As we all know, when you have little ones, there is no longer a “vacation” as you remember it before kids, it’s now what we call a “family TRIP.” I’m more than happy that we are in this phase of our life, but I think if you’re expecting to go on a normal vacation and relax, read a book and snooze, you’ve got a wake up call headed your way… in the form of cries or irritation- based on how old your little ones are.
BUT, have no fear- you can still enjoy your family time away from home… but the KEY is choosing the right location! Where everyone will be entertained and happy… and one of our favorites has plenty to offer everyone… ROSEMARY BEACH and the 30A highway.
We’ve been going to Rosemary Beach for 5 years now and we LOVE it. When we were just a couple it was wonderful, but now that we have a family, it’s as equally a wonderful place. I’m sharing some of our favorite “kid friendly” activities. AND what’s so great, is you won’t be the only people with kids there, everywhere you go it will be kids galore.
- The Pool… Rosemary has multiple pools for the guests of the area and they’re all going to have kids at them. They’re clean, kid friendly and conveniently close to where you’ll be staying.
- The Fitness Path… Is something everyone in the family can enjoy and interlaced along the path are play grounds for the kids to enjoy! “Threaded throughout tRosemary Beach, a network of footpaths, boardwalks and secret pathways lead to the Town Center and beach. Past gardens, parks and elegant pools, the turn of every corner reveals a new delight...The Rosemary Beach Fitness Trail & Walking Tour is a 2.3 mile trail that utilizes both sand paths and boardwalks to wind through the community’s native landscape, parks and public spaces and incorporates four fitness stations that include exercise apparatuses for stretching and strength training.”-Rosemarybeach.com
- Bike Rentals… This year we rented bikes to ride around and to enjoy the sidewalks and avoid getting in the car because everything is so conveniently located so closely. We rented a back seat on one of the bikes for Ranger and he LOVED it. He would just ride and ride and ride. It was a great way to break up the morning or afternoon. They have bike rentals on the square in Rosemary, but we went a few hundred yards away to Sea Crest where I felt there was a better variety of bikes and rented from Peddler 30A and had a great experience.
- Alys Beach Charlie’s Donuts/Splash Pad… Alys Beach is just half a mile down the road, side walked all of the way, and it has wonderful restaurants (which I will discuss later) and the notorious Charlie’s Donut Truck! You have to go bright and early when those kiddos wake up because they sell out fast, BUT it’s totally worth it (and sorry friends, no gluten free options there… this is all on my husbands word). Directly in front of the donut truck is a splash pad where your little ones can work out some of that sugar they just ingested. At some point you may want to take a break from the pool and beach and the splash pad is a great option!
Just a few miles down the road is a new area of shops and restaurants called “The Hub“. It has a little bit for everyone… shops from art galleries and bike rentals or boutiques and nail salon. After everyone has gotten their fill, you can refuel at one of the 8 restaurants. Everyone can pick what they want, pick it up and all eat together in the open area. A meal where everyone is happy… Priceless.
When we were there the Nashville Predators were playing one of their playoff games and they had the game playing on the big screen outside… the perfect way to watch the game. We played corn hole, ate and Ranger ran around and played… perfection. I’ve noticed that they have Family Movie Nights on Wednesday nights this summer… definitely something to take advantage of. There’s a complete schedule of events HERE.
AND just 8 miles down the road from Rosemary is Seaside. This is one of our favorite little areas. We usually spend an afternoon there walking around the shops and eating dinner. They have an open air boutique- Per-spi-cas-ity– that has a little bit of everything that mom and daughters alike would love to shop. There’s baby shops, art galleries, book stores and everything in between! HERE’S the list of all of them to explore. When we’re there, we always have dinner at the Great Southern Cafe. But there are tons of other places to eat… HERE (and they’re all kid friendly). They also have a great open area in the middle of it all, where they have a summer concert series, outdoor movies and so much more. HERE is the summer schedule!
A fresh coconut from Raw and Juicy’s coconut bar is just the thing to quench your thrust on a HOT beach day!
With all of that being said, I’m going to list all of our favorite restaurants and other activities and the links to them!
NOTE: this many high chairs mean that you’re in a kid friendly place! 🙂
ALL KID FRIENDLY
Summer Kitchen Cafe: (Rosemary) On the corner of the main street in Rosemary, we had breakfast, lunch and dinner here… it’s great because it opens up 7:30am and with kids, that can be “late” if your little ones are early risers. They have great smoothies, salads, and Rusty ate the fish sandwich 3 days in a row!
Farm Fresh Tomato Caprese Salad! (Dinner Menu)
The French French Toast!
This Omelet made the most filling start to the day…
Havana Beach Bar & Grill: (Rosemary) This restaurant is located in the Pearl Hotel, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We had our anniversary dinner there and we were both very pleased with our meals. We ate on the patio with a view of the beach… and the dessert was the best I had ever had (and I’m not a dessert person). They also have a roof top bar and grill that you should take full advantage of… kid free of course.
Y’all, the view!
The World’s BEST S’more dessert… that’s chocolate and marshmallows smoldering in that jar… scoop and serve!
Cowgirl Kitchen: (Rosemary and Seagrove) With a few locations along 30A, this is one of my favorite places. It’s usually our casual dinner night, where I love the tacos and nachos, but yet there’s a little bit of everything on the menu. You can dine inside or out, and they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, take full advantage of the CK Feed & Supply, where they have freshly made foods for your fridge, a little market type place, where you can also stock up on beer and wine. They also have take and bake casseroles for those nights in!
George’s at Alys Beach: (Alys Beach) One of our TOP Picks for dinner. We always, make the walk down to George’s for dinner at least one night while we’re in town. Such a quaint little place, we’ve never had a bad meal. Of course they always have a great, fresh catch, but the sides and salads never disappoint. Also, they have indoor and outdoor seating AND of course it’s kid friendly.
These Sea Scallops are to die for!
Donut Hole: (Rosemary) Our favorite breakfast place and a MUST! Pick up some donuts for your stay, but also stay for hot breakfast. And make sure to check the “Specials” board… my favorite are the Huevos Rancheros. Of course it’s kid friendly… it has sprinkles.
Raw and Juicy: (Seaside) There’s a shop where you can purchase some of their granola (seriously amazing and you can order it online here) and one of my favorites… a fresh coconut! But there’s also a food truck across the street where you can get salads, smoothies, juices and wraps! I always have this on my list of “Must Eats”
Chicken Salad Chick: (Seacrest) Pick up some small tubs from their wide variety for the fridge OR for lunch for the beach and feed the family. It’s seriously amazing!!
Balance 30A: I was craving a good yoga class while I was there. I love getting in runs on vacation, but I was in need of a good stretch and refocus and I got just that at Balance 30A with a Gentle Flow Yoga class. But they have so much more to offer. Tucked in a 3 story beach side studio they offer yoga, spinning, personal training and fitness classes. They also have an in house massage therapist and chiropractor. It’s a one stop shop for any of your physical needs.
Rosemary Tennis: Rusty wished he could play more tennis at home, but it seems the only time he ever has a chance to get in a game is on vacation… so he always attends at Tennis Clinic at Rosemary.
Rosemary Fitness Center: If you’re wanting somewhere within walking distance, you can head to the Rosemary Fitness Center… they offer day passes, personal training and classes as well!!
Otium 30A: If you want to switch up your workout and add in a little TRX class try here! They also have yoga classes AND a juice bar. You can also get in a little retail therapy while you’re there.
I hope this helps plan your 30A vacation a little easier! This is just information I’ve gathered over the past few years and wanted to share… and how even though we turned from a couple to a family, we still love going there just the same.
If you love to go to 30A, where are your favorite places to go????