VIDEO: Dune Allen Beach: Where Old Florida Charm Meets Tranquil Beauty - 30A



VIDEO: Dune Allen Beach: Where Old Florida Charm Meets Tranquil Beauty

Bookending the far west end of Florida’s Scenic Highway 38, the mostly residential community of Dune Allen Beach has been a family favorite for generations of vacationers. Between the larger modern homes. Going up here, you can still find remnants of the single-story beach bungalows upon which this neighborhood built its laid-back reputation.

On the north side of this two-lane road, you’ll find a couple of 30A’s rare coastal dune lakes, including Allen Lake and Oyster Lake, which is vaguely shaped like an oyster shell, but also reportedly once teamed with the fresh delicacies, too delicious perhaps for their own good. On the south side of Scenic 38, you get glittering glimpses of the Gulf as well as a few nice public beach access parks. Surfside fishing and flip-flops rule this stretch of sand, although world-class dining options are just a short stroll or bike ride away.

Once a fixture at the legendary Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, chef Jim Rashard now commands this culinary end of the beach.

“This is still old Florida. If you go to the east end of our beach, you see the big development and the much larger prices and it’s all beautiful and fun to visit. But when you come to do Allen, if you look around at this lake and you walk across the street to the beach, you can still find a nice serene place to relax,” said Jim Richard.

“And one of the main reasons I live here is that’s the only place that I stop and I sit down and I don’t do anything. Otherwise, if I’m visiting somewhere or if I’m at work or at home, I’m always doing something. But that beach… that remains the same, it’s a place I found where I can really sit down and relax and let everything go and not do a whole lot.”

Just before the road curves back toward reality, you can find Stalworth Lake and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, which ranks as one of Florida’s most treasured natural assets. Topsail’s beaches, majestic sand dunes, and tranquil Coastal dune Lakes have remained virtually untouched throughout the centuries. The preserve includes one of the nicest campgrounds you’ll find in the world, miles of crisscrossing bike trails, sand dunes, some of which tower over 25 feet tall, and 3.2 miles of stunning and secluded beaches. This is the Real Florida. This is Dune Allen Beach.

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