Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Impressions from the 30-A in SW Florida

The North-West corner of Florida boasts some of the most magnificent beaches of the United States, called the “Emerald Coast”.  I love especially the stretch along the “30-A” with its small-town beach life on a scenic highway, that meanders along Florida's green-blue shallow water and white powder sand dunes.

Highlights are the attractive small towns of Rosemary Beach, Seaside, and the Grayton Beach State Park.  Both settlements are relatively new and very tastefully built, with lots of bicycles to rent and lovely restaurants and coffee shops to enjoy.  It’s is only a twenty-minute drive from the busy “March-Break” place of Panama City Beach with its tacky entertainment stores, but one feels like coming into a different world on the 30-A.

Visit Grayton Beach State Park if you really want to get away from it all - no TV, and no WiFi - just soothing Pine and Palm trees and stunning seascapes.  Thirty cabins are nestled into the pine woods only minutes away from the Gulf of Mexico, with a mile of sugar-white beaches and crystal clear water.

Seaside FL

Florida Scenic Highway 30A is the rural road that hugs the coastline along the Gulf on the "Pan-Handle".  It travels along some of the most beautiful white-sand beaches in the world and lays south of US-98. This stretch of coast is between Panama City Beach, Pensacola, and Destin.

Panama City Beach

Tiny villages dot the road. In Seaside, for example, folks sit on their front porches and chat with neighbors walking by.  People can walk to the post office, the library, or the grocery store - just like in the old days. For the locals, it’s more than just a road —it’s a way of life. 

Azalea Blooming in February

Spanish explorers named the new-found part of North America
“Pascua Florida”, which means Flowery Easter" or "Flowering Easter”.
But it is not only flowering in Florida on Easter, but all year round!

Seaside Beaches

Two of the most fantastic Florida state parks are also along this route: Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and Grayton Beach State Park.  Running parallel to the Gulf of Mexico, 30A passes quaint beachside cottages, rare coastal dune lakes, and ocean water that glistens like an emerald gem.

There’s plenty to do, and so many great 30A restaurants that you’ll find yourself wanting to vacation here again and again just to have the chance to experience it all.  Whether your appetite calls for comforting southern foods, casual roadside stands, or an elegant setting to celebrate an occasion, here are all the favorite restaurants on 30A.  

What you won’t find in 30A are tourist traps, big hotels, massive condo units or really chains of any kind. Instead, you’ll find a much calmer approach to beach life with more families than college kids, local shops with cult-like followings and all the shrimp, grits and Emerald Coast views your stomach and soul could possibly want.

While you may have never heard of 30A until now, those that have been once often return for a full week (or month) year after year.

No comments:

Post a Comment