Your Guide to Dining, Exploring & Activities at Gulf Place, Florida - 30A


Your Guide to Dining, Exploring & Activities at Gulf Place, Florida

By: Whitney Rabalais | Posted Jul 3, 2024

Located where Walton County Road 393 dead-ends into Scenic Highway 30A, Gulf Place was one of 30A’s earliest town centers. And while there are reportedly major changes coming to Gulf Place in the months ahead, there are still many reasons to check out this 30A original.


Shelby’s Beach Bar & Grill

Fronting both 30A and Highway 393, Shelby’s patio is perfectly positioned for porch sippin’ and people-watching. Happy Hour is 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. everyday often accompanied by local live music. With such varying dishes as Pimento Cheese Wontons, Lobster Grilled Cheese, “Slaw”py Dawg foot long, Heirloom Panzanella salad, and the very healthy Power Bowl waist watchers on both ends of the spectrum are sure to be satisfied.

Pizza by the Sea

Who wouldn’t want pizza for dinner? This fan favorite boasts locations across 30A with Gulf Place conveniently one of the three along our coastal hamlet. Offering restaurant favorites together with a build-your-own option there’s plenty of pizza on the menu. Not into pizza tonight? Not a problem with solid servings of salads, sandwiches, pastas, and sweet endings always available.

The Perfect Pig

Though they can boast of several locations on scenic 30A, I’ve heard many a local say this outpost is their favorite. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch it’s always a perfect time to have a good time meal. Their quiche is a reason to live and thankfully it’s offered breakfast, brunch, and lunch. For a serious lunch salad, do not pass up the immense-in-size and flavor of smoked chicken salad. To finish off the feasting, stop in at dinner for the pork chop with its coffee crust, stir-fried vegetables, and chocolate mole. Makes you want to Praise the Lard.

Chef’s Bistro 30A

Not to be missed is the back side of Gulf Place where you’ll find this tasty gem. Lots of luscious Jamaican dishes are on hand which in these parts aren’t easy to come by. Solid and diverse breakfast choices with fresh pressed juices on tap. Lunch can be light or hearty, depending on your mood, with poke bowls, wagyu burgers, hot or cold sandwiches, and garden fresh salads. But dinner is the serious draw with jerk chicken, escovitch fish, duck fat ribeye and so much more.

Sunrise Coffee Company

Calling themselves “the FUNkiest lil coffee shop on 30A,” this diminutive shop serves up big flavors for breakfast and lunch daily. Breakfasts between breads are the mainstays as are pastries and Charlie’s Donuts. Smoothies, coffees, and cocktails are also on offer for all your drinking and caffeine needs. Finally, there’s lunch sandwiches, wraps and quesadillas to cap off your day. Off-season hours may vary so it’s always best to check in beforehand.

Cava and Cakes

Conveniently located right near Chef’s Bistro 30A lies this oh-so-sweet delight. Cake pops, custom cakes, scrumptious cupcakes and, of course, cava, the Spanish cousin of prosecco, are all on hand. Grab a cava and a sweetie after dinner, or before. No judgement if you have your cake and eat it too, before dinner.

Shunk Gulley

Not technically part of Gulf Place, but just a quick hop the street, Shunk Gulley’s open-air dining downstairs spills out onto a sun-dappled patio facing the Gulf and 30A with an additional overflow seating tent complete with big-screen TVs. Upstairs you can indulge your senses with tasty libations, delicious grub, and an eye-popping view of the Gulf. The salads are filling, the seafood is fresh and the duck fat fries should NOT be missed.

Growler Garage

A brief walk past Shunk Gulley you’ll find more libations in beer form. Growler Garage’s interior is an ode to motorcycles, music and those who appreciate both. It’s the perfect mix of modern grunge, Elvis suave and 1950s garage with a touch of sea. They host a sizable number of local, regional and national beers on tap to satisfy your thirst. Grab a brew, head outside to their patio and chat up some locals.


[EDITOR’S NOTE: Rumors have it that Gulf Place’s new management will soon make significant changes to their retail tenants. However, as of August 2023, here are some shops worth checking out.] 

YOLO Board and Bike

You only live once so why not do it with a YOLO bike, board or even brew in the form of medium or dark roasts and decaf bags of coffee? Jazzy hard and blow-up paddle boards, some with custom artwork, are what originally distinguished them. Now offering fun and practical e-bikes and beach cruisers to help you traverse in style all 20-something miles of 30A. Want to get out with YOLO bike enthusiasts? Join the weekly Thursday night YOLO Bike Club Safari Tours. Registration is required but e-bikes are available if you haven’t yet taken the e-bike plunge.

Jewel Toffier

Serving the area for over 20 years this jewel has fashion-forward ready-to-wear items designed and manufactured locally along with an array of other stylish options to keep you looking dapper from head to toe. Check out their webpage here.

Artists at Gulf Place

Right at the beginning of the interior green space are the funky shacks housing various arts. Mediums of many types are on display and for purchase at this fun, colorful collection of local co-op artists.

The 30A Store

Can’t get enough of the area? This “Beach Happy” store has you shielded, literally, with hats and eco-friendly shirts made from recycled plastic as well as 30A Tervis, coffee mugs and much much more. Stop in for all the 30A merchandise to keep you Beach Happy long after you leave.

The Gypsy Garage

Along the back side of the green sits a fantastic shop with locally designed clothing and various curiosities. This is definitely NOT the place for touristy knick-knacks and logo wearables. A fair selection of vintage items and garments are also available. A less shabby more chic positive aura prevails in this fun, funky treasure box of a boutique.


Wine Walk

Join locals and visitors for a Gulf Place tradition: Wine Walk. Guests can enjoy a selection of music, noshes, and, as the name implies, wine all while browsing the charming shops and businesses of Gulf Place. Don’t miss out on this celebration each third Thursday of the month from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Artists at Gulf Place Art Classes

Looking for an alternative to the beach for the day? Stroll over to the shacks of the Artists to check out the chalkboard calendar of weekly available art classes.


Awakening Wellness Acupuncture and Organic Spa

A full-service spa, this locale has varying massages, facials, waxes, scrubs and acupuncture as well as the seldom offered reiki energy healing.

Jade Nails and Spa

Sand ruined your pedicure? Opening those cans on the beach got your manicure a bit mangled? Stop in after beaching or call for an appointment for a refresher.

30A Vet

Sometimes things can go awry for your best friend. Luckily there’s a comprehensive services vet right here for your feline and canine children. Like they say “Peace, love, and Sandy Paws.”

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Whitney Rabalais is a gastronome who has studied the culinary and cocktail arts and cultures for over 40 years. Whitney makes a mean galatine du poulet and a meaner mai tai.