Another Perfect Weekend in Seaside – 30A – South Walton Beaches

You probably already know that one of my favorite vacation spots in Florida is Seaside (links to previous posts at the end of the page). I love all of the beautiful beaches on Highway 30A, but Seaside holds a very special place in my heart. It is the place where Alex and I celebrated our first dating anniversary, our first wedding anniversary, his 30th birthday, and countless weekends in between. We’ve spent time there with friends who share a love of Seaside and also introduced new ones to its charm.

Most recently, we spent a weekend in Seaside with two of our friends who had recently gotten engaged in Seaside. We all stayed at a friend’s incredible home, (thanks to the family’s generosity) where we enjoyed amazing views and were conveniently located near the Seaside Amphitheater and beaches.

Sunset view from our friend's home
Sunset view from our friend’s home

We all arrived on a Friday after work so on our first night, we headed to The Hub for a late dinner, where we had tacos and beer from the Eat More Tacos food truck. The restaurants had mostly changed from the last time I went to The Hub, but even so, there was a great selection of options, including bbq, pizza, burgers, and southern food. Live music lasts until 10 p.m. at which point people start clearing out, so I would recommend getting there by 7 p.m. to enjoy the music and fun family crowd!

I woke up before everyone else (I love to sleep in, but have trouble doing it on vacation because I suffer from major FOMO), so I decided to go for a run to Watercolor. It is less than a mile from Seaside to Watercolor, but there are some great trails through Watercolor and Grayton Beach State Park so I looped around until I got up to 3 miles and then ran back to the house. I love jogging around 30A, especially on cool mornings. There are so many people out relaxing with their families and the scenery is incomparable!

Running in Watercolor
Running in Watercolor

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After we all woke up, we started the day with a stop at the Seaside Farmer’s Market where we stocked up on snacks for the weekend, after tasting everything, of course. Next, we picked up my favorite giant mimosas (with the perfect ratio of champagne to OJ) at Modica Market, the local grocery store. We had a late breakfast at Pickles, which unfortunately was not my favorite dining experience in Seaside. Pickles is a great little diner and their lunch of burgers, hot dogs, and fish sandwiches is a casual crowd-pleaser, but the breakfast was a little too greasy for my liking.

Obviously, one of the main events during any beach weekend is the beach. We spent a few hours hanging out in the sand, swimming, and walking along the shore until we all felt we’d had enough sun for the day. We picked up lunch at Airstream Row (Seaside’s version of food trucks). My favorite airstream is Melt Down on 30A; I love the gourmet grilled cheese combinations, particularly the brie & bacon on cranberry bread.

At the beach!
The beach! Perfection.
Enjoying a swim
Enjoying a swim 
Walking down the perfect beach in Seaside
Not a cloud in the sky in Seaside

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No weekend in Seaside is complete without a visit to Bud and Alley’s, Seaside’s oldest restaurant. I love Bud and Alley’s because it’s a “come as you are” and make new friends kind of place where you can dress up for the evening or come straight from the beach. The food is great, especially the smoked tuna dip, and the specialty drinks are refreshing. Bud and Alley’s Rooftop Bar and Sun Deck are also the best place on 30A to watch the sunset. In fact, Bud and Alley’s celebrates the sunset each evening with a competition where patrons guess the exact time the sun goes down. The winner is rewarded with a drink and ringing of the cast-iron bell at sunset.

Sunset from Bud and Alley's
Sunset view from Bud and Alley’s
With our friends enjoying happy hour and the sunset!
With our friends enjoying happy hour and the sunset!

Most of the restaurants along 30A close relatively early in the evening, but The Craft Bar, a great new restaurant, is open until midnight on Friday and Saturday. This gastropub offers high-end and regional twists on traditional pub fare, all to be enjoyed in a fun and casual environment. The restaurant has an extensive tap list and cocktail menu, but you can also bring your own wine for a small corking fee. What to order: Craft bar mac & cheese, tuna burger.

The house we were staying at had bikes, so on our final morning in Seaside, we took a bike ride around Seaside and Watercolor. We rode on some of the same trails where I had run the day before and picked out our favorite homes in the neighborhoods (#goals). After, we cooled off in one of the Seaside pools, which are only open to residents or guests of a Seaside property.

Biking around Watercolor
Biking around Watercolor
Taking a break in the shade
Taking a break in the shade

Before heading back home after a weekend that was way too short (they always are in Seaside!), we had happy hour at the Great Southern Cafe. Happy hour specials are $10 for raw oysters by the dozen and drink specials from 4-6 p.m. Great Southern Cafe is situated right on the Seaside Amphitheater and is one of the most popular restaurants in town. For that reason, you should expect to wait, but I promise it will be worth it. The food and service are always top-notch!

Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in learning more about the 30A area, I’ve linked to some of my past posts about Seaside and other 30A beaches here, here, and here. I hope you all have a great weekend! I really want to hit the beach again after writing this post!

Alex and I at our favorite Florida beach
Alex and I in our favorite Florida beach town

RECAP
The Hub, 7000 East County Highway 30A, Watersound, FL 32413
Modica Market, 109 Center Avenue, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Airstream Row, 2235 E Co Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Bud and Alley’s, 2236 East County Road 30-A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
The Craft Bar, 170 E Co Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Great Southern Cafe, 83 Central Square, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

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