” and take some time to browse through our current WaterColor area listings.
What interests you most about the WaterColor area?
14th February 2015
Bonfires on the beaches along 30A are a beloved tradition among tourists and locals alike. If you’re vacationing along 30A for spring break, a bonfire on the beach is one experience you won’t want to skip.
Who doesn’t love to collect a group of friends and family and head to the beach for a bonfire? When you combine the fun of a bonfire with the dramatic beauty of the beach at night, it becomes a memorable venture. A beach bonfire is a rich sensory experience: cool sand between your toes, the warmth of the roaring fire, the sound of waves crashing in your ears while burning embers float upwards towards the sky. Even the smell of smoke and roasting hot dogs or marshmallows over the fire helps to create an enchanted evening.
You’ll have to obtain a bonfire permit from the South Walton Fire District on County Highway 393. If you’re out of town, you can call their office at 850-267-1298. A one-day bonfire permit is $50 and applications are processed Monday – Friday (8am – 4pm Central Time.) Go to their website to learn more.
Here are some tips to enjoy a phenomenal spring break bonfire on 30A.
What to Bring to a Bonfire
• Blankets or towels
• Beach chairs
• Cooler with ice and your favorite beverages
• S’mores ingredients: graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows
• Roasting sticks for the marshmallows
• Hot dogs to roast, pizza, sandwiches or other easy-to-eat-with-your-hands food
• Jacket or sweatshirt
• Football, soccer ball, volleyball, paddleball, cornhole or any other beach-friendly game
Beach chairs, sand castle kits, bikes and other equipment can be rented at the beachside rental shops.
If you would rather have someone take care of the details for you, there are several professionals in the area. They will take care of the permits, chairs, tiki torches, table with food and beverages; there are different levels of services so check around to find what you need.
Live Well 30A, our partner concierge service, manages beach bonfires. Contact them here: 850-534-0183.
A beach bonfire on 30A is an unparalleled experience. The soft white sand under your bare feet, the beautiful gulf waves glistening in the golden light of the late afternoon sunset, happy faces and joyful hearts combine to make the ritual bonfire gathering a memory that won’t fade for years to come.
What “beach bonfire essentials” are on your beach vacation list?
7th February 2015
Rosemary Beach is an extraordinary place. Located seven miles east of critically-acclaimed Seaside, Florida, the resort town of Rosemary Beach is nestled between Highway 98 and Scenic Route 30A on northwest Florida’s panhandle, along the Gulf Coast.
Rosemary Beach was established in 1995 by town developer Patrick Bienvenue (Rosemary Beach Land Company) and planning pioneers Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. Keeping the local homeowner and vacation home renters in mind, their vision was to create a town with walkable neighborhoods and a strong sense of community. The 107-acre development, which includes 2,300 feet of breathtakingly beautiful white beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, is based on the land use concept of New Urbanism, incorporating architectural influences from around the world and throughout the centuries.
The design team wanted to create a town that was reminiscent of long ago, when people knew each other and could easily walk to local shops, restaurants, galleries and a variety of housing options. The vision, quite revolutionary for the time, encouraged pedestrian traffic, community interaction and connection between neighbors while relying on strict urban code and regulations to ensure architectural beauty and consistency.
The result is a cohesive, unique town, with an intricate patchwork of different types of houses and custom homes built to suit a wide range of individual tastes. There are twelve basic house types that are architecturally distinct, custom-designed, and built to reflect each owner’s tastes, needs and lifestyles.
Even though there is variety in the architecture, there is still a definite cohesiveness. The use of authentic construction materials and techniques are quite fitting for the buildings in this coastal environment. Homes are finished with wood siding, cedar shingle or stucco with metal or shingle-shake roofing. Houses are finished with rich, natural-tones that distinguish the houses but blend in well. Porches are well-shaded by deep, overhanging eaves and high ceilings draw breezes throughout the home. Gardens, fountain-filled courtyards and porches become outdoor living spaces.
Exclusive 30A offers splendid luxury vacation home rentals in Rosemary Beach, beautifully furnished and unparalleled in sophistication and comfort. We invite you to peruse our website and contact us today to reserve an incredible vacation getaway in the truly innovative, fascinating beach town of Rosemary Beach.
24th January 2015
Spring break on 30A is full of fun and relaxation. Unlike other areas known for wild spring break college parties, South Walton is more about good times with family and friends, relaxation on the beach and refreshing fun in the sun.
Which doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do while you’re here on vacation. Every time you visit the area you’ll discover something new. Whether you’re a bicycle enthusiast, hiker, foodie, shopaholic or avid photographer, there is a dazzling array of activities and sights for you to explore during your beach vacation.
Hiking and Biking
There are over 200 miles of hiking and biking trails throughout the state forests and parks in Walton County. There are trails through pine forests and preserved land areas, stunning bald cypress swamps, over mountainous sand dunes and by coastal dune lakes. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of one of the nation’s most endangered bird species or one of the 14 unique plant communities.
One of the most beloved and widely used paved paths is the Timpoochee Trail. It is named after the influential Native American Chief of the Euchee Indian tribe, Timpoochee Kinnard. It runs the full length of County Road 30A and winds through beach communities, along lakes and through natural scenery with gulf views.
Shopping and Dining
Whether you’re looking for fun and offbeat to elegant and upscale, adorable to flirty, the many boutiques of Rosemary Beach are fun to explore. Spend the day enjoying the unique offerings of fashion, jewelry, toys, books, gifts and gear, and everything else you can imagine – and then some!
Once you’ve found your treasures, treat your taste buds to a remarkable lineup of enticing meals. Rosemary Beach is home to a wonderfully diverse variety of world-class restaurants from AAA-rated fine dining establishments to delicious casual seafood shacks. The chefs of 30A are some of the most talented in the world. Want a list of the local shopping and dining establishments? Here you’ll find shopping, dining, spas, professional services, items for kids and even community services.
There is water all around 30A – who can resist the allure of water activities? One of the most popular activities in the area is stand up paddle boarding. Paddle boarding – also called YOLO (You Only Live Once) Boarding is great exercise and a lot of fun. Jet skis and parasailing are favorite pastimes in the area. And for those seeking a quieter recreation, try kayaking across a dune lake.
Fishing and boating are time-revered favorite pastimes in the area. Professional and amateur fish-seekers seek South Walton’s sugar-white shores because they offer some of the best sport fishing in the world. Grouper, cobia, red snapper, king mackerel, flounder, crevalle jack, amberjack, trigger fish, Spanish mackerel, blackfin, tuna, mahi mahi and other fresh fish are well-known catches in the area. There are local charters, guide boats or rent-your-own boats for tons of fun in the sun!
Rest and Relaxation
What would a beach vacation be without lazy days on the sand? If you’re looking for a relaxing way to decompress, a day at the beach is just the ticket. Enjoy kite boarding, surfing, shell collecting, sand-sculpting or just sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds on the beautiful white sandy beaches in the area.
Bring a chair that can get wet and sandy, a beach bag with tanning oil and sunscreen so you don’t end up with a nasty sunburn. Don’t forget a large towel, your phone or iPod with your favorite music and a good book to get lost in. Grab a Frisbee, volleyball or cornhole bags if you enjoy games, some cold drinks and you’re off to enjoy a day next to the water!
Once you’re there, go for a long walk. Enjoy the feel of the warm sand between your toes and the water washing over your feet. Luxuriate in the feel of the sun caressing your skin and the cool breeze lightly blowing your hair. Take the time to inhale the fresh scents of the sea, relax and let the beauty of your natural surroundings restore and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy the beach?