Updated to include recommendations from our second trip there in April 2022.
My childhood memories of this stretch of beach are neon blue and neon white, crystal clear, dolphins frolicking, heavy humidity that pushed you down into the sand where you laid all day, only to consistently get searing sunburns that you can thank for the freckles and wrinkles all over your current midlife body. That was not the 2021 jaunt. Instead, our blustery time at the beach will be remembered for sweet friendships, new and old – shared spaces, shared meals, and shared stories. Exchanged tips and tricks. A beautiful inland lake. Kids grateful for companionship, bike rides to and from the beach, continued wrestling, toy and book sharing and spreading, breaking bread together, and putting up with rainy mornings in the trailer only to explode into wiggles with other stir-crazy little bodies.
- We stayed: Grayton Beach State Park (five stars!)
- We explored: the white sand beaches with sufficient wind for kite-flying and soft enough sand for wrestling though no bait fish were found in our new casting net, 30-A (after daddy’s ad hoc lesson on city planning we visited all the new urbanist communities for a good compare/contrast – Seaside, Rosemary, Alys, and Watercolor); we hiked The Canopy Walk at the state park (dunes, tall pines, crashing waves)
- We celebrated: Jam’s birthday!!!
- We ate: the historic and recently rebuilt Red Bar, date lunch and some to-go wine from Black Bear Bread Company (five stars!), Bud and Alley’s Pizza Bar, George’s at Alys Beach, Old Florida Fish House
- We drank: Grayton Beer Company’s 30-A IPA, a margarita from Bud and Alley’s Taco Bar
- We listened to: J.T. — Steve Earle’s new album for his son, Justin Townes Earle who tragically died in August
- We read: Florida by Lauren Groff