Rosemary Beach & 30A- All Your Questions Answered!

So many of you reached out to me with questions about 30A and Rosemary beach while we were there last month so I decided it was time to do a proper post on my favorites.  While I’ve posted about our vacations before I figured this time I would do more of a “frequently asked questions” about 30A. 

Rosemary Beach Green 

For those of you unfamiliar- 30A is a stretch of highway (well it’s more like one lane each way but they call it a highway) that runs between Inlet Beach and San Destin on the panhandle of Florida. It is scattered with adorable little beach towns like Rosemary Beach, Seacrest Beach, Seaside, Watersound and more.  We discovered it a few years ago when looking for a fun getaway for my mom’s 60thbirthday and completely fell in love! I know lots of people are just discovering this area while many people have been vacationing here for years.  

Where do you fly into? 
 We usually stay in Rosemary Beach or Seacrest Beach so we fly into Panama City Airport.  It’s about a 30 minute drive from the airport to Rosemary.  We are lucky that Southwest flies directly from Baltimore to Panama City and since Kyle travels so much we’re able to pretty much fly free.  It’s about a 2 hour flight there and 1 hour 45 min home which is totally doable with young kids.  

Do you rent a car?  If you were without kids would you still rent one? How do you get around?  
Yes we always rent a car. That is because we travel with our kids so we need car seats to get around.  If you are alone I think you could do either depending on where you are staying.  If you’re staying in Rosemary Beach or Seaside and don’t plan to explore you don’t need a car because everything is walkable.  
We also rent bikes for the week because while everything is really close it’s easier/faster to bike around than walk.  This will be the first year we’re renting bikes for the boys and not using the bike trailer so we’ll see how that goes!  I’m afraid there will be a lot of whining ;) 

Beach chairs?  Do you travel with them? 
Pretty much all the neighborhoods/houses you rent have a beach chair service available for your stay. This is usually an additional cost and is based on a daily or weekly rental rate.  The beach service you use differs depending on if you’re in Rosemary, Seacrest or Alys Beach. I’m not familiar with Seaside/Watersound so I’m not sure if they have the same services or not.  

Where do you stay on 30A? Hotel or VRBO?
We usually stay in Rosemary Beach or Seacrest Beach which is right next to Rosemary. We always rent a house to stay in.  Since it’s usually big group of us a VRBO makes sense.  There also aren’t a lot of hotels/resorts on 30A so renting through VRBO, Homeaway or one of the local rental companies makes the most sense. We also want the option to make our own breakfast, lunch and dinner a few nights a week. This year when we go in June we’re renting through Rosemary Beach Cottage Rentals but when we went for spring break in April we rented a small 2 bedroom house through VRBO.   

What are your favorite places to eat- breakfast, dinner, kid friendly?  
Ahhh I feel like I could talk about food all day on 30A.  I’m going to try to break it down by category and meals if that helps 

-      The Donut Hole in Inlet Beach 
-      Grits & Grind in Seacrest Beach
-      Charlie’s Donut Truck in Alys Beach 
-      Big Bad Breakfast in Inlet Beach- we haven’t tried this yet but heard good things about it and are planning to try it in June so I’ll report back. 
-      Amavida Coffee & Tea in Rosemary Beach- if you need a quick cup of good coffee  

-      Cowgirl Kitchen in Rosemary Beach 
-      Summer Kitchen Café in Rosemary Beach 
-      Crabby Steve’s in Seacrest Beach- this is a spot right on the beach where you can get fun frozen drinks or a quick lunch to go or sit down and eat it there.  
-      George’s in Alys Beach- a favorite for dinner but great lunch spot too 
-      Bud & Alleys in Seaside
-      Barefoot BBQ  (Kyle had a pulled pork sandwich and Miller had a hotdog) and The Meltdown on 30A (I had the pimento cheese grilled cheese it was so good!)  in the Seaside Airstream Row

Dinner that has good food but is still kid friendly: 
-      George’s in Alys Beach
-      Edward’s in Rosemary Beach 
-      Southside Slice Pizzeria in Rosemary Beach  (the best pizza in Rosemary Beach!) 
-      The Hub in Watersound Beach (so many food options and your kids can run around and play the whole time) I had a taco from Macho Taco that I loved and the kids had hotdogs and chicken tenders from Mile Marker Fifteen and then ice cream from Frost Bites.  On Wednesday's they have family movie night and we watched part of The Sandlot when we were there which my kids loved ;) 
-      Great Southern Café in Seaside (the best fried green tomatoes we’ve ever ha!) 
-  Great Southern's b.f.f. - if you want to start your night with a fun cocktail then stop by b.f.f. for a delicious frozen drink!  I had the Frose and Kyle had the b.f.f. 

Dinner without the kids: 
-      Pescado in Rosemary Beach- the food is delicious and they have an awesome roof top bar 
-      Paradis in Rosemary Beach - my parents go here every year and love it! They said the food is some of the best 
-      Caliza in Alys Beach- this has such a fun pool side atmosphere and the food is delicious. 
-  45 Central Wine & Sushi Bar in Seaside- this is on our need to try list!  I love a good wine and sushi bar, so maybe we'll get to it this year 

What activities do you do with your kids?
Honestly my kids are big beach kids and could stay there all day so that is usually what we do.  We also always rent a house with a pool so that we have that option if it’s too hot on the beach or one of the kids needs to nap/rest then the older ones can play in the pool.  There is a community pool and community playground in Rosemary Beach proper which we've enjoyed. 
There is a splash pad in Alys Beach right by Charlie's Donut truck and a small playground that was part of the old Fonville Press (I believe it is still there).  There are also lots of huge greens in Rosemary where your kids can just run around and play.  
We have been (fingers crossed!) lucky to not have had too many rainy days when we’re down there so we haven’t had to look for indoor things to do. 

Shopping! I know you love to shop do you have any places you like to shop on 30A?  
-      Willow Boutique in Rosemary Beach- is one of my favorite places to browse! They do carry a lot of higher end name brands so it can be pricey  
-      Ophelia Swimwear in Seacrest Beach- this is a swimsuit store and they have so many pretty options 
-      Gigi’s Kids Fashion and Toys in Rosemary Beach- my kids love to stop in Gigi’s first thing and beg my parents to buy them a toy!  They also have the most adorable kids clothes and it always takes all my willpower not to buy everything for the boys.  
-      Hissyfits Boutique in Rosemary Beach- this is a fun boutique with some more affordable options that have clothes, jewelry accessories and shoes.  I found an adorable off the shoulder top here last year that I still love 
-      Rosemary Beach Trading Company in Rosemary Beach-  if you’re looking for some souvenirs to take home from your travels this is the perfect spot to get all your Rosemary Beach goodies. We usually get a Christmas tree ornament from here every year and hats or tshirts for the boys. 
-      Tracery Interiors in Rosemary Beach-  if you’re looking for some gorgeous home inspiration make sure to stop in to Tracery.  I want to buy everything every time we go.   

I think that is everything for now! If I missed anything of you have any other questions about Rosemary Beach let me know! We will be back down in just five weeks and I cannot wait!! 



  1. I'm hoping we make it to 30A this year, finally. Saving this amazing post for when we do!!

  2. We go to Sandestin every year and absolutely love it! We have gone to Seaside but Rosemary is on our list, too! (And yay for traveling husbands who give us this perk of them being gone: free/discounted travel!)

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