By Erin Oden
While Scenic Highway 30A is an avenue of inspiration, fun, and outdoor excitement yearound, she shines brightest in the summer months. Travelers and locals alike are in vacation spirits, and why wouldn’t they be? Events along the Gulf Coast cater to individuals’
interests while coloring the culture that is 30A. Here, I highlight some outstanding favorites, but the opportunities for summer excitement are as endless as the deep blue sea!
For Active Vacationers and Locals:
Enjoy exploring the Gulf, state parks, and sands in a variety of ways. Grayton Beach hosts the Rags to Riches Regatta. Catamarans dot the shoreline before sailors take off toward Seagrove. In late June, anglers delight in the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin and compete among close to 100 boats of competitors. The best of outdoor beach exercises combine in the Sandestin Triathlon. Swimmers stroke a half-mile in the Gulf, then peddle 20 miles and run 4 miles to cross the finish line. Golf lovers, there is no shortage (I counted 25 in the South Walton area) of gorgeous courses for you to enjoy. If nothing else, simply stroll or bike ride through the miles and miles of beaches, state parks, and trails.
Food, Brew, and Music Lovers:
All that exercise works up an appetite for refreshment. Foodies and adult beverage-enthusiasts, fill your plates and make spirited toasts all summer long as you savor locally-harvested and brewed pairings. Farmers markets in Seaside, Rosemary, and Miramar Beach offer endless fresh fruits and vegetables. Good beach music is the perfect compliment to a table of friends, frozen cocktails, and fresh seafood. South Walton restaurants combine all three in weekly events like Wine and Tapas in The Backyard of Love of Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse, Pescado Brunch & Live Music, and The Steenos @ Stinky’s Fish Camp. If you love live bands and great food, 30A will keep you entertained and full.
Some events cover all the beach bases and children are always welcomed to the excitement. Dolphin cruises, eco-tours, and backwater excursions educate and entertain families. Movies on the lawn are popular across the area. Alys Beach hosts Summer Reels at the Amphitheatre. At WaterSound Origins, part of the neighborhood’s Movies and Music Event Series, guests bring blankets, chairs, and coolers to relax and be entertained under the night sky. The REP Actors share tall tales with children at the Seaside Amphitheater.
For Art Lovers:
The natural beauty that surrounds Gulf residents inspires impressive artwork. Creative skill is so prolific here that the First Friday Art Walk was established. Galleries extend hours and welcome visitors to a variety of venues from Inlet Beach to Destin where they can learn about different mediums and create their own pottery, paintings, and more. Top that off with a visit to the Underwater Museum of Art. The habitat consists of sculptures by renowned artists. The sculptures create a reef where scientists and admirers can observe thriving marine life. Learn more at umafl.org.
Whatever your summer loves are, you can find them in South Walton County. Coastal Luxury agents have intimate knowledge of each community. Ask us for recommendations. For a list of our favorite seasonal activities with times and locations, check the Coastal Luxury events page.