Probably Polka Dots 30A Hidden Gems | Probably Polka Dots

12 July 2017

30A Hidden Gems

We just got back from my husband's family's 10th year to Watercolor, Florida on 30A. TEN YEARS, y'all! I've been on the family trip for 9 years, and have made countless other trips to 30A over those 9 years, too. In fact, I would go so far as to say I am somewhat of an expert. I've been to all of the usual haunts, I've tasted all of the donuts and poboys, and I've found my favorite spots to shop. However, every year, I'm always looking for the best kept secrets in the area. 

This year, I uncovered a few secret spots that I'm going to tell you about. Of course, that means they won't be secrets for long, but I figure we can all benefit from helping each other navigate the side streets (and now traffic) of 30A. The area is truly my happy place, and if I can make your trip great, I'd love to help! I am breaking down each 30A hidden gem into the not-so-secret and the secret. That way, you can get an idea for what compares. Let me know if you've experienced any of these secrets for yourself! I'd love to hear your experience. 

Charlie's Donut Truck is a must-visit for me every time I'm on 30A. Their chocolate glazed donut is the stuff dreams are made of. In fact, the only donut that I've ever found that comes even remotely close to the amazingness is the one at Henry's Bakery in Atlanta, but it's not quite the same. Here's the thing, though: the line for donuts in Alys Beach is LONG, and it's HOT, and it can be pretty miserable. Don't get me wrong, it's worth it, but you might leave a little cranky.

I know, it seems strange that we're talking about an ice cream shop when it comes to donuts, but don't stop reading: Blue Mountain Creamery sells pans and pans and pans of fresh, Charlie's Donut Truck donuts every single morning from 7 AM until they sell-out. There is still a line here, but it was never longer than 4 or 5 people. If you've seen the donut truck line, you know this is QUITE the difference. The trick is to go early and have cash. We arrived right at 7 and got our choice of donuts within 5 minutes. WIN! 

Modica Market is the place to grab baked goods in Seaside. Their cake display is insane and their line for breakfast pastries wraps around the entire store. Forget nabbing one of their tables outside, and settle in for a long wait. Since Seaside is such a popular destination and is the hub between Watercolor and Seagrove, Modica stays super busy. 

This might be my absolute favorite 30A hidden gem yet. La Loba's is located in the same shopping center in Blue Mountain as a bicycle shop and a health food store...and I wouldn't call it the epitome of healthy choices. This bakery sells hot fresh scones, muffins, and cinnamon rolls until they sellout. When we arrived, they were selling pans of cinnamon rolls before they came out of the's serious business, y'all! Despite this, only a few people came in at a time (buying large quantities of scones and rolls). I can honestly say the La Loba's cinnamon roll is THE BEST cinnamon roll I have ever had in my entire life. Not exaggerating. It is that memorable. 

(multiple locations)

Amavida is essentially the go-to coffee shop on 30A. It's quaint, sells strong coffee, and is centrally located in Seaside with a second location in Rosemary Beach. People love Amavida, y'all. Love it. 

While Fonville Press isn't a huge secret, it is a huge difference in the wait for morning joe. I met my BFF (who was also on 30A last week!) for coffee and was stunned at not only how short the line was, but also how EFFICIENT the baristas were. This coffee came out lightning fast and delicious. Another perk? Fonville offers a full selection of breakfast and lunch. It's not just salads and pastries either. They've got baked eggs, casseroles, deviled eggs, and sandwiches. YUM. 

Seaside's Airstreams are quintessential landmarks for 30A. You literally can't drive without seeing them, and they are the cutest little food trucks you ever did see. In fact, I can't help but wonder if the Seaside Airstreams were among the first food trucks south of the Mason Dixon. Raw and Juicy has been a Seaside Airstream staple for years. Their fresh pressed juices, smoothies, and bowls are phenomenal, and don't even get me started on the peanut butter + fruit wrap. 

The Secret: Raw and Juicy Part 2

While the original location isn't far from location numero dos, it does have a few extra special items. Across the street, in the brick and mortar, you'll find Turkish towels, sunscreen, reusable water bottles, jewelry, and more. You'll also find a bar that sells fresh coconut water (complete with your choice of multiple flavor additions) and even freshly squeezed juice cocktails. Yes, you read that right. 

30A frequenters, are there any other hidden gems that I'm missing? Places that fly under the radar to those who don't dig? Do tell! 


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