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At Home Along 30A

The timeless pleasures of life along the water has a steadfast appeal.

By Lynn Nesmith

Crystal-clear waters, sugar-white sand, fragrant salt air, and cobalt blue skies engage the senses and encourage a sense of well-being. Beloved coastal cities and historic seaside enclaves have a spirit all their own. These cherished settings prompt affections and foster collective memories.

Who doesn’t long to escape to the coast for a weekend, an extended vacation, or a lifetime? Every stretch of waterfront has its own personality and presence. From coast to coast, the best beach towns instill deep-down good feelings. Along the Gulf of Mexico in Northwest Florida, a string of picturesque towns known collectively as 30A offers just such a retreat.

Drawn to an abundance of sun and sand and the joys of life at the water’s edge, Southerners have long flocked to the Florida Panhandle and its beautiful beaches. South Walton evolved in its own distinctive way, starting decades ago with the old-fashioned summer settlements of Grayton and Seagrove, and later coming into its own with the establishment of Seaside in 1981. Seaside’s traditional town planning and old-fashioned architecture proved to be incredibly popular and a huge economic success, changing the culture of the place forever and setting the stage for Rosemary Beach, WaterColor, and Alys Beach, as well as everything in between.

With an emphasis on recreation, relaxation, and just plain fun, the linear community of 30A responds to a yearning for a less-complicated presence and offers a place to gather with family and friends where good times are sure to happen.

In a new book, 30A Living, a follow-up to 30A Style, author Eleanor Lynn Nesmith and photographer Jean Allsopp team up to showcase the towns and a variety of homes that make 30A the special place that it is. Highlighting the wide array of reasons one is drawn here, 30A Living is intended to inspire anyone who dreams of having a house on the coast and captivate those who simply love life along the beach.

30A Living is a 224-page coffee table book that opens the doors of eighteen homes and cottages within the historical villages and vibrant new towns of 30A. From the outside, these houses are remarkable for the way they commune with their settings or take in spectacular Gulf views. Step inside where design cues and details reflect the area’s strong architectural traditions and gracious rooms reveal a creative spirit and style.

Offering both aficionados of architecture and novices an engaging take on why design matters to community and how communities come together, the book highlights individual homeowners who share a role in this unique architectural proving ground. Whether they are born-and-bred locals or loving transplants doesn’t matter. The owners of these homes share a passion for the locale and belief in a broader purpose.

30A Living is a celebration of a unique way of life along the Gulf of Mexico.

To reserve your advance copy of 30A Living, visit Published by local design firm, Design 360, 30A Living is scheduled for release May 2017. The hardcover book will be available for purchase at independent bookstores and design shops along 30A and throughout the Southeast.

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