It’s hard to forget your first time at a South Walton beach (visitsouthwalton.com). From the pristine beaches and storybook homes to the vibrant communities and artful nooks, every destination off 30A has rightfully ruined us—for the better— setting an unbeatable standard for every beach town this side of the Mississippi. See what is coming next for this paradise on earth and plan your summer vacation accordingly.
A coastal living room available for rent at The Court PHOTO COURTESY OF BRANDS
Situated on the street level of The May in Alys Beach’s Town Center, The Citizen (citizenalys.com) has quickly become a favorite among the most discerning. Presenting a coastal tavern vibe with approachable yet innovative cuisine, The Citizen concept and operations are overseen by industry vet Jeremy Walton (Auberge Resorts, Montage International, Sea Island). The menu consists of seafood-centric signature dishes that range from classic to adventurous for all-day dining— from afternoon cocktails after a long day at the beach to a creative shave ice treat for a late-night snack. A little farther up the Emerald Coast is a culinary experience by Georgia boy and multiple James Beard Award-winning chef Hugh Acheson. Named Ovide (hoteleffie.com/dining/ovide), Hotel Effie’s signature restaurant is an elegant eatery that brings together Gulf Coast ingredients with French flavors and techniques for a unique bite.
a poolside view at The Pearl Hotel. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRANDS
Once the old Seaside “motor court,” new luxurious lodging option The Court (thecourtseaside.com) offers eight boutique residences that surround a landscaped garden— just steps from Seaside’s central square. While each bungalow is more beautifully designed than the last, we suggest booking The Court’s Ivory Tower, which offers travelers the ultimate penthouse experience along the Gulf of Mexico, with three stunning floors of spaces to relax, unwind and entertain. If Rosemary Beach’s European summer vibe is what you’re after, book a room at the new fully renovated The Pearl Hotel (thepearlrb.com). The 55-room crown jewel of the 30A corridor got a full refresh early last spring, overseen by Texas firm Duncan & Miller Design. The team renovated the Havana Lounge, part of The Pearl’s signature resto, and applied a brighter, more modern feel to guest quarters, complete with new floors and tasteful tropical accents. Finally, if you have a trip booked for summer 2023, be the first to experience Watersound Club’s most recent swank expansion, Camp Creek Inn (watersoundclub.com). Enjoy laid-back luxury overlooking the Camp Creek Golf Course with 75 well-appointed guest rooms and expansive club amenities.
Ovide’s delicious cocktails PHOTO COURTESY OF BRANDS
South Walton is known for its plush white beaches and crystal clear waters, but if you are looking for something to do outside the beach, head over to Distillery 98 (distillery98.com). Otherwise known as the “spirit” of the Panhandle, Distillery 98 utilizes 100% non-GMO Florida corn and a unique filtering process that employs Gulf Coast oyster shells to create its signature vodka. The vibrant cocktail bar is a great place to belly up, surrounded by retro photos of Grayton Beach while oyster shells dangle above. While in Grayton, schedule a class for you or your group at The Shard Shop (shardshop.com), a homegrown, make-your-own-art boutique where glass is the main material used for inspiration. Or, if you are feeling more adventurous, the world’s first permanent underwater sculpture garden in the country, the Underwater Museum of Art (umafl.org), is not to be missed. Revealing seven new sculpture designs this year, the museum, which lies at a depth of 58 feet and 0.93 miles off Grayton Beach State Park shores, is an adventurer’s— and art lover’s—dream! Swap adventure time for unwind time with Pescado’s (rooftop30a.com) brand-new master class, Cocktail and Charcuterie. Guided by a seasoned bartender, walk through the process of making your party’s two favorite Pescado signature craft cocktails while enjoying cheese and charcuterie. Beach, cheese, cocktail, friends? Sounds idyllic.
dining room interiors at Pescado PHOTO: COURTESY OF VISIT SOUTH WALTON
Photography by: brands
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