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18 Jun 2021
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Growing up in Alabama, we spent almost every single weekend at our beach house in Florida. Whether we were boating with friends to Shell Island, shopping in Destin, or roaming the charming coastal towns along 30A, Florida has always felt like home to us. When we moved to Dallas, we were surprised to hear so many Texans also referred to 30A as their home away from home – but once you experience the idyllic charm of 30A, you’ll understand why everyone flocks to this beautiful destination and keeps coming back! 


Earlier this year, Sanders Beach Rentals reached out about planning a girls trip to spotlight this destination, so of course we rounded up a group of our favorite bloggers, set a date, and counted down for the fun-filled weekend to kick off summer! We had the best time and today we are so excited to share a recap of the weekend + tips for planning the perfect 30A getaway! 


One question we’re asked frequently is, “What is 30A? Is it a town? A neighborhood?” – and it’s a question that makes a lot of sense if you’ve never visited! 30A is actually Scenic Highway 30A, a 2-lane highway that stretches from along the panhandle of Walton County that is speckled with endless beach communities, art galleries, funky beach bars, and views of the crystal clear water and sugary sand beaches. Some of our favorite communities along 30A are SeasideWatercolorRosemary BeachAlys BeachWatersound – and we can’t wait to experience the up and coming Kaiya!


Getting to 30A is relatively easy, especially with so many direct flights from large cities. The closest airport to 30A is Panama City Beach, but you can also fly into Fort Walton Beach with a bit longer of a commute. 

If you’re based in Dallas, you now have the option to book a direct flight on JSX, which is an affordable jet service that leaves from a private hub at Love Field and arrives directly to the private airport in Destin. 

Whether you rent a car or call an Uber/Lyft, getting to 30A is a quick and easy journey! 

** Note, parking can be tricky in 30A. Depending on where you stay, you will walk most of the weekend, so Ubering is usually our preferred method for a 30A weekend! 


For our girls weekend, we partnered with Sanders Beach Rentals and stayed in this gorgeous home in Watercolor. The house was an absolute dream, and the beautiful courtyard pool was our favorite place to spend our days! The house had 7 bedrooms and 7.5 baths (with a separate guest house, perfect for families!) and slept up to 20 people, so we all had plenty of space to relax, unpack, and feel at home. Click here to see more photos of our home and book your stay. 

Janie and I shared the master bedroom, and it’s safe to say we never wanted to leave! The bedroom was HUGE with it’s spacious bedroom, dreamy bathroom with a deep soaking tub and walk-in shower, a separate office to work or enjoy quiet time, a kitchenette for morning coffee, numerous vanities, a private patio, and a closet that would house my entire wardrobe and more! 

Not only was the house absolutely gorgeous, but we were greeted with so many goodies from Grove 30A for pampering. Grove 30A is a local spa that offers so many amazing spa services and treatments, so be sure to schedule an appointment and spoil yourself during your vacay! 

Our home was super convenient and walking distance to everything in Watercolor and Seaside, so we never had to worry about transportation or Ubers. The house also provided plenty of beach cruiser bikes for anyone who wanted to explore the coast or bike down to Rosemary or Alys. 

For more information about the Watercolor amenities, click here


If you’re planning a trip to 30A, I can’t recommend Sanders Beach Rentals enough! Rather than sorting through each beach community separately, you can find the best homes to rent through their site alone. The website is super easy to use, with filters to search by destination, views, amenities, capacity, and more – making it the best resource for booking a 30A trip, whether you’re planning your first trip or rebooking your annual vacation. 

In addition to booking your home, Sanders also provides travel recommendations, resources, and travel insurance. What stands out the most about Sanders Beach Rentals is their Concierge Servicesthat allow you to sit back, relax, and let the team handle the rest. Whether you need groceries delivered, private chefs, a family photographer, bike rentals, baby gear, or more, Sanders has it covered! 

During our trip, Sanders Beach Rentals launched a new ad campaign called Simply Timeless, and we were so excited to be a part of it! Our favorite family memories are all of the vacations we enjoyed together growing up, and this is a tradition we continue to cherish, enjoy as a family, and hope to pass along to our growing families. The Simply Timeless campaign celebrates these traditions by inspiring families to share this special destination with their loved ones and return year after year and pass the tradition down to future generations. Next time you’re on the coast, be on the lookout for us in the local magazines and publications! 


Since there is SO much to do along 30A, I plan to share a separate guide highlighting our favorite restaurants and activities in a full travel guide, but today I’m excited to share our weekend activities from the trip! 

Watercolor Beach Club

Since our house was centrally located in Watercolor, we had easy access to the Watercolor town center with tons of shopping and restaurants. Our house included access to the Watercolor Beach Club, and we spent our afternoons here enjoying lunch by the pool, lounging on the beach, and catching up with friends. The Watercolor Beach Club has a poolside restaurant, three pools, beach access, and the best tropical cocktails to channel that full vacay feel! 

Gilbert Glassworks

One of our favorite activities from the weekend was our visit to Gilbert Glassworks where we learned all about creating glass artwork and glass blowing. It was such a unique experience and we loved learning a new skill! Safe to say this lesson challenged our artistic abilities and proved who was a talented artist (Hello, Tara!) and who should stick to their day jobs (… me, ha!). Regardless of skill level, it was such a fun group activity that we loved and definitely recommend – especially on a rainy Florida day! 

Beach Brothers Bonfire

The only thing better than a sun-soaked day on the sugary white sands of 30A is a serene beach bonfire under the stars sipping wine with friends as the waves crash along the beach – total bliss! 

One of the highlights of our trip was our 60s-themed beach bonfire in Grayton BeachBeach Brothers Bonfire handled the entire set up, and we can’t rave about them enough! After our photoshoot for the Sanders Simply Timeless campaign, we spent the evening enjoying rosé from Hey Mama Wines (the cutest local brand with the best wine!),  diving into the beautiful charcuterie board from Graze30A, and enjoying quality time with friends. It was the perfect recipe for a girls night, so whether you’re planning a trip with friends or family (or even planning events for a wedding), we highly recommend this trio of vendors for the perfect night! 

After the bonfire, head over to The Red Bar for cocktails and live music – You will not be disappointed! 

Bud & Alleys

From the best lunch views to the most social drinks spot, Bud & Alley’s is always our favorite spot to visit when we head to 30A. My favorite part about Bud & Alleys is that we ALWAYS run into friends when we’re here. It’s like a revolving door of everyone we know from home, college, Dallas, and more – it’s the best! 

We love Bud & Alleys so much that Blair rented it out for her wedding after party, and it was a blast! Whether you’re visiting or planning an event, be sure to add Bud & Alley’s to your list. Best of all, they expanded the rooftop bar last year, so it’s even livelier than before! 

Morning Strolls Through Seaside

What makes 30A so special is the gorgeous architecture along the coastline. From the Santorini-esque feel of Alys Beach to the cotton candy dreams of Seaside (no wonder this was the setting for the Truman Show), strolling through the neighborhoods and admiring the architecture is one of our favorite activities when we visit. 

Watercolor is a stone’s throw from Seaside, so we loved starting our mornings with a cup of coffee and a walk to explore the beautiful homes. Street after street is lined with gorgeous homes, each with its own special touch that will have you dreaming of your future beach house! Since the towns get busy during the day with tourists, a morning stroll is the best time to soak in the serenity of the area. 

Before heading to the beach, swing by Modica Market for one of their incredible To-Go Mimosas – Trust us, you will not be disappointed! 

Since no trip to 30A is complete without a classic Seaside sweatshirt or tee, be sure to head over to Seaside Style to stock up on some souvenirs. From home items to clothing and accessories, it’s hard to pick a favorite! For the little ones in your lives, check out this adorable onesie Blair and Peter used in their pregnancy reveal outside the chapel where they tied the knot

For more on Seaside, click here to read about Blair’s wedding and click here and here to read our recent features in the Seaside Times. 

Catered Dinners At The House

If you’re a foodie, you will be in heaven with all of the delicious restaurants throughout the area. There are too many to share in this post (though we will say Great Southern is our favorite lunch spot in Seaside!), so be on the lookout for our full 30A Travel Guide coming soon. 

Since we were traveling with a group of 12 girls and wanted to spend as much time relaxing and enjoying the house as possible, Sanders catered our dinners in the house and it was THE best! Whether you’re traveling with a large group or simply want a delicious dinner in the comfort of your home, I can’t recommend these two enough: 

In-home hibachi? Yes, please! 

There are numerous reasons why we LOVED Hibachi Joe

  1. Hibachi is our weakness, so this was heaven 
  2. Hibachi Joe is based out of our hometown (Dothan, AL) and travels all over to cater dinners and events (You may remember seeing him in Dallas after the ice storm – read more here)
  3. His set up was incredible and he provided hilarious entertainment on top of amazing food! 

Rather than heading over to a Benihana to watch your butterFLY, you can hire Hibachi Joe to provide a full set up, cook a delicious dinner, and enjoy a delicious dinner in the comfort of your own home. 5-stars for Hibachi Joe! 

Click here to book a dinner with him next time you visit! 

Emerald Coast Catering

Our next dinner was catered by Emerald Coast Catering, and we had such a great experience! The chef whipped up all of the dishes in our kitchen, set up a Fajita bar for all of us to enjoy, and it was the perfect way to spend our last evening of the trip! 

Emerald Coast Catering offers so many options for catering – whether you’re craving Mexican, fresh seafood, or more. They can cater for groups of any size, and it’s a fantastic alternative to dining out while you visit. Click here to learn more. 


While we love a big night out, we decided to spend the weekend enjoying true R&R and skipped the bar scene for wine nights at the house with the girls. If you’re looking to keep your night going post dinner, head over to AJ’s or Bud & Alley’s for a lively night out + you’re bound to either run into someone you know OR leave the trip with new friends!

Lunch at Rosemary & Alys Beach

Since Rosemary and Alys are along the way to the Panama City airport, our parents are local and met us for lunch at The Pearl in Rosemary Beach and spent our last afternoon roaming the streets of Alys. It was the perfect way to cap off the trip, and we recommend exploring as much of the area as you can before heading back to the airport! If you’re looking for another lunch spot to check out on the way, George’s in Alys Beach is another favorite of ours! 

For more on Rosemary, click here to read about Janie’s wedding

Whether you’re a first timer or call 30A your home away from home, we highly recommend booking your stay with Sanders Beach Rentals! With a selection of the best homes throughout the area, the concierge services, and more, you can plan a trip with ease! 

We had the best time kicking off summer in Watercolor with this fabulous group of girls, and we hope you will plan a visit soon! 

While this post was sponsored by Sanders Beach Rentals, the opinions expressed are my own. 

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