Sunsets on 30A can be breathtaking…
What is 30A? Well, I’m glad you asked 🙂 30A is a stretch of highway along the beach between Panama City and Destin on the Florida panhandle. It is quite different from the typical tourist hotels and high rise condos you see along most beaches. It is a series of communities stretching from Rosemary Beach to Blue Mountain Beach.
PP and I spent Thanksgiving on 30A this year and it was our first visit to the area. Even though I had grown up going to Panama City Beach for vacations, I was not familiar with 30A right around the corner. It wasn’t until a chance meeting with a family of bikers we encountered at the welcome center in Cedartown on one of our biking adventures on the Silver Comet Trail that we were introduced to 30A. This family shared with us how much fun they had biking on 30A, so we thought we would give it a try ourselves. We fell in love with it 🙂
We rented a room at The Villages of South Walton in Seacrest Beach, right next to Rosemary Beach. This location put us right at the beginning of 30A off of Hwy 98. It proved to be the perfect location for us (and we have stayed there twice now). As you can see from the photo below, it is a bike friendly community with bike rentals available everywhere. We took our own bikes, our Cannondale Quick 4’s for this trip, and boy were we glad. These are terrific bikes and perfect for the environment on 30A.
There is much more to see and do along 30A than just the stunning beaches. We were surprised to find how crowded it was for Thanksgiving, but apparently many families have their holiday gatherings there. It was chilly at times as you can see from PP being bundled up to the left, but it was a great getaway adventure for us and a change of pace from our regular runs on the Silver Comet Trail.
Below are a few shots of the beach, but obviously it was a tad too chilly for us to swim!
One of our favorite places along 30A was Seaside. One bit of trivia, this is where The Truman Show was filmed. Seaside is a bustling community with lots of bike traffic as you can see below! There are food vendors along the sidewalks, unique and interesting shops, and entertainment as well. It is a terrific adventure to bike there and then explore the community. We rode around the community looking at all of the houses for rent! 🙂 In this area, all of the houses are “named” with a sign out front with the names of the owners and their location. Each one is personalized and memorable.
Next to Seaside is a community called Water Color. We rode through this massive community and we were awestruck. I have never seen such massive homes on waterfront lots. We looked at the real estate listings and these places were listed up into the double digit millions of $$$. It was unbelievable to see. We had a wonderful time just biking through the trails around the lakes and in the woods.
Rosemary Beach (below) isn’t quite as expensive and exclusive as Water Color, but it was one of our favorite places to bike as well. Rosemary Beach has a very nice shopping area and community square where families gather to play ball and just enjoy the atmosphere. On Sundays, they have vendors in the community area who offer all sorts of goods and foods. Our favorite is a vendor who has some of the best baked goods you will ever taste 🙂
PP and I loved our visit(s) to 30A and we plan to make them a regular habit 🙂 Neither one of us really enjoys the hot summer on the beach, so we plan to take our trips more during the early spring and late fall to take advantage of the cooler weather and the smaller crowds.
Here is a look at some of the spectacular sunsets we were privileged to experience while we were there… and you can take a look through the Flickr slideshow to see other pictures from our adventure 🙂 Oh, and if you go to 30A, make sure you visit Shades for lunch or dinner at the intersection of 30A and Hwy98, it is our favorite place to eat there!