Along the Florida Panhandle between Panama City and Destin runs a scenic highway called 30A. This small strip of land has become somewhat famous in the last few years thanks to the 16 beautiful beach neighborhoods of South Walton.
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Ideally, we would have parked the car at one of the many public parking lots near the beach, rented some bikes and pedaled our way through the 16 quaint beach towns that make up South Walton. However, our reality of 3 young children with a 4th on the way meant that bicycling in the hot sun all day would have been a drawn-out process full of complaints of exhaustion and thirst.
Naturally, South Walton’s biggest draw is the sugary sand and emerald sea.
If your family is the active type and your kids are a little older, you might enjoy renting bicycles in Blue Mountain Beach where you can access the Timpoochee Trail, the wide bike path that runs along 30A.
Blue Mountain Beach flies under the radar compared to more popular neighborhoods like Seaside and Sandestin, but the natural beauty and relaxed vibe are unparalleled. It’s definitely worth a stop, in my opinion.
(Photo by Emily Krause)
We parked our car in a spacious free lot in nearby Watercolor and trekked a few blocks until we reached Seaside’s bustling downtown. Our first stop was Airstream Row, a series of gourmet food trucks lined up on 30A.
We chose The Meltdown on 30A, a food truck dedicated to every variation of the grilled cheese sandwich under the sun.
You might get out of your car and think you’ve been transported to a whitewashed Greek island. The architects designed the white stucco Bermudan style homes to reflect the surrounding natural environment.
The area is largely residential, so we simply enjoyed wandering the streets and admiring the pristine white homes. Many of the properties have courtyards, fountains, terraces and stunningly manicured gardens.
You don’t need photography skills to get a beautiful picture here, so get your camera out and snap away.
(Photo by Emily Krause)
Rosemary Beach was the last stop on our road trip before heading home, and I’m glad it was! We had been bribing the kids with ice cream all day, and finally found our reward at The Sugar Shak. With a huge inventory of candy and myriad ice cream flavors, it was the perfect spot to stop for a sweet treat.
The colorful buildings, innovative town planning and dreamy coastline will have you looking up real estate prices in the area because you’ll never want to leave.
I’m dreaming of the next time we can make our way back, and I’ll be sure to make it longer than a quick road trip.