WHO DAT! Our 30A intern, Jessie Taylor (decked out in the protective gear below!) has been hanging out in Sandestin today with the New Orleans Saintsations for their annual calendar photo shoot. Click here for Jessie’s behind-the-scenes videos!

Designing an Idyllic Lifestyle Along Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A

Originally featured in BEACHES, RESORTS & PARKS magazine
30A South Walton scenic beach walk 960 30A: Paradise Planned

Paradise Protected

Since the very beginning of time, mankind has demonstrated a special knack for ruining a perfectly decent Paradise. It seems to be somehow ingrained into our genetic code. As picture-perfect as any place may be, we tend to believe that we can somehow improve upon it.

That’s always been the problem with writing about an “undiscovered” piece of pristine paradise—as soon as a few folks learn about it, you can bet that it won’t be too long before there are condo towers, water slides, goofy golfs and loud cannons blasting off to spoil that otherwise serene sunset.

Time and time again, Paradise is lost. Lost to greed, poor execution or just a general lack of vision.

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30A South Walton 30A Mason Jars 740x480 NEW: Plastic 30A Mason Jars

Every true Southerner knows that it’s not a real party, unless you find yourself sipping from a mason jar. The problem is, glass just isn’t cool at the beach (or on a boat or out by the pool).

Problem solved. Our new 25-ounce Plastic 30A Mason Jars not only let you take the fun anywhere, they even come with color-coded jar lids and straws, so you can keep your drinks straight as the party progresses / devolves.

There won’t be another breakthrough in Southern Drinking Technology like this for at least another 25 years.

30A South Walton Lauren Lege Fast Food Made Fresh    Thats Whats CUP

By Lauren Lege

Redfish Village and Peddler’s Pavilion in Seacrest is home to 30A’s one-and-only “fast food” joint, CUP. But don’t get the wrong idea: “Fast food” is in quotations for a reason. Yes, it’s fast and it’s food, but it’s also healthy and well-prepared in 20-oz. cups with a CUPlement sauce, ready to go, just waiting to be plucked out of the display cooler.

“There was a niche to be filled for busy people on the go who wanted to eat better; wanted their families to eat better,” said Paulette DeGraw, CUP’s owner.

CUP creates low calorie, high protein recipes. Most recipes, including desserts, are gluten free. “We have taken traditional recipes and created quick, healthy, and delicious meals,” said DeGraw. “Our meals last up to 7 days, so people can come in only once a week, but enjoy the convenient and tasty meals all week long. Some customers have been known to buy 16, 17 or 18 CUPs at one time.” 30A South Walton Screen Shot 2014 04 23 at 7.40.21 PM Fast Food Made Fresh    Thats Whats CUP CUP’s “Bottoms Up” recipe was inspired by the American classic cheeseburger and fries, made with rotini pasta, a beurre blanc and queso sauce, lean seasoned steak, gherkin pickles, grape tomatoes, potato chip sticks, and a CUPlement savory steak sauce. This is a big hit among kids, and a convenient choice for the busy parent.

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Our famous 30A stickers have been spotted all over the world! Have you seen a 30A sticker in a fun, creative or exotic place? Email us a pic, or share it with our 260,000+ 30A Facebook fans! While you get packed, check out some of these amazing photos submitted by 30A fans from around the globe:

30A South Walton Shannon Claunch 120 Messinas Keeper and The King of Good TimesBy Shannon J. Winslow-Claunch

DREW MESSINA first visited Scenic Highway 30A while vacationing with friends in 2009, and he was immediately charmed by the communities that he found along our stretch of Emerald Coast. He celebrated with friends at Bud & Alley’s and Great Southern Cafe and paid special attention to how the quaint shops and diverse restaurants catered to tourists.

Messina’s is giving away a private Chef’s Table dinner for 8 guests PLUS a free shuttle ride to and from their restaurant in Gulf Place. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

30A South Walton 390625 2495682323882 511441087 n Messinas Keeper and The King of Good Times

Drew Messina

As a restaurateur himself, Messina envisioned his own establishment commingled with the eateries of 30A, but one that was unique, serving up New Orleans style and hospitality.

His dream became a reality earlier this year with the opening of Messina’s at Gulf Place. What guests have discovered is a portal to Italian, Creole and French cuisine that harkens back to Drew Messina’s lineage of family-run restaurants in Kenner and Jefferson Parish in Louisiana. Messina’s has been defined as “casual dining with a five star flair” and patrons have embraced the staff’s attention to detail and masterfully created entrees. The diversity of options — both on the menu and featured theme nights — is what keeps locals intrigued and coming back.

From their Friday night Crawfish Boils and weekend Jazz Brunch, to their Tuesday night ‘Arts & Carafes’ event and Thursday Lady’s Night with $1 Martinis, Messina’s carries the Mardi Gras philosophy “laissez les bons temps rouler” (let the good times roll) throughout the week.

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30A South Walton beach walk 252x252 The Panhandler... A Short Story

Photo: Jacqueline Ward Images

Burt sat on the pollen-laden hood of an otherwise maroon Honda Accord. It wasn’t his car, of course, but that didn’t matter. “This is a public beach,” he thought. “I can sit wherever I damn well want.”

He shifted his dark eyes up and down the bike path, scouring for a potential victim.

“Slim pickins today,” he thought.

Burt was a diehard local, having grown up along the Emerald Coast. In all his days, he had never strayed far from the water. He couldn’t explain why. Something primitive anchored him here; something ancient. Perhaps it was the soothing ebb and flow of the Gulf. Perhaps it was just the fresh seafood.

Still, Burt was a shiftless drifter; routinely meandering from Ft. Walton to Destin to Panama City, and back again. But this 20-mile stretch of sugary beaches along 30A was his favorite.

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PARKING: Satellite parking with free shuttle service to and from Gulf Place will be available at Arnett’s Gulfside Stables, Cross Point Chapel and St. Rita Catholic Church (all located along County Road 393 S.). The Green at Gulf Place, where the concert will be held, is located on the corner of Scenic Highway 30A and County Road 393. Watch for signs and parking attendants as you arrive. Please drive slowly and watch for pedestrians!

SCHEDULE: Gates open at 3:30pm, and Forrest Williams Band will entertain the crowd starting at 5:15pm. Gregg Allman will take the stage at 7:15pm.

TIPS: Fans are encouraged to bring low back chairs and blankets, but please note that no coolers, food or drink may be brought into the concert venue.

GET SOCIAL: If you’re at the concert today, be sure to hashtag your Instagram photos #30A and #gulfplace. You’ll see your photos live in the lower right side of 30A.com! If you can’t be here with us, watch this page for real-time videos during tonight’s show!

TICKETS: www.GulfPlaceEvents.com

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