The How-to Guide for Spoiling Mom on 30A

The How-to Guide for Spoiling Mom on 30A

1.    Mother’s Day Brunch at Vue on 30A

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.14.34 PM One thing Mom is sure to enjoy is a gourmet brunch at Vue on 30A, a classy restaurant on the beachside in Santa Rosa Beach. Vue is having a special Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday May 10 starting at 10:00AM. The delicious food, excellent service, and the picturesque view will start her day off right.

2.    Paint a hand-print platter

A precious keepsake that all mothers love is their babies’ hand prints. Stop in Fired Up in Seaside and surprise mom by getting the whole family to pitch in and create a special platter with everyone’s hand prints. The Fired Up crew will help you bring out your imaginative side and turn your hand prints into fish, butterflies, or any other idea you might have. Mom is sure to cherish this unique dish for a very long time!

3.    Family beach portraits

Moms are all about family pictures and remembering the fun times you have at the beach. A 30A beach at sunset is the perfect setting for a family photo shoot. Amy Walchak with Avalon Photography is one of the best in the business and has a ton of experience with beach family portraits. These pictures will melt mom’s heart!

4.    Have a Picnic

You can’t go wrong with a picnic. The gorgeous May weather on 30A is too perfect to not take advantage of it! There are countless picnic locations in the area like the Seaside Amphitheater, the dune lake state parks, or the lawn of the Eden Gardens Plantation. There are also several great food options on 30A to choose from, depending on what mom likes best!

5.    Rent Yolo boards

While you’re outside, now is as good a time as any to pick up some Yolo boards or ocean kayaks from a beach rental shop and head to the beach! Mom will be amazed by the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico from the vantage point of the second sandbar far from the seashore. Stand-up paddle boarding is a local favorite beach activity that mom will enjoy.

6.    Amavida and 30A Farmer’s Market in Rosemary Beach

Mom needs her morning coffee, and the Rosemary Beach Amavida makes a tasty cup. A great way to spend Mother’s Day morning is to stroll through Rosemary’s 30A Farmer’s Market. Mom will love to try the locally grown and farm fresh foods. You will most likely find a merchant selling fresh-cut flowers that are a must for mom on Mother’s Day and every other day!

7.    Send Mom to the spa

The ultimate way to spoil your mom on Mother’s Day is to send her to the Sanabella Spa & Salon at WaterSound Beach. She is guaranteed to feel relaxed and pampered whether she gets a massage, facial, mani-pedi or her hair done. Sanabella is a premier spa on 30A and mom will not be disappointed.

8.    Dinner in Watercolor at Fish Out of Water

Mom will most likely want to have a nice dinner out. Fish Out of Water is Watercolor’s finest restaurant serving some amazing fresh seafood. A waterfront dinner is perfect for a Mother’s Day on 30A.

9.    Dinner at Caliza in Alys Beach

Another luxurious dinner option for mom is the Caliza Restaurant in Alys Beach. Alys is a town like none other on 30A with its Bermudan influences. Caliza is likely the most beautiful and unique poolside dining you will ever experience. Mom deserves the best for all that she does.

10.    Gift from Zoo Gallery

A great place to find a unique Mother’s Day gift for your lovely mom is the Zoo Gallery in Grayton Beach. This eclectic shop has something for every mom from locally handmade jewelry to home décor. You will also find a perfect Mother’s Day card here! Located across the street from the beach in Grayton, Zoo Gallery will be a hit with your mom.
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The Top 7 Things to Do on Your 30A Vacation

The Top 7 Things to Do on Your 30A Vacation

The best way to get a top-notch experience of 30A is to ask the locals. 30A natives and those who have lived here for years know all of the important spots you must hit and the activities that you don’t want to miss. The best advice I can give is to take a trip down 30A. It would be a shame not to venture out away from your condo or beach house. To say that 30A is a “scenic highway” is a major understatement. These seven things are the top things to do here but don’t hesitate to “stop and smell the roses,” as they say. Embrace the slow-pace lifestyle. Starting from the West end, here are the top seven things to do on your 30A vacation.

1.    Visit the Artists at Gulf Place

Approximately three miles down 30A, you will find the town center of Gulf Place. Here you will see boutiques, cafés, a superb pizza place, and the Artist Colony. The boardwalk nestled in the center of Gulf Place houses the artwork of several local artists. The unique array of styles ranges from tie dye to license plate art to pieces made from beach glass found on the seashore. One quality that most of the artists share is a great variety of fun colors. The artists are super friendly, and they often offer little projects to get the kids involved. This is an excellent opportunity to buy some one-of-a-kind artwork and support the local artists. Art is a huge part of the 30A culture, and this is just one of the places that you can catch a glimpse of the creative style.

2.    Eat dinner and catch some live music at Red Bar

Five miles down the road from Gulf Place is Grayton Beach. Grayton is not only a popular spot for tourists, and it is a favorite of the locals. Red Bar is a Bohemian style restaurant on the beach in Grayton. This place is the best dinner spot on 30A if you’re looking to experience a high-energy, fun atmosphere and some live music from local artists. It’s pretty hard to go to Red Bar and not have a great time! The beach here in Grayton is worth noting because this is the only beach on 30A where driving on the beach (with a permit, of course) is legal. It is a sight to see with all of the Jeeps and 4-wheel-drive vehicles pulled up to the Gulf. These people aren’t messing around with their beach set-ups! After a long day on the beach, Red Bar is a perfect spot to have some first-rate seafood, and a bottle of 30A Beach Blonde beer brewed right here in Grayton Beach.

3.    Get a Frostbites snow cone

The third thing you must do on 30A is stop at Frostbites in Seaside, less than three miles from Grayton Beach. Seaside is the most well-known town on 30A for good reason. This town is like none other, whimsical, patriotic, and almost like a scene from a movie. Actually it is the exact scene from a movie. The Truman Show featuring Jim Carrey was filmed in Seaside in 1998 among other films. Probably the most iconic feature of Seaside is the row of airstream food trucks and among the most popular, the friendly people at Frostbites will make you a snow cone that is to die for. If you’re indecisive about flavors, this could be a challenge because there are hundreds of flavors and combinations to choose from. My personal favorite is strawberry orange with cream on top… yum! You might also notice all of the people sporting Frostbites t-shirts and tank tops. These are quite popular, and they offer new styles every summer. If you’re the type of vacationer that likes to get a t-shirt to remember your trip by, this might be the one! Frostbites is a staple of 30A and how can you say you’ve vacationed on 30A and not gotten a Frostbites snow cone?

4.    Biking

Surely at this point on your drive down County Road 30A, you will have noticed the amount of people biking along the scenic bike paths. You might also notice that the majority of the bike paths on 30A are in better condition than the actual roads. There is a reason for this! Another large aspect of the community is being active and not just tanning and building sand castles. 30A is the perfect place for a bike ride on a beautiful day, which is most days! Biking is an ideal method of transportation, especially around the Watercolor-Seaside-Seagrove areas. Drivers know this good and well, and we do our best to keep out of the way! Rent Gear Here is a bike rental company conveniently located in Seagrove, a neighboring town to Seaside. There you can rent bikes for the family, beach equipment, kayaks, Yolo boards, and even baby necessities. Rent Gear Here will also host a bonfire on the beach for you, and what better place to have a bonfire than on the beaches of 30A? Make sure you try one of their popsicles as well (the key lime pie flavor is exceptional)!

5.    Experience the natural side at Deer Lake State Park

One of the most unique habitats of the 30A community are the dune lakes. These coastal dune lakes are only found here in Walton County and four other places in the entire world. The Florida dune lakes are also home to several rare and endangered species of plants and wildlife. Needless to say, the lakes are very rare and highly protected. Deer Lake State Park is located 2 miles from Rent Gear Here, a 10-15 minute bike ride or a 4-minute drive. A great spot for nature-lovers, the state park, offers miles of trails with beautiful views of the various natural habitats. Bring a picnic lunch, a swimsuit, and some hiking shoes and take in the serene landscapes. Floridians like to call this “the real Florida” because most people have the assumption that Florida is just a pretty beach. The Panhandle of Florida is much more than a beach, and Deer Lake State Park will give you a glimpse of its nature while still being close to the Gulf.

6.    Stroll down Main Street in Rosemary Beach

Rosemary Beach is a very unique community at the East end of 30A that you will not want to miss. Rosemary has a special atmosphere with a European flair. The architectural style and cobblestone streets make this place different from any other town on 30A. When you walk down Main Street, you will feel just as if you’re walking down an old street in France. The street is lined with quaint little shops, cafés, and restaurants. Pish Posh Patchouli’s, Gigi’s toy store (the kids will love this!), and La Crema Tapas and Pastries are a few favorites. Rosemary Beach has an air of romanticism that is hard to explain to those who have not experienced it. A recent article by CNN named Rosemary Beach, FL one of America’s most romantic small towns. Rosemary is one of the Panhandle’s best kept secrets yet it appears that national news is taking notice!

7.    Beach hop!

Clearly, the main draw to 30A is the beautiful beach with its sugar white sands and turquoise waters. While there is so much culture to take in on 30A, the Gulf of Mexico lies at the heart of this community. There is not a bad beach to visit here, and they are all breathtaking. While it may be easiest to stick to the beach closest to your condo or beach house, I would challenge you to switch it up and find a new beach every day. On one day, you might want to go to a quiet beach and spend quality time with your family or significant other. On this day, you might want to find the Stallworth beach access. Another day might be the perfect day to experience a lively beach, meet some people, and take advantage of the area’s amenities. Grayton and Seaside Beach are sure to meet these expectations! Regardless of the public access you choose, the chances are pretty good that you’re in for a wonderful day at the beach (so long as you remember the sunscreen)!
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The 30A Life