Mike Matz

Broker / Owner



30 Tips from 30A Locals

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30 Tips from 30A Locals

(courtesy of 30a.com)


Ever dream of moving to the beach? Before you do, there’s a ‘secret code’ that permeates our laid-back flip-flop culture. After you’ve been around for a while, you’ll gradually figure some of these things out on your own. But for anyone who wants to study-up in advance, here are 30 tips from 30A locals that will help you ease right in…


KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Heed our beach flag system!
1. “Always pay attention our beach flag system, and swim near one of the nine lifeguard towersstationed at our public beach accesses.”
– Rick Talbert, South Walton Fire District
2. “Don’t text and drive any time, but especially not on 30A. There are simply too many pedestrians and cyclists.”
– Dave Rauschkolb, Bud & Alley’s
3. “Pack healthy snacks for your beach days! At 91% water, watermelon is a perfect snack to keep you hydrated and satisfied.”
– Joe & Crissy Thibodeau, ThiBod Fitness
Fins always go UP and to the FRONT.
4. “When putting a surf or SUP board on top of your vehicle, make sure the fin is always turnedup and to the front.”
– Bobby Johnson, 30A LP
5. “The best way to find a credible babysitter when you’re visiting is to ask your server at one of our local restaurants. They know almost everyone and can recommend someone with a good reputation.”
– Nikki Nickerson, Cowgirl Kitchen
6. “Even if you have to work while you’re here, at least take time to enjoy the beaches by connecting to your ‘hotspot’ under a beach umbrella. You’ll feel creative, inspired and have a sense of accomplishment.”
– David Cochrane, 30A.it
7. “Avoid the grocery store at all cost on Saturday night. Either go mid-day Saturday as soon as you get to town or first thing Sunday morning. This is coming from a 27-year local who does a lot of grocery shopping.”
– Hunter Davis, The Dish & The Spoon
8. “Take break from the Gulf and walk to one 30A’s rare coastal dune lakes. The water is warm and calm, so they’re perfect for red flag days and super fun for kids. These lakes are only found in a couple of places in the world and are a great place to catch fish and crabs.”
– Tracy Louthain, TLC Communications
9. “Bring your flops! ‘Resort casual’ sums us up in regards to attire. We still welcome dressing to the nines — just do it in flip-flops or flat sandals.”
– Neely Butler, LMN Boutique
Point Washington State Forest
10. “Unless you simply prefer pavement or want to be noticed while running, try running the state forest trails to experience some of the best scenery around 30A.”
– Daniel Walker, BBRE
11. “Don’t let your children on bike path with out a helmet. Don’t think it won’t happen to you or your child. If you don’t believe me, call Sacred Heart Hospital.”
– Jane Solomon
12. “Success on 30A isn’t measured by how much money you have, but by how much time you’re able to spend on the beach.”
— Chef Phillip McDonald
13. “When you go beach, take an old sheet to lay down on the sand first, and then put your towel on top of it. It will keep the sand from embedding in your towel and is much lighter than carrying a bulky beach chair.”
– Elisabeth Stone, St. Joe Club & Resorts
Always use a leash to help control your board.
14. “When paddling, make sure you give your self adequate space from other paddlers and visitors. A stray paddle board can quickly become very dangerous. Also make sure you have a leash. That way when you fall and your board shoots out from under you, you won’t hurt someone playing in the water ahead.”
– Landon Brasseur,BeautifulBeach.com
15. “If you’re looking for the perfect surf fishing spot, look down the shore to a spot where the waves aren’t breaking on the sandbar. This is an outflow, and it’s where the fish will be entering and leaving the inside slough as soon as the tide starts moving. Cast your bait into one of these spots and hold on tight!”
– Russel Chiodo, Russ Chiodo Writing & Editing
16. “If you drive to Destin when it rains, bring your patience… and pack a lunch.”
– Stacey Scholl Troy, Bistro Bijoux
Beach cruisers are 30A’s preferred mode of transportation.
17. “Unless you are a skilled cyclist, please stay on the bike path.“
– Buz Livingston, Livingston Financial
18. “Have sunscreen with you at all times.”
– Laura Hydle
19. “Walk where you can and leave your car parked as much as possible.”
– Maggie Brady Roth
20. “Essentially, we live in wetlands criss-crossed with roads and paths. Snakes who do not travel on water, travel on those roads and paths. Always keep an eye to the ground, especially in the morning after a ‘cooler than normal’ evening.”
– Billy Johnson, X Design Alliance
Plastic tumblers make the perfect beach buddy.
21. “No really, don’t bring glass to the beach… especially glass beer bottles. You might remember the bottle but easily forget the cap which becomes a rusty and sharp piece of metal that can become lodged in your foot.”
– Rebecca A. Huber, The REP Theatre
22. “When you check-out on Saturday, leave very early in the morning or stick around 30A for lunch. If you leave at 10:00 AM like everyone else, you’ll be sitting in the parking lot known as Highway 331 for several hours.”
– Brooke Jackson, Nick’s on the Beach
23. “Just because you’re in a golf cart doesn’t mean you can drive 15mph in a 35mph zone. Please pull over so the train of cars behind you can get by.”
– Christopher Ray
Turtle season runs from May 1 – October 31.
24. “Help protect our Sea Turtles during their nesting season. When spending time on the beach after dark, always use a red-emitting flashlight, which turtles can’t see. These are available on the Internet and at some local beach stores. Keep any lights that can be seen from the beach turned off. When you leave for the night, fill in all holes in the sand, smooth out your sandcastles, and take your ‘stuff’ off the beach. Finally, report any sea turtle activity to theSouth Walton Turtle Watch.”
– Kate Johnson, Beach To Bayou Property Inspections
25. “A closed mouth gathers no foot, so don’t talk outside of school. We all know each other down here.”
– Andrew McAlexander, Mac Farms
26. “We know you’re on vacation and want to have a good time. Please remember to bring along your courtesy and common sense. Just like American Express — ‘Don’t leave home without it.’”
– Alan Riehl, Coastal Customs & Restorations
27. “Respect the Beach.”
– JoAnne Jones, Tommy Sholes Inc. Appraisers~Realtors
A recent Vince Vaughn sighting.
28. “You might spot a celebrity or two while you’re here, but just like our local marine and wildlife, please don’t molest or feed them.”
– Mike Ragsdale, 30A
29. “Never eat the yellow sand.”
– George Wickey, The 30A Book
30. “Slow down. You’re here.” 
– Jamey Price, Grayton Beer Company
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