VIDEO: Discover Seagrove's Timeless Charm - From Scenic Dirt Roads to Culinary Delights - 30A


VIDEO: Discover Seagrove’s Timeless Charm – From Scenic Dirt Roads to Culinary Delights

Families have been making the pilgrimage to Seagrove soothing shores since at least the 1940s when Scenic Highway 30 A wasn’t a highway at all. It was a dirt road, although I’m pretty sure it was still scenic. Today, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of those pioneering beach bums returned to kickback in some of the very same cinder block cottages of their youth.

Seagrove is home to a mix of authentically local restaurants and shops, all just a short stroll or bike ride away.

Once the only local gas station and grocery store in the region, Seagrove Village Market Cafe is a true 30A institution serving up deep-fried love since 1949.

“This is downtown and that kind of matters. This little piece of dirt is, like I say, it’s been here for a long time and everybody knows exactly what it is,” said George Hartley, owner of Seagrove Village Marketcafe. “I think like Grayton, it’s been here for a long time. It’s historical. Grayton has been since what, 1894, Seagrove since 1949. Seaside came along in the eighties and it’s just a place that’s been here forever and it’s families that have been here for decades and we are now feeding their grandkids.”

“But when I first bought the market, there was a cigar box full of keys under the counter, and I was like, ‘What is this?’ Betsy and Ernie, who I bought it from, said, ‘Oh, everybody in town leaves their keys here if the plumber comes by and needs to get in because they all live in Montgomery or Birmingham.’ So you have everybody’s house keys and I still have a few after all these years, I still have a few house keys. This place is known for its grill. Group of sandwiches is great, but the fried grouper sandwich and the fried shrimp, that’s what it’s all about. The fried oysters. The fried shrimp, oh boy. Literally changed my life. Yes. Quite literally. It got me in the restaurant business,” said George.

Just down the way, the 30A store in Seagrove routinely hosts live music on its brick paver plaza, and it serves up ice-cold 30A craft beer and wine, along with a unique line of apparel made from recycled plastic water bottles. Pedal West on a 30A electric bike to visit the famous communities of Seaside, WaterColor, and Grayton Beach, or go east to marvel at the planned and quite grand communities of WaterSound, Alys Beach, and Rosemary Beach. For the more adventurous, the adjacent Eastern Lake Trail system features 3.5, 6- and 10-mile loops that gently weave through tranquil pine forests.

One of 30A’s best-kept secrets. Well, until now at least, is Deer Lake State Park, comprised of 1,920 acres along Seagrove’s far Eastern edge. The park’s extraordinarily long. The boardwalk makes it pretty impractical for exhausted moms and dads who don’t feel much like lugging heavy chairs, coolers, and beach toys, a quarter mile down to the sand. But for those who do go to the long extra effort, your reward is breathtaking. Now this is a pilgrimage worth making.

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