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Gulf Place: One of South Walton’s Most Colorful Communities

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. Read More

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Kids Will Love This New Surf and Paddle Camp

If you’re looking to get the kids involved in some fun and a little exercise, look no further than a surf and stand-up paddle kids camp. The camp began Memorial Day and will be offered daily through August. The three-hour camp will teach your child the basics of surfing or stand up paddle boarding, and it will provide memories that are sure to last a lifetime. Book your day camp now. South Walton is the perfect spot for kids to learn to surf and paddle. The waves in the Gulf of Mexico are generally pretty mild, making it less intimidating for kids. And the beautiful coastal dune lakes are calm with shallow areas perfect for kids to learn the balance needed for stand-up paddle boarding. The surf camp meets at Gulf Place and Seagrove while the paddle board camp takes place at Eastern Lake and Lake Powell. Each location caps at a maximum of 12 campers to provide your child with the most individual instruction. Each camp includes an instructor on site, surf or paddle board camp gear, a snack pack and water. The camp is available for children ages 6 and up. It is required that children are able to swim to participate. To learn more and sign up, visit: 30atours.com. Read More

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Everything You Need to Know About Dogs in South Walton

By Caroline Giddis The people of South Walton share many passions. The vibrancy of each neighborhood is characterized by a love of culture and art, and of course it’s hard to live down here if you’re not a beach fanatic. There’s one other thing that many people here can’t live without — their dogs. >Check […] Read More

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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 feedback@30a.com. Read More

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DOUBLE RED FLAG ALERT: Water Closed to Swimmers

Our South Walton Fire District reports the current flag condition is DOUBLE RED: All Gulf waters are currently CLOSED to swimmers in Walton County. Surf and rip conditions remained extremely dangerous Wednesday morning, according to the South Walton Fire District. The beaches are open, but everyone must stay out of the water for safety. Tickets can be issued to anyone in the Gulf of Mexico when double flags are flown. Surfers with proper boards and gear are allowed to enter under county ordinance, but lifeguards, emergency personnel and law officers are allowed to prohibit surfers as well if they appear to be presenting a danger to themselves. For more information about beach safety or rip currents, please go to VisitSouthWalton.com/safety. Text “SAFETY” to 31279 to get the flag conditions on your phone. Please do not risk your life — and the lives of rescuers — by taking any chances. Stay safe, and stay out of the Gulf today! What to do if you are caught in a rip current: How to recognize if someone is drowning: Read More

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Celebrate Summer with Fun Run Through NatureWalk

Come out to The Gathering Place at NatureWalk THIS WEDNESDAY from 4 to 8 p.m. to celebrate summer and participate in a fun run or walk through the community’s winding nature trails and boardwalks. The two-mile event is family friendly and will be followed by live music, pizza from Pizza By the Sea and beer. The 30A Company will also pour complimentary tastes of our new 30A Wine! A $10 entry fee is required and will be collected on race day at the starting line beginning at 3:30 p.m.  Cash or check accepted. The event begins promptly at 4:15 p.m. Medals will be awarded to all finishers. All proceeds go to Special Olympics Florida-Walton County. Register for the event here. Read More

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Chiringo: Grayton Beach’s Newest Hot Spot

Chiringo, the newest addition to the Grayton Beach neighborhood, has recently opened in the location formerly occupied by Stinky’s. The casual eatery has undergone an extensive remodel, including reopening the upstairs patio, creating a beautiful, open-air space with a view of the Gulf of Mexico. The restaurant was inspired by chiringos or chiringuitos, small open-air beach bars that dot the coast of Spain. “Our philosophy is to create both an ambiance and offerings that are simple, fresh and flavorful,” said Andy McKoski, partner and founder of Chiringo. “Grayton Beach has a rich heritage and culture all its own, and we hope to complement the fun, funky vibe of this awesome community.” Chiringo is a collaborative effort between acclaimed Atlanta chef, Cesar Velazquez; restaurateurs, Lance Jaglarski and Andy McKoski; and businessman David Huckeba. Located across the street from the Red Bar, the restaurant is one of a few South Walton restaurants that offers a view of the gulf. To maximize this benefit, the second story was fully renovated to include vibrant yellow retractable garage doors that create an inviting open-air dining room. Meet owner Lance Jaglarski: The renovated downstairs bar features street-side access, comfortable outdoor seating and the same retractable garage doors enhancing the casual, beach bar vibe. “While researching our concept, we traveled to Tarifa, Spain, where locals gather at colorful beachside shacks along sunny beaches to socialize, drink and eat,” said Velazquez, Chiringo’s chef. “The overall atmosphere and attitude was so similar to what we felt in Grayton Beach that it just felt like the natural place for Chiringo to be born. “Once we found this location, we knew this was it.” The Chiringo menu showcases coastal cuisine from around the globe with a strong Southern influence. Check out this Facebook video, shot LIVE at Chiringo: Chiringo in Grayton Beach, FloridaWe were LIVE from Chiringo in Grayton Beach today…. Check it out: Posted by 30A on Tuesday, May 24, 2016   From Escabeche to Mojo Pork, the menu celebrates some of the most popular dishes from beaches around the world. Fresh gulf seafood is prepared in a variety of styles with flavors ranging from spicy to savory. Small and large plates are ideal for sharing with family and friends. A kids menu ensures there is something enjoyable for every member of the family. Behind the bar, fresh fruit and vegetables are blended for refreshing cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. A diverse selection of beers, wines, sangrias and spirits are also available. For more info, visit Chiringo, call 850-267-0109 or email info@chiringograyton.com. Read More

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Stand-Up Paddleboarding in South Walton

By Lindsey Rogers White sand and crystal-clear water aren’t all South Walton has to offer. In fact, all the other activities — fishing, horseback riding, hiking, bike riding — are what make this area so special and attractive to people of all kinds. One of the most popular activities among visitors and locals alike is stand-up paddle boarding, a relatively new activity involving what looks like an elongated surf board that users stand on and use a paddle to move across the water’s surface. Rent a board or book a paddle board tour! South Walton is an especially perfect place for the budding sport, which is something Jeff Archer stumbled on when he founded his company YOLO Board here in 2007. Archer said South Walton is one the best places to stand-up paddle because of the variety of beginner friendly water and the huge diversity of paddling experiences. With the Gulf of Mexico, the Choctawhatchee Bay, coastal dune lakes and rivers, you’ll never get bored of the scenery. Plus, South Walton’s climate allows for year-round paddling. “Stand up paddle boarding to Walton County is like snow skiing to Aspen or Breckenridge,” Archer said. Paddling in the gulf offers a paddler beauty in every direction and the opportunity to have a close-up encounter with species such as dolphins and sea turtles in their natural habitat. Archer suggests you paddle the gulf in the morning when it is flat because as the south winds arise it is more difficult to paddle. If you’re new to paddle boarding, the coastal dune lakes are for you.These lakes are mostly protected from the winds, which results in flat, smooth waters perfect for those first timers. You get the best of both worlds paddling in a coastal dune lake because the outfall will take you directly to the gulf when you’re ready to hit the beach. The Choctawatchee Bay, fresh water rivers and natural springs are other flat venues for paddling. The bay is located just north of U.S. Highway 98 while the springs are a little further drive. Morrison Springs in Ponce De Leon is Archer’s favorite spring to paddle. Paddling affects both the physical and mental well-being of the paddler, Archer said. Physically, it improves core strength and balance.  It also leads to better overall cardiovascular health. Plus, being out on the water can act as a mental release, providing exhilaration and time to get in touch with nature. Although it can be nice to spend some time alone, paddling is also a great activity to enjoy with friends and family. Archer likes distance paddles with his dog, Flea, paddle adventures with his friends and surfing expeditions with his son and brother. “It has allowed me to mix work and play in a seamless way that fits my lifestyle,” he said. This is a 360º video! Use your mobile device to pan around and see all angles of Camp Creek Lake! You may have to open it on the YouTube app for the full 360º effect. Rent a board or book a paddle board tour at 30atours.com. Lindsey Rogers is a summer intern with The 30A Company.  Read More

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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

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We Asked the Experts: What Are the Best Local Fish to Eat?

By Caroline Giddis Salty, meaty, flaky, mild. These are some of the characteristics of the favorite fish of executive chefs, seafood market managers and fishing captains in South Walton. Whether they come from the bay or the gulf, our local fish are some of the best in the world, and highly sought after by fish […] Read More