10394486_10152161789201824_474732168917379297_nAs part of an initiative to generate awareness about Williams Syndrome and to raise funding for critical WSA programs and initiatives, the Williams Syndrome Association is organizing Walk for Williams today, June 14th from 9am to 1pm at Topsail Hill State Park.

Organizers Searcy Kelly and Valerie Hamon will be joined by friends and family throughout the Gulf Coast to help spread the word about Williams syndrome and raise critical funding for research programs. In addition to the Walk, activities at the event will include a raffle, beach party, food donated by the Seagrove Market Cafe, and more.

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Alys Beach Architecture

Alys Beach, Florida

Scenic Highway 30A’s most visually striking community features architecture influenced by the brilliant-white, traditional homes of Bermuda. When complete, the 158-acre resort town of Alys Beach will be twice the size of nearby Seaside and will consist of some 900 custom villas and courtyard homes.

As you enter Alys Beach, the first architectural features you’ll notice are the white “butteries” that stand like centurions at the property’s edge. Before refrigeration (and even before ice was manufactured), homeowners in Bermuda’s hot island climate often maintained butteries, which were unattached minaret-shaped structures designed to make, store and preserve butter, milk and other perishable foods.

But the four white butteries perched along 30A in Alys Beach preserve something quite different: Sixteen unique mosaic murals depicting scenes of the region’s history and heritage. Concetta Rothwell Morales, a highly talented and well-recognized mosaic muralist, created the murals. The butteries are open to the public.

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By Shannon J. Winslow-Claunch

Black bear sightings have increased in South Walton, but is it because there are more bears, or because more people now share their encounters on social media?

Here in South Walton, rising temperatures mean an increase in tourists. And it also means more opportunities for potential encounters with some of our longtime locals: Florida black bears. In fact, Florida’s black bear population is on the rise, with sightings doubling statewide to nearly 6,200 every year.

There are a few things that every person who works or plays along 30A should be aware of regarding our furry neighbors.

Catherine Rodriguez of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office warns that it’s spring and black bears are waking up from their winter lethargy. Many mothers have cubs to protect and feed. Bears are motivated by hunger and with the dense population of well-fed humans making 30A their springtime get-away (and sometimes leaving their common sense back home), bear safety is a major concern for local authorities.

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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
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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-Plastic-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.

Lauren-Lege

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.” 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: