Julie Kerwin Cumby shares some of her favorite tips to experiencing 30A like a local.
Where do you go when you need some quality me-time?
The water. Whether I jump on my board and paddle out to the Bay or head down to Western Lake in Grayton Beach, an early morning SUP session is the best way to reflect and focus on the day (or task) ahead.
What’s your favorite local event?
Artful Night, hands down. It’s a fundraiser for a local school’s scholarship fund and is filled with live music (Zydeco this year!), food, cocktails and a spectacular array of auction items ranging from out of town adventures to one-of-a-kind art pieces from renowned local artists. It’s my favorite night of the year!
What’s your favorite way to spend time outdoors?
If I’m not on my board, I’m on a bike – either my get-anywhere-on-30A-fast 30A electric bike or my hybrid that goes from pavement to trail and everywhere in between. I love that you can explore so much of 30A and South Walton without having to ever hop into a car.
What’s your favorite month on 30A? And why?
May has always been my favorite month along 30A and it’s my #1 recommendation to friends and family who want to see 30A in all its glory. The crowds have quieted, the weather is always perfect – the skies are an exceptional shade of blue – and every weekend hosts a different local festival from wine to art to Derby to 30A’s Locals Last Stand music festival. It’s the perfect time to truly experience the beauty and charm of our community.
What makes living at the beach so special?
Every day here is special. I grew up locally and then studied, worked, lived and traveled around the world before returning home. I can say, wholeheartedly, that there is no place on earth more beautiful than here – and we get to live here every single day!
But beyond our beaches, it’s the people that make living here so unique – their warmth, humor, humility and relaxed attitude says it all. It’s a cool coastal town with a big heart.
Three favorite local spots?
Black Bear Bread Co. It’s not a hidden gem by any means but their incredible menu brings locals here in droves – their steel cut oats may change your life. Camille’s in Crystal Beach has been serving up the coast’s best sushi for years. Its discreet location, lack of advertising and exceptional dishes all add to the appeal of this hidden gem. And for a true locals experience, no list is complete without The Bay. One of South Walton’s few waterfront restaurants, delicious food and great bar selections are complemented by the restaurant’s weekly beach bonfire shindigs and live music that always guarantees a good time.