Florida


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Florida Battles Worst Wild Fire Season in Years

Florida is in the middle of its worst wildfire season in years – with no end in sight. Over 2,000 wildfires have burned over 150,000 acres in Florida already this year. The Chipola Forestry Center, which services Walton County and much of the Florida panhandle, has 31 wildland firefighters deployed to wildfire suppression efforts across […]

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Destin Charity Wine Auction Raises Record-Breaking $2.7 Million

Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation celebrated the 12th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction on April 29, raising more than $2.7 million for children in need in Northwest Florida. The record breaking results are a $34,000 increase over the $2.66 million raised last year. “Our ability to continually increase the funds raised year over year is a […]

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Step Back in Time at Rosemary Beach

One of 30A’s planned New Urbanist communities, Rosemary Beach is an architectural treasure trove, boasting influences from the West Indies, New Orleans, Charleston and St. Augustine, among others. The grand homes (many with adjoining carriage houses that are just as extraordinary) are interconnected by a discreet network of pedestrian paths and boardwalks, which become even […]

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Area Groups to Collaborate on Coastal Dune Lakes Study

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA), Mattie Kelly Environmental Institute of Northwest Florida State College, Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the University of Florida will be supporting a UF Water and Soil Science Graduate student, Brandy Foley, thesis research project focused on three coastal dune lakes in Walton County. There are 15 recognized coastal dune lake formations along […]

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‘Paddle for Prevention’ Suicide Awareness Event Moves to Gulf Place

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Florida Panhandle Chapter announces the return of its event, Paddle for Prevention. The second annual event will be held on May 6 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Gulf Place Beach Access in Santa Rosa Beach. Paddle for prevention is an effort to expose the community to […]

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Celebrate New Year’s Eve Twice in One Night!

Amid a sea of New Year’s Eve parties, countdowns, and champagne, there’s a celebration that stands out from the crowd. Celebrate Twice in Mexico Beach, Florida, is back for another spectacular day and night of fireworks, live music and great food, and ringing in the new year — twice! What does ‘Celebrate Twice’ mean? The […]

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Point Washington State Forest

Over 40 percent of South Walton’s land is protected, and the majority of that acreage is part of the Point Washington State Forest system. A popular access point is the Eastern Lake Trail System, located along S. County Road 395. Over 40 percent of South Walton’s land is protected, and the majority of that acreage is part of the Point Washington State Forest system. A popular access point is the Eastern Lake Trail System, located along S. County Road 395. This particular trail system offers 3.5, 5 and 10-mile loops, ideal for both hikers and bicyclists. Pets are also allowed, if on a leash. The 15,400-acre forest is home to ten natural communities, including sandhill, cypress swamps, basin swamps, wet flatwoods and wet prairie. Overnight camping is allowed in special primitive areas of Point Washington State Forest. You can get more info and reserve a spot for only $10 by calling 850-373-1801. Check out this 30A Facebook Live video of the primitive camping sites: South Walton Campinga secret spot in South Walton for only $10/night?? 30A.com/camping Posted by 30A on Monday, November 7, 2016 You can also find wonderful (and affordable) camp sites nearby at Grayton Beach State Park and in Topsail Hill State Preserve‘s higher end RV Park. If you don’t mind getting your car a little dusty, feel free to turn down one of those little sandy roads and take a casual drive through the forest. But unless you’re in a 4-wheel drive, it’s probably best not to turn off the main corridors, as some of the smaller roads get pretty tight, pretty fast. For official information, visit Point Washington State Forest. Truman explores Point Washington State Forest: Best places to go off-roading:

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Camping in South Walton

Whether you’re in a $1 million RV with flat-screen TVs and granite kitchen counter tops, or a 2-person pup-tent with a gas lantern and mosquito net, South Walton is truly a camper’s paradise. Routinely voted one of the best campgrounds in America, the Gregory E. Moore RV Resort at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park has gorgeous shaded lots, full hook-ups, cabins, exceptional amenities, vast miles of hiking and biking trails to explore and access to over 3 miles of state-protected beaches. Although the campground at Grayton Beach State Park features fewer amenities than Topsail, the waterfront sites on Western Lake are spectacular and the crashing waves of Grayton Beach are within easy earshot. This is also South Walton’s most affordable camping option (unless you’re camping in your backyard, which works just fine too). In the 15,400-acre Point Washington State Forest, primitive camping sites are available for only $10 a night. Enjoy over 10 miles of trails for hiking and biking and many miles of off-road paths perfect for your four-wheel drive. Call 850-373-1801 for more information and to reserve a spot. Just north across Choctawhatchee Bay, Live Oak Landing offers campsites, quaint cottages, guided fishing excursions and more, all along the gorgeous Black River. The mouth of the river is a gorgeous and untouched habitat, home to bald eagles, ospreys, alligators, dolphins and more. If you venture out here, you’re seeing something quite special that even most South Walton locals never get to enjoy! But perhaps the most unique camping experience in South Walton is found just a few miles west of 30A, in Miramar Beach. Just across the street from the largest designer outlet mall in the nation, you’ll find Camping on the Gulf, where you can not only camp close to the beach… you can camp on it. There’s not much shade here, but that direct Gulf breeze will certainly keep you cool on those long, hot summer days! Or you can have a beach bonfire on a cool, winter night.  

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THIS WEEKEND: 30A Craft Beer & Spirits Fest at Gulf Place

Beer here! Thanks to a collaborative partnership between Wine World, The Craft Bar and ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, this Oktoberfest season, suds lovers can fill the last weekend of September — and a stein or two — with craft beer, along with spirits, cocktails, wine, flavorful local food and toe-tapping live music. 30A Craft Beer & Spirits Festival will be held Friday, September 30, and Saturday, October 1, at Gulf Place. If you’re in the mood for wine, we’ll be pouring our new 30A Chardonnay and 30A Red Blend as part of the festival. Stop by and see us at the 30A Radio Airstream on the southwest side of the Gulf Place green. “We are thrilled to host this collaborative event for the first time at Gulf Place in the heart of 30A,” said Wine World and Craft Bar founder Chan Cox. “There is a real excitement around the craft beer and fine spirits movement and this event really embraces all of it. We hope everyone turns out to taste and learn about some of the most exciting brands being tapped and poured anywhere.” Proceeds from the event benefit the Seaside School Foundation. The two-day event kicks off Friday, September 30, with the Destin’s own Heritage Band performing an energized show of reggae, surf and rock-infused music from 6 – 9 p.m. The party continues on Saturday, October 1, with old-school funk rhythms and classic rock riffs from Charleston, S.C.’s hottest band, Dead 27s, who will be performing cuts from their newly released album, “The Ghosts are Calling Out.” General admission is from 2 to 5 p.m. VIP package passes are available and provide early entry beginning at 1 p.m. Festival goers can stroll through the culinary village, enjoy the live entertainment, browse the merchandise booth, or hang out at the VIP tent featuring speciality brews and cocktails by some of the biggest names in the industry. Nearly 20 local, regional and national brewers and master distillers will be pouring and sampling some of their finest craft beers and spirits. Many of the finest area restaurants and catering companies are being showcased as well including Aegean Restaurant, Bijoux, Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant, The Bay, The Craft Bar, Emerald Coast Catering, Inc., Great Southern Café, Trebeaché, Wine World, Signature Catering of 30-A and Sweet Henrietta’s. Advance purchase prices are $45 per person for Friday or Saturday and $80 per person for a two-day pass. The day of the event, admission to Friday or Saturday will be $55, and two-day general admission will be $100. VIP packages provide early entry on Saturday (only) and exclusive access to the VIP Tent. VIP admission is $65 per person on Saturday and a two-day VIP package pass is $100. Tickets are limited and will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Click here to book your tickets. For visitors traveling to the area for a fun fall weekend or for locals looking for an end-of-season “staycation,” ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals is offering special event packages that bundle Festival admission and accommodations. Festivalgoers can save 10 percent off three or more nights. The more bedrooms you reserve, the more tickets you receive. Tickets booked through this promotion can be picked up on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the ResortQuest office in Gulf Place. To reserve a package, call 844-872-2484 or book online using Promo Code ‘BEERFEST’ to take advantage of this deal. The Seaside School Foundation will benefit from 100 percent of the net proceeds from this event. The Seaside School Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 2008 to benefit and support The Seaside School, Inc., a public charter school located in Seaside, Florida. The school receives some state funding to cover basic operational costs, however, it depends on outside financial contributions to finance capital building and renovation initiatives; to fund robotics, art, music, gardening, and technology and other elective programs; to purchase library books and technology equipment; and to maintain smaller class sizes in math. It is governed by a board of directors comprised of community and business members along with educators. One hundred percent of all donations directly benefit The Seaside School, Inc. “We are honored to be the beneficiary of this exciting first ever event on 30A,” said Alicia Butler, executive director of The Seaside School Foundation. “We owe a toast of gratitude to everyone who plays a part in this event, which will help our school continue its mission to provide students in Walton County with individualized and innovative instruction, delivered by quality teachers in a community-based, community-school setting.” Tickets are limited and the event is expected to sell out. For a schedule of events and to purchase tickets, visit www.xorbia.com/events/wineworld/30ACraftBeerFest. Tickets are also available for purchase at all Wine World locations. For more info, follow the event page on Facebook or call 850-269-2909.