Q&A: Beach Locals Give You the Scoop

RICHARD OLIVAREZ
Director of Marketing, Ocean Reef Vacation Rentals & Real Estate

1. What makes living at the beach so special?

Being surrounded by all this natural beauty is humbling. Spending time on or by the water grounds me, helps me reset, and makes me appreciative of everything I have in my life.

2. Three favorite local spots?

When Nanbu opened earlier this year, I was like a kid on Christmas morning. The atmosphere is hip, coastal, and just my style. The food is spot on, and I honestly recommend ordering the entire menu.

2 Birds Coffee+Cafe in Miramar Beach is my go-to breakfast spot. Chef Taylor is passionate about food, and he gets pretty creative. I strongly advise you check out their monthly 1-night only Funky Fancy-ish Dinner. It’s a multi-course adventure!

Pickle Factory: When you first walk into this place, you may be confused about exactly what is going on. It’s a Pizza and Thai food restaurant with old school, fresh from your mom’s basement couch seating! Yeah, for real. Try their ultra-thin crust Kee Mao pizza, which is a special blend of ground beef, onions, garlic, chilies, Thai basil, and secret seasonings.

3. Best place for a night out?

I’d choose Grand Boulevard for a night out, usually arriving via golf cart. A nice bottle of wine and the Grand Cru Board from The Wine Bar are always an excellent way to start the night.

4. Most delicious menu item?

With so many great options here in South Walton, I am truly spoiled! If I had to pick one, right now it’d be the Limoncello cake from Amici 30A. It makes me weak in the knees.

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

Locally, I love events and live shows, and a few of my favorite include the 30A Songwriters Festival, Digital Graffiti, and the Mountainfilm Festival. For shows, you’ll find me at The Rep & Emerald Coast Theatre Company.

BONUS: How long have you been a local?

My family moved to the area in 1996 – I was a sophomore in high school. After my senior year, they moved on without me. I fell in love with the beach and decided that this is exactly where I wanted to be.

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.