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Tickets Now on Sale for La Lumière: A Masquerade Affair

Broker Associate Hannah Martin of The Premier Property Group is once again celebrating her special day by inspiring others to make a difference. Martin’s annual birthday bash, La Lumière: A Masquerade Affair, benefits Special Olympics of Florida Walton County and will take place on Friday, February 10, 2017, from 6 – 10 p.m. at St. Joe Club & Resort’s LakeHouse on Western Lake in Watercolor, […]
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Don’t Miss New Secret Pop-Up Wine Dinners

Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF), one of the nation’s premier fundraising organizations, is bringing a new event to the Emerald Coast on Saturday, January 21, 2017, at 6 p.m. in Miramar Beach. Inspired by Jacksonville, Florida’s Legend Series, The Foundation will present Volume 1, the first in a series of pop-up dinners. Tickets for Volume 1 are $250 and are now on sale online at dcwaf.org/tickets. In order to maintain the event’s intimate atmosphere, a limited number of tickets will be available. “We are very excited about this unique event. Our supporters love wine dinners and we thought it was time to elevate the experience. Great food and wine plus a few new features that will set this dinner apart from all others,” said Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation President, John Russell. “The best part is it is all a surprise, and who doesn’t like a surprise?” Foundation members request that patrons bring their sense of adventure and an open mind to Volume 1, because dinner will be served with a twist. When tickets go on sale, patrons will be purchasing with almost no information. The event location, theme, menu and entertainment will all be withheld until the day of the event. All that will be disclosed are the chefs involved and the date/time. Volume 1 will showcase a themed, multi-course menu created by some of the best in the culinary industry paired with exquisite wines and entertainment. On the morning of the event, patrons will be notified via email with details regarding the location and theme of Volume 1 as well as attire suggestions. The specifics regarding the menu, wine selections and entertainment will remain a surprise. Scott Schwartz, co-founder and chef of the Legend Series and Chef/Owner of 29 South will be spearheading the culinary team. Joining Schwartz will be Destin local and Bijoux Executive Chef, Jack McGuckin, Craig Richards of St. Cecilia and The Optimist in Atlanta, GA and Graham Laborde of Bernadine’s in Houston, Texas. “As the co-founder of the Legend Series, I couldn’t be more excited to join the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation on such an amazing pop-up dining experience. We are bringing some of the best chefs in the Southeast to join the top chefs in this region to this exclusive event and there is going to be a surprise at every turn,” Co-founder and chef of the Legend Series, Scott Schwartz said. “Experimental pop-up dining events are trending in all the hottest food scenes across America, and we are thrilled to bring this experience to Destin.” For more info, or to buy tickets, visit Destin Charity Wine Auction.
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NOW PLAYING: Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)

Back for its seventh year of sidesplitting production, The REP Theatre of Seaside, Florida, presents their smash-hit holiday comedy Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!). The panhandle’s premier professional theatre reimagines the script every year, providing fresh jokes and spectacle each holiday season, making Every Christmas Story a must-see for locals and visitors. Grab […]
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THIS WEEKEND: South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Fest at Grand Boulevard

A dazzling roster of more than a dozen celebrity winemakers, brew masters, distillers, chefs and entertainers, will converge in Miramar Beach, Florida, for the four-day celebration of the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival. The festival, which features over 800 wines for tasting, kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday at Grand Boulevard at […]
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Secret Bars of South Walton

While a handful of die-hard locals have no doubt sampled all of South Walton’s wonderful watering holes, out-of-town visitors don’t always have a lot of extra time to venture off the sandy path. And although the following bars are somewhat hidden away from public view, there’s certainly no reason to keep any of them confidential. Even if you’re a local, we bet you’ll still find something new to try on our list of the Secret Bars of South Walton (in no particular order): 1. The Perfect Pig Bar in Gulf Place While you might have sampled The Perfect Pig’s meaty “Praise the Lard” menu, it’s easy to overlook the full bar tucked away in the back of their Gulf Place location. There’s more than ample ambience at the bar, a couple of bistro tables for those cozy encounters, a TV or two for sports, and a creative cocktail menu with happy hour specials. 2. NEAT This swanky, cozy and uniquely Alys Beach hangout is located directly on Scenic Highway 30A, just a frog hop across the cobblestones from George’s at Alys Beach. There’s a tiny store that purveys hard-to-find craft liquors, with a special emphasis on regional brands. NEAT’s Tasting Room next door is a magical new spot to sip. The bartenders have an ever-changing cocktail menu and they teach you how to make the concoctions you enjoy at home! Learn more. 3. The Porch During renovations at The Old Florida Fish House in the spring of 2014, new owners Jill McDonald and Sandy Thomas discovered a really scenic spot on the restaurant’s lake side had been wasted as a storage and office space. So, they set to remodeling what is now The Porch, a hidden gem tucked in next to the restaurant. The bar is made from sinker cypress logs, over a hundred years old, that were gathered from the rivers of Northwest Florida. Grab a spot there or at one of the tables with a perfect view of the coastal dune lake. The setting is a screened-in porch, great for catching a breeze in the warm months, but when it’s cooler the screens are covered with glass. Plenty of televisions are available for your favorite games, as well. 4. Redd’s Fueling Station Tucked away behind Sally’s by the Sea Store (an old-school convenience store that sits right atop Blue Mountain Beach), Redd’s Fueling Station features food, a full bar and live tunes many nights of the week, including Open Mic nights. The Proprietor, Redd, is famous for her larger-than-life “Singing Bartender” personality, routinely belting out her unique brand of show tunes and rowdy fun to the delight of locals and visitors alike. 5. The Treetop Bar at Funky Blues Shack It’s not open every night — or with any predictability, for that matter — but there’s a secret rooftop bar above Graffiti and The Funky Blues Shack in Baytowne Wharf. When you get to the top of the stairs by the bathrooms, hang a hard left and look for the door at the far end of the hall. The small open-air deck that you’ll discover behind that door has a bar adorned with string lights, and just enough seats for all your good friends. This is the perfect perch from which to enjoy any starry night over Baytowne Marina… or to catch one of their spectacular fireworks shows. 6. WaterColor’s Gathering Spot Everyone knows about the world-class cocktails that the mixologists serve up at Fish Out of Water, but not as many people frequent the bar downstairs, just off the main hotel lobby. WaterColor calls it The Gathering Spot, and they feature a fantastic Happy Hour every day from 5 to 6 p.m., including cocktail and sushi specials. We recommend the cucumber martini. There’s often live music by local fav Kyle LaMonica, and there’s even an outdoor patio area with fire pits and rocking chairs. 7. Crabby Steve’s The fabled Crabby Steve’s is a Gulf-front bar that can only be accessed from the surf side. It’s located behind High Pointe Resort in Seacrest between Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach. And although you can’t walk through High Pointe Resort to get there, you can use a public beach access point and then make the long scenic barefoot hike to get there. From the beach, you can walk up to Crabby Steve’s and enjoy delicious food, cocktails (they have a full bar) and an absolutely spectacular Gulf view. FULL SUPER-SECRET BAR DISCLAIMER: Some residents of High Pointe Resort strongly maintain that Crabby Steve’s is reserved exclusively for High Pointe owners and guests. However, Crabby Steve’s Facebook page says that walk-ins are welcome. We don’t know the full truth, but what good is a secret bar without just a little bit of mystery? 8. Growler Garage Behind the beautiful chrome bar at Growler Garage near Gulf Place you’ll find 40 craft beers, a few wines, and often Mitch Omar, who is living out his dream of owning a beach business on 30A. Omar sells growlers of beer to go, perfect for taking to the beach across the street, but as the regulars know the patio is a great spot for hanging out, sipping a cold one — or two — and meeting other beer aficionados like yourself. 9. Havana Beach’s Rooftop Lounge Havana Beach Bar & Grill at The Pearl has made a splash among foodies and visitors since it opened a few seasons ago. But many people are still haven’t sampled Havana Beach’s Rooftop Lounge, its more casual counterpart out back. A trendy rooftop bar with just a slice of Gulf view, it is perched above The Pearl’s gorgeous pool deck and spa (see below). Havana Beach’s Rooftop Lounge is open to the public and features a full bar, dreamy cabanas, fountains, ambient lighting and appetizing small plates. 10. The Wine Bar at Grand Boulevard A popular hangout among Sandestin-ites, The Wine Bar at Grand Boulevard remains largely undiscovered by the 30A crowd. Located in the very back of Chan’s Wine World (next to Publix), The Wine Bar is one of South Walton’s more cosmopolitan hangouts, with a beautiful full bar, a gourmet late night menu and, of course, an excellent and extensive wine selection. 11. Hidden Haunts on Scenic 98 Scenic Highway 30A is home to many wonderful things, but an abundance of bars where you can stick your toes in the sand while watching the fruitcake parade roll by isn’t one of them. Such sandy hangouts are much easier to find over on Scenic 98 in Miramar Beach. Hidden directly in plain view, the Tiki Bar is a small thatch hut propped up just steps from Seascape. There are only a few bar stools to be found here and shade is at a sky-high premium on those sweltering summer days. So if you crave a little more shade (not to mention bathrooms), head over to the bar that’s tucked underneath Whale’s Tail just a few hundred yards to the west. Or, venture a few miles further to the bar that’s back behind Pompano Joe’s, where you can watch the beach volleyball games underway. A short way east of the Tiki Bar, tucked inside the actual beach walkover from Surfside, is Royal Palm Grille’s Beach Bar. It offers one of the best views you can find and a perfect spot to grab a bite, a refreshing cocktail and a bit of shade during a day out in the sun. 12. The Outpost You need to venture out across Choctawhatchee Bay and up the river to reach this frontier-like outpost. You can get there by car or creek (The Outpost is on Black Creek, which is accessible through Jolly Bay or via the tangled tendrils of the Choctawhatchee River), although you’ll probably fit in best if you show up on a Harley. The Outpost is a biker-owned-and-operated boondocks bar, serving up grilled burgers, wings, boudin sausage, and of course, all the ice cold beer you can safely slam down. It’s a real adventure to go by boat, which is our preferred method. Did we skip over your secret South Walton watering hole? Shout it out below — or keep it to yourself … but only if you must!
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8 Reasons Why You Should Wake Up Early at the Beach

By Lindsey Rogers Getting up early is not everyone’s cup of tea. But, if you want to get the most out of the warmer months at the beach, there are more than a few reasons to roll out of bed a little earlier. Take our word for it, it’s worth every minute. Here are eight of our favorite reasons to get up early when you’re beachside: 1. The number one reason to get up early when you’re beachside is the sunrise! Nothing can beat seeing the sun peek up over the horizon on the water. It makes you feel special, like you got a private show from Mother Nature. I always feel proud of myself that I got up in time to see the earth start it’s day. Here are a few of our recent favorite sunrise moments: Monday Morning MomentWatching the sun rise LIVE this morning! Our “Monday Morning Moment” is presented by 30A Cottages and Concierge. Posted by 30A on Monday, October 24, 2016   Sunrise in 60 Secondssurely you can spare 60 seconds to enjoy a sunrise…. Posted by 30A on Thursday, November 10, 2016 2. Enjoy your coffee on the beach in near seclusion. I can’t think of a happier feeling than sipping on coffee with the sand between my toes while listening to the waves crash. It’s even better if I’m the only one on the beach as far as I can see and can enjoy this time alone.  3. Get to the beach early to claim your ideal spot. While you might just have time to stop in the sand for a morning breather and caffeine boost, if you’re planning to spend the whole day in the sand, now’s the perfect time to claim your spot. No one likes dragging your chairs and umbrellas through a crowd to try to find a place of your own. Set up your beach supplies early in the morning to assure you get a spot convenient to your beach access so you don’t have to walk so far. (Or, if you snoozed one too many times, you can skip this process altogether and take another favorite route: reserve your chairs and they’ll do everything for you!) 4. Get your exercise in before it gets too hot. If you want to burn off last night’s cocktails and don’t have access to a gym, a bike ride or run is the way to go. But as summer approaches and the temperature spikes, you’re going to want to get your exercise accomplished in the morning before the heat strikes. 5. Beat the breakfast rush. As a frequent Donut Hole customer, I can say there is nothing worse than waiting for a table when you’re craving some coffee and a sour cream doughnut. An easy solution is to get to your favorite breakfast or coffee spot earlier and beat the lines. Plus, you’ll get the first pick at doughnuts and pastries so they don’t run out of your favorite. 6. Enjoy the bike path without having to dodge bikers or joggers. In addition to beating the heat, you’ll also want to beat the crowd. Come 10 a.m. the 18-mile Timpoochee Trail bike path is full of people and there is nothing scarier than passing that one person who forgot how to ride a bike. Enjoy the scenery in near seclusion for some early-morning unwinding time. 7. Avoid traffic and get your shopping done early. In the high-traffic tourism months, beat the crowds by knocking out your shopping early. You’ll have a more enjoyable shopping experience with more parking spots to choose from and fewer checkout lines. Plus, you won’t have to fight over the last tub of Caribbean Coconut Telanti Gelato. Yum! 8. Make your day longer. The earlier you wake up, the longer your day is. A longer day means more time to enjoy all the beach life has to offer! Lindsey Rogers is a summer intern with The 30A Company.
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How to Spend Thanksgiving at the Beach

We’re so lucky here in South Walton because so many restaurants open up for Thanksgiving Day, inviting people in for delicious feasts to celebrate the holidays. So, if you’re away from home — or just don’t want to deal with the dishes — here is our round-up of how to spend Thanksgiving on 30A. Kick off the morning — and justify that extra slice of pumpkin pie — by running the 30A Thanksgiving Day 10K or Family Fun Run in Rosemary Beach. There’s still time to register! To cook at home: While the options below are primarily for eating out, if you’re looking to cook in, the friendly team at  For the Health of It in Blue Mountain Beach has organic and free-range turkey options, ready to roast and serve with their wide range of healthy, affordable produce, including organic brussels sprouts and locally grown organic green beans. Yum! Call 850-267-0558 to reserve a turkey. Where to grab Thanksgiving Dinner in South Walton: This year, Local Catch will serve up a Southern-style Thanksgiving feast from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Choose from roasted turkey, prime rib or grouper, all the sides and dessert. (Plus a bottomless mimosa option!) Find more info on their Facebook page. And, don’t miss their big Thanksgiving party on Friday night, featuring the Forrest Williams Band. Festivities start at 9 p.m. Trebeaché, the new sister restaurant to Stinky’s Fish Camp, is hosting an all-day ‘Grand Thanksgiving Buffet’ featuring the traditional dinner items along with some creative additions, including oysters on the half shell, chicken liver pate, boudin bites, wild boar and a round-up of delicious dessert options. Reservations are strongly recommended. Reserve your table here. Stinky’s Fish Camp will also have several delicious options for Thanksgiving Day, including a fixed traditional turkey dinner or a three-course dinner. Their regular menu will be available, too, which means you can supplement your turkey with some fresh oysters! Thanksgiving is the only day of the year Stinky’s accepts reservations, and they are highly recommended. For something different, book a cruise on the SOLARIS Yacht and enjoy a lavish Thanksgiving dinner actually ON the water. The menu includes turkey, ham, all the sides and traditional Thanksgiving desserts. Two cruises are available, one at noon and one at 6 p.m. Book your cruise here. The Pearl at Rosemary Beach will be celebrating Thanksgiving all day with a brunch, lunch and dinner. Brunch will be a full buffet in The Pearl’s ball room with wine available for purchase and special pricing for kids.  Lunch and dinner will be served at Havana Beach Bar & Grill, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant. Service includes a complimentary hot mulled cider or hot toddy upon arrival. Choose your entrees from a special menu of items. Reservations are required and can be made online at The Pearl’s website. The Hilton Sandestin‘s Thanksgiving Dinner buffet features one of the widest varieties of dishes including she-crab soup, BLT salad, New York strip, roasted duck, baked oysters and of course turkey and traditional sides. The dessert menu includes over a dozen different sweet items, all made in-house. From 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. See the full menu. Vue on 30A will be open for a Thanksgiving brunch from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Enjoy dinner with your friends and family with one of the best views of the Gulf of Mexico in the area. Learn more and make a reservation here. The critically acclaimed Fish Out of Water at Watercolor Inn & Resort will offer a Thanksgiving brunch with traditional breakfast items alongside traditional Thanksgiving items and fresh Gulf seafood including shrimp, crab, oysters and more. Brunch runs from from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. At 3:30 p.m., dinner kicks off with an a la carte menu and Thanksgiving specials.  See the full menu and make reservations online. Old Florida Fish House will be open from noon to 6 p.m. with a special Thanksgiving meal on the coastal dune lake. Their regular menu, including sushi, will also be available. Get details here. The Bay will have a special Thanksgiving menu available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., including a carving station with turkey, ham and garlic-roasted pork, a build-your-own pasta station, baked mahi, tons of sides and don’t forget the pies! Learn more here. Bijoux Destin will be open Thanksgiving Day, serving a roasted turkey special, selected items from their regular menu and seasonal desserts. Yum! Reservations are highly recommended. Dinner will be served from 4 to 8 p.m. Cuvee 30A will have their Thanksgiving Buffet available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., including Fried Louisiana turkey, New Orleans style BBQ shrimp, veggies and more. Learn more at their website. Marie’s Bistro is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a traditional Thanksgiving buffet and a la carte items. Reservations are highly recommended. Thanksgiving Dinners To Go Shades Bar & Grill is closed on Thanksgiving, but you can order a Thanksgiving Dinner to go, including a fried turkey and sides. They have a limited quantity though, so call 850-231-9410 to reserve yours today! Cowgirl Kitchen will have Thanksgiving dinners to take home with you. Order by Saturday, November 19, to enjoy turkey, praline sweet potatoes, 7-layer salad, pecan praline pie and more. Order online here. Roux 30A will also be preparing a Thanksgiving menu to go. See the full menu and order online here. The Hub 30A is prepping dinners, as well, with in-house smoked turkey and ham, cranberry sauce, local veggies and more. Check it out here. Did we miss something? If you know of any other Thanksgiving Day events or meals, please let us know in the comments section or by emailing feedback@30a.com.
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Digital Graffiti Takes Over White Walls of Alys Beach

Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach — a projection art festival located in South Walton — has announced the finalists for their tenth annual festival to be held May 19-21. Tickets are now on sale. Digital Graffiti gives artists a large-scale blank canvas to explore the intersection of art and architecture, while creating entirely new art forms. Once darkness falls, the […]
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Tickets Still Available for Bourbon, Beer & Butts With Sam Bush Band

The sixth annual 30A Wine Festival, hosted by the Alys Foundation,  will take place on Thursday, March 9 through Sunday, March 12, 2017. The four-day event features a bourbon and barbecue tasting, wine seminars, grand tasting event, and a croquet tournament. Underwritten by the Alys Foundation, proceeds from the event benefit Children’s Volunteer Health Network. The […]
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