Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A
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 […] Read More
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:
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.
With wonderful restaurants and numerous boutiques, including the 30A Store at Gulf Place, there’s something for just about everyone at the colorful Gulf Place development. In addition to great meals and drinks, Gulf Place features live music almost every night of the week. The music can be enjoyed on La Playa‘s open-air patio overlooking the Gulf of Mexico or while unwinding in Perfect Pig‘s quaint bar. And don’t miss the summer concert series on the Gulf Place lawn. The series runs every Sunday evening June through August. Bring your chair and grab some 30A Wine and 30A Beach Blonde Ale from the 30A Store at Gulf Place. The Artists of Gulf Place find plenty of inspiration in this artistic community and the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Hang out and shop for local art in the unique colorful huts or check out Gulf Place’s First Friday Artwalk. Your furry friend is always welcome at Gulf Place to enjoy the music and events with their people. Gulf Place has specialty shops, groomers and even a Veterinarian. You can get your 30A-branded dog tags and merchandise at Furry Fanatics. Whether you are shopping, eating or just strolling through Gulf Place, don’t miss the three sea turtles sculptures, spread throughout the colorful community. The turtles serve as a figure of the community’s commitment to environmental conservation and dedication to the protection of South Walton natural beauty. Take a 360° video tour of Gulf Place using your computer or smartphone. To interact with this video, either use the controls on your computer or tilt your phone. Enjoy! And, check out this 30A Radio interview with Gulf Place’s manager, Erin Chekaoui: For more info, visit gulfplacefl.com.
Cruising every week from Sandestin‘s Baytowne Marina, Sunquest Cruise’s SOLARIS yacht is a truly unique 30A experience, and it happens to be one of the very best places to enjoy a South Walton sunset. (In the summer months, the sun sets over Choctawhatchee Bay, not the Gulf). The family-owned 5,300-square-foot fine dining and dancing yacht (built right here in Walton County) features two dining salons, a full-service gourmet galley and a full-service bar. Enjoy an afternoon or evening cruising around the Bay, hanging out on one of the yacht’s open-air decks, dining on a gourmet meal, kicking up your heels to a live band and dancing under the stars. Book your cruise now. Learn more about the story behind the SOLARIS in this interview with owner James Murray: After the cruise, hop on the boardwalk that leads away from the marina and meander through moss-draped oak trees over to The Village of Baytowne Wharf. There you’ll find some seriously fun and funky blues, a dueling piano bar and tons of other nightlife options. It’s the perfect way to wrap up an evening on the bay. The Solaris is also a perfect venue for special occasions, including banquets, corporate retreats, V.I.P. functions, and of course, weddings and rehearsal dinners. Learn more at 30aweddings.com. Check out this 30A Video Tours episode, featuring the Solaris: Book your cruise now.
Just a stone’s throw from the white sands of Sandestin and Miramar Beach, Silver Sands Premium Outlets is a shop-a-holic’s paradise. Silver Sands Premium Outlets is home to 110 designer and name brand outlet stores with 465,200 square feet of retail space. You’ll find impressive savings of 25% to 65% every day at Banana Republic Factory Store, Calvin Klein, Coach, Cole Haan Outlet, Columbia Sportswear, Gap Outlet, J.Crew Factory, Kate Spade New York, Lacoste, Michael Kors, Nike Factory Store, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Swarovski, Vera Bradley and more. Silver Sands Premium Outlets is visited by over 7 million shoppers each year in search of those deeply discounted bargains and the annual “After Thanksgiving Weekend Sale” hosts over 60,000 shoppers burning the midnight oil in search of unheard-of deals. Silver Sands Premium Outlets is also home to a few great restaurant chains, including Panera Bread, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Cheeseburger in Paradise. Click here to visit Silver Sands Premium Outlets website.