A couple weeks ago we spent 5 days along highway 30A in Watersound, Fl and it was beyond gorgeous there. We’re not huge fans of the beach but I had heard amazing things from other people that have vacationed along 30A and raved about the crystal clear water and white sandy beaches so, I figured it was worth taking a trip to.
We stayed in a condo in Santa Rosa, which was conveniently located in the middle of all the small towns. We could drive a few miles in either direction and check out the other towns along 30a. Across the street from the condo was The Hub and it was perfect place to do a little shopping, grab dinner or lunch and they had a great green space in the middle for the kids to run around, as well as, a jumbo tron that they played sports on and did movie nights throughout the week. It was so convenient to be able to go across the street and grab a drink while the kids ran around and burned off some energy.
A big selling point to me renting our condo was the fact that it came with a 6 person street legal golf cart. For 4 of the 5 days we mainly took the golf cart everywhere. I’m pretty sure if we only drove the golf cart our entire trip and did nothing else the kids would’ve been more than happy. They kept calling it the ‘fast car’ (it went 23mph, haha). So, we took the ‘fast car’ whenever we could. Another plus was the community we stayed in also had a beautiful heated pool with plenty of chairs and tables, gym and bathrooms accessible from the pool.
Here’s how we spent our trip:
The first day we drove into Seaside and ate lunch at Airtream Row. It’s on Main Street and it has a variety of restaurants set up in airstreams. A couple kids enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches from The Meltdown and we devoured a delicious plate of BBQ from Barefoot BBQ the oldest enjoyed a yummy corn dog she had to have but only ate the hot dog part-go figure. The up side is the kids meal came with a frisbee that was used quite a bit while on the beach. Right behind the Airstreams is a huge green space and Amphitheatre for the kids to run around and play. Also, if you’re a fan of The Truman Show you’ll quickly realize this is where the movie was filmed. Within in the shops is Modica’s Market where Truman’s friend, Marlon, is filmed stocking the vending machine and 3 or 4 streets down from the town center is Natchez street and you can find the Truman house. I love being touristy so i had to jump out and get a picture in front of it. My husband felt more cheesy doing it but he got one anyways.
The rest of the day was spent checking into our condo, unpacking and spending a few hours at the pool. For dinner we drove (in the golf cart) across the street to The Hub for dinner. It’s set up as small restaurants that you go in and order your food then find a table out near the lawn or in the covered patio. The had a variety or restaurants to pick from and they also had a little bar that had amazing margaritas. We grabbed ur food and couple drinks and sat around while the kids ran around and played in the lawn wit a bunch of other kids. It’s super family friendly and has a Jumbotron that throughout the week they play games on and have movie nights. Seriously i don’t think wee could have asked for a better location to stay.
It was time to head out to the beach ! We started the morning at Cowgirl Kitchen. Small restaurant that was delicious and quick and not too expensive. Then we headed to Santa Clara Beach. This beach access has parking and clean restrooms plus a shower to spray off the sand. I was not expecting such a beautiful and clean beach. It was beyond beautiful ! While we were there we met another family that was staying in our condo community and the kids had so much fun playing together. That’s a huge win when your kids find other kids to play with and mom and dad can rest a little. 🙂 There were no shells or rocks and the water was crystal clear and fairly calm for the kids to be able to get into and not feel too worried about them. We had such a great morning building sandcastles and just floating around the water. October was the perfect time to be here. It wasn’t too crowded and the water was still quite warm. After about 4 hours at the beach we were ready to go back and rest. The morning is definitely the best time to be there. It’s not too hot and not a lot of people and by 1 or so is when everyone started showing up and it was time for us to leave to go relax at the house.
That night we were still too tired from the beach so we ordered takeout from Brunos pizza and spent the rest of the evening swimming in the pool.
Another beautiful morning at Santa Clara Beach ! We met up with the same family and enjoyed building castles and relaxing in the water. This morning there was no seaweed so you could easily go out 30ish feet before seeing any seaweed. I had read there are times when the seaweed can be really bad but while we were there it was very mild. It would be clear and then maybe about 10 to 15 feet of seaweed then back to clear water as you were swimming out. That afternoon we went for a joy ride in the golf cart and i quickly realized I need to figure out how and where I would drive a golf cart back home because everywhere we went the kids begged to go in the golf cart and so we did. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and then spending a couple hours at the pool before getting ready for our sunset dinner.
I had heard that Fish Out of Water was the place to go for sunsets and it did not disappoint. We got there about 6 (sunset at 640) and the patio was already filled ! Rookies over here and well 3 kids. Luckily they have a bar outside that is first come first serve and we were able to get a seat for all 5 of us and we were able to watch a beautiful sunset. So, if you want a table be sure to get there at least an hour or more before sunset. The food was delicious, the service was great, it was kid friendly and the best part- you get to watch the gorgeous sunset over the Gulf. Highly recommend coming here whether it be for dinner or just some drinks on the patio.
During our trip we wanted to try out as many of the donut shops as we could and we found our favorite-Charlie’s Donut Truck ! We went to Alys Beach where their food truck is set up and grabbed 4 different flavors: Pumpkin (a must during fall), chocolate frosted with sprinkles, red velvet and glazed and they were the best donuts out of the 3 places we tried. They are only open til noon or when they run out so be sure to get there early. If you go to the location at Alys Beach there is a splash pad with some shaded sitting and a huge green space. Perfect place for the kids to run around in while you enjoy a morning donut and coffee. Our kids at first thought the splash pad was too small and then spent 2 hours running around- WIN ! When we were done we drove around Alys beach and the houses and neighborhood was so so beautiful. I’m not a fan of white, I need color, but this neighborhood may have changed my mind. The black and white with all the greenery was just so pretty. After all our ooohing and ahhing it was time for the beach. We grabbed all our beach stuff and drove to Deer Park to spend a couple hours at the beach. Make sure you bring some cash with you as it is i think 3$ and it just goes by the honor system-stick your money in an envelope and put the tag in your dash.
The beach was beautiful and again no seaweed this day and very few people there for being a Sunday afternoon. Since we got there in the afternoon the water was a bit more choppy but my oldest daughter (7) enjoyed jumping the waves with her dad. The nice side is there are so many sandbars along the beaches that even where they were jumping waves it was only about 3.5 feet deep and sand bars farther out would slow the waves down so it wasn’t nearly as dangerous as our North Carolina beaches. The one down side to this beach is the bathrooms are back at the parking lot and when you have 3 kids that have to go NOW then a 5 minute walk feels like an eternity. And I’m not talking about going pee…you will ALWAYS have that one kids that needs to go number 2 and its an emergency. Ahh the joys of parenting.
That evening we did the pool for a few hours before eating a late dinner. I had been craving some sushi so the hubs went and got take out from the Florida Fish house and then I wished we had ate there. He said it had a lawn for the kids to run around in as well as some games and a great patio to eat on. The sushi we ordered was so so good and had a huge selection to pick from and so if you’re having a seafood craving definitely go check this place out.
The next morning it was time to leave and go back to reality. We were not ready to leave. This is definitely where you go to relax and slow life down and enjoy spending time with family or friends. I’m never one to want to go back to the same place for vacations but this is the exception. The kids loved it here, we loved it here. The environment was safe and so family friendly. There was more than enough to see and do and we didn’t even scratch the surface.
“In case I don’t see ya: Good afternoon. good evening, and good night!”-Truman Burbank