Weekend Trip to 30A: A Travel Guide

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I recently took a trip to the 30A area in Florida. If you haven’t heard of it before, the 30A area is known for its white sand beaches like Rosemary beach and Alys beach.

Although a 30A vacation is well-suited for a family trip, I went with my girlfriends, Marzia from Little Spice Jar, Amna from Sugarplum Bakery, and Manizhe from Manizhe Designs. And let me say – I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I mean, what happens when you cross a food blogger, a baker, and two home bloggers? The best weekend trip for foodies and design enthusiasts!
When you travel to 30A, you’ll be carried away by its beautiful scenery. It’s more of a relaxed vacation which we really wanted, but if you’re more about the activities then there’s definitely stuff to add too! I know I’ll return soon. Whether that’s with my family or girlfriends again remains undecided (haha!).
30A vacation
Whether you’ve wanted to plan a 30A vacation for some time now or this is the first time you’ve heard of it, keep reading to find out about all the hot spots for food and activities. Fair warning –shopping and food are very pricey here but oh so worth it! Plan ahead so you can splurge on a few extra special items and meals.

The 411 on 30A

As far as beach towns in Florida go, you’ve got plenty to pick from. There’s Key West, Islamorada, and Delray Beach, to name a few. But 30A is by far one of the best beach towns in Florida that you can find. Situated between Panama City and Destin, 30A stands apart from other destinations because it hasn’t become overrun by big-brand hotels and touristy shops.
With only 14,000 people living along its coastline, 30A has maintained a small-town feel, some Southern charm, and world-class features in its dining and stunning architecture. However, with Northerners flocking here for picture-perfect beaches that could grab any award on an IG feed, a whopping 2.4 million tourists make summer the busiest season here. And let me say, when it comes to the weather, it gets REALLY hot.
30A vacation
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the heat and large crowds, so I recommend going anywhere from the end of February to May. The weather is a lot better, and the beach isn’t as packed as it is in summer. Let’s look at some of my favorite highlights from my recent vacation there!

Best Places to Eat

Whether you’re in the mood for something light and healthy or heavy comfort food, 30A has it all. From American foods to Italian dishes and everywhere in between, my girlfriends and I had some great meals.
There’s the Donut Hole that boasts fresh-made donuts every morning. This place has a spot on everyone’s travel guides, HOWEVER, we weren’t a huge fan of the donuts or the breakfast. It was average at best. Maybe we’re too spoiled by the options in Houston! Great Southern Café offers seafood dishes, burgers, steak, and more. And there was also a mouth-watering tapas restaurant called La Crema Tapas & Chocolate, which had great small plates. Highly recommend the patatas bravas, the brussels sprouts and the piquillo peppers.
I think one of our best meals was at George’s at Aly’s Beach , a MUST visit spot. In fact we loved our dinner so much we came back another day for lunch. For a local fine dining option check out Cafe 30A, they make everything in-house from scratch and we ended up asking for seconds of their bread basket!

While my girlfriends and I were looking for a more relaxing weekend with not too many activities, there’s something for everyone.  So if you’re wondering how you’ll spend your time on the Gulf Coast, you’ll have plenty of options. Although we could’ve chosen to spend the day staring at the beautiful water, and there was a day or two when we did just that, most of our days were spent making memories I know I’ll never forget.

Shop my outfit here

Here are some of the things we did that I recommend adding to your itinerary:

  • Rent bikes and explore the neighboring beach towns or stroll around the pretty neighborhoods in Alys beach and Rosemary beach. I couldn’t stop staring at all the stunning homes!
  • Explore the architecture! With cobblestone streets and beautiful courtyards, Alys and Rosemary beach are a blend of Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Spanish-style architecture that will make you forget you’re even in Florida.
  • Visit 30A Olive Oil and do a little oil and vinegar tasting tour! We brought back the Meyer lemon EVOO and the tangerine vinegar.
  • Rent beach umbrellas and lounge chairs (check to see if your rental property or hotel will provide you with a code to use).
  • Scope the websites for Seaside and Rosemary beach for current festivals, farmers markets, and events. We went to the farmer’s markets at Seaside and Rosemary beach and both were super cute.

Again, 30A is the perfect place to be active or to have a more relaxed trip, but there’s always something for you to do! If water sports are more your thing then definitely check out snorkeling tours in the area.

Unique Shopping

If you’re looking to do a little (or a lot) of retail therapy while you’re here, 30A doesn’t disappoint. Here are some of the most unique and quality-filled stores we stumbled on:

  • Becasa: We bought a lot of coastal grandma chic outfits here – soft linen block-printed dresses and summery linen pants. Lots of unique finds! I actually came back home and ordered some more clothes from their online shop.
  • Alys Shoppe: I loved all the beach merchandise and picked up some handmade wooden bowls.
  • Summerstory: This was the most stunning home store with beautiful displays and so much inspiration!
  • Luminary: This store focuses on women’s fashion and home goods – I found the prettiest dresses here. They were a little pricey but so beautiful.
  • Rosemary Beach Trading Company: A wonderful spot to pick out a souvenir to take back home! I got something for both kids here.

If you stumble on any other gems as you’re enjoying your 30A vacation, make sure to let me know about them when you come back!

Traveling in Style (Accommodations and Transportation)


Okay, remember how I mentioned that a big part of the 30A charm is the ability to stay away from the touristy traps of other beach towns in Florida? While that’s a major plus in my book, it also has some drawbacks.
If you’re someone who enjoys staying in a hotel, be warned there aren’t many of those here. One of the few resorts they have is The Point at 30A which is on Rosemary beach, and in retrospect, I would have stayed here.
We stayed at a vacation rental property on Rosemary Beach. While vacation rentals are great for families, it would have been nice to have daily housekeeping. That said, if you’re coming with your family or housekeeping isn’t a must for you, there are a lot of really beautiful options to choose from.
Regarding transportation, during the colder seasons like February or March, Ubers and Lyfts can be scarce. I recommend renting a car or using bikes to get around. My girlfriends and I opted for bikes and Uber when needed. While we didn’t miss having a car, it would have definitely saved us some wait time for ride pickups.
As a side note, you’ll find more Lyfts here than Ubers. So download the Lyft app before you go!

A Trip to Remember

Because it’s so tucked away (I think it’s Florida’s best-kept secret), a 30A vacation isn’t necessarily on everyone’s bucket list. But now that it’s on your radar, don’t waste another moment wondering if it’s worth it – it is!
With so many places to eat, things to do, and shops to explore, this vacation spot is one of the most unique weekend getaways in Florida and a place that will have you coming back time and time again. Whether with the family, your best friends, or by yourself for some alone time, 30A is sure to find a special place in your heart the way it did mine.

If you’d like to see how my 30A vacation inspired my upcoming home designs, make sure to follow me on Instagram! With its architectural styles and staples of beach-front decor, it’s certainly got my creative juices flowing!

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This post contains affiliate links to products that I used or recommend. If you purchase something through an affiliate link, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. I really appreciate your support!
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