Travel

30A With Southern Vacation Rentals

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If you’ve been following along with my blog and Instagram a few years, than you know there is nothing I love more than a quaint little beach town. Walkable streets, restaurants with a view of the sea, tiny shops, and salty air are my idea of heaven. This is the exact reason I fell in love with La Jolla, CA earlier this year and Rosemary Beach, FL this past summer during our Epic Summer Road Trip. I loved Rosemary so much, I made a second trip last week! Last summer’s stop was last minute and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find a place because 30A is such a popular summer vacation destination, but we got super lucky and were able to book the cutest little beach condo with Southern Vacation Rentals! We stayed in the same building this time, but Adam was able to join us AND we worked with Southern Vacation Rentals to launch their new Southern Cares voluntourism initiative!

I want to tell you everything about the volunteer experience {because, puppies!!}, but first a bit about Southern Vacation Rentals! They have been in the industry for 25 years, offering vacation homes and condos in Northwest FL and coastal Alabama. They strive to be the most caring company along the Gulf Coast which is why to celebrate their 25 year mark, they are launching Southern Cares! This initiative will officially launch in January and the goal of it is to offer volunteer experiences for their guests. It’s an amazing way to give back to a community that brings so much joy to so many families. During booking you can choose to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association and Ronald McDonald House and now with the Southern Cares program you add on a day of volunteering at several local organizations! So far they are partnered with the Emerald Coast Science Center, the Chotawathatchee Basin Alliance, Alaqua Animal refuge and more!

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Adam, Saige, and I were fortunate enough to volunteer at the Alaqua Animal Refuge and it was the BEST experience. Truly the highlight of our vacation! Technically Saige was too young to volunteer, so she hung back while I helped the other volunteers clean out 6 puppy condos. Fresh bedding, fresh food, fresh water, and fresh baby puppies! We had the best time snuggling them and caring for them, I didn’t want to leave and I honestly don’t know how few left without taking one of these furry babies home with us. Saige got to love on them plenty too and at one point I peeked into one of the puppy condos and she was buried under 5 little puppies – her idea of heaven for sure! When we finished up there we got to take a quick ride around the refuge and a stop at the cat barn. Saige again was thrilled since she adores cats. Funny though because the cats seemed to only love Adam and he’s pretty allergic to them haha! Peep this photo of one that jumped right on him!

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I’ll link Alaqua Animal Refuge here so you can read a bit more about what they do and how they got their start. It’s really such an amazing place, filled with all kinds of animals {there were even emus!} and was such an honor to be a part of it for a day with Southern Vacation Rentals.

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The weather played some games with us while we were there – we literally had heat/humidity, rain/cold, and beautiful sunshine. It worked out perfectly though because 30A is the kind of place you want to be rain or shine. Our condo had a hot tub so we spent the chilly time soaking in it and it was heavenly I promise.

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There is a spot in Seacrest just a block or two from our condo, called Peddlers 30A, where you can rent bikes, so we did that and had the best time riding up and down 30A all through the shaded boardwalks of Rosemary Beach to the pristine seashell sidewalks of Alys Beach. There is bicycle parking behind the condo as well.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Altman Vacation without some yummy food! I took Adam back to a few of my favorite spots, and we tried some new places! If you’ve been to the area you’ve probably eaten at George’s. It’s just the cutest and has the yummiest seafood dishes. If you go for lunch, sit outside and get the Lobster Roll and a glass of sauvignon blanc. If you’re going for dinner you need the Lobster Quesadilla. Basically anything Lobster. Trust me.

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La Crema is the place to go for my favorite seafood paella of all time. It’s filled with lobster, scallops, mussels and is so yum. We also tried the lobster stuffed mushrooms this time – my mouth is watering just thinking about them! And you’ve got to finish off any trip to La Crema with one of their chocolate desserts. I love the dark chocolate fondue! Bonus: if you sit a specific table on the patio you can see the ocean!

 

Adam’s had a birthday while we were there, so to celebrate I made a reservation at Paradis, a beautiful steak and seafood restaurant right in the heart of Rosemary Beach. It’s chic and dark and romantic and just right for celebrating. We kicked of the dinner with a arugula salad and shrimp bisque which was so creamy and perfect for the chilly evening. Adam and I always choose meals that the other person like too so that way we can switch halfway through and get to eat a variety instead of just one thing! He ordered the Cast Iron Filet; it was voted the best steak on 30A and I’m guessing thats well deserved. It was soft and had the most incredible reduction over it {also I have to add that is was served with mashed potatoes which are totally my weakness}. I ordered the lobster encrusted grouper which was served on orzo and with a ton of other delicious ingredients plus the chef added on lump crab meat and shrimp. It was so. good. promise.

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Of course, after dinner we rode our bikes back to the condo for our nightly hot tub soak. What did I tell you? Heaven.

One last food mention then I’m done, I swear! You can’t go to 30A without a stop at Charlie’s Donuts you just can’t. It’s the only time I’ll eat a donut because it’s so worth it. Honestly I love the original glazed, but they had pumpkin spice donuts for fall and o.mg. So good!

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Saturday was a perfect not-a-cloud-in-the-sky sunshiny so we spent most of it on the beach. If you’ve never been to this part of Florida before, you need to go! The beaches are  powder white sand and crystal clear waters. The waves are calm so it’s perfect for kids, the water is warm and every once in a while you’ll see a dolphin! The beaches have restricted access so it keeps the crowds down a bit. Our condo included beach access just across the street so it was very convenient!

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Honestly, I’m already plotting my next return to 30A because we love it so much! If you’ve been before, I would love to hear your recommendations. If you’re thinking of going {trust me, you should}, send me message, I’d love to chat about it. And make sure you check out Southern Vacation Rentals to book your stay and definitely add on one of their new voluntourism experiences!!

Here are a few more photos of our adorable condo for the weekend!

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P.S. almost everything I wore on the trip is linked below for you to shop! Let me know if you have any sizing questions.

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