There’s a gorgeous sameness about the beaches of the Emerald Coast—just one mile after another of soft quartz sand running alongside an aquamarine shoreline that appears aglow, lit from within. The communities that populate this realm, however, are a different matter altogether. All they have in common is their distinctiveness from one another. From east to west, we’ll be highlighting the eleven independent townships that together comprise what the world now recognizes as 30A.
Nice dogs. Strange people. That’s what they say about Grayton Beach.
Rising 64 feet above sea level, Blue Mountain Beach marks the highest point on the Emerald Coast. The community became an extension of Dune Allen in 1948 as its groovy, colorful neighbor. Blue Mountain Beach got its name thanks to a cluster of blue lupine flowers indigenous to the coastal dunes, which presented the illusion of a “blue mountain” to sailors transiting the Gulf.
It’s also famous for its coastal dune lakes. Blue Mountain Beach is one of 4 destinations in the world that have coastal dune lakes, the others being New Zealand, Australia’s Queensland, and Madagascar. The lakes provide a variety of wildlife and incredible sunsets that are best seen on paddleboards or kayaks.
Visitors looking for a quieter, relaxing vacation on 30A typically book their rentals in Blue Mountain Beach. The area is home to a number of pastel-colored vacation rental homes as well as condos. The natural beauties of freshwater on the Gulf Coast offer families a chance to discover how special nature can be while enjoying outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, and fishing. There’s a variety of fine and casual dining, such as at the neighboring restaurants, Café Tango, and Local Catch. You can also find middle ground between indulging yourself in a late-night slice of pizza at Johnny McTighe’s or grab a green juice at For the Health of It. As a local favorite spot, first-timers must stop for ice cream at Blue Mountain Creamery.
The town center at Gulf Place is where you’ll also find a circle of boutiques and restaurants. It marks the border between Blue Mountain and Dune Allen Beach, as it’s adjacent to County Road 393. The Gulf-front restaurant, Shunk Gulley, is a staple lunch or dinner spot for all ages and one of the best spots for waterfront dining. Visit the Artists at Gulf Place located in the pastel huts for a variety of local art and jewelry for a unique souvenir to bring home!
You’re guaranteed to be enchanted by Blue Mountain’s beauty. 360 Blue offers over 20 properties in the area to accommodate a wide range of home preferences, budgets, location, and space.