If you grew up in the South then you’ve probably been to the panhandle of Florida. I will argue that the beaches around the Gulf of Mexico are some of the prettiest beaches in the US. With the white sand and crystal blue water it makes it hard to go anywhere else!
We have traveled all across the panhandle from Gulf Shore to Destin to Panama City, but my favorite is the small little strip known as 30A.
This area stretches from Blue Mountain Beach down to Rosemary Beach and is perfect for families. There are a few little beach towns within 30A and all are unique in their own little way. We usually stay in Blue Mountain Beach because you can usually find better rates. Most people book with VRBO, HomeAway or AirBnB. We stayed at the cutest 4-bedroom home just a few blocks from the beach and would be perfect for 2 families. The other great thing about 30A is you can rent bikes or golf carts and get around much easier! There are plenty of grocery stores in the area but my favorite tip is to use Shipt! You can order your groceries online and have them delivered when you arrive. It seriously saves 2 hours of beach time! And if you go during the busy season the grocery stores are a nightmare, especially on Saturdays.
Some of the best places to eat are along 30A. In Blue Mountain we love Trebeche and Stinky’s Fish Camp!
If you go down to Seaside you can find more restaurants and the cutest little airstreams with all kinds of food! We ate at The Great Southern Café and it did not disappoint! You must try the shrimp and grits! If you go early they even have a great happy hour with drinks and oysters. Pretty much any type of seafood dish you can imagine! The kids even love it and after dinner the kids can run around or go get ice cream! Seaside is a great place to go for a stroll after dinner with lots of shops! Some nights they even have live music or other performances on the stage.
If you go a few miles down, you will also find The Hub where we went one night with the kids! They also have live music and event with an outdoor food court. With everything from pizza to BBQ it’s another great place to enjoy food and drinks while the kids run around!
We were able to escape one evening for a date night to George’s in Alys Beach. Alys is beautiful with it’s all white buildings. George’s was very nice. You must try the lobster quesadilla and whatever the chefs has for fish special! Be sure to walk upstairs and take a picture with the gorgeous view of Alys.
My next suggestion would be to go down to Rosemary Beach. It really is the cutest little area. It reminds me of an old town with the cobble streets and boutique shops. It’s also a great place to stay. The Pearl Hotel is beautiful. If you can escape another night without the kids go the Pearl’s rooftop bar and enjoy a drink while watching the sunset, then after head to dinner at Restaurant Paradis. Another great date night spot!
If you ask the kids about their favorite place to eat, they would say the Donut Hole! If you do not have time to enjoy a meal, make time to stop by for Donuts! The breakfast really is great. The pancakes are some of the best pancakes with the perfect amount of sweetness and they have plenty of omelet and other egg options to choose from!
There are so many other great places to eat and try but hope this gets you started! And I always say a rainy day at the beach is still better than a pretty day at home doing laundry!