South Walton

Help Us Help Louisiana Flood Victims

Help us help our neighbors in Louisiana with our special edition ‘Can’t Wash Us Away‘ 30A shirt. All profits from the shirt sales will go straight to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s flood relief fund, which supports local nonprofits serving communities affected by the floods. This flood relief version of our Dumpster Diver tees, made from recycled plastic water bottles, is available in youth and adult sizes. The design features a pelican — Louisiana’s state bird — perched atop a post stamped with a silhouette of Louisiana. The phrase “can’t wash us away” is a reference to lyrics in the song “Louisiana 1927” by Randy Newman about another devastating flood. Support the effort here! Learn more in this Facebook video announcing the effort with The 30A Company’s Mike Ragsdale: Flood Relief in Louisiana30A just made this announcement about the flood victims in Louisiana. PLEASE SHARE: Posted by 30A on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 Read More

NOW HIRING: 30A Brand Ambassador

The 30A Company seeks a Brand Ambassador who is passionate about the 30A brand and our small beach town way of life. This is a rare opportunity for an ENTRY-TO-MID-LEVEL professional to join an extraordinary team of locals who are determined to make the world a happier place. The opportunity is for full-time employment in our office in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. What You’ll Do: — You will work in our 30A office in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida — Plan, organize and implement special 30A events, including charity and out-of-market events — Represent the 30A brand at public functions — Help plan and host live broadcasts on 30A’s Facebook page, with an audience of 430,000+ — Manage out-of-market sales expansion for our new 30A Wine — Expand out-of-market sales of 30A Gear, including our new Dumpster Diver apparel line made from recycled plastic bottles What We Seek: — Sincere passion for the 30A brand and lifestyle — Perpetually happy and positive attitude — Painfully organized and reliable — Self-motivated — Results-driven — Thrives in a fast-moving entrepreneurial environment — Outgoing, friendly personality — College degree, ideally with a focus on marketing, public relations, sales and/or business — Ninja-like social media skills — Occasional travel will be required What You’ll Get: — The opportunity to join one of the fastest-growing beach lifestyle brands in the world — The opportunity to have a real impact on the future of the 30A brand — Incredible entrepreneurial experience that spans multiple disciplines, including digital, social media, retail, licensing, sales, marketing, branding, strategic planning and more — Compensation will range from $35,000 – $45,000, depending on experience — A family of friends who want to help you grow as a person and professional To apply, please email your resume AND a 1-2 minute video (any topic of your choice) that demonstrates your fabulous on-camera personality to feedback at 30A dot com. Thank you for your interest in The 30A Company. Read More

FRIDAY: The Dreaded Forrest Band Takes Over Trebeaché

This Friday, Trebeaché continues its Boots on Blue Mountain Beach series with The Dreaded Forrest Band. The group is a mash-up of local favorites Dread Clampitt and Forrest Williams Band. Tickets are $20 and available for sale in advance and at the door at Trebeaché. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show kicks off at 8. Festival food will be on sale upstairs. Dinner reservations before the show are also available. Call 850-937-7793 or visit Trebeaché’s Facebook page for more info. Check out this 30A Radio performance, live from the 30A Airstream Studio: And a 30A Radio audio recording of the full session: Read More

How To Reuse and Recycle: Tips From Our 30A Fans

Here at The 30A Company, we are are constantly seeking new ways to recycle and reduce human impact on the environment. Our Dumpster Diver clothing line, made of recycled plastic and recycled cotton, is our latest effort. If you haven’t seen them, learn more here. At The 30A Company World Headquarters (a.k.a. the small office and warehouse space we cram into every day) we have a ban on disposable plastic bottles. Instead we had a water filter installed and use stainless steel reusable water bottles. (Find some great designs here!) We have also just begun using 100 percent recycled packaging to ship our orders from 30A Gear. We know there’s so much more we all could be doing, so we reached out to our over 420,000 30A Facebook Fans and asked them to post their their best tips and tricks for recycling and reducing their environmental impact. We got a ton of great responses! Here are some of our favorites: “Brush [your] teeth in the shower” – Laura Owen Pattison “We recycle cardboard for cat-scratching boards and poke holes in clean milk jug containers to use for watering our flowers.” – Tonia Elizabeth Grantham “We have all of our bills emailed and pay them online. Cuts down on paper and junk mail.” – Ashlie Mars “We recycle our wine and glass with a glass crusher and use it as landscape material. Beautiful!” – Joanie Jenkins “We reuse empty food containers by making them into baby toys. A plastic container filler with popcorn kernels, sand, salt, etc., will keep the kiddos entertained for several minutes. Just hot glue the lid shut for safety.” – Michelle Maloney Farnham “We use Milk jugs for bird feeders.” – Carol Smythia “We take our plastic bags and batteries to Lowe’s or Walmart’s recycle stations. Recycle our electronics through Best Buy’s Geek Squad and use travel mugs instead of water bottles.” – Rhonda Brasher Bottoms “Car pool.” – Suzy Copeland “I’m always looking for ways to repurpose. No napkins, paper towels or plastic water bottles here either! Use washable linens that last and refill stainless. Also collect rainwater to water my plants and yard as I don’t have sprinklers.” – Jen Hart “So much can be recycled! I’m currently using cardboard boxes and newspapers as weed blockers in my yard, then shredding those pesky magnolia leaves and using for mulch.” – Becky Burton Pritchard “Two-liter soda bottles make great bird feeders. Use the bottles and feed the birds at the same time.” – Peggy Cruse “We change our lightbulbs to ones that use less energy!” – Beth Couch “We still recycle cans … some people think it’s too much trouble, but we just crush them and take them about every three months to recycle in Pensacola. We also love thrift stores, estate sales and yard sales. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!!” – Teresa Woolum “If I have a plastic water bottle, I refill it and freeze it for my husband to use in his cooler when he goes fishing. It lasts longer than bagged ice and costs nothing.” – Amelia Holder “We like to use recycled materials for our Christmas ornaments and Halloween decorations. Kids love it. There is so much you can make from candles to soaps, you name it.” – Stacey Svegliato “Use glass bottles for water.” – Paul Horton Thanks for your wonderful advice everyone! If you have any additional suggestions, please let us know at Read More

Camp 30A: A New Outdoors Adventure Camp For Kids

Looking for some fun for the kids? Camp 30A is the only outdoors adventures camp for children in South Walton. Held at Grayton Beach State Park, the day camp gives kids ages 6-12 a chance to explore the sand and the sea, the longleaf pine forest and the coastal dune lakes. Camp leaders take kids on paddle board adventures, kayaking, hiking and even snorkeling. Book your day camp now. Michael Harrison, the camp’s director, has worked with kids camps for over 20 years and always dreamed of starting his own. The area around Scenic Highway 30A seemed like the perfect spot. “At Grayton Beach State Park, we have the Gulf of Mexico, but not only that, we have the lakes, we have hiking,” Harrison said. “It really lends itself to a great, unique camp experience.” Harrison has always loved working with kids, especially when he can introduce them to something they haven’t experienced before, like snorkeling or kayaking. “If you’re showing them something that’s maybe a little different, something they haven’t done before, they’re going to be really enthusiastic,” he said. “And kids are just fun to be around.” Learn more and book your day camp online. Read More

30A Bottle Caps Find Their Way Into Philadelphia Student Art Piece

By Caroline Giddis  We’ve all seen the iconic, round 30A stickers displayed on car bumpers and water bottles around the country, but 13-year-old Henri Waché prefers to show off his love of 30A by collecting a different trinket — bottle caps. “I first got a 30A bottle cap when I was in Grayton Beach a few years ago,” said Henri, who lives in Haverford, Pennsylvania. “They’re a reminder of our times at Grayton Beach and the community down there. My mom grew up in Fort Walton beach because my grandpa was an airforce pilot, so we come down every year.” The bottle caps look like miniature 30A stickers and bring a little bit of small-town beach life to Henri’s collection. Henri has been collecting bottle caps for three years — and he’s dedicated to the task. He doesn’t hesitate to dig through dirt and concrete to score a colorful cap. He loves the aesthetic differences between the logos and designs on each one and the memories that come along with it. “To me it’s not just a collection. I can really relate to every moment where I found one,” Henri said. “If anyone enjoys collecting something, I say go for it. I really think that collecting helps you to remember special moments.” Instead of letting his collection of hundreds of caps sit in a drawer or a jar, Henri wanted to make something with them. One summer, he created a colorful, spiral design and mounted it to a framed corkboard. “I wanted to display my collection in a different way so I thought making it into some sort of collage would be a good way to show all of them,” Henri said. “I enjoyed having my mind expand and really seeing what I could make with them.” Henri attends The Haverford School, a private school for boys, where his artwork was recently displayed during an alumni reception in the upper school, an opportunity he is very proud of. “My art teacher requested if anyone had done any artwork outside of school, and at first I hesitated, but they really embraced it and the upper schoolers loved it,” Henri said. Henri’s mother, Robin Waché, is a native to the South Walton area and very proud that her son used 30A caps in his artwork. “Every summer since my three children were born, we have managed to spend time in Grayton Beach,” Waché said. “Slowly but surely the word is spreading that the most incredible beaches on earth are situated along 30-A. Shhh….don’t tell too many more people,” Robin said. “We hope to savor our little paradise forever.” Read More

30A For Adrenaline Junkies

For those who prefer a little more action in their daily diet (instead of just beach bummin’ it all day), South Walton offers plenty of activities that will get the adrenaline pumping. Here’s our list of the Top 5 activities for all of you thrill-seekers along 30A. Kiteboarding Kiteboarding combines aspects of wake boarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding and gymnastics into one extreme sport that is not for the faint of heart. The kiteboarder straps their feet into a board and uses their arms to control cables attached to a large kite, allowing them to catch wind and make incredibly jumps high into the air. “I think one of the most compelling aspects of kiteboarding is your ability to be completely in tune with your environment,” said local Ed Rolen of Rolen Studio. “Engaging in the surf conditions, being pulled around under your own volition and being immersed in the amazing beach environment we have along 30A makes this sport something I try to do as much as possible.” Where to find it: You can often find Ed sailing through the surf and sky along Grayton Beach. Cave Diving Around 30A, freshwater springs have formed some deep-water caves that are perfect for the thrill-seeking cave diver. To access most of these caves, divers need the use of scuba gear, so certification and experience are absolutely necessary to ensure safety. For those with the proper credentials, these caves are filled with crystal-clear water and a view of nature that only the daring get to behold. For those without certification, area springs offer guided courses and lessons. Where to find it: Morrison Springs, a free public park, boasts three underwater caverns, including one about 300 feet deep. Definitely hire a guide or instructor to accompany you. Vortex Springs, a private park, also offers equipment rental and scuba lessons on site. Parasailing Parasailing involves a parachute towed behind a boat, sending the rider about 500 feet into the air. Feel the rush of the wind and enjoy the quiet peacefulness of the sky as you sail over the emerald waters around 30A. No experience necessary for this adrenaline rush. Want to see our beaches in a way you’ve never seen them before? Fly through the sky and catch a glimpse of South Walton from a pelican’s-eye view on a Parasailing adventure! Hop on an inflatable banana boat to hitch a ride out to the parasailing boat and enjoy your time in the air. Off-Roading Throw together a rainy day and the vast amount of nature trails and back roads in the area and you have perfect conditions for off-roading! The 15,400-acre Point Washington State Forest is criss-crossed with dirt-and sand trails, popular with both off-roading motorists and bicyclists. “After a really heavy rain, splashing through the muddy trails of Point Washington Forest is simultaneous relaxing and exhilarating.” -Mike Ragsdale, The 30A Company Where to find it? Find more information and maps of the Point Washington State Forest trails here. The Longleaf Pine Trail system, which has 3.5-, 8-, and 10-mile loops, is great for off-road mountain biking as well. Surfing Although 30A’s Gulf waters are often as smooth as glass, on many days of the year, the waves are ideal for surfing (particularly when there’s a tropical storm brewing somewhere down in the tropics). Professionals and amateur surfers alike patiently bide their time, waiting for red flag beach conditions or a tropical surge that might create the perfect moment. Everyone starts off as a beginner, but kids visiting the beach this summer have a really cool opportunity to get some surf experience at 30A Surf and Stand-up Paddleboard camp! “Surfing is very different from all other board sports due to the fact that everything around you is moving and the ocean can be very unpredictable,” said Chef Phil McDonald of Bud & Alley’s Pizza Bar. “The feeling you get from catching a really great wave is something I can’t quite describe. You are so focused on that exact moment and nothing else matters. I guess the best description of feeling while surfing would be freedom.” Where to find it: Anywhere along the Gulf is a good place to start. If you haven’t been on a board and want to learn, 30A Surf Camp‘s experienced instructors can get anyone riding the waves in just a few hours on the water. Book a day for you and the kids with 30A Surf and SUP Camp now! Author Jordyn Knott (who reportedly had the “best summer ever” interning at The 30A Company) contributed to this article. Knott lives in West Lafayette, Indiana, until she can get back to the beach. Check out her blog at Read More

Red, White and Lots of Blue: Celebrating 4th of July on 30A

NOTE: Scroll down for a complete schedule of Independence Day activities. By Jessie Taylor Here on Scenic Highway 30A, July Fourth is not only a national holiday, it’s a deep-rooted local tradition. From all-day beach parties on Grayton Beach to symphonies and fireworks shows, this is one of the busiest weekends on 30A. For my family, this is the assumed “schedule” that we go by each year: 1. Wake up at 5:30 a.m. to brave the fierce battle for the best spot on Grayton Beach. 2. After helping my dad set up, we go on a short run down each road in Grayton in advance of the parade to scope out the other decorated cars and see if we have any chance at being honored as the best float. (Unfortunately, this has never happened). 3. Arriving back from our run, we frantically wake up the lazy members of the Taylor family, explaining that we have exactly 30 minutes to make the best float in Grayton Beach. 4. Throwing on our best red, white and blue bathing suits, we grab duct tape and the box of Fourth of July decorations and get to work, while dad yells not to rip the paint off of the Jeep. (This happens every year). 5. The Grayton parade starts around 8:30 a.m., with plenty of candy-throwing and children waving from the sides of the road. 6. The parade ends around 9:15 a.m. at Grayton Coast Properties, my aunt, Kitty Taylor’s business. They serve watermelon and popsicles for everyone that shows. When all of the watermelon is gone, we all agree to go home, pack our coolers, and “meet ‘ya at the beach.” So after reading this, I’m sure you’re ready to weigh out your options and create your own 30A traditions for your family. In addition to Grayton Beach, there are plenty of events planned all over South Walton, and they’re included below. Happy Fourth! Learn more about the Grayton Beach parade from local Grant Blackwell of Coastal Insurance: Looking for more freedom-centric fun? Here’s the full-line up of local activities: ALYS BEACH 6 – 9 p.m. 4th of July Concert featuring the Atlanta Party Band 9 p.m. Fireworks GRAYTON BEACH 8:30 a.m. Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade Decorate your bikes, golf carts, cars, jeeps, boats, scooters, etc. and take part in the parade. Parade line up starts at 8 a.m. at Red Bar. Everyone is welcome! After, enjoy watermelon and lemonade at Grayton Coast Properties. Rosemary Beach 7:30 a.m. Bike Decoration Contest & Breakfast at North Barrett Square 8:30 a.m. Bike parade through the Town Center 9 a.m. Family field day on Western Green Sack races, water balloon toss, games, prizes and more!  6 p.m. The Like Totally Hep Cats on Western Green 6-9 p.m. 4th of July Picnic Dinner Party Join us poolside for an All-American full buffet, craft beer bar available for purchase.  $45 per adult | $25 per child (12 and under) 8:45 p.m. Fireworks on the beach SEASIDE July 3: 7:30 p.m. Stars & Stripes Pop Concert featuring the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra July 4: 8 a.m. South Walton 4th of July Parade (from Seagrove to downtown Seaside). Make sure to register in advance to have a float in the parade. Please note that a portion of Scenic Highway 30A will be closed for a few hours to accommodate the parade. 7 p.m. The Victory Belles Concert 8:30 p.m. Fireworks Spectacular over the Gulf of Mexico WATERCOLOR INN & RESORT 7 – 10 p.m. Fourth of July Picnic on the Beach (behind WaterColor Inn). Enjoy live music, refreshments and fun. Advanced reservations or tickets required. Please call 850-534-5041 for more info. 9 – 10 p.m. Kick back and enjoy the Fireworks show over the Gulf of Mexico on WaterColor Beach VILLAGE OF BAYTOWNE WHARF 6 – 9 p.m. Red, White and Baytowne runs all day long with lawn games, inflatables, kids crafts and face painting at Baytowne Wharf. 7 p.m. Live Music by Soul Track Mind 9:15 p.m. Fireworks over the Choctawhatchee Bay! Also, check out our calendar for plenty more fun events happening throughout the weekend! Did we miss something? Please let us know so we can add it to our official schedule. Read More

Fireworks: What’s Legal and What’s Not

Submitted by South Walton Fire District New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, a time many Americans observe the start of a new year by sending bottle rockets into the sky, exploding miniature bombs and unfortunately, breaking a state law. Most fireworks are illegal for consumer use in Florida, even if they’re available for purchase. That can make […] Read More

New Vending Machine Concept Carries 30A Gear

Vending machines are not just for chips and candy bars any more. At least not the kind Scott Turner runs. Turner’s business, TBOX, operates a series of high-tech vending machines across Northwest Florida where customers can purchase t-shirts, hats and now even 30A Gear. Turner’s concept is part of a growing movement for businesses to provide higher-end products in vending machines. Red Box, the movie rental kiosks, may be the most popular in the United States, but people across the globe have started using vending machines to sell everything from iPods and phone chargers to shoes. “Once we got into researching it ourselves, we found these kind of machines are popular in Asia and Europe, but not a whole lot of people are doing it in the states,” said Turner, who started out with ice vending machines, but quickly saw a need for something more. A vending machine can serve as a pop-up store — without the expense of overhead — and the concept is catching on. “It helps businesses expand to an area they might not be able to otherwise, to have a presence without having to have a storefront, staffing and all that goes with it,” said Turner. The technology has come a long way since the days of coin-operated soda and snack machines. Turner’s machines use LED lights and a system of infrared sensors so the machine conserves energy when not in use. All merchandise is tracked electronically, as well, which helps decrease the business’s ecological footprint. In years past, vending machine stockers had to travel with a big semi-truck full of products and assess what needed to be restocked on site. Turner can use a compact car to visit and restock machines. He knows exactly which products and how many he needs before he ever leaves the warehouse. Customers make purchases with credit cards and if any problem arises, the machine sends a text to Turner and he can operate it remotely to provide whatever customer service is needed. 30A Gear vending machines are in place at HarborWalk Village, Destin Commons, Silver Sands Premium Outlets and Pier Park. You can buy t-shirts, hats, drink huggies, license plate decals, Tervis tumblers and even coffee. “With the technology available, these things are pretty amazing,” Turner said. “They’re eco-friendly, business and customer friendly. We’re really excited to have them out there for people to use.” Read More