Last week we took our very first trip to 30a in Florida. Since moving to Nashville we’ve heard sooo much about the 30a area and it immediately became a bucket list item. Things here book seem to book up fast so I’m so glad we booked our trip last fall. It ended up coming at the perfect time….after moving into our new home and completing some big projects, our family sure needed the R&R!
WHERE WE STAYED:
I’ve been a fan of Nashville blogger Natasha Stoneking for years so when the time came to book our 30a stay, I knew our choice would be her darling rental, Ro Sham Beaux in Rosemary Beach. I just love her colorful and fun style and she’s done an amazing job decorating the 2 bedroom condo. It easily slept our family of 6 with the 2 bedrooms plus 2 additional adorable bunks. It provided us enough space to lounge when we needed downtime and everyone slept soundly in their beds….a VERY important part of vacation!! And while we ate out most of our meals, the kitchen was super useful as well. Beautiful and well stocked, it made morning coffee, breakfast and snacks a breeze.
The 30a area has several different towns along the coastline and each town has it’s own little vibe. Rosemary beach has tons of trees, a cute town square and charming cobblestone streets. Lots of restaurants and cute shops line the streets. I think it was a great spot to experience 30a for the first time since everything we needed was within walking and biking distance. We also ventured into Alys Beach which is gorgeous!! White facades and a very clean and chic vibe.
With not a lot of hotels in the area it seems that most people rent condos and houses for their stay. We booked Ro Sham Beaux through this site, which has a lot of other rental properties as well. VBRO would be another great option! It’s so fun to “move in” for the week and experience the towns!
WHERE WE ATE:
Oh gosh so many places to choose from! Our family favorite was George’s in Alys Beach. We enjoyed grilled shrimp, yummy salads and according to my son “the most amazing burger.” Another favorite was Old Florida Fish House in Seagrove. It was the one time we had to get in our car…but it was worth the drive! We met friends who were also vacationing in the area and feasted on sushi and seafood under twinkle lights. Bonus points for their outdoor area with cornhole and games for the kids, and the wine bar that we hung out at after dinner!
For coffee, donuts, easy breakfast options and ice cream we loved Charlie’s Cafe in the Rosemary Beach town square. We also had a fun family dinner at Lola Coastal Italian. Big portions of chicken parma and chicken picatta, wood fired pizza and chianti made us a happy bunch! Next trip I’d love to try La Crema Tapas and Restaurant Paradis!
THINGS TO DO:
THE BEACH: Obviously the beach is the #1 draw! We had the option of reserving chairs through our condo rental and I’m so glad we did. We had a set up of 4 chairs and two umbrellas and it made our beach day extra special. The kiddos played in the water, the sand and we all had our time to lounge. I even read an entire book on this vacation, which as a mom to four is a rarity!! If you need a good book I highly recommend The Paper Palace! I couldn’t get over the color of the water (a beautiful turquoise) and the incredibly soft white sand!
POOLS: There are 4 pool options when you stay in Rosemary Beach. We didn’t really plan it in advance and ended up at the Cabana pool which was pretty close to our place. I feel like with kids and a pool you can never go wrong!
BIKES: Two bikes were included with our rental so we just needed to rent a few more for our crew! Bamboo bicycles had everything we needed including a trailer for Emmy to ride in style. A bike path connects Rosemary, Seacrest and Alys so it was fun to take rides up and down for lunch, dinner and shopping!
A few tips:
Make sure you reserve beach chairs in advance! We booked ours directly through our rental and received an email at the beginning of the year with the link to book them. Seems to be that you’ll be able to reserve chairs with whatever rental you’re staying at….and some might even come with them!
Bring towels with you to the beach and pool! No towel service at either 🙂
Pick up any necessities at Bombora Sun & Surf – we got more sunscreen, goggles and some fun water toys! They also have plenty of bathing suits, floaties and beach gear.
Beach walkovers – Rosemary Beach has 9 different walkovers to access the beach. It’s good to know which walkover is closest to your rental so your trek to the beach isn’t too far. Here’s a great map!
Eat, beach, swim, shop….repeat. I think that might be a pretty good summary of 30a! Sooo many cute boutiques! but I think Parish + Ex Voto wins for my favorite shop. A darling mix of clothing and home accessories. Think Emerson Fry clothing, artwork by Brooke Lancaster and some fun vintage finds too. I also loved Disco for beautiful dresses, jewelry and accessories and Gigi’s toys was a huge hit with Emery! Rosemary Beach Trading Co. was the best spot for Rosemary beach souvenirs. My girls all loved the sweatshirts!
On my phone I have a ton of snapshots of labels…I discovered so many new brands this week! I might have to do a round up soon.