30A Beach Regulations And Safety

30A Beach Regulations And Safety

Beach regulations and Warning Flags are for everyone’s safety and enjoyment

It is that time of year when visitors begin flocking to the Emerald Coast for their dose of white sand and clear, warm waters. Lots of planning goes in to these trips-where to stay, what to do, where to eat etc., but we often forget about beach safety and regulations. These are in place to ensure that our beaches stay clean and safe for visitors and locals alike. Here is some info about our local beach regulations and warning flag system:


Beach Rules and Regulations for South Walton Beaches

Tents must be 10’ x 10’ or smaller and are to be set up only on the top 1/3 of the available beach space, still allowing for a 15’ distance from the dunes for emergency vehicles.

Charcoal grills are not allowed on the beach, all grilling must be done on Propane grills measuring at 225 square inches (approximately 12”x18” rectangular or 16” in diameter for circular grills) or smaller.

Bonfire permits can be applied for through the South Walton Fire District, Monday through Friday from 8 until 4. All bonfires must be put out and cleaned up by 1 AM and remnants must not be placed in the TDC trash containers. For in depth permit requirements visit South Walton Fire District’s website at www.swfd.com/beach-safety/ beach-bonfires.

Leave No Trace: all items left on the beach overnight will be discarded to help maintain our pristine beaches and provide a safe environment for our South Walton Sea Turtles. Please do your part and remove your own trash when you leave.

Vehicles require a permit to drive onto the beach, and are only allowed to drive on the beach at Grayton Beach. Permits can be applied for through the Walton County Board of County Commissioners lottery system.

Dog Permits are required for dogs on the beach, and are only available to residents of Walton County and/or property owners in Walton County. Permits can also be purchased through the BCC. Permits are issued year round and expire on August 1st of each year.

Glass containers are totally prohibited on the beach.

Stay off the dunes.  The sand dunes and vegetation that grows among them act as natural protection against storms and storm surge.

Sand, water and vegetation removal is strictly prohibited.

Two 15’ corridors are reserved for emergency vehicles; one extending 15’ from the dune toward the water, and the other extending 15’ from the water’s edge upland.

Amplified sound (audio device, speakers, radio, musical instrument, etc.) which can be heard by a person using normal hearing faculties at a distance of 100 feet from the source of the sound is not permitted.

 Obey all Beach Flag Warnings

Beach Flag Warnings

Double Red Flag-Beach is closed to the public. Do not go in the water, even just to wet your feet. It is extremely dangerous and you could be fined

Red Flag-High surf and/or strong currents. Extremely hazardous, knee deep is too deep.

Yellow Flag-Medium hazard. Moderate surf and/or currents.

Green Flag-Low Hazard. Calm conditions, exercise caution.

Purple Flag-Dangerous marine life. Used in conjunction with another colored flag to represent surf conditions.

Absence of a warning flag does not assure safe waters. Always use caution as dangerous rip tides can be present even if there are no signs from shore

So be aware and stay safe on your visit to 30A!



photo credit: sowal.com

Brewery Tours Near 30A

Brewery Tours Near 30A

Brews and the Beach!

The fun trend of brewery tours and beer tastings has not skipped The Emerald Coast. The 30A area and its surrounds boast several well-known local breweries that welcome visitors to tour and try their products, some are even family friendly so you can bring the kiddos! So go on a tour, grab some microbrews and hit the beach.

Idyll Hounds Brewing Company

Started in 2013, Idyll Hounds’ motto is “We make the beer we love to drink” with a focus on local first and fine attention to detail. They offer a range of core, seasonal, limited and limited barrel aged brews with names like “Divide and Conch’r” (a double India Pale Ale) and “Man O’Wheat” (a hoppy American Wheat). Hours are Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 12-6 and closed on Sundays.

845 Serenoa Rd.
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

Props Brewery

A family friendly, veteran owned brewery in Ft. Walton Beach, Props Brewery offers a place to catch a sports game, take a tour, or even partake in some trivia. There are two locations, Props Brewery and Grill has a full menu while Props Brewery and Tap Room does not have a kitchen (food can be brought in). Some of their beers include “The Blonde Bomber” and “Rye of the Tiger”. Hours vary.

Props Craft Brewery and Grill                              Props Brewery and Tap Room

255 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE B-19                          125 Lovejoy Rd,

Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548                               Fort Walton Beach,FL 32548


McGuire’s Irish Pub

McGuire’s is a well known Destin establishment, famous for its hanging dollar bills and fun Irish atmosphere. Unbeknownst to many, it also offers Ales, Porters and Stouts brewed on premises and brewery tours. They even offer some of their yeast for home brewers to take with them! Their regular line includes beers like McGuire’s Light Ale and Irish Stout, a seasonal selection is available too. Opened 7 days a week from 11 to the late hours.

33 E. Hwy. 98
Destin, FL 32541


And our local favorite….

Grayton Beer Company

Grayton Beer Company is truly a 30A local brewery, established by locals who love Grayton Beach and the South Walton area. Their beers are not only good, but are fun souvenirs of your beach vacay, with names like “Beach Blonde Ale” featuring the now famous 30A blue logo and “Beach Permit Blonde Ale” that has the well known Walton County Beach Permit on the can. Stop in and drink like a local! Schedules vary by availability of their beer ambassadors.

217 Serenoa Road

Santa Rosa Beach, FL


Black Bear Bread Company In Grayton Beach Florida

Black Bear Bread Company In Grayton Beach Florida

Enjoy Stumptown Coffee, fresh pastries and creative brunch items, locally made in Grayton Beach!

black bear bread co grayton beach

Black Bear Bread Co. just opened in The Shops at Grayton last year but it has quickly become a busy, local favorite. It’s the perfect place to drop in after your morning run, before you hit the beach or as a pit stop on your 30A bike ride. Be prepared, it may be packed (and for good reason)! The quaint shop has limited inside seating but does offer a few tables outside. There are rumours of an expansion, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I absolutely love their unique, fusion like menu that features simple items such as House Granola to more exotic like the Avocado Tartine. Of course one can find fresh baked bread/pastries and delicious Stumptown Coffee if you want just a quick pick me up.

black bear bread co grayton beach

Avocado Tartine with poached egg and tea!

More Info:

black bear bread co grayton beach florida

Black Bear Bread Co 

26 Logan Lane, Unit G
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

Monday-Saturday 7am-3pm

Sunday  8am-3pm

Have Your Cake And Eat It Too! La Loba’s Bakery And Cafe

Have Your Cake And Eat It Too! La Loba’s Bakery And Cafe
Photo credit: SoWal.com

La Loba’s Bakery, where they make everything with love!

Tucked away in a small shopping center in Blue Mountain Beach you’ll find a popular local bakery and cafe. La Loba’s Bakery and Cafe was founded in 1994 and moved to Blue Mountain in 2006. Their specialty is good tasting, natural organic foods made fresh daily, avoiding the use of artificial ingredients. Locals (and lucky visitors who discover this gem) flock here for breakfast and lunch to indulge in giant cinnamon rolls, granola, fresh wraps, burritos and so much more. Their granola is so popular, it can be ordered online and shipped to far flung customers.

la loba's bakery

My tip, go early and snag one of their half price day old goodies! They’re a bargain and oh so yummy.

la loba bakery cafe


More Info:

La Loba’s Bakery and Cafe

2217 West County Highway 30A, Suite E.

Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Open Monday-Saturday 7am-3pm



Ice Skating At The Beach?!

Ice Skating At The Beach?!

Yes, you really can ice skate while visiting the beach! At least you can if you are visiting the Emerald Coast.

When I spend time at the beach, I don’t want anything to do with ice or skating, but it seems that some people do. For those of you looking for a fun family activity that doesn’t involve sand and the ocean, visit Baytowne on Ice. Here you can show off your Salchows, Twizzle and triple jumps and return to your beach hideaway to nurse your sore muscles under the sun.

The rink is open until February 3, hours vary, extended on weekends. The Community Broadcasters Ice Skating Pavilion is a 40 by 60 foot rink located in the event plaza in The Village of Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin. It is $11 to skate for 90 minutes and skate rentals are $3.

For more details:

The Village of Baytowne Wharf


9300 US Hwy 98 West
Sandestin, FL 32550

Ring In The New Year Along 30A

Ring In The New Year Along 30A


Start 2018 at the beach!

Not only can you enjoy the mild weather and no crowds, but many of our local favorite hot spots are hosting New Year’s festivities.

Bud and Alley’s Is featuring live music from 9pm till 1 am and you will have amazing seats for the Seaside fireworks. New Year’s Eve dinner seating times are 5, 6:30, 8 and 9:30.

The Red Bar has reserved seating available and 4 course set price meals including party favors and champagne. Call 850-231-1008 for more info.

Fonville Press offers live music, cocktails and a lite menu on New Year’s Eve Day.

The Pearl in Rosemary Beach offers an elegant sunset celebration from 3-9 pm.

These are just a few of our favorite places offering fun New Year’s activities! Check out Sowal.com for even more events. Happy New Year!

30A Songwriters Festival 2018

30A Songwriters Festival 2018

Looking for an excuse to get away to the beach in January? Attend the 9th annual 30A Songwriters Festival!



Photo courtesy SoWal.com

What is the Songwriters Festival?

Every January, the 30A area hosts a unique event that features musical artists from around the world in various local venues. This year’s event, from January 12-15, will include 175 songwriters and over 225 performances in more than 25 South Walton locations. The Songwriters Production team works hard to transform local town halls, amphitheaters, bars, covered patios, restaurants and other outdoor/indoor areas into fun concert settings. The locations vary from intimate, like a bookstore hosting 25 people, to an outdoor amphitheater that can accommodate 5000 of your closest friends. As an added bonus, net proceeds benefit local arts.

“The 2018 Festival lineup is shaping up to be the best ever combination of Americana, Country, Folk, Alternative and Blues songwriters” says Russell Carter, Festival Co-Producer. “The 30A Songwriters Festival is a unique cultural event like no other in this area. The Festival brings together nearly every South Walton community and many businesses to showcase our home as a destination not only for its beautiful beaches but also for its musical and creative excellence, which is the purpose of the Cultural Arts Alliance,” says Jennifer Steele, the Executive Director and Festival Co-Producer. “The Festival is critical to the mission of the Cultural Arts Alliance and by far our biggest fundraiser. 100% of the Festival’s net proceeds go back into our non-profit and enable the CAA to continue to be a champion for the arts in Walton County.”

30a songwriters

Photo courtesy SoWal.com

What artists are featured this year?

A full list of participating artists can be found on the 30A Songwriters website, but a few notables are Anne Wilson of Heart, Kathy Mattea, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Paul Thorn, Ed Roland of Collective Soul with his Sweet Tea Project, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, The Zombies, Patty Griffin, Lee Ann Womack, Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls, and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum.


30a songwriters festival

Photo courtesy SoWal.com

What kind of tickets are available?

There are several options for event tickets. One can purchase a basic Weekend Pass that allows you to all venues, or you can upgrade your tickets to include food/drinks, premier seating and even yoga! Tickets sell out fast, so book now if you are interested.

More Info and Tickets:

30A Songwriters Festival

Kick Off The Holidays In Rosemary Beach!

Kick Off The Holidays In Rosemary Beach!


photo courtesy of SoWal.com

Summer isn’t the only time to visit beautiful 30A!

Winter along 30A brings mild weather, fewer crowds and fun holiday activities for the family.  One of our favorites is the Rosemary Beach annual merchant Holiday Open House and Tree Lighting ceremony. In its 15th year, this is a weekend-long event that includes Santa’s arrival, the turning on of the town’s lights (a beautiful sight!), breakfast with Santa and the popular Holiday Market.



Tree Lighting in South Barrett Square

November 24 6:00 p.m.

Join in the festivities as the famous town Christmas lights and tree are turned on and Santa makes his arrival.

Merchant Holiday Open House

November 24 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Following the tree lighting, visit the Town Merchants and get a start on your holiday shopping. Refreshments served.

Breakfast With Santa

November 25 8-10 a.m.

Have your little ones visit with Santa in his workshop at the Town Hall and support a good cause! Included with admission are a boxed breakfast, a professional color photo with Santa and a special goodie bag from Gigi’s!  Tickets are $20 per child and complimentary for adults.  Available for purchase at the door.  CASH ONLY. 100% of all admissions will go directly to the Angel Tree Program of Walton County.

Holiday Market

November 25 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Find a unique gift for loved ones or yourself! Stroll through booths filled with handmade art, jewelry, pottery and so much more!





Hit The Trails On 30A With The YOLO Bike Club

Hit The Trails On 30A With The YOLO Bike Club

Don’t just hit the beaches on 30a, ride our miles of beautiful trails with the YOLO Bike Club!



Every Saturday in November, meet up with a fun group of people and explore some of the 20,000 plus acres in preservation around South Walton. The YOLO Bike Club hosts this free weekly trail ride in Port Washington State Forest. All riders are welcome and bike rentals are available if you don’t have your own.


Port Washington State Forest

Point Washington State Forest is made up of 10 natural communities. The majority of the area consists of sandhill, basin swamp, wet flatwoods/prairies and cypress swamps. There are some excellent examples of intact sandhill ecosystems even though much of the park has been cut over.

Several plants and animals that are listed as threatened or endangered species list can be found in the forest, including the American kestrel, gopher tortoise, flatwoods salamander and the largest population of Curtiss sandgrass.


More Information:

YOLO Boards

YOLO Board and Bike Store

95 Laura Hamilton Blvd

Santa Rosa Beach, Fl 32459

Every Saturday, meet at 8:30 am, ride begins at 9:00

Cost is free, bike rental $15


Seeing Red Wine Festival In Seaside Florida

Seeing Red Wine Festival In Seaside Florida

See more than red at the Seeing Red Wine Festival in Seaside, November 9-12 2017


I’m all about anything wine related, but add in a festival in Seaside? Heaven at the beach! The Seeing Red Wine Festival is now in its 27th year, recognized as one of the Top 10 Can’t-Miss Fall Wine Festivals by Fodor’s, which means it’s amazing. People from around the world flock to our little slice of the Emerald Coast in order to partake in this fun event. Seriously, it is wine, food and the beach-just go!

What is a wine festival?

The Seeing Red Wine Festival offers you a chance to sample wines from around the world while tasting delicious and unique food pairings offered by local chefs, so both foodies and wine aficionados will savor the experience. You don’t have to be an experienced wine connoisseur to appreciate the experience, there is something for everyone. As an added bonus, proceeds will benefit The Seaside Institute and the Seaside Neighborhood School.

This year’s events:

Bud & Alley’s Wine Dinner
Thursday, November 9, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m

Thursday is the Festival kick off, featuring a Vintner’s Dinner at local favorite Bud & Alley’s restaurant.

Gulf Coast to Table Dinner
Friday, November 10, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Friday brings an exciting, new-to-Seaside event, a farm-to-table, sit down dinner featuring an elegant evening of locally sourced offerings paired perfectly by renowned chefs and accompanied by live music under the stars in Seaside.

Grand Tasting
Saturday, November 11, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

On Saturday, sample quality wine with local food pairings chosen by Seaside’s popular chefs. The Central Square will be filled with live music and the opportunity to purchase wines on site.

Celebration of Bubbles Brunch
Sunday, November 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Celebration of Bubbles, at the famous Great Southern Cafe, offers a pairing menu featuring Champagne, Cava, Prosecco and more. The perfect ending to a wine-filled weekend!

More Information:

Festival Dates: November 9-12, 2017

Tickets can be purchased at The Seeing Red Wine Festival