Ah Spring Break season is upon us once again! Sadly, this year we won’t be embarking on a SB trip. That said, we had the incredible chance to visit Rosemary Beach, Florida last year. I was fortunate to live there while in college studying at Florida State, often making the commute to campus. After class or work, I’d head to beach to read or write, or just relax. Living 100 yards from the beach made for many fond memories, and thus, I had to share this place with my beautiful bride.
WHAT TO DO :
Life moves slowly and peacefully on 30A, the 30 to 45 MPH “highway” that runs along the beach. Here, many towns sit near the sea and offer quaint amenities and views one cannot forget. The beaches of 30A have been voted the most beautiful in the world over and over again. They may truly be the most beautiful sugar white sand gems in the United States. Rent bikes, kayaks, paddle boards or golf carts. Walk, run and see the exquisite vistas of the Florida beaches.
Seaside, FL is the set of the Jim Carrey movie, the Truman Show. It is as perfectly manicured in real life as is portrayed in the movie. Explore the charming beach side town and its many shops and eateries. Walk through the cobbled streets and appreciate the architecure and homes. It’s as an idyllic a place as we’ve ever seen.
2. ROSEMARY BEACH
Hannah was FREAKING OUT while taking her first steps through Rosemary Beach. Truly, this is a place that we cannot sufficiently describe to you. You NEED to go see it for yourself. This small beach town is filled with magnificent, European-esque homes, elaborate landscaping, and unique architecture. The level to which this place is perfectly manicured, is mind-blowing. I have never seen my wife in a happier state.
3. ALYS BEACH
Okay, now take any expectations that you have for Rosemary Beach, and dial them up about ten notches as you enter Alys Beach. This is one of those places that you won't believe exists. Let me paint a picture for you. This beach town sits on the Gulf, and is filled with multi million dollar homes boasting architecture and design akin to that of Greece. Every single home has to be white (every. single. one). Grab lunch at George's, and take a short stroll around town to enjoy a few minutes of mesmerization.
4. BEACH, OBVIOUSLY
Beaches worth visiting - Carillon Beach, Inlet Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Seacrest Beach, and of course Rosemary and Seaside. NOTE : some do not have public access.
Destin is 30 minutes West of 30a. Here, you'll find less expensive rentals and hotels, chain restaurants, and alas, Starbucks. We avoid commercialization, but it's good to know if you have rainy day and are searching for shopping. There is a beach, too.
WHERE TO EAT :
1. COWGIRL KITCHEN CAFE
Nestled right in Rosemary Beach, the restaurant was our favorite. Outdoor seating provides a view that is reminiscent of European or Mediterranean cities. The prices are affordable for the area as well. We actually ate here two days in a row…and it was totally worth it. The Grouper is 10/10.
xOne mile from Rosemary, in is the ultra posh community of Alys Beach, is George’s. George's is one of the most spectacular restaurants, sitting right on highway 30A. The grouper sandwich is the freshest, juiciest I’ve ever had, and might be my favorite fish in America. We prefer the lunch menu over dinner.
3. SHADES AT THE LOOP
Shades is less than a mile from Rosemary Beach and is a quick walk or bike ride away. This is essentially a local sports bar with outdoor patio and seating too. It’s a great place to watch college basketball or football (not that I would ever do that of course ;) or the NFL. The volcano shrimp are my long time favorite, but I also had wonderful grouper. The fish served at these local eateries is wildly fresh and definitely brings a new appreciation for fresh seafood.
4. THE HUB 30a
The Hub is a new venue in town! Located near Seaside a few miles down the road from 30A, The Hub has many small eateries, an enormous outdoor viewing area for movies or sports, a stage for live music and shops to entertain. This establishment is exceptionally well-done, and has something for everyone...from Mile Marker Fifteen mexican, Red’s chicken shack, Local Smoke BBQ, and Roadside burgers-- the variety is plentiful. Save room for cocktails or dessert at Mr. Freeze or Dion’s Bar.
*Note this venue is outdoor/walk up and seasonal, and closes during the winter months; reopening in March*
Thanks for reading. Don't miss out on this coastal gem (and best kept secret!)