One question we've all asked ourselves at some point in 2020 is:  "How can I make the most of this new #socialdistanced world I live in?"

Much of the world is facing new and uncharted difficulties within their daily home & work routines. Masking up, avoiding hugs, postponing travel, and adjusting as much as possible to all the latest rules and recommendations takes intention and energy. One thing we could all use more of regardless is intentional time outdoors in stillness and solitude, breathing in the fresh air. 
Many have taken the path of least resistance this year... You know, the path of (dun, dun, dun) endless mindless scrolling on social media platform fix of choice. Cough Cough* Guilty here, too! But what IS the path that is less traveled by that Robert Frost was talking about in his famous poem? And how CAN it make all the difference? 
Truth be told, there are lots of "paths less traveled", and today we'll discuss them. These hidden gems all over the emerald coast are begging for attention. We just have to know where to look. That's what this article is all about. Let's go on a digital adventure together & get some inspiration to GO see some of these tranquil natural wonders in real life.  If you live on or near 30a, you can guarantee that just a turn or two off a main road and you'll find yourself surrounded with all of the good things your mind, body, and soul are craving. Crisp fall leaves underfoot, wooden bridges atop lily pad ponds, and endless pillars of trees await your adoration. 

1. Eden Gardens

Let's wander Eden Gardens, 163 luscious acres of land that were a part of the historic Wesley Homestead located just north of hwy 98 on 395.  Central to the gardens is the two-story renovated plantation home originally built in 1897. You'll want to bring along a blanket & a picnic basket with your favorite wine, cheese, and crackers. After touring the gardens, find your perfect shaded spot under the moss covered oaks for a deep conversation or quiet book reading session. The east side of the park overlooks Tucker Bayou which glows in the sunset.  

2. Deer Lake State Park:

Many locals admit they haven't visited one of our most gorgeous state parks, a rare coastal dune lake, Deer Lake State Park. The walkover bridge view is uniquely surrounded with dunes for what feels like miles on either side. In addition to the beach picnics, fishing, and sunset views, there's also the option to hike one of the trails just north of the main entrance. Pick between 1 mile Interpretive Forest Loop trail (orange trail) or the 1/2 mile Lake trail (blue trail) with it's scenic overlook of Deer Lake.


3. Alys Beach Nature Trails: 

Getting lost can be a good thing. Especially if you're aimlessly wandering through the Alys Beach nature trails. Warning, There are more than you can imagine. Let's name a few. Amphitheatre, Arboleda Park, Central Park,  Firepit Park, Fonville Park, Gulf Green, Kelly Green, Palmera Park, Papilio Park, Turtle Bale Spring, & finally Lake Marilyn. The northern portion of Alys Beach is contains a 20-acre nature preserve for an even more exclusive getaway. 

4. Point Washington State Forest: 

For you jeep lovers, trail riding happens most often here at Point Washington State Forest. We do hope your shocks are up to date. Sure there are other trails for jeeps, but point Washington State Forest contains 15,000 acres of untouched Florida land and trails. Located between the beach and the bay... Of course, not only trail riding, but hiking, birdwatching, jogging, and even primitive camping is available at the forest. As an avid visitor, my personal favorite activity in the midst of the woods is stargazing. Jeep top down & a couple pillows = date night! Take your choice of three trail systems located a half mile south of Hwy 98 on 395 or horse trail north of 98 on Bay Drive. 

5. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park: 

Another glorious dune preserve sprinkled with pine trees, scrub oaks, moss of every kind & various wildlife. *Insert cool fact to share with your friends* Topsail Hill Preserve is named for its dunes, because they are tall like a ship's sail and overlook the ocean. A camping hot spot for RVs, tents, and those brave enough to sleep solo in an eno. Kayak, canoe and SUP rentals offered on site for neverending choices of outdoor activities. 
It's your freedom to get outdoors and enjoy nature! So let's go! 

Did you know? Every home purchase or sale with Live 30A Real Estate helps impact lives around the World. See more on our Greater Purpose page here. 

Live 30A Real Estate

Posted by Fantasia Lyons on


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