If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have a soft spot for the beaches of 30A in Florida and will basically drop everything at the chance to head down there for a getaway. In May, I escaped to 30A for a relaxing long weekend with my hubby. We had the best time together.
The saltwater, sand and bright turquoise waters were calling me back to my happy place. When some of my best girls and I were casually chatting about going on a girls trip over wine one evening, we put plans into action and made it happen.
Usually, I get down to 30A smack dab in the middle of the summer with the kiddos, but I had been told by locals that fall is one of the best times to visit. One reason is that the summer family crowds are gone and another reason is that the beaches are free from seaweed and the perfect 85 degree weather is plentiful. At first our plans were to go in September, but that didn’t work out so we arranged to go the 3rd weekend in October and we could not have been more pleased with how our trip turned out.
If you have heard about 30A and haven’t visited yet, you owe yourself a favor to make plans to visit this jewel beach destination. Getting there from Atlanta is an easy 6 hour drive or you can easily fly in to one of the two airports that serve the area.
Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport
Airport Code: VPS
Airlines: Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, GLO, United Airlines, Southern Airways Express
Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport
Location: Panama City Beach
Airport Code: ECP
Airlines: Delta, Southwest Airlines, Silver Airways, United Airlines
WHERE TO STAY
A quick look on Vacation Rental by Owner turned up this cute 2-story bungalow in Santa Rosa Beach complete with a pool, jacuzzi and just steps away from the beach, shops, doughnuts, frozen yogurt and little cafes to grab a bite.
Beautiful places to stay are abundant along 30A and you will find choices in all price ranges. I had actually stayed on this property before in another home during a previous trip and was excited to visit again. The cottage is perfect and had everything we needed! Everything is convenient within a short walk or bike ride. The best part is the beach is just a short 2 minute walk from the house.
For more 30A beautiful places to stay check:
SIPS, SNACKS & BITES
Our goal was to relax, connect and endulge in some some self-care over wine and seafood. We really didn’t put too much pressure on ourselves to cook or go out to anywhere particular.
Our first night in we had cocktails and fresh oysters and shrimp at the shrimp shack where we had a perfect view of the ocean just after the sun had set. We were in a state of pure bliss after the long ride and long week, it was just what the doctor ordered.
Must try: Shrimp Shack Seaside
We worked hard the next day with a run/walk along the beach followed by breakfast in the cottage. Coffee, pancakes, bacon and eggs and fresh mimosas was our well-deserved treat after a 2 mile non-stop trail run. We cooled off and splashed in the perfect temperature water during the walk back to the cottage along the beach. I have to agree October is the perfect time to enjoy the refreshing, gorgeous water and silky, white sand beaches.
The next day, we wanted to venture out for breakfast, so we headed over to Alys Beach to check out a few of my old favorites. First stop, Charlie’s Doughnuts. It was almost 10 am and the fresh baked doughnuts were almost all sold out from this 30A favorite. During the summer the lines can be long as the sun blazes over head and no one dares move from the line. Carol was bummed that they were out of Maple Bacon but settled for a Maple doughnut instead while I treated myself to a sour cream.
Must try: Charlie’s Doughnuts
Must try: Fonville Press
I wanted to make sure the girls experienced one of my favorite places along 30A, Fonville Press so we walked over there with our doughnuts. I love the bright white buildings and stone streets of Alys Beach. It reminds me of a Greek or Italian Village with its water fountains and heavy wooden doors opening up to patios leading up to the rooftops.
At Fonville, the wait was long but well worth it. We had filling breakfasts of eggs, yummy homemade sausage, veggies and coffee. I love that Fonville sources it’s food from local farmers and uses organic, sustainable and homemade ingredients on the menu. So delicious! We ate on the patio and the warm breezes from the ocean were perfect.
There is no shortage of fresh seafood and cute little places to stop for delicious bites by the sea. I wish we could have gone to all of them but here are a few more that I recommend you try:
- Cowgirl Kitchen
- Caliza Restaurant
- Georges Restaurant
- Buddys Shrimp : Seafood Market with fresh from the Gulf seafood, get it steamed and take it to go. We did this and had a seafood feast while we watched movies and played wine trivia.
- Wild Olives : We went there and had amazing wine flights and charcuterie
A GIRLS TRIP IS SELF-CARE
I hope you will take some time to explore this beautiful beach. This girls getaway went down in history as one of the most enjoyable & fun I have ever had. It had all of my favorite things: relaxing on the beach, doughnuts, fresh seafood, wine and connecting with good girl friends. We came home rested, relaxed and ready to tackle the world.
Thank you to Carol for taking these beautiful pictures of our trip!
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