November 3, 2017

Lauren and Emma’s Guide to 30a

30a is a magical little place full of the most beautiful beaches and atmosphere. The restaurants and shops are to die for. 30a has become our home away from home, and we visit regularly. A piece of my heart is always in 30a. It’s where I retreat for comfort and inspiration. I always leave with a clear mind and joy in my heart. Of course everywhere you visit on 30a will be amazing, so I am just highlighting our favorite spots. I prefer to visit in late October when the crowds are gone, the days are warm, and the water is very comfortable. There are great deals on and for the off season months.


Grayton Beach

Grayton Beach is my favorite of all the beaches. It has an Old Florida feel, and I just spend hours riding my bike admiring the cottages nestled in overgrown shrubs. You never meet a stranger in Grayton Beach. It is full of nice dogs and friendly folks, after all. You’ll see lots of locals with their trucks and jeeps on the beach having cookouts. It’s a dreamy place to watch the sunrise and sunset.

Hibiscus Coffee and Guesthouse – I’ve stayed at Hibiscus Coffee and Guesthouse many times, and my heart just craves to be there. There are 13 distinctly different guest rooms. The smell of the cafe and clanging of silverware beckon me out of bed every morning. I walk in the cafe to smiling faces, and I read a good book in the Backyard of Love with my coffee and yummy breakfast in hand. I just love their frittatas and wonder cookies. Your worries will melt away, and hours will fly by while you relax here. Their Sunday brunches are the best. Live singer songwriter music, mimosas, and opportunities to donate to a good cause. Be sure to say hi to Cheri, Stephanie, and Jean if you see them around. They are the people who make this place feel like home.

The Red Bar – The Red Bar is a funky little spot that you must visit. The menu is very simple (and DELICIOUS!) and written on a chalkboard. Ask for the spicy tuna dip even if it’s not written on the menu. It’s always there, and it is the BEST. I also order the panne chicken with butter sauce and capers with mashed potatoes on the side. There is live music at night, so grab a few guava mojitos and enjoy!

Grayton Seafood Company – My new favorite restaurant in Grayton! Order the fish of the day with a glass of white wine. Enough said!

The Craft Bar – This is the perfect spot for specialty cocktails. I order the scorched earth every time. Hendrick’s + house citrus + house simple + english cucumber + torched rosemary

Hurricane Oyster Bar – Happy hour at the Hurricane Oyster Bar is something I do every trip. 3-6pm everyday. I like to sit on the deck with a view of the pond and eat LOTS of oysters. Their World Tour sampler is colorful and delightful.

Chiringo – Chiringo occupies where Shorty’s used to be. It has a rooftop deck with fresh gulf seafood, grass fed organic beef, and locally infused into recipes from around the world.

The Zoo Gallery – You need only step one foot inside the Zoo Gallery to know you are somewhere extremely cool. Every nook and cranny is filled with visionary, unique, and spectacular art from artists and designers across the United States and the globe. If you’re looking for eclectic art for your home or unique Christmas gifts, this is your place.



Imagine the perfect town. That is Seaside. The pastel houses and white picket fences confirm just that. The center of Seaside is a big circle of shops and restaurants, so it’s easy to hop around and experience it all. If you walk behind Great Southern Cafe, you’ll see the Shops of Ruskin. This is a quaint, quiet area in the back full of art shops and lots of grass for kids to run and play. You’ll even run into the Seaside Chapel. Seaside has outdoor movie nights sometimes in the middle of the circle.

Great Southern Cafe – I can’t say enough great things about this place! If you love Southern cuisine with fresh produce from nearby farms and fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, then you will love it. There are a lot of classic NOLA dishes. The brunch is AHHHmazing.

Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant and Rooftop Bar – This is where we go if we want to dress up and enjoy a really nice meal. I recommend the whole baked fish and a bottle of wine.

Bud & Alley’s Pizza Bar and Taco Bar – These are two separate places. It’s where we eat in bathing suits and cover ups still sandy from the beach. The clam pie at the pizza bar is my fave.

Gourmet food trucks and vintage airstreams – My favorite food trucks are the Melt Down, Barefoot BBQ, Raw and Juicy, and Five Daughter’s Bakery.

Sundog Books – This will easily become your favorite bookstore. They’ve been around for 30 years and have a wide range of books downstairs and records upstairs.

The Seaside Style – I love the clean look of the Seaside Style. They have comfortable tees and sweatshirts and plenty of home decor books!

Modica Market – Modica Market is full of great produce and local beer and wine. I hear their mimosas are pretty awesome.

Seaside Farmer’s Market – Every Saturday from 8am-12pm. You’ll see lots of locals and their dogs at the farmers market. I always grab kombucha from Noli South and explore the local yumminess.


Alys Beach

Alys Beach is up and coming and is the fanciest of all of the beaches on 30a. It has a line of palm trees on the main road, and the homes look like they are straight out of Santorini, Greece.

Fonville Press – Fonville Press is easily the prettiest coffee shop I have ever seen. It’s fun to spend a couple of hours on the patio reading a book with a coffee.

George’s – Yummy dining in Alys Beach


Rosemary Beach

Rosemary Beach is so beautiful and has lots of restaurants that I really want to try! It’s fun to stay here and be able to walk to the beach, gorgeous pool area, wooded park, and the circle of shops. The homes here are stunning.

La Crema Tapas and Chocolate – The lamb lollipops, lobster, and chocolate soup are YUMMY!

Wild Olives – I like to pick up a flatbread, cheese, and some wine from here and picnic in Rosemary Beach.

The Sugar Shak – A colorful candy store. Emma’s fave!

Gigi’s – A fun toy store worth visiting!

CK Feed and Supply – A great place to shop for gifts and kitchen knick knacks.


Other places to try:

The Wine Bar in Watercolor

Borago on 331 – nice Italian food

The Bay Restaurant on 331 – AWESOME sushi!


Local Catch

Blue Mountain Beach Creamery

I hope you enjoyed our little 30a guide! What are your favorite places to visit on 30a? Feel free to comment below.

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