30A has been a special place for my family for over 15 years so I was so excited to celebrate turning 30 there last week with my best friend and 18 of our girlfriends! Leslie and I have been best friends since we were five and with our birthdays six days apart, we wanted to have all of our best girls celebrate with us. To have friends from all across the country and different walks of life come together was truly the best gift and I’m so grateful they could all make the trip.
So what is 30A you may ask? 30A is a stretch of 28.5 miles that runs along the Gulf of Mexico coastline, composed of white sugar-sand beaches, charming communities and amazing restaurants and shops.
Today, I’m breaking down all of the logistics, things to do and eat and our incredible stay. Heard from a lot of you that you are also planning a trip soon so hope this 30a girls trip guide will help plan your perfect weekend!
THE ULTIMATE 30A GIRLS TRIP GUIDE:
WHERE TO STAY
With 18 of us, we needed a house with lots of space and bedrooms and luckily 30A has lots of houses that fit that description! The house we rented through VRBO was big enough to fit 22 people and was seriously a dream beach house. Huge kitchen and main living room, lots of bathrooms, a pool, outdoor area, bikes and golf cart and a quick walk to the beach across the street. We loved our stay and it was in a great location, close by Rosemary and Alys Beach and only about 15 min from downtown Seaside.
WHAT TO EAT
With such a large group, we planned for all of our dinners at the house to be catered and had amazing experiences with all the vendors! I love eating out when in 30A (some favorites in my past guides HERE and HERE ) so we planned for one big lunch out so everyone could experience the fun of Seaside. Sharing our favorites below to make note of for your next trip!
A few of us arrived earlier on Thursday so we kicked things off at an old favorite George’s in Alys Beach. The food is so fresh and delicious and I love sitting out on their big porch soaking up the Southern weather.
With everyone arriving at different times on Thursday night, we ordered lots of pizza and salads from Bruno’s nearby. They were super fast and it was great to have some extra pizza for the weekend for late night snacking.
Friday night was our party night so we kicked things off with a fiesta at the house and a catered Mexican dinner. TaCo.30A was so great to work with and came to the house and set everything up to make for an easy buffet. Best of all, the food was SO good and we had so much food to enjoy all weekend long. Dreaming of that queso!
One of my favorite restaurants is Great Southern Cafe so it was so fun to have all of us have lunch there on Friday! The food is classic Southern food (I always get the shrimp, grits and hushpuppies!) and was perfect for our large group. They are also known for their mojitos so make sure to grab one or get one to-go as it is open container there!
For Saturday night, we wanted to do a classic Low Country Seafood Boil and Heystacks was great. They came to the house before with everything cooked and we kept it warm in the oven before bringing down to eat outside. The food was so good and once again, ended up with lots of leftovers that made it over to my aunt and uncles house the next day before we left!
For Saturday breakfast, we preordered bagels and cream cheese from Black Bear Bread Co. and they were pretty close to a perfect NYC bagel! Highly recommend preordering as it is gets crazy busy there in the morning. Can’t wait to go back on my next visit!
One of my favorite finds of this trip was Graze 30A who put together the most gorgeous cheeseboard for everyone to arrive to on Thursday! Definitely a must with a large group and perfect for kicking a girls trip off with!
WHAT TO DO
30A is made up of so many cute towns so definitely take the time to walk around and explore them all! I love walking through Seaside and seeing all of the colorful houses, Alys Beach is super chic and feels like Europe and Rosemary Beach has cute shops and stores to explore in. The area is bike and golf cart friendly which makes it ideal for exploring.
Beach Walks and Sunset Cocktail Hour
Every day and evening should start on the beach when in 30A! We loved taking beach walks in the morning and checking out all the gorgeous homes. And nothing beats a 30A sunset so make sure to grab drinks and head to the beach for golden hour and some epic sunsets!
For a fun pool drinking game, we did a poolside progressive with different themed drinks to bring out every half hour. From themed college rival drinks to NYC and Minneapolis themed pitchers, it was a fun way to try lots of different cocktails while out by the pool.
For our final night, we hired Light Me Up 30A to set up a beach bonfire for us and it was the perfect chill night before early flights the next morning. This company is amazing and gets everything set up for you and you can add extras like s’mores, speaker, sparklers, etc. so highly recommend with a large group!
DECORATIONS AND FAVORS
We used this editable template to email all the girls and also share the itinerary for the weekend. We also printed at FedEx before the weekend and left on everyones beds so they knew what the plan was for the whole weekend!
To avoid lots of half empty water bottles around the house, we gifted everyone these monogrammed water bottles from Sprinkled With Pink. They have so many cute custom gift ideas (love this tote!) and a great practical gift. We also gifted everyone a beach towel so they didn’t need to worry about packing one as well!
We didn’t want to go overboard with decorations and Mingle30A did an amazing job with subtle balloons above the dining room table and a fun light up 30. Our moms also surprised us with balloons out by the pool which we loved enjoying during the day!
A fun surprise was creating face charts of everyone on the trip and hanging them at the entrance of the main room. With so many girls from different areas of life, we wanted to make it easy and fun for everyone to remember each others names and how we’re all connected. We included their name, hometown, where they currently live, how they knew Leslie and/or I and then three things to ask them about whether their new puppy or a funny story. Highly recommend for big groups!