30A Q&A: Locals Answer Our Fab 5 Questions

CAROLINE STEPHENSON
Mom/writer/student

1. What makes living at the beach so special?

Beach living matches my disposition and personality perfectly. People don’t move here to be miserable or live small, and you genuinely feel that when meeting locals. Everyone here has a story of why they are here and how they drew a line in the sand in their old life.

2. Three favorite local spots?

The Yoga Haus – I wandered into one of the morning classes a few months after I moved here, not knowing what to expect, and had the most amazing mind-body experience. It is by far my absolute favorite place to go around here.

I recently found my way to 30A Wellness Studio in Grayton Beach and I am in love with this hidden treasure.

Black Bear Bread Company – This truly is a special place and for me, not just for their superb goodies. I have had some of my favorite, serendipitous meetings with new friends there. I always seem to run into someone I need to see and hug when I am there. Also? Their banana tartine is boss.

3. Best place for a night out?

I have two daughters, and one of our favorite things to do in the evenings is go to any of the free local music shows happening along 30A. Our favorite place to see local bands for free is at 30Avenue. We have jammed to some sweet yacht rock in Rosemary Beach, too.

4. Most delicious menu item?

98 Barbecue has the yummiest burgers and instead of sliced cheese, I ask for pimento cheese on my cheeseburger. It has become my comfort food here. Just one more…the tacos al pastor at La Chalupita Mexican Market are legit and make my Texan heart happy.

5. What do you like do in your free time?

I am a mom of two daughters (ages 5 and 6), a full-time student at NWFSC, and a freelance writer—all of which I willingly and lovingly chose to keep my days full! I love to read, writer, yoga, play my ukulele, paint, bike ride. I also play kickball with a super fun group of locals through Whole Life Fitness.

Bonus: How long have you been a local?

I moved here in July 2016 from Houston, 3 months after my husband passed away. I had never been here or vacationed here growing up and hadn’t even been to the beach until we were married on it in 2009 at the Santa Rosa Golf and Beach Club (now The Vue on 30A).

Living here was always a “someday” dream, our retirement goals. After he passed, without too much hesitation, I knew where I needed to be. I realized “our” someday wasn’t going to happen, but I didn’t want to let it not happen for our girls. I haven’t let worry or fear deter me from making this unexpected life for us here completely full. I believe with my whole heart we are exactly where we need to be.

Are you a local or know someone who is? Want to be part of our ongoing 30A Q&A series?  Answer the five questions above and send a high-quality headshot (preferably horizontal. Only you in the photo, no kids, no pets, no spouse) to Feedback@30A.com, and we just may include you next! Due to number of submissions, we may not be able to use every submission, but we certainly thank you for taking part!

Enjoy a summer getaway at Alys Beach, the premier luxury resort town on Florida's Gulf Coast. Alys Beach is a unique New Urbanist community that combines stunning architecture with the gracious character of courtyard living. Guests can tailor their vacation to include the finest culinary talents in the region, distinctive shopping choices, outdoor activities on an exclusive beach, winding nature trails, and a state of the art wellness center. The utmost in beauty and luxury awaits.