A trip to 30 - A is not necessarily about doing. It is a lot more about being. There is the beach of course, there are the State Parks, the shopping, the dining, the artist hubs, and the sporty recreational activities like biking, paddle boarding and golf, but none of these things are as important as just hanging out with your family and enjoying the day. I don't know that many people set an itinerary when they are here. I know for sure I don't set one. I just let myself be a kid again and have fun. Below are wonderful ways to play on 30-A:
If you live in a landlocked state as I do, the opportunity to jump into the big, blue ocean is beyond appealing in August. The waters along 30-A are particularly fabulous because they are an emerald and turquoise color and often as calm as a sleeping baby. The best days are when the waters gently sway. On these days the ocean feels like a giant swimming pool. Of course, this IS the ocean and the temperament of the water vacillates with the weather. My most recent trip saw 3 fantastically beautiful swimming pool-like days followed by 3 days of heavy tropical storms and choppy waters. For the most part, though, the waters invite and delight. So go out and swim your heart out while you are there!
Eat Ice Cream and Sweet Treats
If you are like me, you may have hopped on the current trend for a low sugar diet. I am an advocate of this healthy lifestyle, but when I'm at the beach I shed my no-sugar ways and indulge in dessert. There are some wonderful options along the coast. Here are my faves:
It's Heavenly - Gelateria extraordinaire. Located in Seaside this place is popular so prepare to wait a bit during peak hours!
The Candy Bar - A sweet spot tucked into the shops at Watercolor. They offer ice cream and have lots of fun candies from various decades. My daughter and nieces love the Wild Willy.
Sweet Henrietta's - This bakery creates everything from scratch and delivers! I'm particularly smitten with their German Chocolate Cake and Lemon Meringue Pie.
Bury Yourself in Sand
Okay, getting sand up your bathing suit isn't the funnest thing to do, but kids sure do enjoy burying parents (and themselves) in the sand! So I say let your kiddos enjoy the moment and bury away. You can consider it a hot stone massage x 1000. Afterwards, rinse off in the ocean and then build sandcastles with your children. The memories will last a lifetime!
It seems like everyone is biking along 30-A. It certainly is a fun activity but lately I've felt that most of the area is becoming too congested to rely on bikes to get around. I do find that biking in the early morning is very doable. If you are an early riser and plan to return before 10 AM then I encourage you to enjoy this sport! Also, the Watercolor area is quite biker-friendly so if you do stay at this spot then I highly recommend enjoying a bike ride through the neighborhood to the beach.
Sit on the Front Porch
Did your parents or grandparents have a front porch when you were growing up? Do you remember sitting there talking and playing or riding your bicycle? Did you ever take long naps during the warm afternoons in that protected, breezy space? If you did then you can relive it again at many of the rental homes you find along 30-A. If you did not have the luxury of a front-porch childhood, here's your chance to enjoy a great Southern tradition! Go out there in the afternoon after you've had your morning swim and a good lunch. Find the best seat and just sit. Bring a chatty relative if you're in the mood to talk. Otherwise, lay back and let the nap begin!
Watch the Sunset
There is a nice, unspoken tradition along 30-A during the evening. After a day of playing outdoors, people take a pause and then dress up and return to the beach for sunset. Many families choose to take photos at this time. Some build a bonfire. It is very casual and relaxed. I enjoy this time of night. The sky is cotton-candy colored, the winds pick up a bit. Sometimes fighter jets or military helicopters fly over head en route to the Air Force Base in Fort Walton. A sunset walk is a fine way to end the day.
Have you visited 30-A? What activities do you enjoying doing while at the beach? Let us know below!
Photo credit 1: from: http://www.homebunch.com/beach-house-with-inspiring-coastal-interiors/