Best Things to do on 30A (Besides Go to the Beach)

Of course the very best thing to do on 30A in Florida is to spend time of one of the glorious white sand beaches…

Beaches on 30A Florida. The water is clear d the sand is white. Everything you need to know about 30A Florida and all the best things to do on 30A.

but…into every vacation a little rain must fall…

or the kids need a break…

or sunburn happens…(wear sunscreen y’all – the sun is intense on a Florida beach!)

but no matter the reason…

There are many other things to do on 30A including outdoor activities, shopping, and amazing dining.

Here is a list of some of the OTHER best things to do on 30A.

Best Things to do on 30A (Besides Go to the Beach)

Ride A Bike

There is not much better than exploring this beautiful area by bike and you will find a multitude of places to rent a bike for your vacation.

In fact, there are so many bike rental places that I am not going to try to recommend one. You will easily find one near you and the prices don’t vary much.

Some of the vacations rental properties even provide bikes!

There are a number of trails in the area but the most popular and most traveled is the Timpoochee Trail. It’s flat. It’s paved. It runs the entire length of 30A. It is perfect for sightseeing in the area.

There are also trails in some of the other 30A beach communities such as Dune Allen and Rosemary Beach as well as in the state parks in the area.

One of the best things to do on 30A is definitely to experience the amazing beach communities by bike!

Try a local brew

There are some great local breweries on 30A

Check out the Grayton Beer Company or Idyll Hounds Brewery for some interesting locally brewed beers. You will also find selections from these breweries at many of the area restaurants and liquor stores.

In addition to the breweries there are a couple of excellent taprooms such as Beach and Brew and Growler Garage.

Visit a Coastal Dune Lake

As you traverse scenic 30A you will see a number of lakes just inside the dunes. These are called coastal dune lakes and are a rare phenomenon only found in a few places in the world!

Many of the lakes are open to the public for recreational activities such as bird watching, wildlife spotting, kayaking, fishing, and paddle boarding.

You should definitely take the time to visit one of the coastal dune lakes while you are in the area!

See The Truman House in Seaside, Florida

Seaside Florida is a unique planned community that is so perfect that it served as the setting for the film, “The Truman Show.”

You can see the Truman house in the community of Seaside at 31 Natchez Street.

NOTE: There are people who live in this home. They have a sign indicating that their home is the Truman home, but do respect their privacy.

Watch the Sunset

Sometimes it’s the little things that bring the most joy. Pick a beach, any beach and take a walk west along the shore as the sun sets.


Some of the coastal dune lakes also have stunning sunset views.

sunset at western lake - one of the coastal dune lakes on 30A, and sunset watching is one of the best things to do on 30A

Hear the bell ring at Bud and Alleys

Another popular sunset location is the roof deck bar at Bud and Alleys in Seaside.

As the sun sets locals and visitors alike gather on the Rooftop Bar at Bud & Alley’s to celebrate the sunset by sounding the vintage bell.

You will probably need to get there early in order to get a seat.

This is one of the few restaurants in the area with a great beach view.

Enjoy a cruise

You can find various boat cruises in the area. Do you want to see dolphins in the gulf of Mexico, or perhaps view the sunset from a boat while drinking a glass of champagne?

Do you want to visit an unhabited island, go snorkling or even…do all of the above?

There are several cruises to choose from but do note that many of these will leave from the nearby towns of either Panama City or Destin.

You can check out Paradise Adventures for a variety of cruise options.

Sailaway Destin offers a variety of options including private cruises.

Have a beach bonfire

Some of the beaches along 30A will allow you to have a beach bonfire. In fact, this is one of the few areas in Florida that still allow bonfires on the sand.

However, you can’t just go out and light a fire. There are quite a few rules that you must follow in order to have a beach bonfire. Some of these include:

  • You must have a beach permit
  • The person who acquires the permit must be at the bonfire at all times
  • The fire must be burned in a galvanized metal container
  • A specific type of wood must be used
  • You must take all of your burned material out when you leave…


Because of the rules, the easiest way to have a beach bonfire is to hire someone to set the whole thing up for you!

There are several companies in the area that will provide a bonfire experience for your group including 30A Blaze and Light Me up Beach Bonfires.

Go Fishing

You can fish in one of the coastal dune lakes, go surf fishing straight off of the beach, fish off of a pier, or go out on a charter boat to fish. There are so many fishing opportunities on 30A!

NOTE: Don’t forget that you will definitely need to get a license for the type of fishing that you intend to do! Check out how to get your fishing license here.

If you are fishing on your own you can pick up bait and tackle at many places along 30A. Some of these include Stinky’s Bait Shack, as well as Bay Baits.

For tours or charters you can check out Shallow Water Expeditions. They have a variety of fishing expeditions. Dead Fish Charters has been named the best charter company in South Walton and is another great choice.

Take a Ride on a Paddleboard

You will quickly discover that paddle boarding is one of the most popular things to do on 30A. People paddle board on the coastal dune lakes, but they also take their boards out on the ocean.

Yes, there are days on 30A when the ocean is almost as calm as a lake!

You can often rent paddle boards right from the beach or can find a company (there are many) and call ahead to reserve one.

paddle boarding is one of the best things to do on 30A

Visit a State Park

You might be surprised to learn that there are 5 state parks in the area as well as a state forest! In fact visiting a state park is one of the best things to do on 30A.

Some of the state parks have pristine and less crowded beaches you can visit.

Many have hiking and biking and offer access to one of the coastal dune lakes. Still others have historical features to check out.

Grayton Beach State Park and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park have a variety of camp sites and cabins. This can be a less expensive way to visit 30A, but they do fill up rapidly so you will want to make reservations well in advance.

You will definitely want to go to one of the 30A State Parks while you are staying in the area.

Deer Lake State Park, one of the state parks on 30A. Visiting a state park is one of the best things to do on 30A

Eat Seafood

I mean, duh. You always want to eat seafood when you are on a a beach vacation! Here are some of the best items to try:

Besides seafood you will find many great restaurants on 30A. Eating out is one of the best things to do on 30A.

Oysters from Shunk Gulley. Eating seafood is one of the best things to do on 30A

Shop the local Farmer’s Markets

Seaside has a farmer’s market on Saturdays at the Seaside Amphitheater from 9-1.

The farmer’s market in Rosemary Beach is held on Sundays from 9-1.

Both markets are held year round.

Listen to Live Music

There are some great places in 30A to listen to live music. Some of these include:

There are many others! Be sure and check out the websites for a schedule of performances and events.

Also check out events at the Seaside Amphitheater and The Big Chill.

Be Sporty

30A is a very active place! Besides all the water sports like paddle boarding, swimming, kayaking, and deep sea fishing you will find world class tennis and golf in the area.

You might even want to try the new sport of foot golf!


There may be tennis courts available where you are staying but if not here are a few of the area courts that allow visitors to play tennis.

Some also offer lessons or tennis clinics.

All will require advance reservations and will have a fee.

The Rosemary Beach Racquet Club has 8 green clay courts.

The Watercolor tennis club has 5 tennis courts and 2 pickleball courts.

The Seaside Tennis club has 5 tennis courts and 3 pickleball courts.


Some people come to 30A just to play golf. There are a number of golf courses in the area, some of which are award winning.

Here is a list of the golf courses on 30A that you might want to try.

Foot Golf

Have you heard of foot golf? Neither had I until our latest visit to 30A. The sport is a combination of soccer and golf. Basically you kick a soccer ball into a hole. The person with the fewest kicks wins.

You can play this unique sport at the Watersound Club.

Feel like you are in Europe

It might sound strange to hear that you can have the feel of Europe in a Florida beach town, but there are two beach communities on 30A that have a decidedly European vibe.

The first is Rosemary Beach.

Rosemary Beach has been voted one of “America’s Most Romantic Small Towns” by CNN. The town has cobblestone streets, welcoming patios and courtyards, expansive and green public spaces, and architecture which feels decidedly old world.

Rosemary beach florida one of the best beach towns in 30A
Photo Credit: Julianna Arjes-unsplash

Alys Beach is the other. This is an architecturally stunning place.

Alys is quiet and luxurious and beautiful. The attention to detail is amazing. The buildings are mostly painted white with some colorful touches on windows and doors and in the landscaping. You will feel as if you are in Greece, or the white villages of southern Spain.

Learn more about the 30A beach communities in this post!

Alys Beach feels like you are visiting europe or Bermuda

Visit an Art Gallery

The beauty of 30A must attract artistic souls. You will find a myriad of art galleries on 30A.

Justin Gaffrey may be the most well known artist in the area. His paintings perfectly capture the heart of 30A.

Allison Wickey is another favorite locally based artist.

At Chroma 30A you will find the artwork of Kathleen Broaderick. Her art is both calming and interesting.

A very fun outdoor gallery is the Artists at Gulf Place. This is a collection of 8 brightly colored stalls. You will find jewelry, pottery, photography, sculptures, paintings, t-shirts, and much more! They also have a wine event the third Thursday of every month.

artists at gulf place is one of the fun places to shop for original pieces on 30A. It is located in Santa Rosa Beach - one of the best 30A beach towns.

Finding art on the beach is one of the best things to do on 30A. There are many more artists and art galleries besides the ones I have listed.

Take a day trip to Destin or Panama City

If you are willing to venture a little farther afield from 30A you can take a visit to the slightly larger towns of either Destin or Panama City.

It is in these larger towns that you will find outlet shopping, marinas, boardwalks and piers, museums, marine parks and zoos, waterparks, and so much more!

Enjoy your visit on 30A! You might want to spend all day every day on the beach or you can choose some of the other great things to do on 30A.

Have fun!

Thanks for stopping by.