HomeUnited StatesThis Scenic Drive Lets You Explore Northwest Florida on Your Own

This Scenic Drive Lets You Explore Northwest Florida on Your Own

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Have you ever heard of the 30A scenic route in Florida? It assumed the nickname the “Hamptons of the South” because several celebrities like Sandra Bullock and Reese Witherspoon call it home. The name gives you an idea of ​​how amazing the place is, not to mention that a number of stars own beach houses there (including Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson). This 38km road runs along the seafront of the Florida Panhandle between Destin and Panama City, with paradisiacal beach views of the Gulf of Mexico. Imagine walking along miles of crystal clear beaches.

© Google Maps

To mark the launch of new episodes of Wanderlust: Florida, a series airing on The Weather Network starting February 20, I’m offering a four-stop itinerary to explore this scenic route on your own.

If you’re planning a tropical Florida road trip, it’s worth considering renting a campervan from Miami to enhance your adventure. 

1st stop: Destin

© Emilie Robichaud / Nomad Junkies

Start your journey to the 30A highway from Destin! This beach destination is recognized as the “luckiest fishing village in the world.” If you are adventurous, you can book a fishing excursion or explore the seabed with a snorkel in the bay. If you’re into shopping, head to Destin Commons. If you want to take it easy, you can walk the famous HarborWalk Village.

You make also like: 10 Best Campervans to Rent in Miami for Your Tropical Florida Road Trip

2nd stop: Sandestin

© Emilie Robichaud / Nomad Junkies

After shopping at Silver Sands Premium Outlets, continue your adventure to Highway 30A, stopping for the night in Sandestin. To spoil yourself, stay at the Hotel Effie and experience the elegance of the South.

© Emilie Robichaud / Nomad Junkies

Nomadic Tip: By booking a night at this hotel, you’ll have access to the only rooftop pool in Northwest Florida. IIt’sthe perfect spot to work on your tan!

© Emilie Robichaud / Nomad Junkies

Take the opportunity to enjoy a gourmet meal at the Ovide restaurant. Get ready for a grand culinary adventure led by Georgian celebrity chef Hugh Acheson.

3rd stop: Seaside

© Emilie Robichaud / Nomad Junkies

It only takes a few minutes of driving to get onto the majestic 30A highway from Sandestin. Make sure you stop in the town of Seaside! With a modern vibe, Seaside is known for its divine beachfront, various restaurants and food trucks in the central plaza. The pretty, colourful houses create the quintessential backdrop for a model beach community.

© Emilie Robichaud / Nomad Junkies

Nomadic Tip: Get yourself a coffee at Amavida Coffee Roasters, Florida’s best organic coffee!

© Emilie Robichaud / Nomad Junkies

If this place sounds too good to be true, you are right! This residential area was featured in the famous blockbuster film The Truman Show!

© Emilie Robichaud / Nomad Junkies

Nomadic Tip: You can visit several of the locations used to film scenes for The Truman Show! You can even go to the Truman House, located at 31 Natchez Street in Seaside. The owners have kept house number 36 above the door just like it appeared in the movie. You can see where Jim Carrey bellowed his customary “Good Morning!”

4th stop: Rosemary Beach

© Emilie Robichaud / Nomad Junkies

Towards the end of State Road 30A, you will fall in love with Rosemary Beach. The architecture and overall energy will transport you to a small Mediterranean village. It feels like Spain or Greece! At Rosemary Beach, you can treat yourself to upscale casual dining or browse clothing boutiques, art galleries, bookstores and more!

© Emilie Robichaud / Nomad Junkies

Rosemary Beach has been named one of “America’s Most Romantic Small Towns” by CNN. This chic seaside town will charm you with cobbled streets and winding paths. The beach is obviously beautiful too!

© Emilie Robichaud / Nomad Junkies

Nomadic Tip: Rent a bike from Bamboo Bicycle and explore the neighbourhood. The pretty wooden paths will lead you to incredible villas.

As you will see in the Wanderlust: Florida series, the beaches of the Emerald Coast are breathtaking and waiting for you to explore!

Want more inspiration from off-the-beaten-track destinations in Florida?

Watch the second season of Wanderlust: Florida

This article was originally written in French and adapted in English by Britney Claveau.

Emilie Robichaud
Emilie Robichaud
Je suis accro au mode de vie nomade! J’ai quitté ma zone de confort pour voyager à temps plein. Mon tour du monde sans fin compte plus de 71 pays et ça continue! Le voyage, c'est un style de vie et un état d'esprit!


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