Ever dream of moving to the beach? Before you do, there’s a ‘secret code’ that permeates our laid-back flip-flop culture. After you’ve been around for a while, you’ll gradually figure some of these things out on your own. But for anyone who wants to study-up in advance, here are 30 tips from 30A locals that will help you ease right in…

30A South Walton Beach Dune Allen Life guard 300x257 30 Tips from 30A Locals

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Heed our beach flag system!

1. “Always pay attention to our beach flag system, and swim near one of the nine lifeguard towers stationed at our public beach accesses.”

– Rick Talbert, South Walton Fire District

2. “Don’t text and drive any time, but especially not on 30A. There are simply too many pedestrians and cyclists.”

– Dave Rauschkolb, Bud & Alley’s

3. “Pack healthy snacks for your beach days! At 91% water, watermelon is a perfect snack to keep you hydrated and satisfied.”

– Joe & Crissy Thibodeau, ThiBod Fitness

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30A South Walton Shane 3 Destin filmmaker Shane Sauer Appointed Creative Director at YOLO Board

Shane Sauer

YOLO Board, LLC, has appointed Shane Sauer as Creative Director for the Florida-based stand-up paddle lifestyle retailer.

In his role, Sauer will oversee web marketing and video production for all YOLO Board brands including YOLO Bike Co., YOLO Paddle Co. and the company’s lifestyle apparel line.

Born and raised in Destin, Florida, Sauer earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Motion Picture Television and Recording Arts from Florida State University. He began his career as a freelance filmmaker in 2002 and spent six years in New York City working on feature films, commercials, documentaries and music videos.

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30A South Walton BEACH LIFE SWFW 2 3 Official Schedule Out for South Walton Fashion Week: Oct 6 12

South Walton Fashion Week has released the official schedule for their event, which will take place October 6 – 12 at Sandestin Town Center in Grand Boulevard.

The week-long event will include runway shows, a launch party and a style lounge with exclusive pop-up shops selling designer fashion ware in the fashion village at Grand Boulevard.

The week will kick off on Thursday with a series of trunk shows and a press conference at the Courtyard by Marriott Sandestin, where a panel of celebrity judges, designers and representatives for Visit South Walton and South Walton Fashion Week will answer questions and offer interviews. Immediately following the conference, the official Fashion Week launch party will take place at Tommy Bahama Restaurant, Bar & Store. National and local designers and boutiques will show on the runway ThursdayFriday and Saturday nights from 7 to 10 p.m. 
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While a handful of die-hard locals have no doubt sampled all of South Walton’s wonderful watering holes, out-of-town visitors don’t always have a lot of extra time to venture off the sandy path.

And although the following bars are somewhat hidden away from public view, there’s certainly no reason to keep any of them confidential. Even if you’re a local, we bet you’ll still find something new to try on our list of the Top 10 Secret Bars of South Walton:

30A South Walton The Marigny Top 10 Secret Bars of South Walton

The Marigny — Part of the WHO DAT Nation

1. The Marigny

Located just north of Highway 98 on Bald Eagle Drive, The Marigny is an out-of-the-way spot for locals and Who Dat ex-pats who crave authentic Cajun, Creole, and New Orleans cooking and concoctions. Executive Chef Chris Mongogna makes everything from scratch with 100% pure Louisiana soul and pride. The Marigny’s laid-back poolside setting is an ideal place to watch any big game… unless, of course, you’re rooting for the team that’s playing against The Saints!

30A South Walton Redd Top 10 Secret Bars of South Walton

Redd, The Singing Bartender

2. Redd’s Fueling Station

Tucked away behind “Sally’s by the Sea Store” (an old-school convenience store that sits right atop Blue Mountain Beach), Redd’s Fueling Station features food, a full bar and live tunes many nights of the week, including Open Mic nights. The Proprietor, Redd, is famous for her larger-than-life “Singing Bartender” personality, routinely belting out her unique brand of show tunes and rowdy fun to the delight of locals and visitors alike.

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30A South Walton Jessie Taylor 175 WaterColor Merchants Offer Everything Under the 30A SunBy Jessie Taylor

30A South Walton Blue Giraffe WaterColor Merchants Offer Everything Under the 30A SunWaterColor Merchants offer everything that your little heart could ever desire. I know this firsthand after meeting with Debbie Taylor and Christi Sheffield, the owners of The Blue Giraffe in WaterColor. For three hours, Debbie graciously gave me a personal tour of the many fabulous shops that WaterColor has to offer. Not only do these shops have everything that you could possibly need for a fun beach vacation, but these shop owners clearly share a special kinship that radiates all around WaterColor’s main square.

The WaterColor Merchants are not just a family-friendly series of stores: They’re like a family themselves.

Trekking around WaterColor, I got to know each store’s unique personality, and all of the many different things that they offer our community and 30A visitors. Just as I had the chance to get to know all of these wonderful people and their businesses, I’m now excited to offer you the same opportunity. Let’s start with The Blue Giraffe, because without the time they spent personally touring me around, there certainly wouldn’t be any article to read:

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30A South Walton tee shirt 2 NEW: Blue Mountain Base Camp ShirtEvery mountain needs a base camp, right? You know, a place to rest and prepare before you make the long, strenuous ascent up the mountain side. So why should 30A’s Blue Mountain Beach be any different? After all, lugging beach chairs, a cooler, umbrellas, and beach totes up and down that Blue Mountain is no easy feat! 

Our new Blue Mountain Base Camp shirt (Elevation: 0′) will help commemorate your epic ascent to Blue Mountain’s mysterious summit. This is a District Faded Crew Tee. Priced at $26.95, it comes in all possible sizes, from X-small to XX-Large and everything in between.

To buy this tee or browse through our range of cool beach gear, check out the Official 30A Gear website.

30A South Walton 5k The Alys Foundation ‘Fun Run’ Raises $60,000 for Autism

Ready, set, help! More than 400 runners of all ages raced to the end of summer at the third annual Alys Beach 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run, organized by The Alys Foundation.

The run became a town tour of sorts leading runners down roadways, pathways and nature trails on a sunny late summer morning throughout the beautiful community of Alys Beach in South Walton. After the races, racers relaxed at a post-race awards party featuring Grayton Beer, Vivo Spa Salon, Piper’s and 30A Pop Stop including a raffle contest and music by Shane from Rock the House. Little racers cooled off in the Fountain and chilled on the grass in the Amphitheater. Many returned later in the evening to enjoy a live concert and fireworks display.

Proceeds from the event raised $60,000. The Alys Foundation provided $20,000 each in the name of the Starkey Family to Autism Society Emerald Coast, Autism Society Georgia and Autism Society of America, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization.

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By Gaye Patton
30A South Walton hazel Alaqua’s Pet of the Week   Hazel

Hazel – waiting for her ‘forever home’

Eight-year-old Hazel is an easy-going, bright-eyed furry delight, who loves little puppies.

Hazel, Hazel, our happy little pearl of a girl,
hair the color of pumpkins, her tail with a precious curl.
That tail is a perfect measure of her happiness and delight,
wagging so rapidly, it could make her take flight!
Her eyes are deep and lovely, the color of the darkest coal,
and as you look deep into them you will see her thoughtful soul.

Hazel, Hazel, our helpful little sweetie.
Always willing to lend a little assistance, never mean or greedy.
Well behaved, well mannered, always playing well with others.
Her expertise in the kennels, is assisting with the new mothers.
She loves the little puppies, helping with their comfort and care.
She is selfless and loving, concerned only with their welfare. Continue Reading…

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