Stella goes to 30A!
We love 30A – Watercolor, Seaside, Alys, Seacrest, and Rosemary are just a few of the tiny communities along the Gulf Coast in between Destin and Panama City and all are absolutely stunning. While growing up we always stayed further north (Watercolor & Seaside), Brody, Stella & I have found our favorite places to stay are the Alys-Rosemary area, which is only about 5 miles south. Going into Seaside is still super easy and if weather permits, is a great bike ride. However, I always end up shopping so much that it’s probably best I drive because the basket on my bike for sure isn’t big enough haha. Rosemary is where we stayed for our babymoon pre- Stella and we re-fell in love as a little family with a new annual tradition!
Here is what we enjoy:
The SHORT flight from Dallas – while having a car is nice, it’s really not necessary in 30A. Everything is an easy walk or bike ride away and honestly there is so much foot traffic, having a car is a pain. The flight from Dallas Love Field (our favorite airport) to Panama City airport is about an hour and a half and is usually filled with other families, ideal for traveling with a little.
Summer stays are usually Saturday-Saturday rentals – While we stayed at the Pearl the first time (details below), house rentals are usually 7 days. This seems intense but when you are staying that long, day time naps on your patio, movie nights, or just taking it easy are all totally acceptable, which is how the beach should be! We had beach days, pool days, dinners in, dinners out, and lots of fun while still getting to kick back and relax without the fear or not squeezing something in.
RENT all of your kid gear – traveling with so much kid gear is stressful – it was AMAZING to only have to bring Stella’s stroller and our bags on the plane. We were able to rent her carseat (which we only used to and from the airport ultimately) a highchair, baby gates, and a pack-n-play all for only $150 for the week. They were dropped off at our rental house before our arrival and we were able to just leave them there when we left. We used Bamboo Bike & Baby Gear Rental, but I’m sure any 30A home rental company has a similar company available.
Houses for all seasons – In Rosemary especially, all of the houses are multi-million dollar houses. It’s amazing but when you have a destructive little, those designer homes can be a little risky. I was able to find 2 amazing options located 1 street over from Rosemary that I loved. 1 for when we planned on several couples splitting the bill, and 1 for when it was just me and my parents.
Home with two couples contributing (this is where we stayed with my parents!)
The Pearl Hotel – We stayed here pre-Stella for our babymoon and it was so dreamy. 30A is extremely kid friendly, but sometimes you want to enjoy that beautiful scene and delicious food as just adults. The Pearl is perfect as it’s an “adult focused”, boutique hotel with an adults only pool, spa, Ocean views, amazing service, I could go on forever. I’ve also hosted a bachelorette party here and it was a lovely, relaxing but still totally Instagram-able option!
Favorite Restaurants – Bud & Alley’s (Seaside), Shrimp Shack (Seaside-get the lobster roll), la crema (Rosemary- Dessert & Tapas), Paradis (Rosemary – tempura fried lobster), Crabby Steve’s (Seacrest – only ON the beach spot in near Rosemary), The Pearl Rooftop Bar (Rosemary – the Frose is everything), Rise & Grind (Seacrest – breakfast) La Cocina (Seacrest – Mexican)