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30a beach towns

Florida’s scenic highway 30A is a historic road spanning 24 miles of the gorgeous Emerald Coast. Traveling east from Rosemary Beach, 30A is shared by vehicles and golf carts, contributing to its uniquely beachy, laid-back, vibe. Vacationers and growing year-round population of locals flock this area of the Gulf Coast for its gorgeous beach towns and distinct neighborhoods. Follow the gulf coast through a variety of beach towns, each known by its own dreamy, coastal name. Each has a distinct style, restaurants, and attractions. Below are descriptions of our favorite towns that comprise this special slice of paradise!

Rosemary Beach

Rosemary Beach has a strong European architectural influence with great shopping, eating, and lodging options. When we first visited Rosemary, we instantly felt transported to a small town in the swiss alps. We spent the afternoon exploring all the coastal clothing, food, and decor shops, grabbing drinks at one of the many cocktail locations. We have since returned for its famous Sunday farmer’s market. Rosemary Beach is also home to one of the VERY few hotels in the area, The Pearl, with its iconic style and amazing location right in the heart of Rosemary Beach.



Seacrest is family-oriented with a variety of food and entertainment options. The most popular area to frequent here is Peddler’s Pavilion. Peddler’s Pavilion is a grouping of small houses, each dedicated to different food or drink options, all centered around a performance area where you’ll find live music, outdoor games, and bike rentals. Our personal favorites in this area are LaCo and their amazing taco salad and Beach and Brew, one of 30A’s local craft beer establishments. Grab a beer and sit in one of the many Adirondack chairs to enjoy the live music.


Alys Beach

Alys Beach is incredibly striking upon your approach. Starkwhite buildings are set next to immaculately landscaped vistas to create a feeling we likened to a Mediterranean village. While Alys is dripping in luxury it is not the most Kid friendly of the famous beach towns. If kids are keeping you from staying in this breath-taking area, be sure to grab coffee (or healthy snack) at Raw and Juicy and stroll around to admire all the beauty – our favorite activity! Raw and Juicy has a small playground alongside its patio to keep kiddos entertained while their adult counterparts enjoy their coffee warm for a change.



Watersound is a beautifully planned coastal community made up of residential homes and beach rentals. The houses like many others here look right out of a magazine with their shake siding and stunning views of the Gulf and Dune lakes.If you grew up visiting the New England coastline you will get all the feels here with the combination of the sand dunes and the cedar shingle siding. While many of the properties have their own stunning pools, the community itself has several pools as well.

Prominence and The Hub

Prominence is made up of family friendly houses and townhomes. Arguably the best part of this coastal cottage neighborhood is The Hub! Think of The Hub like a big backyard party surrounded by restaurants, food trucks, and shops. At the center is a large jumbotron and stage where you can watch the weeks biggest games, live music, or even take a yoga class!



Nestled between Watersound and Seaside, Seagrove is one of the oldest beach towns on 30A. Known for its shady tree groves of native Live Oak and Magnolia trees this area is admired by nature lovers. Its proximity to the Timpoochee trail, Dune Lakes, and Point Washington State Forest allow vacationers to enjoy beautiful views by foot, bike, or kayak. If you’re traveling in a smaller group, you may find this area to have more fitting options as there are more condo complexes here. Bonus, there are more of public beach access points in this area!



This Instagramable beach town brings the crowd whether you stay in the area or not. While the houses are picture perfect cottages, what really brings the crowd is the town center. The restaurant choices are just what one would expect to find in a beach town; approachable. If you come in busy season and don’t get a reservation, it’s just as fun to hit the air stream food trucks and find a seat within the open grass amphitheater. Our personal favorite restaurant is The Great Southern Café!



Watercolor provides access to world-class restaurants and bars, outdoor activities on both the Gulf and Western Lake, and family-oriented rentals. Camp watercolor is a popular attraction for renters with kids because of the variety of pools it offers only to watercolor owners and guests. The Harvest Wine and Food Festival sells out months in advance and is an incredible event highlighting all the area has to offer. We particularly enjoyed our first Watercolor tree-lighting ceremony around Christmas!


Grayton Beach

Grayton Beach gives off more of a “hippie” vibe, and its unofficial motto is “Nice Dogs, Strange People.” Grayton Beach State Park surrounds the town and provides access to a variety of terrain. From dunes and trails to the Western Lake, outdoor enthusiasts are sure to find a fit here. The art offerings in Grayton Beach Set it apart as a local creator’s showcase.


Blue Mountain Beach

Blue Mountain Beach is home to an incredible variety of food offerings including BBQ, ice cream, and other casual restaurants. This area is known for its high elevation (65 feet), and the unique blue flowers that populate the dunes of the area. We love this area for its vast array of food and drink offerings and access to live music! Head over to the Stay on 30A rental page to get moving on a stay in the beach town that suits your style best!

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