Finds From Afar: 30A

Finds From Afar: 30A

Either you know it or you don’t – “30A.” That stretch of the Emerald Coast named for the two-lane highway that runs through scenic, beachy towns in northwest Florida. North Texans flock to the region in the summer months and over spring break, thanks to quick and easy flights, an abundance of vacation rentals and family-friendly vibes all around.

Most of the towns are modeled after developer Robert Davis’ idea of New Urbanism — an approach to building compact, walkable, very usable, self-sustaining cities. His creation, Seaside, was one of the first towns to be developed this way. So idyllic, it was where “The Truman Show” was filmed. Sure, some people might find the picture-perfect scene a little Utopian — but if you’re an architect or interiors enthusiast, you’re sure to find inspiration everywhere. What follows, of course: shopping.

Drift Home & Gifts
Nestled in Inlet Beach, this coastal-inspired shop is stocked with furniture and décor, ideal for your own beach escape, and gifts for that host that’s putting you up for the week. Forgot a towel or tote for your trip? Find a corner filled with Turkish towels and blankets among rattan chairs, jute poufs and functional indoor/outdoor rugs. 
Keep an eye on social media for pop-ups with local artists.
13123 Emerald Coast Parkway
Inlet Beach, Florida

More is more inside Tracery, a popular boutique with stores in Rosemary Beach and Inlet Beach. The well-known interior design firm Tracery Interiors is behind the boutiques that are stocked wall to wall with coastal coffee-table books, coral-patterned books and other nautically inspired décor and gifts. The stores also house made-to-order upholstery and original works of art.
38 Main St.
Rosemary Beach, Florida

The Art of Simple
Don’t let the name fool you. This whimsical Santa Rosa shop is actually filled with what it calls “eclectic curiosities and necessities.” But first, coffee mugs – lots and lots of coffee mugs. Plus, find other small home décor gifts like colorful abstract bowls by Creative Co-op, quirky books by Easy, Tiger and Icelandic Kelp Soap.
One of our favorites finds — sweet and colorful paintings by Virginia artist Gina Cochran.
20 Seaside Ave.
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Lola’s on 30A
Taking up residence in an adorable but spacious cottage on 30A, Lola’s is an interiors and consignment shop with, you guessed it, a coastal vibe. Whitewashed side tables, faux bamboo chairs and ikat pillows exist alongside turquoise jewelry, linen tops and everything else you need to make Florida a way of life.
3788 West County Highway 30A
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

13 Hub Lane
When the crew starts suffering from beach house fever, take the entire family to The Hub on 30A where food trucks and quaint shops surround multiple grassy areas where children run free. When you’re there, stop in to 13 Hub Lane — a beachy boutique filled with everything from water pitchers and coasters to swivel chairs and side tables. Keep an eye on social media for sales at the Panama City warehouse.
13 Hub Lane
Watersound, Florida

Bastide Home and Garden
This blink-and-you’ll-miss it store, nursery and garden center is located on the far north side of 30A in a rustic exterior, away from much of the new development. But the inventory includes concrete planters filled with perfectly manicured boxwoods, small terracotta vases, made-from-scratch potpourri and birdhouses that are a must for making the outside of your home as welcoming as the inside.
17 Tanglewood Drive
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459

Beau Interiors
If at first you don’t succeed at Beau Interiors, go again the next day, because this spacious 9,000-square-foot store has too much to see in just one visit. This spacious showroom boasts new arrivals daily and keeps its upscale inventory on the move. An extensive outdoor area also includes hanging porch swings, durable slipcovered furniture and concrete side tables that can help make any outdoor area feel like a living space – the hallmark of northwest Florida living. If you like what you see, head to the upstairs loft to ask about design services.
32 E. 30-A, Unit C
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Be a New Urbanist
New Urbanism design can be found in almost every community and development along 30A. Here, a few of the most popular.

Rosemary Beach
Built in 1995, the 107-acre Rosemary Beach development is a “neo-traditional” village that blends the principles of New Urbanism and Traditional Neighborhood Development. Rosemary Beach sets itself apart with its architecture – rather than brightly colored homes and picket fences, visitors will find stucco homes with wood siding and subtle, neutral tones. Leave the car at home and walk the cobblestone streets to the rooftop of The Pearl Hotel for a drink. Be sure to take a peek at the idyllic and adorable post office and Town Hall on the way.

Pastel houses and white picket fences dominate the streets of Seaside — the first New Urbanist community ever built and the blueprint for the beach towns that surround it. Robert Davis inherited the 80 acres from his grandfather in the 1980s and began executing his vision for the ultra-walkable, livable, family-friendly community. All of its residences are within a 5-mile stroll of downtown, and by design, Seaside has no private front lawns – meaning no sod, fewer bugs and no loud lawn mowers.

Officially located in Seagrove Beach, the 500-acre development of WaterColor is popular for its namesake 60-room hotel — WaterColor Inn and Resort. This development, also lined with colorful, Southern-style homes, takes advantage of its location on Western Lake — a natural coastal dune lake with long and dramatic boardwalks. This development also invites residents to take advantage of the extensive hiking and biking trails.

Alys Beach
This 6-mile development is still in the early stages but already worth a visit. Striking white pillars and lines of palm trees welcome visitors to the development with Bermuda-style architecture. Walk the streets to take in the architecture, visit Fonville Press for an iced coffee and end the day with a poolside meal at Caliza.