By Kristy Gustafson
On the corner of beach and happy (aka 30A and 393) lives the vibrant, new-urban community of Gulf Place. If its multicolored facade, wavy blue letters, and towering palm trees aren’t enough of an indicator, an exciting world awaits.
Gulf Place is one of the 16 distinct beach neighborhoods in South Walton, offering 25 acres specifically designed for one thing: to slow folks down.
With outdoor patios, plentiful green spaces, nature trails, and places to sit back, relax, and take in the views, we’d say, mission most definitely accomplished. Here in its laid-back atmosphere, locals and vacationers alike can enjoy delicious, local cuisine, live music, original art, and shopping galore. Not to mention, tons of local events in the Amphitheater, including oyster festivals, BBQ festivals, and more!
Where to begin?
Between the Town Center and The Shops on Spires Lane, there’s a little something for everyone. Yes, even your pooches! This dog-friendly community has everything your fur babies could need including 30A Vet, and shops like Furry Fanatics and Dapper Dogs. But, let’s face it, they probably get enough pampering… So what do you say, we focus on you?
Jade Nail Salon and Ocean Elements Day Spa are the perfect places to treat yourself before diving into some shopping time. Or the other way around, of course. Clothing? Jewelry? Art? Home decor? You’ll have no trouble finding a boutique or gallery with your name on it. For some staples, check out SOHO, Affinity, Jewel Toffier, Modus Photography, and Gordie Hinds Art.
Speaking of art…
In the heart of it all, you’ll find the colorful Artists of Gulf Place, a non-profit, artist co-op featuring eight shack-like galleries filled with the art of local 30A artists; everything from jewelry, pottery, photography, and tie-dye art to sculptures, acrylics, hand-painted vintage windows, recycled outdoor furniture, and much more. Keep your eyes peeled for the First Friday Artwalk to experience it all in its prime!
And hey, there’s us!
From the 30A Store, home to all our Official 30A gear to our vintage 30A Radio Airstream, where we host beach-inspired Southern funk, rock and reggae, as well as local artists, interviews, and 30A coverage 24 hours a day.
In a nutshell, Gulf Place has so much to do, see, and explore – all within short walking distance. Yes, even the beach!
Just across the road, you’ll find Ed Walline Beach access to the south and Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar to the east. And… while we’re on the subject of delicious food, trust us when we say, you’ll never go hungry. Explore favorites like The Perfect Pig and Pizza By the Sea.
Plus for a little pro tip, hit up Perfect Pig’s Gourmet Market where you can grab all the fixins for a yummy meal at home. Not to mention, Shunk Liquor Store for a taste of some fresh local brews and spirits like Idyll Hounds, Grayton Beer, and Distillery 98.
The Ultimate Gulf Place Checklist
− Rent an electric bike or paddle board from YOLO Board + Bike and explore as the locals do!
− Measure life by the dozens at Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar
− People watch patio-side with your favorite Sunrise Coffee drink in hand
− Take a picture with all three of their hand-painted turtles – “Miss Lucy,” “Manuelita,” and “Horace” (bonus points if you can name which local artists painted each one!)
− Search for your favorite novelty sweets and ice cream flavors in the vintage candy shop
− Attend a First Friday Artwalk with the Artists at Gulf Place and stay for some live music
− Stock up on your favorite 30A gear and represent your favorite beach town from near and far
− Praise the Lard and see how much bacon you can consume in one sitting at Perfect Pig
− Grab your favorite beer lover and enjoy a flight just up the road at Growler Garage.
Learn more at www.gulfplacefl.com.