Hi friends! Finally sitting down to write about all of the things we did, see and ate during our stay in the 30A area! Our little family went with Magen & Ricky and their kids, so we had 4 adults and 7 kids…yes 7 kids! It was so much fun, I think the kids are forever asking to go back! We had the best time!
We left Sunday and flew United to Fort Walton Beach / Destin airport. I do know Southwest is beginning to fly there very soon, so check to see if they have a flight available too! We always choose Southwest when we can, but our experience with United was great! We had no issues, even while flying with a 2 year old! Laikyn is 7 and Lennyn is 5, so they are pros at travel now! They did great!
We opted to rent a airbnb in the Santa Rosa Beach / Miramar beach area that slept all of us comfortably! We had a great experience, and I’ll link for ya! I do know there are better houses for the price we paid, so do your research and look around. I don’t think we will personally stay in this area if we go back. We really loved the Alys Beach area best and will look into somewhere near there or Rosemary Beach. Seaside is WAY too overcrowded and personally I don’t see the hype of it, but I may have just had a different experience since it was spring break. I’ve heard to go back in October! We only went into Destin one day and it was to try to eat at Boshamp’s but the wait was over 3 hours so we found a little shack to eat at and it was actually really good!
So Sunday, we arrived around 4 and rented a car! You definitely need one unless you’re staying at a resort. We drove somewhere daily! We arrived at our house and the kids immediately wanted to swim! We stayed close to Miramar Beach in the Santa Rosa Beach area. We rented this property and had a good experience through airbnb, however it was not as nice as it looked online. It still worked, had enough beds and space for all 11 of us and ended up being fine! The beds were comfy and the girls LOVED that it had bunk beds! Sunday evening we ate at Acme Oyster Bar and it was pretty good! We sat on the patio so the kids could play, there is a big pond area that has tons of turtles and they loved it!
Monday, We rented golf carts since the walk to the beach was a bit longer than we thought, especially with wagons and such. The house said 5 minute walk but it would have definitely taken about 20 to walk down to the actual beach. The golf carts were rented through D. Alexander, same as the house, and we also had to pay $25 a day to heat the pool (the hot tub did not heat to over 94 degrees but it was still worth it to heat the pool if you’re going to use it)! We waited around Monday morning for the golf carts to arrive and ended up going to the beach to eat breakfast at Whale’s Tail. It’s right on the beach and we ended up getting food from there several times during our stay for convenience and the service was great! They were kind to accommodate our kids! We stayed at the beach for a bit on Monday but the temps were pretty cool and windy! We door dashed Jimmy John’s for lunch while the kids swam and then the dads took them back to the beach while the littles napped and Magen and I got some quiet time to read! We met up with Jess and Ryan for dinner at The Bay and I highly recommend if you have kiddos with you! There is a beach area to play for them and the sushi was good! The service wasn’t great but the food ended up being good and the kids were happy! Definitely get the banana pudding for dessert.
Tuesday we had another beach day! This was when pretty much everyone got sunburned! Note: if it’s cloudy, you still need sunscreen and reapply often! The UV rays are worse when it’s cloudy! We door dashed breakfast to the house and then got ready for the beach! We played in the sand, but the tide was too high to play in the water much! We actually witnessed several calls to EMS because of people getting stuck out in the waves. If it’s red flag or double red flag, pay attention and don’t go out in the water! That was a bit traumatizing for the kids! We went to eat at Grimaldi’s this night and it was probably the best place we had while there! The brick oven pizza was so good and it wasn’t over crowded!
Wednesday we slept in a little and decided to go to The Perfect Pig for brunch. This is in Watercolor. It was good and service was good too! We went over to the middle of Seaside after, and it was SO CROWDED. Lines everywhere and soooo many high school and college kids. Traffic was so bad that we all lost it there and decided to leave after ice cream. There isn’t much for the kids to do there either, they’re too small for bike rides and the lines were too long for food and stores. It is a cute concept, but we won’t go back when it’s so crowded like that! There are some cute little stores and I’ve heard the food trucks are good. We just didn’t stand in line to experience any of it (we would have been there for HOURS). We headed over to the Alys Beach area to meet Jess and the kids and I’ll just say this is the CUTEST most quaint little area. If we go back, we will be staying somewhere around there. It’s clean and beautiful! Everyone was so nice and it most definitely was not as crowded. We let the kids play at the playground and we had drinks and smoothies at the cafe near there. It was so cute and good! Definitely one of the best parts of the day. We had an early dinner at Mezcali in the same area as Acme Oyster Bar. It was good (in fact, we went back on our last day for more chips and salsa)! We had early bed times and got ready for our last full day!
Thursday was our last full day in Florida! We were all pretty tired by this point, haha! We slept in again and then went to breakfast at The Donut Hole. It was recommended by some of you and ended up being SO good. We got donuts and they also have a traditional breakfast menu all day. We loved it! We tried to do another beach day after, but the weather just didn’t cooperate! It was too cold and windy, so we only stayed for a little while and then went back to the house for swimming at the pool! I did try Fat Ass coffee this day, and it wasn’t what I wanted it to be…I got iced coffee, a pretty easy order but it wasn’t my favorite, which says a lot because I really love all coffee! 😉 Thursday night we tried to have an early supper at Boshamp’s…drove over there at 5pm thinking it wouldn’t be packed and turns out there was already a 3 hour wait. We drove a little bit back toward our house and found a shack to eat at and it ended up being good! I can’t remember the name but it’s a bright colored shack and they have live jazz music! The kids loved it! We got ice cream after and then headed to bed!
We had flights out back to Texas on Friday but not until 4, so we did breakfast at Maple Street Biscuit Company. It was good, but heavily chicken based so if you don’t like chicken for breakfast there were only a few options without it! It was good though, and the coffee was great! I had a maple sugar latte (their special) and it was delish! It was rainy this day, so we went over to the arcade and laser tag and let the kids play! They had SO MUCH FUN…probably the best thing we did for them which is silly since we could do that anywhere but they loved it! We ate some chips and salsa next door at Mezcali before heading back to the airport and home! We didn’t get home until 10:30 that night…so tired, but the kids are still talking about our trip to Florida and LOVED it.
Lots of you are asking if we will make a yearly trip to 30A…and I just don’t know. I wish the weather would have been better. I think we will try somewhere in the Keys next time, and if we go back we would stay in the Alys Beach area and definitely not during spring break. Everyone was SO nice in the area and were very cautious with precautions but also not super strict. It was nice. If you have a trip planned, you will have a great time! Just don’t try to go to any of the highly recommended places…you will wait for hours and no where takes reservations or call ahead!
I thought it would be beneficial to round up the places we ate and activities we did, so here ya go! Let me know if there are any recommended things and I can add them, too!
Where We Stayed
Where We Ate
The Perfect Pig
The Donut Hole
Maple Street Biscuit Company
Fat Ass Coffee
& we did door dash a lot for lunch with kids
Funky Blue’s Shack
The Village at Baytowne Wharf
Stinky’s Fish Camp & Red Bar
The Crab Trap
Old Floridian Fish House
George’s in Alys Beach
Bud & Alley’s
What We Did
Pool at the house
Playground at Aly’s Beach
Seaside shops / food trucks