Highway 30-A is only 18 ½ miles long, but along the way you pass four state parks, 11 rare coastal dune lakes and 11 totally unique tiny beach towns. Dune Allen Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, WaterColor, Seaside, Seagrove Beach, WaterSound Beach, Seacrest Beach, Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach, Inlet Beach and Carillon Beach (just off 30-A, on US98).
Remarkably, all of Highway 30-A's famous beaches are certified as Blue Wave Beaches - recognized for their cleanliness and safety. Some of the dunes along 30A soar 25 feet above sea level. These dunes are home to the endangered Choctawhatchee Beach Mouse, herons, egrets, whitetailed deer, fox, coyote, raccoon, alligator, gopher tortoises and sea turtles who come ashore in late spring and summer to nest.
Back in the good ole days, we rode our horses through these dunes down on the beach. We built bonfires, camped out and fell asleep to the sound of waves rolling in. It was a beautiful way to grow up, and I miss the deserted beaches of my youth, but I have to admit that 30A has grown up beautifully, and the sound of the waves rolling in are still soothing to the soul, even if you are listening to them over a chilled glass of white at Bud & Alley’s.