The perfect time to plan a girls’ getaway beach vacation is the Fall. Summer is over; The kids are back in school, and I’m guessing you could use a break before the holidays begin. Last Saturday I met a wonderful group of ladies from Tennessee visiting the Adagio in Blue Mountain Beach for a girls’ getaway week. I promised to send them a plan for five, full days of fun on our 30A area – fifteen unique seaside villages connected by a 20 -mile bike trail. Now I’m sharing the suggested itinerary with you.
For the early birds, the onsite gym at Adagio is a great way to get your blood pumping. If you yearn for Yoga, SoFITco is just across the street and offers yoga, Pilates and hot yoga. Want to keep it simple? A run or walk on our sugar white beach is another great way to start the day.
Workout completed, cross the street to La Loba’s Bakery. Try their cinnamon rolls, scones and granola – you’ve earned it! LaLoba’s also offer gluten free baked goods, and they make the best turkey wrap I have ever eaten. Why not bring the goodies back to enjoy with coffee on your balcony overlooking the gulf (that is if you want to share)? Of course since it’s your first full day on sunny 30A in Northwest Florida; you’ll want to experience the pools – and there are several. The gulf front pool is heated in the off season (once the water temperature drops below 88 degrees) or the three pools linked by waterfalls totaling 8,000 square feet of water relaxation. Or of course, you could walk down the steps onto Adagio’s beautiful, white-sand beach. The Gulf temperature is still in the low 80s in September and October, and the air temperature is a perfect – the mid to upper 80’s.
Now what to do for dinner? How about ordering ahead the steamed shrimp from Goatfeather’s Seafood Market just a mile away? Then pop open our complimentary bottle of wine and enjoy supper under the stars on the balcony. After dinner, how about playing some board or word games in the spacious living area? On a recent girl’s trip with high school friends (yes, we’ve been friends for a LONG time), we played Chatpack– fun questions to spark conversations. My friends and I had fun with the question, “If you were a multimillionaire, where would you be and what do you believe you would be doing at this moment.” We all agreed – we would be together here!
Our visiting women have busy careers and take care of busy families as well, so my suggestion is to start the day with a massage (ahhhh). For The Health of It is next door to LaLoba’s and has wonderful masseuses. Call ahead of time to get an appointment. In need of some major “me” time? Why not make a day of pampering? Treat yourself toSerenity by the Sea at the Hilton in Sandestin. Arrive early for your treatment to enjoy the sauna, steam room, and whirlpool. I love splurging on the pedicures, they also massage your feet which is heavenly. Continue your day of relaxation afterwards in comfy white robes and order in lunch in the newly updated lounge. My friends and I have turned one treatment into a full day of relaxing! Even if you have only one treatment, you can stay for hours relaxing in the lounge.But make sure you return in time for Happy Hour! Just across the street is Johnny McTigues, an Irish Pub with $1.00 drafts. For a more upscale choice, try the new Trebeache which is a block away at Redfish Village. It’s just opened and it’s from the creative team that gave us Stinky’s Fish Camp. Trebeache offers $5 wine, craft beer and martinis and 75 cents oysters! Check our app YFAB for a full list of Happy Hours on 30A and in Destin. Hope you have a great time!
What is a girls’ trip without shopping? You may secretly be hoping for a cloudy day so you can enjoy the nearby Silver Sands Premium Outlet. The outlet has designer stores like Kate Spade, Sak’s Off Fifth Avenue, Michael Kors, Nike, White House/Black Market and J. Crew … just to name a few. I always stop by the customer service kiosk across from Vera Bradley to pick up a free coupon book with my AAA card. Great way to save even more money. If the massage therapy wasn’t enough to lift your spirits, shopping at Retail Therapy just across from the outlets will delight you – dozens of different shops like Kitchenique all under one roof. Check our app “YFAB” before you go shopping because we list special events like the Tax Free Shopping weekend.
Shopping at nearby Seaside has become a tradition for our girls’ vacations. Jewel Toffier is my sister’s favorite clothing shop and Pizitz is her pick for furniture and accessories. Because both stores offer unique style and one of a kind items!
If ladies are shopping, they must lunch and there is no better place than Seaside! Great Southern Café is on Central Square. The menu includes new-fashioned Southern cuisine, fresh veggies, seafood and the “Littlest Oyster Bar”. If you are hungry, but in a hurry to get back to shopping, pick up lunch atSong, a Southeast Asian-inspired food truck right on 30A by the famous Seaside Post Office. Speaking of famous, visit Modica’s Market on Central Square. Modica’s Market was made famous in Jim Carey’s movie, The Truman Show. It hasn’t changed; still offering great beach foods to go. If you have lingered long enough for another Happy Hour, 30A’s top spot for sunsets is Bud and Alley’s Rooftop Bar. Celebrating sunset at Bud and Alley’s is a Seaside ritual you’ll want to return to year after year.
Just two days left on our girl’s beach getaway and I think you will find these are two of the most fun days! So read on, ladies, remember you only live once…
Our 30A area is the birthplace of YOLO – yes, You Only Live Once Paddleboards were developed here – and what’s SUP with that? SUP is another brand of Stand Up paddle boards here on the Emerald Coast. Stand Up Paddle boarding is a not to be missed adventure either on our emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico or pn our many dune lakes. I am partial to YOLO boards since I have a pink one that I love to climb aboard in the early mornings. The water is clear and smooth then, so I can see the sting rays, sea turtles and even gets close to pods of dolphins as I paddle along.
If you didn’t bring your own, no worries — our free APP YFAB lists not only places to rent paddleboards but also paddleboard adventures like YOLO Yoga and Paddle core fitness classes. Whether you spend a morning serenely paddling our tranquil dune lakes on a guided tour or curing workout boredom with a paddle board interval class, You Only Live Once — so be sure to add paddle boarding to your girl’s getaway events.
In the afternoon, you should explore Grayton Beach, the oldest of the fifteen unique villages along scenic 30A. When I first discovered Grayton Beach, I thought I had been transported back in time to the 1950’s. I found wooden houses made of weathered cypress and bordered by sand streets and an abundance of trees. Over 100 years old, Grayton Beach’s early settlers, the Butler family led the push to keep 30A free of high rises – and Grayton Beach reflects that charming seaside feel of years ago. This quaint village is also almost surrounded by Grayton Beach State Recreation, home to dunes and miles of beachfront.
Walk the wide public beaches and then circle back to explore the most famous “Bar” on the Emerald Coast. Red Bar in Grayton Beach is so popular that I have guests call me and ask how close our condos are to Red Bar! Open for lunch and dinner with a short but sweet menu, make sure you get there early as there are no reservations. The seafood is fresh and perfectly prepared but my absolute favorite is the Crab Cake – a generous portion! If the line is too long at Red Bar, try the Grayton Seafood Company just down the street. One of our guests recently ate there and loved the shrimp and grits. If you go at lunch, enjoy their Po’boys on New Orleans French Bread – you will think you are back in the Quarter!
While you are in Grayton Beach, stop in at the hidden gem of Craft Bars on the Emerald Coast, Idyll Hounds. Friendly and fun, Idyll Hounds offers craft beers with the finest ingredients — three types– The Regulars, The Seasonal and The Specials. Check their Facebook page as they offer food from other popular kitchens and their hours vary.
Then back the few miles to Adagio or San Remo for star gazing or if you are lucky, a far-off lightning storm across the gulf. My friends and I call it God’s fireworks – and it is glorious to behold!
Day Five… how did it go so fast???
Your last day on 30A should be doing what you love most! For me that would be an early morning walk on the beach, past the dune lakes on our sugar white sand beaches.Then coming back to Adagio to ride the miles of bike trails on 30A – this time headed to Gulf Place just about two miles west. Sunrise Coffee Company has an outdoor area for sipping its iced coffee and I just might splurge on a chocolate chip muffin. While at Gulf Place, I would get some last minute souvenirs at the 30A store where you can find the Official 30A Gear. Head home sporting a 30A T-shirt or tote away some 30A beer or wine for your favorite mister!
While at Gulf Place, pick up some takeout from the Perfect Pig, a delightful café and gourmet market. I love their hickory-smoked pulled chicken with homemade sauce. It reminds me that our area is in the south – with its sweet tea hospitality and delicious southern food.
But don’t leave the 30A area before you and the girls have gone to hear Redd sing! Redd, the singing bartender is just across the street from Adagio atRedd’s Fueling Station. Redd will leave you laughing and sometimes blushing, but always entertained! Tell her your friend at the beach sent you… or better yet, call me and I will tag along as I never tire of Redd’s funny patter between her songs.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the girl’s trip as much as I enjoyed planning it for you. Speaking of plans, next week my daughter, Tori the event planner is going to share some family reunion plans. Real life ones as our family is heading to the Emerald Coast in October!