Ah, sweet South Walton, a land of coastal dune lakes and impossibly beautiful natural splendor, dotted here and there with epic, beachfront architectural masterpieces. Master-planned beach towns dwell along Scenic 30A, all is quiet, all is well, or is it? Not to upset the proverbial organic apple cart, but we felt it might be time to dust the sand off this special place, pull back the veil of perfection for a moment, and learn a few unofficial truths and fish tales about our quaint little slice of paradise. Yes, dear reader, it's time to whip out, sorry, gently reveal some of South Waltons finest Scuttlebutt. This is the skinny if you will, fat if you won't, about our town(s) and some historical, dare we say, hysterical antidotes to boot!
Superstars are Everywhere
There's only one factor on locals' minds used to determine how salacious a rumor is, and that factor is the star factor. Boom. Country music celebs are moving into Alys Beach and Kaiya in droves, too many to mention. In the superstar category, Michael Jordan rocks a palatial beach estate in Seacrest Beach on east 30A. Across the street, there is a giant glass, bird-shaped house owned by the Hilton family. Not the hotel company, calm down, it's not Paris. They are a construction company specializing in concrete installations, it's solid. Lot's of Hollywood folks like Sheryl Crow and Matthew McConaughey own homes along these shores. More recently, stars of the small screen like Brandy Love have purchased homes here, and with good reason, the place really is paradise, and it's close to the Red Bar too so... Plenty of musicians have places here like Rod Stuart, Justin Moore, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, and Kenny Chesney, just to name a few. John Grisham repeatedly writes about our special area in his spy intrigue novels. All this celebrity mojo breeds drama; here are just a couple.
Related article: Where to spot celebrities in South Walton
Al Capone Loved Blue Mountain
Famed Chicago mobster, racketeer, and all-around bad dude, Al Capone ran a very sophisticated, for the time, bookie operation right here in South Walton. Located on what is now Scenic Hwy 30A, he ran a web of phone lines from this remote location (even more remote in the 1930s) up to Pensacola, and trust me, it was a lot of lines. He would drop down here on the train from the windy city. Locals remember driving down HWY 98 before there were 100's of traffic lights; well, certain trains made fewer stops, specifically the night train. Old Al could have dinner at the Exchequer Pub, hop on the ol choo-choo and have his books checked and toes in the sand by noon. Probably sipping on a Southside Fizz, his favorite drink (and a gimmie title for a potential drink Sowalside Fizz anyone?). The "booking agency" was situated just west of Blue Mountain Beach in a little neighborhood called The Brickyard. You can walk through and imagine all the mafia magic from almost a century ago.
Blue Mountain is Name For Flowers
Speaking of, Blue Mountain Beach is one of the highest elevations along 30A and home to the blue lupine flower that the original gangsters, aka Spanish Coquestidors, could see from far out in their ships in the Gulf. Putting the bright blue flowers together with the "mountain," they came up with the name Blue Mountain. You can go check it out for yourself and walk along the dunes. You'll see the blue flowers everywhere; it's truly a South Walton spectacle.
Seaside is Famous in the Moveies
Seaside is the great American beach town and new urbanist community that has gained international recognition. Architecturally significant homes make up this one-of-a-kind community that is the jewel of 30A. Of all these homes, none is more famous than the Truman house, from the movie the Truman Show. There's a rumor around town that Congressman Matt Gaetz actually spent his formative years here in the Truman house, in someway informing his current position. That part may be a rumor, but the Gaetz family does own the house today. Either way, it's worth a ride to the town and a walk around the house to take a look and relive those silly movie moments.
Read more: Things to do in Seaside, FL
Last on our list is Rosemary Beach, home to some of the most vibrant events and activities on the east side of 30A. Its architecture is derived from Dutch Colonialism, and there are lots of exposed beams and interesting wood treatments paired with beautiful vistas everywhere you look. Speaking of beautiful vistas, before this town was a master planned community, it was home to a very vibrant nude beach community. So now when you come to Rosemary Beach, you don't even have to worry about bringing that bathing suit; just tell people you're getting back to the old town and its old ways, lol.
So as the rumors swirling around South Walton and the stories just get better every year, you can come to join the fun anytime you'd like. Stay in an Ocean Reef Vacation Rental and enjoy all the Scuttlebutt South Walton has to offer. We can't wait to see you here! Come make some rumors of your own on our white sand beaches!