SoWal Beach Town Spots Where We Love to Rise & Shine
April 30, 2019 by Molly Parker
SoWal Mornings are made for breakfast outside, people watching, and exploring. Each of our truly unique beach towns has their own way of showing you their best bright and early.
Gulf Place is our artsy little beach town center to the west and has 3 amazing options. Coffee and a donut? Check out Sunrise Coffee. A great spot for a quick bite and lots of 30A people watching. Lounge in their beach chairs on the sidewalk while taking in the action of Ed Walline public beach access which is one of our biggest public accesses right across the street. For more of a sit down breakfast The Perfect Pig or La Playa both have great views and large menus to cater to anyone's cravings - from Huevos Rancheros to French toasted brioche bread with powdered sugar served with berry butter. Gulf place has you covered.
Blue Mountain Beach
High Point at Blue Mountain Beach is your one stop shop for breakfast, bikes and provisions. Fresh baked cinnamon buns from Blue Mountain Bakery, a Smoothie and everything else you need for your beach day from For The Health of It and then it’s time to burn off those calories on your rented bike from Big Daddy’s Bike Shop. They have the knowledge to help you choose a bike to suit your style and to explore SoWal on two wheels.
Fine art and good eats go together in Grayton Beach bright and early. Black Bear Bread Company in the Shops of Grayton, aptly named for a mama Florida black bear that would occasionally forage the “starter” bread dough from the trash bins behind the bakery for her cubs, is the yummy spot cooked up by restaurateur Dave Rauschkolb and Chef Phil McDonald. Stumptown coffee and pastries or buttermilk biscuit sandwiches get you going and then check out the local artist galleries: next door is Mary Hong's Gallery and Shard Shop, across the way is the Andy Saczynski Gallery and in the Grayton Plaza just north is Moon Creek Gallery featuring SoWal photos ...just to name a few.
Outdoor enthusiasts flock to WaterColor for its proximity to Western Lake and it's sprawling parks, manicured greenways and nature trails. The Western Lake Boathouse offers a variety of fun activities including RUN/SUP, a fitness concept involving running and standup paddling, or just a spot to admire the tranquil water. But you don't have to be a fitness fanatic to get out on the lake and enjoy the best of the natural world in SoWal - first timers of all ages welcome!
Where do we start: Coffee or Mimosas? Amavida serves you a delectable, roasted-with-love, delicious cup of organic coffee with a counter full of breakfast choices. Then head over to Modica Market for a giant, fresh squeezed mimosa to drink while you browse for the perfect vacation read at Sundog Books. You may find yourself there so long it’s time for lunch. In that case, Bud and Alley's or Great Southern Cafe has you covered for southern coastal cuisine with plenty of people watching. By the way, these two are also open for breakfast. So. Many. Choices!
Charlie’s Donut Truck sells super-fresh donuts and pastries (delivered daily from Charlie's bakery), plus hot coffee, cold drinks and more. It's parked on the west side of the town amphitheater in Alys Beach. Kids can play in the splash pad while you order your yummy treats! Fonville Park to the west is a great spot for the kiddos to romp, and when they get some of that energy out, walk south across Scenic 30A to Turtle Bale Springs to see baby sea turtles emerging from their eggs and sea turtle mommas lounging by the fountain.
Rise and grind! Grits and Grind in Seacrest Village serves breakfast every morning from their sister restaurant, La Cocina. So you get the most important meal of the day in a festive atmosphere, or out on the patio where you can soak up the sunshine. After a big breakfast pop into the shops or rent a bike at Peddlers Pavilion and see the east end.
Start your day with a Spanish Style Omelet folded with Heirloom Tomatoes, Peruvian Peppers, Manchego, and Herbs. Um, YUM! Havana Beach Bar & Grill is inspired by Hemingway’s Cuba with all the nuances of living, eating and drinking well. Located at The Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach just steps away from the Western Green to the south and Barrett Square to the north.
The Market Shops is buzzing in the morning with food and fitness. Maple Street Biscuit Company serves up “comfort food with a twist.” Want something lighter? Coffee and pastry from Amavida or cold pressed juice from Clean Juice and then take advantage of Free Fitness on the Lawn during the summer months.