30-A will always hold precious memories for my family. We have been vacationing in Seaside since I was 8 years old, and my parents eventually bought a house there my freshman year of high school. I worked a couple summers down there, participated in many July 4th parades, and in the summer of 2008, my sister and I had a double wedding at the chapel in Seaside. I will always love that area, and I’ve seen it grow tremendously since I first started visiting in 1990. I’m excited to share some of my favorite places on 30-A with you!
Favorite Coffee Shop: Amavida in Seaside & Rosemary Beach, FL
Amavida is a combination of the Spanish words “Amar” (to love) and “vida” (life) and you can tell that this company is all about loving life for their farmers, customers and employees! They use fair trade, organically grown, high-quality coffees and teas. I personally love their iced coffee with a little agave syrup and cream added. Patrick loves their vanilla latte. These photos were taken at their Seaside location where they also serve authentic Latin American food. I had their “La Reina” Arepa which is a corn cake stuffed with chicken and avocado, and it was incredible! I highly recommend it!
Favorite Brunch: Great Southern in Seaside, FL
I love a good brunch with good drinks, good food, and good atmosphere. Great Southern has all that (and they even have bacon and pecan waffles!) It’s in the center of Seaside, so it’s fun to sit on the patio and watch everything going on. Oh, don’t worry, we did have mimosas as well!
Favorite Dinner: Paradis in Rosemary Beach, FL
Paradis has an incredible menu and did an excellent job attending to my gluten free diet. We loved it so much we went twice! I had the same meal both times because it was just that good. I ordered the snapper with brussel sprouts, zucchini on potatoes in lieu of gnocchi, with a lobster yellow coconut curry cream sauce–yum!
Patrick had the Grouper, and it was excellent!
The drinks were also amazing!
And the dessert…magnifique (and gluten free!)
Favorite Bookstore: Sundog Books in Seaside, FL
Sundog Books is hands down my favorite bookstore ever! It’s this small, quirky yet quaint bibliotheque filled with books in every nook and cranny. I love looking through the favorites of each person who works there as well as checking out the unique gifts. It’s a great place to go and spend a couple hours if you want a break from the sun or during one of those afternoon rain showers.
Favorite Store: Mercantile in Seaside, FL
If you like unique, vintage, comfortable and earthy, you will love Mercantile! This store has a look that screams boho-chic. From the jewelry to the gifts, the clothing to the cowboy boots, this boutique has it all while oozing with southern charm and American pride. You can shop them online at http://www.shopmerc.com.
My favorite item I bought while I was on vacation is this necklace from Suzanne Kallay Designs. Suzanne is a local designer who creates one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces from repurposed materials such as antlers, bullets and deerskin. Check her out on Insta at suzannekallaydesigns.
Another favorite Mercantile buy is this dress from designer Mamie Ruth–love the built in cape! It’s perfect with a pair of cowboy boots!
Favorite Dessert: La Crema in Rosemary Beach, FL
La Crema tapas and chocolate is a great place to go for appetizers and dessert. They have an excellent happy hour as well. Patrick and I wanted a light meal, so we headed there one night to eat and catch the sunset. We split the chèvre stuffed peppers and Baylor brussel sprouts. Yes, I did ask if they were named after my alma mater and sure enough, they are! The owner’s daughter is a current student at Baylor University! Sic ’em Bears!
Patrick ordered a spicy chicken tapas next (not GF) while I had the eggplant–amazing!
And the dessert…OMG! Unfortunately, I couldn’t eat too many desserts there, but boy do I wish I could have! They have several different fondues to choose from–dark chocolate, milk chocolate, peanut butter chocolate and Nutella, in addition to chocolate soup, molten cakes and espresso cookies just to name a few! I had the chocolate mousse, and it was very good!
Favorite Beach: Watercolor, FL
Okay, honestly, all the beaches along 30-A are INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL! The reason I like Watercolor is for the fact that there is nothing to the west of it, so it’s like your own private beach. During the summer, Watercolor beach gets extremely crowded, but, you always have that stretch of open beach until you reach Grayton. I love to walk that direction and go for a dip in the ocean to remind myself how big and amazing God truly is. I don’t know what it is about that area, but I always feel a little closer to God.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite photos I took at the beach one morning when I woke up before sunrise. I hope you can get down to 30-A sometime soon! Feel free to email me if you have any questions about that area! I’d love to know your 30-A favorites as well!