A DAY AT PLAY ON HWY 30A, FLA.

Highway 30A is a scenic 26-mile byway through a diverse collection of coastal villages along the Emerald Coast in Northwest Florida. You might call it the “panhandle,” but “Emerald Coast” is much more intriguing. The highway runs along the Gulf of Mexico, from Inlet Beach on the east to Beach Highlands on the west. We gals spent a day exploring the boutiques, galleries, eateries and, of course, the beach:

FONVILLE PRESS

Fonville Press in Alys Beach is an upscale coffee shop and café that serves breakfast and lunch, pastries and ice cream, and a curated selection of craft spirits. Linger over the art and history books also for sale, or relax in the shaded courtyard. Check the schedule for special events and musical performances.

Our coffee shop, Alys Beach

 

SEACREST BEACH

With coffee in hand, our morning stroll through soft, sugary sand at Seacrest On our morning stroll through soft, sugary sand at Seacrest Beach, we met up with playful gulls.

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BUD & ALLEYS ON THE WATERFRONT

We lunched in Seaside at Bud & Alleys Waterfront Restaurant, a popular rooftop gathering spot bar overlooking the gulf waters. Known for Southern coastal classics and a hefty menu of beach libations. The fried shrimp po boy and sweet potato fries were delish!

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www.budandalleys.com

 

AN AFTERNOON OF SHOPPING

No samey-same national chain stores here. Instead, gorgeous indie boutiques enticed at every price point, from retro candies to four-figure fur booties. A few of my faves:

Perspicacity, a year-round outdoor bazarre

Perspicacity, a year-round outdoor bazaar in Seaside

An Apartment in Paris,

An Apartment in Paris, and a Francophile’s delight in Seaside

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Queork, where cork is the new leather at Grayton Circle, Santa Rosa Beach

 

SUNSET CRUISE on LAKE POWELL

We set sail on Lake Powell, a rare coastal dune lake that invites water-sport enthusiasts and bird-watchers alike. In our case, Captain Matt of Motorboatin30a served wine and cheese and steered us toward a glorious Florida sunset!

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www.motorboatin30a.com

 

HAVANA BEACH RESTAURANT

As the signature restaurant of the 55-room boutique Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach, the Havana Beach Bar & Grill is an area hot spot. The menu is infused with Spanish, Portuguese and French influences that merge with the harvests of local producers. The bar is Hemingway-worthy. Our selections included in-house smoked ahi tuna with tortilla chips, crab cake and a dessert trio of sweet goodness.

House-smoked ahi tuna and chips

House-smoked ahi tuna and chips

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Beachside S’mores, Peaches and Cream, and Cuba Libre cake with sugar

www.thepearlrb.com

www.visitsouthwalton.com

www.30a.com

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