Our vacay to 30A!
First off, thank you for even clicking on this post. I don't blog, but I have thought about it so many times. I'm still thinking about it.. ;)
Right now, my family and I have been living in a small space to save to buy or build a house. That being said, we wanted a little break to let the kids have some change in scenery. Peter has never been to the beach and we took Ezra Jane last year when she was a little over a year. Sooo too young to remember! Anyways, I had recently went with some friends to Gulf Shores and while I love it there, it was a major party scene. I don't know if it was because everything was opening back up since COVID or what, but when I left I had no desire to bring my family (or myself) back there. I started researching beaches and a couple of influencers shared their trip to Seaside, Florida. I was immediately obsessed with the crystal clear, blue, and calm waters. I kept researching this specific place in Florida and fell in LOOVE.
I immediately tried finding us a room. But, to my surprise, there were no hotels. Except one, The Pearl, but it was way out of our budget! We saw it in person and oh my word, SOO gorgeous! There were only condos/houses that we could rent out. Honestly, if this place wasn't running a special at the time we booked, we wouldn't have gone. Our place was in between all of the little towns on 30A. It was a 10 minute drive to Seaside, and a 15 minute bike ride to Rosemary and Alys Beach. It was a great place!! It was soooo gorgeous! Here is the link to our room!
**If you have it in your budget, I would highly recommend bringing or renting a golf cart. The beach access is about 2 miles down and with kids its so much easier to use a golf cart instead of your own car to avoid sand and the hassle! And everyone is either using golf carts or riding bikes!**
What is 30A?
30A is a county highway that runs along the gulf with a few beach towns all within minutes of each other. The most popular (and where we were most of the time) was Seaside. Seaside is out of a movie. (literally! there have been movies filmed here) There is so much shopping, things for kids to do, and my favorite..food :) There is an entire row of airstreams with different options for food. The Meltdown for fancy schmancy grilled cheeses, Frost Bites for snowballs and custard (the custard was our favorite!), Mediterranean food, gourmet all beef hot dogs, CREPES, and more! I've heard that there is a "Five Daughters Bakery" airstream but it wasn't there when we visited. Seaside is basically a big square with everything close together. When we first drove up, we saw an outside restaurant with "FAMOUS FRIED PICKLES" written on the banner. Of course, we stopped. Annnnndddd we understood the sign. So. Good. We had the fried pickles and burgers. Wowowow. It was so good, we ended up eating there three times on our trip. The best.
They also have Bud and Alley's Tacos that we had. Their queso was soooooo good! One of the best I've ever had. I loved that we could eat outside. With COVID and having two little ones, eating outside felt safer and its better for when the kids get antsy. Also, if you're taking a trip during all this COVID stuff, bring a mask! Most businesses required it upon entering.
We ate at the Great Southern Cafe in Seaside Square and that was our most *expensive* restaurant experience. It is mostly seafood but it's like, elegant seafood. Hahah! This isn't what we would consider a fancy restaurant, but it is on the nicer side and their food was being prepared with love that's for sure. Haha! We got fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits YA YA, and the shrimp and macaroni with cheese. I'll have some pictures below.
Just a tip, you have to make a reservation to go there. They don't take walk ups!
Seaside has a ton of walk around shopping. Shopping for everyone in the fam! If your husband doesn't feel like shopping, they have a massive green lawn bowl that kids play in right in the middle of the square. Ezra Jane loved running up and down it after we ate dinner each night.
The next stop on our list was Alys Beach. If you have seen my Instagram, then you have seen my posts about Alys. While there are only a few restaurants in Alys, it's famous for its multi-million dollar house. Really.
When you drive up, you can park on the side of the road and you see nothing but beautiful, white sheet rocked homes. You can drive, walk, or ride around the cobble stone streets and get all of the inspo for your dream house. It was one of the places where Caleb and I kept saying, "look at that house! Look at this one! Do you see their windows?! Look at that door!" Like little kids! Haha! They have a restaurant called George's that is famous, but we didn't have time to go there. There is donut truck called "Charlie's Donuts" thats parked in Alys. They say to get there really early because they sell out quickly! I got up one morning at 6am and got to them for opening (6:30am). There was already a line forming! The donuts were really good! Our favorite was the sour cream donut.
Leaving Alys, you get to Rosemary Beach!! SOOO cute! My second favorite with Seaside coming in first. We went to a restaurant called "la crema" and ordered the underdone chocolate chip cookies and salted caramel ice cream with a glass of milk. We sat outside the restaurant and waited about 20 minutes because they make everything to order. Caleb and I both agree that those were the best cookies we've ever had. SOO good. It is a restaurant, so you do have to order it "to go" if you're wanting to take it with you. But we just sat outside.
Rosemary has a lot of shopping and restaurants. We walked around this cute little town and window shopped. They have a well-talked about coffee shop there called Amavida Coffee. It was very different, but I would said to spend your money at the Beachy Bean (in Seagrove in between Alys & Seaside) because that place had the best coffee I've ever had in my life. I used to be a barista and I can say with confidence that the Onyx Latte at the Beachy Bean will change your life.
There is mostly a lot of walking around and shopping and eating on 30A. Here are more restaurants that have great reviews
- Grayton Seafood Co. (rated the best restaurant here, but I'm allergic to seafood so we couldn't go!)
- The Vue
- Cafe 30A
- The Hub (we went here! It's a place where there are like 5 restaurants all in an area, they supposedly have live entertainment for kids in the busy season, but we just got takeout! We got the BBQ dry rub wings from DUOS and HA! Change your life.)
- Florida Fishhouse
- Bud and Alleys Waterfront Restaurant (sad we missed this one, but it was a little out of budget and I didn't want to bring the kids here!)
- Surfing Deer (definitely going here next time! Very fancy though!)
- Pescado in Rosemary
- The Perfect Pig (Ezra Jane and I came here for breakfast while Caleb worked one morning, PLEASE GO HERE! Haha! It was beyond delicious. We got the biscuits and gravy, pork belly biscuit with homemade fig, ah. My mouth is watering thinking about it. If this is the only breakfast you get to go to, go here. You're welcome)
- Grits and Grillades (breakfast)
There is so much. So much goodness. We of course went to the beach! Because of the hurricane, it pushed realllllly bad rip currents our way, so we couldn't get in the water all week. It was sad, but just being able to be at the beach was enough for us. The water was clearing up and you could really see how clear and blue the water gets.
My last few thoughts about 30A:
- It's beautiful. Every way you look at it, its beautiful and perfect!
- So family friendly. Probably created the term "family friendly"
- Best food. We didn't have one meal that we didn't love.
- Very expensive. Everything is higher priced here. Dinner for two? Around $40+ with water. So, just be aware. We didn't know this before hand. Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha.
- You won't want to leave. We ended up extending the trip 2 more days because it was so good! (and mainly waiting for the clear water to clear up and hopes for the rain to stay away)
Listed below are pictures from the trip. Let me know if you have any questions and I can answer them :)