September 6, 2023
Arguably Florida’s hottest getaway destination, the region is buzzing with justopened luxury hotels, must-try dining destinations and more. Here’s the latest scoop.
Camp Creek Inn is one of South Walton’s buzzy new properties.
Just opened in February, The Lodge 30A is an intimate 85-room boutique hotel tucked between the Gulf of Mexico’s sugarwhite sand beaches and the expansive greenery of Point Washington State Forest in the community of Seagrove Beach. Guests have access to the private Watersound Beach Club and two private championship golf courses, not to mention convenient access to retail and dining at Greenway Station. Five miles farther down 30A, Camp Creek Inn sits on the grounds of the exclusive Watersound Club and beckons with deluxe accommodations; an 11,000-square-foot wellness center; eight tennis and eight pickleball courts; and two tempting dining destinations, with lounge-style fare at 1936 and upscale dining at ANR. Also of note: The Court, with eight stylish bungalows around a lush garden in Seaside, and, coming soon, The Cascade at Sandestin, a much-anticipated new residential development inside Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.
Alys Beach Crafted is a highlight for spirits lovers.
WaterColor Inn’s latest dining concept, Gather Kitchen + Bar—an exclusive offering for inn guests and WaterSound Club members—offers a poolside setting and a menu of elevated Southern plates like Gulf shrimp ceviche and blackened fish sandwiches. In Inlet Beach, Canopy Road Café pays homage to the American diner with a casual vibe and creative comfort food like Cinnamon Toast Crunch pancakes and a Nashville hot chicken Benedict. And Santa Rosa Beach newcomer Chef’s 30A Deli showcases an all-day menu of noted toque Justin Sharpe’s creations, like croque monsieur breakfast sandwiches, poke bowls, wagyu beef burgers and more. Other new bites worth a try: Chicago Hot Dogs and More at The Market Shops of Emerald Coast Parkway in Miramar Beach, and a new WaterSound location of Sweet Henrietta’s Bakery—famous for its mermaid cakes—at Origins Town Center.
The lobby at The Lodge 30A beckons with comfortable furnishings and an eye-catching green wall installation that nods to the setting.
Elevate your entertaining game with a cocktail and charcuterie master class at Rosemary Beach hot spot The Courtyard at Pescado, a new interactive experience for learning about, creating and enjoying expertly made cocktails and charcuterie boards. At Grayton Beach’s glass-inspired The Shard Shop, the new VIP class is a deluxe version of the boutique’s classic ShardWorx glass and resin art class, featuring additional studio time, smaller group sizes, free refreshments and access to specialty glass shards to help create your next masterpiece. And be sure to add two of this season’s most popular local events to your calendar: WaterColor’s Harvest Wine & Food Festival (Oct. 19 to 22), with wine dinners, cocktail brunch and the signature Grand Tasting; and Alys Beach Crafted (Oct. 25 to 28), a celebration of the craftspeople and creativity that enrich the South Walton lifestyle, with seminars; a makers market; and the Firkin Fête, a rollicking showcase of local and regional beers rounded out with live music and culinary tastings.