Mike Matz

Broker / Owner



30a Paradise

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Since the very beginning of time, mankind has demonstrated a special knack for ruining a perfectly decent Paradise. It seems to be somehow ingrained into our genetic code. As picture-perfect as any place may be, we tend to believe that we can somehow improve upon it.

That’s always been the problem with writing about an “undiscovered” piece of pristine paradise—as soon as a few folks learn about it, you can bet that it won’t be too long before there are condo towers, water slides, goofy golfs and loud cannons blasting off to spoil that otherwise serene sunset.

Time and time again, Paradise is lost. Lost to greed, poor execution or just a general lack of vision.

But it would be tough to argue that Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A hasn’t already been discovered. Even though the community only has about 12,000 full-time residents, some 3 million people visit the area every year, mostly during the hot summer months. 30A.com—the digital sage that chronicles life in this small beach town—has over 240,000 Facebook fans. To put that number into some perspective, 30A.com’s following is bigger than the populations of many major U.S. cities, including Birmingham, AL (population: 212,038); Baton Rouge, LA (230,058); Little Rock, AR (195,314); Reno, NV (231,027); Knoxville, TN (180,761); Jackson, MS (175,561) and Tallahassee, FL (182,965).

And Yahoo! recently named 30A one of the 10 BEST BEACH DESTINATIONS in the world. Not in Florida. Not in the Southeast. Not in the United States.

In. The. World.

But although 30A itself may no longer be a secret, there’s certainly a secret formula behind its success. 30A hasn’t somehow magically “retained” its charm. Its charm has been crafted; cultivated. It didn’t happen by accident. In fact, it’s all by design. 

The communities here enthusiastically embrace the simple splendor of the great outdoors. Rather than paving paradise, local visionaries sought early on to protect it. In fact, over 40 percent of the land on this peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay is protected natural habitat. That means there’s over 25,000 acres of undeveloped land here to explore by foot, bike or waterway.

Perhaps the best way to explore local waterways is via Stand-up Paddle Board—or YOLO Boarding as it’s known here, after the  Santa Rosa Beach-based company who helped put paddle boarding on the mainstream map. With the Gulf of Mexico, Choctawhatchee Bay, Intracoastal Canal, rivers and 15 rare coastal dune lakes, 30A is truly a paddler’s paradise..

This is truly an amazing place to live or visit..To describe it does no justice, to witness it’s beauty is breathtaking.

If you happen to visit and see any real estate that interests you please contact us!

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30A Mason Jars, Just in time for summer!

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Every true Southerner knows that it’s not a REAL party, unless you find yourself sipping from a mason jar. The problem is, glass just isn’t cool at the beach, or on a boat or out by the pool.

Problem solved….

Our new 25-ounce Plastic 30A Mason Jars not only let you take the fun anywhere, they even come with color-coded jar lids and straws, so you can keep your drinks straight as the party goes on.

There won’t be another breakthrough in Southern Drinking Technology like this for at least another 25 years!

You can find these cute affordable mason jars at 30agear.com for $13.95 each.


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Bears in South Walton!!

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Here in South Walton, spring temperatures  means more opportunities for potential encounters with some of our longtime locals: Florida black bears. In fact, Florida’s black bear population is on the rise, with sightings doubling statewide to nearly 6,200 every year.

Black bears have always occupied the woodlands around 30A, and even though 40 percent of the land here in South Walton is protected habitat, development has inevitably encroached onto their home. A balance between preserving nature and ensuring personal safety remains the joint goal of the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. That partnership was demonstrated in September when a black bear required relocation because it was confused and hid under a bus at Butler Elementary school in Dune Allen Beach.

In their natural environment, black bears mostly dine on plants such as buds and grass, as well as insects and small mammals. But in situations where people and bears intermingle, bears tend to view our garbage as an all-you-can-eat buffet. Rodriguez said that if homeowners can afford bear-proof trash receptacles, they are effective in keeping bears away, but even putting the garbage out on the morning of trash pick-up (instead of the night before) can be a huge deterrent to nighttime trash raids. Bears that discover a garbage feast during the night can get all too comfortable and might even come back during daylight hours for a second round. After a while, bears can become quite accustomed to humans, and that’s when they begin to pose a serious threat to public safety.



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30A Dog Tales

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Literally, everywhere you look on 30A you see folks walking their dogs – a sign of good people, to me. I talked to a few of them and thought I’s share their stories with you.

At Pickles, a restaurant in Seaside on 30A, a couple sat outside having lunch with their little dog perched on Mom’s lap.”We got Charlotte from the Humane Society four years ago. She was skittish at first so we think she was abused. And look at her now!” Charlotte has bright eyes and a long silky white coat. She was enjoying the nibbles that Mom was giving her from her lunch. You’d never suspect she may have been abused from the way she expects and accepts pats from passers by.

Bob walked briskly by on the bike path that runs the length of 30A with Boomer, a Yellow Lab mix who was filled with happy energy.”I got Boomer when my son divorced and had to give up the dog. He had just turned two and was quite a handful. He was as big as he is now, but still acted like a pup.” Boomer sat by Bob’s side as we spoke.”We live in Grayton Beach which is just perfect for a big guy like Boomer. And it’s perfect for a guy like me!’ Boomer seemed to agree.

Knox, an intelligent and very well trained Black Lab, lives next door in Blue Mountain Beach. Karen’s former dog died and she swore she’d never have another.As the months went by, Karen started thinking that if she ever had another dog, she’d name it Knox. Next thing she knew, she took the leap and she got her dog! Knox loves to swim in the Gulf of Mexico and chase the tennis ball around the green at Gulf Place. Karen can’t imagine life without her buddy. Knox agrees.

Sugar Bear, a Golden Retriever mix, seems to have two owners.Owner number one is an older lady who lives in Blue Mountain Beach . Her neighbor. Kieth, walks Sugar Bear a couple times a day – an arrangement all three of them seem to love. Sugar Bear was a rescue dog and was fortunate enough to fall into a really good situation. He gets a lot of attention from both owners – or does he own them?

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