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UofL

Beach Fanatic
Jan 21, 2005
618
203
Louisville KY
We avoid Spring Break & Fall Break. We stay at Seaside and avoid driving anywhere, unless we hop on 395. We returned Sun day from a wonderful first week. We lucked out. Beach. No issues. We did avoid town center after 9:00 pm, I guess because we hung out for pre and post sunset at our beach then went back to our rental. But reading comments about how bad the teenagers were/are at Seaside. It's become PCB West. And this was a quiet week. Does Seaside not ask for help? Does Walton County not care since rentals are full & people are spending money? The number of comments I see (on a Facebook page) are: a local, never go to Seaside (of course $ parking now); visitors hate the beach situation & Seaside. Time to nip it in the bud? No really. Car limit/turn around at 395 and 283? Found one person who loves the chaos. Realtor/local. He said he loves it.
Where did we spend our money? Great Southern, Red Bar, Modica, Publix, Cowgirl Kitchen, Wine World, Craft Beer bar, Seaside shops. (And Idyllhound & Grayton Breweries) The water and weather were so perfect that we didn't have time to do much more.
Ellen
 

Charles Evans

Beach Comber
Oct 31, 2017
48
33
62
Santa Rosa Beach
It is a shame how they destroyed what was paradise ten years ago. Have to compete with beach vendors for a seat on the beach, traffic is awful a good bit of the time, development is out of control, which will only make traffic worse and the County is run by good old boys, dirty lawyers and lazy politicians, who all have their hand in the cookie jar, directly or indirectly. At some point, 30a will become impassable. They have watered down the best part of the 30a experience by over doing what the area was once good at, instead of several very well done wine festivals, now there are over ten, mediocre festivals, so we just quit attending. Luckily, the housing market remains red hot, so after 10 years, we sold our home for a ridiculous #, and fled to greener pastures in SC, where County government is competent, development proceeds on a reasoned basis subject to a long term plan that addresses infrastructure and traffic issues well in advance. Loved our time on 30a, but, as a full timer, the magic disappeared several years ago.
 

Teresa

SoWal Guide
Staff member
Nov 15, 2004
28,575
3,923
South Walton, FL
sowal.com
We avoid Spring Break & Fall Break. We stay at Seaside and avoid driving anywhere, unless we hop on 395. We returned Sun day from a wonderful first week. We lucked out. Beach. No issues. We did avoid town center after 9:00 pm, I guess because we hung out for pre and post sunset at our beach then went back to our rental. But reading comments about how bad the teenagers were/are at Seaside. It's become PCB West. And this was a quiet week. Does Seaside not ask for help? Does Walton County not care since rentals are full & people are spending money? The number of comments I see (on a Facebook page) are: a local, never go to Seaside (of course $ parking now); visitors hate the beach situation & Seaside. Time to nip it in the bud? No really. Car limit/turn around at 395 and 283? Found one person who loves the chaos. Realtor/local. He said he loves it.
Where did we spend our money? Great Southern, Red Bar, Modica, Publix, Cowgirl Kitchen, Wine World, Craft Beer bar, Seaside shops. (And Idyllhound & Grayton Breweries) The water and weather were so perfect that we didn't have time to do much more.
Ellen
HI ellen. What is your experience like in Seaside and along the beaches during your recent stays? Thanks for taking the time to post about your trips here over the years!

I love living bayside in the woods and enjoy visiting our parks and beaches and towns whenever possible. Usually we can gauge when the best times to go where without a lot of hassle. But this past year has been different as we've hardly had any break in tourist crowds. Still we're able to get to the beach for sunset or hike parks and trails around town. We usually stick to restaurants along 98 if going out.

Looking forward to visiting favorite restaurants and shops in beach communities, since being fully vaccinated... But maybe not much during the summer which is typical for many locals like us. We have patience and will continue to enjoy local life as we always have. Choosing activities in places with as few crowds as possible such as an Eden Gardens picnic, an art gallery, hiking or biking in the state forest or parks, kayaking in the bayous and bay, excursions to small Florida towns etc.
Occasionally we do enjoy getting in the middle of it when the mood hits for shopping and dining.

South Walton growth and development are not new and we are still a baby town with a lot to come. Not much of any kind of effective local government but not new there either. I will always be thankful for the preserved 40% lands in SoWal. And no high-rise development. We have an outstanding professional fire department dedicated to serving and protecting South Walton, we enjoy good schools, and have many wonderful families, neighbors and active community members all around us.

I haven't given up on dreams of South Walton growing up and finally becoming an incorporated town with local leadership and more say in our own destiny. Or Customary Use of our beaches. It will take time. We will get there.
 
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Pura.Vida

Beach Comber
Jun 12, 2019
28
7
Seacrest
We avoid Spring Break & Fall Break. We stay at Seaside and avoid driving anywhere, unless we hop on 395. We returned Sun day from a wonderful first week. We lucked out. Beach. No issues. We did avoid town center after 9:00 pm, I guess because we hung out for pre and post sunset at our beach then went back to our rental. But reading comments about how bad the teenagers were/are at Seaside. It's become PCB West. And this was a quiet week. Does Seaside not ask for help? Does Walton County not care since rentals are full & people are spending money? The number of comments I see (on a Facebook page) are: a local, never go to Seaside (of course $ parking now); visitors hate the beach situation & Seaside. Time to nip it in the bud? No really. Car limit/turn around at 395 and 283? Found one person who loves the chaos. Realtor/local. He said he loves it.
Where did we spend our money? Great Southern, Red Bar, Modica, Publix, Cowgirl Kitchen, Wine World, Craft Beer bar, Seaside shops. (And Idyllhound & Grayton Breweries) The water and weather were so perfect that we didn't have time to do much more.
Ellen
In my short time here, I come to quickly realize that SoWal is a landlord and renters’ town. Accommodations are made to value and promote this economy. Seaside is merely a product of this culture. So, we should not be surprised by what is happening. Landlords collect the benefits of rental income while not having to deal with the frustrations or inconveniences their renters create for others.
 

Gulfair

Beach Lover
Apr 27, 2009
67
8
I've been vacationing on 30A from the beginning. It all changed around 2006.
From Dune Allen to Rosemary it's complete madness thanks to social media and the many developers who lack a conscious. However, 30A WILL survive...
 
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Bob Wells

Beach Fanatic
Jul 25, 2008
3,271
1,260
It is a shame how they destroyed what was paradise ten years ago. Have to compete with beach vendors for a seat on the beach, traffic is awful a good bit of the time, development is out of control, which will only make traffic worse and the County is run by good old boys, dirty lawyers and lazy politicians, who all have their hand in the cookie jar, directly or indirectly. At some point, 30a will become impassable. They have watered down the best part of the 30a experience by over doing what the area was once good at, instead of several very well done wine festivals, now there are over ten, mediocre festivals, so we just quit attending. Luckily, the housing market remains red hot, so after 10 years, we sold our home for a ridiculous #, and fled to greener pastures in SC, where County government is competent, development proceeds on a reasoned basis subject to a long term plan that addresses infrastructure and traffic issues well in advance. Loved our time on 30a, but, as a full timer, the magic disappeared several years ago.
You think it was only in the last 10 years?
 
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