Get in the car from New Orleans and drive until the water turns from brown to emerald. This takes about 5 hours actually but oh, it's so worth it! New Orleans has a really grounding energy to it. In fact, two spiritual healers I've been to in the past few years have told me that New Orleans energy is bad for me. One straight up told me to move. I know how important environmental influences can be on happiness and productivity and it seems that I crave large open spaces with a ton of light and natural elements to be inspired. Inspired to create, to workout, to be healthy, to be happy. So this 5 hour journey is something I'm willing to do often to recharge.
It also happens that the Florida Gulf Coast, or 30A as we call it, is blooming with wellness offerings for the healthy-minded traveler. It's just heaven. If the real estate market wasn't so ridiculously booming I would probably relocate there permanently. Here are some highlights:
Fonville Press Coffee, Alys Beach: So quiet and relaxing. It's a bookshop/coffee shop that has delicious snacks like quinoa breakfast bowl, granola parfaits and some delish cast iron skillet eggs.
Raw & Juicy, Seaside: There's a little airstream parked in the Seaside square that serves up delicious smoothies, juices, chia pudding and so on. She also just opened up a lifestyle store across the street that sells amazing products from favorites like Herbivore Botanicals, Moon Dust and even my personal favorite, Joanna Vargas NYC skincare products.
Otium 30A, Rosemary Beach: A light filled studio for hot yoga, barre and TRX that also serves juices and a natural apothecary.
Farmer's Markets (Seaside, Rosemary Beach)- The best way to really try out some local goodies is at the farmer's markets. So far I've done both of these and I'm always so excited to see what's new. We found an amazing turmeric stall that sold concentrate and powders made fresh.
Seaside- Saturdays 9am-1pm
Rosemary Beach- Sundays & Thursdays 9am-1pm
SUPing & Bike Riding
No better place to take out the board than around 30a. Obviously one of my favorite activities and how gorgeous are these boards in Alys Beach? We've rented bikes both from Alys Beach Bike Shop and Peddlers 30A and both were perfect!
Beach Yoga All Day, Every Day
Typical 30a routine? Wake up at sunrise for a beach walk, collect shells and roll out a mat (or no mat) and feel the peacefulness of the waves and sugary white sand under the feet. Heaven. What I love about the particular stretch of 30A is the beaches are private. So you can only access if you're staying in town with wrist bands or gate codes. It keeps it incredibly raw and untouched.
Where to Stay
The Pearl, Rosemary Beach- I try to catch this place on off-times or during the off-season to get the best prices. It can be a bit expensive if you try to go on a weekend in April.
Airbnb & others- We just returned from a lovely $99 a night stay at a gorgeous remodeled apartment right above the town square in Seacrest. It was perfect! Pool access, beach access, walking distance to Alys and Rosemary. I personally like to stay within the boundaries of Alys to Rosemary because it's my personal favorite. Seaside is also a gorgeous area as well to rent.
Carriage House rentals- Another fun way to experience what it's like to be beachside in 30a is to rent a carriage house attachment to one of the larger, gorgeous homes in the area. These are typically guest houses on property that have private access.