There are many different communities along 30A and if you’ve never been I highly suggest any of them, really! In this post, you’ll learn about our most recent trip and the community we fell in love with. Follow this guide and you too can enjoy the Emerald Coast without breaking the bank!
30A Beaches in Florida
The 30A neighborhoods all have their own unique draw, so one might suit you better depending on how you like to leisure.
Southern Source Side Note: When planning your trip to 30A, you’ll first want to choose your vibe: Read my 30A Community Guide to see which area fits you best!
After graduating from college, I tagged along with my parents for my first trip staying on 30A. We stayed in Grayton Beach and I instantly fell in love. Small walkable/bikeable communities with unique shops and restaurants are my love language. So, it was an easy choice for when it came time to plan my bachelorette trip a few years later!
For my bachelorette trip a few years ago we opted for Blue Mountain Beach, just right beside Grayton. This side of 30A is best for being closer to Sandestin/Destin area if you enjoy a little nightlife.
The 30A stretch in Florida has so many charming communities, and as you head further towards Panama City, you’ll notice they get newer and more modern. Some of these areas like Alys and Rosemary are just shy of 20 years old!
We most recently had the chance to partner with VRBO, so we wanted to choose a new pocket of 30A to explore!
All of the areas on 30A are so cute! Should we stay in Seaside, Watercolor, Seagrove, Alys, or Rosemary?
Hard to choose from just looking online so I decided to ask the experts…
Yes, I have the blog… but my readers are the real experts! After polling between Seaside and Rosemary, it was a win for Rosemary Beach.
Rosemary Beach, FL Travel Guide
As noted in my 30A Community Guide, Rosemary Beach is one of the newer communities along this stretch. While it’s close in proximity to Panama City Beach, it offers a completely different experience with walkable streets, high-end shopping, and pan-Caribbean-style homes. Lush greenery paves the sidewalks and trees overhang in the streets as you’d see in Savannah or Charleston.
The beautiful architecture of the buildings and homes make Rosemary Beach feel like a complete dream. Walk around and you start to feel like you’re in a different country! This scenery coupled with the bustling food scene makes Rosemary Beach a definite destination in the South.
Where to Stay in Rosemary Beach
One of our favorite website/apps to use for finding the best vacation rentals is VRBO (verb-oh). We started by using their mobile app to browse condos and carriage houses in Rosemary Beach. After a few days of researching and comparing, I found the cutest loft-like condo that seemed perfect for a short weekend getaway on 30A!
During peak season (March-August) Driftwood Studios goes for around $140 per night. Another great time of year to visit Rosemary Beach is in September and October, in which you could stay at this condo for $109 per night!
Booking our Rosemary beach rental on VRBO was a breeze and check-in was seamless. They even had a bottle of 30A red wine waiting on us when we arrived!
Here are some of the other rental properties I saved on my VRBO app in Rosemary Beach. View my Rosemary Trip Board
Rosemary Beach Condo Rentals
The Villages of South Walton is the name of the condominium where we stayed. It was the main hub of the town. We literally could have stayed inside this little semi-circle all weekend without needing to leave for food, fun, outdoor activities, etc.
Within the condominium, there are the cutest permanent pop-ups in the center like Chicken Salad Chick, a pizza place, donut shop and a massive bike rental company. Many nights of the week during the Summer there is live music in the grassy area out front. Great entertainment if you have kids!
Grabbing beer or wine on your way to the beach is a breeze. There is a little market with all the goods, plus a new craft beer bar just opened (Beach & Brews) where they have the plastic alternative to a growler which they are calling a “prowler.” This place is called Beach & Brews.
Best Restaurants in Rosemary Beach
Not sure if I’ve mentioned this part yet, but we had less than impressive weather on our most recent trip to Rosemary Beach. Thankfully, this area on 30A has a ton of restaurants, shops, and bars for us to drown our [sunless] sorrows. We seriously only got a grand total of 2 hours on the beach the entire weekend, so we had ample time to check out the many eateries and rooftop bars around Rosemary and Alys Beach.
Coffee and Breakfast
Amavida Coffee & Tea – Craft coffees and delicious pastries (ham and gouda croissant)
Grits and Grind – All the things
Summer Kitchen Cafe – Best Bacon
Lunch and Appetizers
La Cocina – Get the NACHOS. Top 5 best nachos I’ve ever had.
George’s (in Alys Beach, just down the road)
Dinner and Cocktails in Rosemary Beach
If you splurge on one thing during your trip to Rosemary Beach, it needs to be dinner at Paradis. This restaurant came highly recommended for both food and cocktails, and let me tell you it did not disappoint. You see, I’ve been jonesing for my first rum drink of the Summer. Anything with coconut would have done the trick, but my mind was blown when I tried the SPF 30A cocktail at Paradis.
Stay tuned, because I’m going to try my hand at recreating it for the blog. Time to get behind the bar!
For dinner, I want to recommend their famous filet. This perfectly cooked piece of meat has won Restaurant Paradis best steak on 30A. Seeing that there are so many great restaurants along 30A, this is a huge accomplishment. Go all in and pair it with a tempura fried lobster tail. You can thank me later!
Other notable restaurants in Rosemary Beach area:
- Pescado (Rooftop)
- The Pearl Rooftop
- Cuvee 30A
- Havana Bar and Grill (at The Pearl Hotel)
Now, set sail on planning your trip to Rosemary Beach, FL!