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Paula

Beach Fanatic
Jan 25, 2005
3,747
442
Michigan but someday in SoWal as well
It really depends on what you want. Each beach community (I think there are 13) and each area of 30A has its own benefits. So, if you posted what you like/don't like, that would help.

For example, if you want to be where the action is and want to walk to a lot of restaurants and shops, there are some communities that fit that. Along with that, comes traffic and congestion, especially in the summer. I

If you want peace and quiet, then there are other communities for that. But where there's peace and quiet you'll have fewer restaurants/activitites/shops within walking distance. Though it's nice not to have as much traffic in the quiet communities.

If you are willing to pay a lot for a week, there are places that fit that; there are also places where you don't pay as much yet are still very nice.

How close do you want to be to a pool, beach? Are porches important to you. Do you like separate buildings (e.g., cottages) or are you happy with condos? Do you want to be closer to Panama City or Destin?

If you decide not to stay in one of the more expensive communities (e.g., Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Watersound, Watercolor, Seaside), which of these communities do you want to be near (e.g., within walking distance or a short drive) so that you can go to their concerts, outdoor movies, shops, restaurants? Are you going with young kids or older kids or no kids?

There are so many great things about so many of the communities, you need to think about what you're looking for. What works great for one person/family may not work as well for another. Heck, wherever you stay you'll have a great time and then you can explore different areas while you're here.

I'm glad this was useful. You can stay at a different place each time until you find the perfect fit. And the perfect fit can change as kids get older, too.
 

rblessed1031

Beach Lover
Jul 14, 2008
156
130
Dune Allen
We are in a townhouse community with about 20 units, so it is not overly crowded. There is a pool and it is about a 2 minute walk to the beach. Easy access to 98 if you want to go to Panama City or Destin. We are in Blue Mountain Beach. Let me know if you would like more info.
 

BeachbumAggie

Beach Fanatic
Jun 6, 2008
799
66
Arlington, TX
I like Seagrove for it's central 30A location. Last year we stayed in the neighborhood behind Angelina's-is that Sugar Beach maybe? In a 3/3 with a open concept living/dining/kitchen and an upstair loft sitting room with sleeper sofa. Front deck on loft level, back deck and front deck on 2nd level, front and back porches ground level and a private pool. Easy walk to the beach. It was on vrbo. I also like Cassine Village and depending on where you are in that neighborhood, some houses are closer to the beach than others and many have pools plus the neighborhood pools and tennis courts and lake and trails. The Grove has really nice houses but it can be a bit of a hike to the beach but you can drive to the beach easily enough. Friends stayed in Magnolia Cottages in Seacrest, 2 nice neighborhood pools but none private and very small lots so very close together.
 

dragonflycafe

Beach Lover
Apr 17, 2009
53
35
We REALLY enjoy the High Pointe condos right next to Rosemary Beach Square (I believe it's officially at Seacreast Beach). It has a fantastic pool, beachside grill and is within walking distance to a bunch of cute shops and restaurants at Rosemary Beach square. I was wary of renting from them (NOT a condo lover/we like our hotels upscale and you never quite know what you are going to get), but was very happy with the place and the service. Like I said - we walked EVERYWHERE. There are dancing fountains across the street too that my kids fell in love with. We spent a lot of time there playing. Last year we rented a condo overlooking the pool (with the gulf in the background) and loved it. It gave us something to look at at night when very dark. This year we are right on the beach. Can't wait.

We would stay in Rosemary Beach 'proper', but our kids are young and we need a pool RIGHT THERE on property. (The pools over there are spread out and toting floats, bags and buckets with two young boys is a hassle) The homes at Rosemary are gorgeous and might rent there when the boys are older.

Seaside is fantastic and I love it. It's too crowded for my husbands taste (lots of cars and slow traffic) but great nonetheless. Alys beach is in between Rosemary and Seacrest - crazy pretty and upscale, but not a lot around it. Fantastic park and coffee shop, but that's about it. But the homes! Wow!

Just to reiterate - certain towns are clustered together on 30A. You can throw a stone from High Pointe condos and hit Rosemary Beach. And you can walk to the park at Alys from High Pointe...etc etc.

Hope that helps!!
 

jomoty

Beach Comber
Mar 2, 2010
11
1
Wow.. what great responses, information and suggestions. It will be only my husband and I (in our mid 50's) and possibly another couple. We don't like to be in too busy of places but perhaps a mile walk would be great to eateries and shops. We love fun, quaint and unique shops. Most definitely we don't want to be isolated.. it's way to quiet but definitely not in the heart of the action. We love to snorkel, collect shells, stroll the beach and just plain watch the ocean from a deck or porch. When we go to Mexico.. we go to the Riviera Maya where it's a lot more quiet. We like to book the 3rd story unit at a hotel/resort and just look out over the ocean. We would be fine with Condo's, townhouses or private cottages. We tend to like the higher view of the water and stairs are fine. A hot tub and swimming pool are nice but not necessary. Our budget is around $1000 a week but less would be grand! Our dates are June 5-12 of this year. I'm so excited about this trip. It all came about when a friend called me with a pair of buddy passes with Delta. I had to make a decision that night (1 hr) or they would expire. In talking with my hubby we decided we wanted to go somewhere we'd never been before. I said "how bout Florida".. then I started looking for beach places that were not overcrowded but beautiful. SoWal seemed to fit what we wanted so here I am. So new and so looking forward to this. Thanks again for your remarks.. I've found that great forums like this one can give out a tremendous amount of "valuable" info :D
 

UofL

Beach Fanatic
Jan 21, 2005
616
203
Louisville KY
It just got tricky. We are 2 families. We need a pool. must be within walking distance. To get what we needed in a price we could afford was just not available the days we are looking.[/QUOTE

Segrove area. Eastern Lake area on either side of the lake. There might be more affordable options.

There is that one group of houses at Grayton with the community pool but I don't know the prices.

We have recently been staying with the Sunburst folks. They have several homes in the Seagrove area near Seaside that are several blocks from 30A but all have pools. Further away from the beach - more reasonable the price.
 
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