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Fit & Healthy: A 30-A Lifestyle

30-A is famous for its stunning beaches, crystal clear water and upscale homes.

Beautiful to look at, perfect to photograph, and with sunsets to savor, it is easy to understand why this is one of America’s favorite travel destinations.

But visitors and new residents also recognise the fit and fun lifestyle there is to be enjoyed along these 26 miles of picture-perfect coastline.

In fact, recognising this trend, property developer St Joe Company and their partners are constructing a new master planned development only a few miles from the beach. Scheduled to open in spring 2021, it is being marketed as an “active-lifestyle” community.

So, what fitness amenities and recreational fun can be had on 30-A?

Top of everyone’s activities list must be Stand Up Paddle Boarding.

Gliding across the bay, cruising the coastal dune lakes, or venturing out on the emerald waters of the Gulf, this is a 30A specialty. YoloBoard, one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of paddleboards are based right here in Walton County, and their boards can be rented or purchased at many locations along the 30-A.

“Out on the water, enjoying the peace and tranquility, is one of the best things about life on 30A” says local resident and paddle boarder Fletcher Isacks. “It is also a great workout, strengthens the core and improves your balance – especially if you want to keep dry!” he chuckles.

For those looking for something a little more competitive, 30A is also home to some fabulous golf courses and tennis facilities. Santa Rosa Golf Club – one of a number of highly regarded courses in South Walton – is located directly on 30A in Dune Allen and offers a challenging course with views of the Gulf from many of the tee boxes and greens.

And for tennis afficionados, Rosemary Beach, Seaside and Watercolor all offer first class courts, tennis professionals and lessons to improve your game. Just off the west end of 30A sits TopS’l Racquet and Beach Club – ranked one of the top tennis resorts in the U.S. by Tennis Magazine – offering floodlight clay courts to enable play in the cooler evenings.

30A is connected from Inlet Beach to Santa Rosa Beach by a purpose-built bike path, safely sheltering cyclists from cars on the road. The bike path also connects with the State Parks, beach access points and some of your favorite cafes and restaurants so you can enjoy the best of 30A without having to sit bumper to bumper in high season traffic.

However, in the heat of summer, 26-mile cycle rides could be a little daunting, especially for those who haven’t been in the saddle for a few years.

One of the latest trends to hit 30A is the electric bike. Pedego, one of the leading names in e-bikes, has rental stores in Seagrove and Grayton Beach and rents by the hour, half day or full day. Electric Bikes are the same size as their pedal-powered cousins and while they too need a little effort to get going, with a powerful electric battery, they offer the rider a little ‘pedal assistance’ on longer journeys or up hills and inclines.

You may already be a big fan of fitness, hitting the gym and working hard to sculpt the perfect physique. Living or staying on 30A there is no need to abandon your schedule or fitness routine, as the area has seen a number of new gyms and personal trainers offer their services in recent years.

One popular fitness palace, offering the latest equipment, machines and classes, Grayton Beach Fitness, is open 24/7 for locals and visitors so there is now absolutely no excuse for missing your workout!

But if preening and posing in front of the mirror isn’t your thing, why not commune with the beautiful surroundings and natural wonders of our spectacular coast while you take a little exercise.

Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi are all great ways to improve your movement and flexibility – as well as your mental wellbeing. And with dozens of yoga professionals and studios dotted along 30A there are classes for all abilities – from beginner to expert.

Many studios offer classes at the beach. You might choose to book a private lesson or join a group session run by Yoga Haus Studio at the public beach access at Gulf Place. Here, under the supervision of a local expert, you can stretch and relax in time with the rising or the setting of the sun. Namaste indeed.

And if all these classes and bursts of exercise seem too taxing or a little too organized, why not take advantage of the nearly 200 miles of hiking trails which criss-cross the State Parks and Forests which border 30A. These trails offer the chance to see the Dune Lakes, rare flora and fauna and escape the crowds only a few miles away.

Of course, you can always just take advantage of what made 30-A famous in the first place. Take long walks along the water’s edge looking at the latest luxury beachfront homes, join the kids for games of catch and paddle ball on the beach, or submerge yourself in a cooling and relaxing swim in the beautiful emerald waters of the Gulf.

Having fun while staying fit and healthy is part of 30-A’s remarkable charm.

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