By Wells Buzzett
Scenic Highway 30A is a Serene Destination— One Whose Reputation Often Exceeds the Gulf Coast’s.
I am lucky to call Grayton Beach home. I consider the diverse community the heart and soul of 30A. Beach volleyball, bonfires in white sand, a charter fishing fleet, The Red Bar, historic cottages, and beach driving all color this quirky community. I love Grayton’s imperfections and its lack of uniformity. It truly is one of the last great beach towns. I come from a rich history of family members who have influenced and protected Grayton Beach. In the 1970’s my grandmother, affectionately known as Beachmama, formed the “Friends of Grayton” in response to inappropriate development. While it took almost 15 years, the group convinced the State of Florida to purchase land south and west of Grayton Beach. Because of their efforts, Grayton is now surrounded by a state park for all to enjoy.
Two decades before Beachmama’s efforts began, my grandfather, known as GAP Daddy, helped shape the layout of 30A. In the 1950’s, when the state road department thought putting 30A through our family’s beach house was a good idea, he convinced bureaucrats that the more prudent approach was to move the road away from fragile sand dunes and place it north of Grayton. Today, 30A bisects Seaside and WaterColor, but as it heads west toward Grayton the road bends to the north, leaving all of Grayton
completely intact. I refer to this portion of 30A as GAP’s Curve. No conversation about Grayton is complete without mentioning The
Red Bar. During my high school and college years, I worked at The Red Bar. Owner Oliver Petit created a unique working environment,
and it became the go-to spot for visitors and locals alike. I clearly remember being awakened on that fateful day to see the entire block in flames. The Red Bar is part of our community’s history. I look forward to its return and to Sunday brunches with Dread Clampitt.
Grayton’s unofficial motto is “Nice dogs, strange people.” I am not sure that truly reflects all the residents of this coastal town,
but one thing is certain: Grayton is an eclectic group of people, businesses, and houses.
While we are fortunate to have many wonderful communities on 30A, I am so glad that my grandparents thought ahead for all of us… and that Grayton Beach is my home.
Wells Buzzett is a sixthgeneration Floridian, whose family hails from Apalachicola, on his father’s side and Walton County on his mother’s side. He grew up in the panhandle town of Grayton Beach and attended Florida’s first public charter school – the Seaside Neighborhood School. Wells received an undergraduate degree in Business Management and a Masters degree in Business Administration, both from Florida State University. Wells is a licensed real estate sales associate with Coastal Luxury. Contact Wells at 850.830.0912 or Wells@CoastalLuxury.com. Search available properties at www.coastalluxury.com.