- The Hamptons
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Orange County
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Silicon Valley
- Washington, D.C.
Ayesha Khan, Misty Milioto and Janet Thomas | Edited by Alison Abbey and Allison Mitchell | Photo: Courtesy of the resorts and restaurants | June 5, 2014
After a long work week in the city, a weekend escape is a must. Whether you arrive by land, by sea or by air, these nearby destinations boast new or freshly renovated hotels, bars and restos along with super summer packages and cultural happenings. From the hip Hamptons and lively New York City to the happenin’ streets of NOLA and the sandy beaches of Florida, these dreamy locales deliver on sun, fun and good times. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your besties and a couture carry-on, and get ready to soak up the easy-breezy season of summer!
Head south for a tropical vacay along Highway 30A.
Fashionistas will die for the designer duds at Alys Shoppe, the chic new boutique on Alys Beach. The inventory includes racks of unique, thoughtfully sourced pieces including duds from ATL-based Annie Griffin Collection. Word to the wise: Shop till you drop; then head around the corner to nosh in style at George’s at Alys Beach. @alysbeachfl; @georgesatalys
Home, Sweet Home
The dreamy stretch of highway known as 30A is a huge secondhome market, meaning a slew of fab rentals for visitors. Find your perfect home away from home at Vacation Rentals by Owner, and through rental agencies like Cottage Rental Agency (@seasidecra), Sandcastle Escapes (@sandcastleesc) and Rosemary Beach rentals (@rosemary_beach).
The Pearl is the latest boutique hotel to liven up the Panhandle. This Rosemary Beach respite has something for everyone: By day, relax on the resort’s private beach just footsteps from the hotel; or enjoy a treatment at the ohm-inducing Spa Pearl. By night, sit down to dinner at signature restaurant Havana Beach before hitting up Sol Luna, The Pearl’s sexy, open-air rooftop lounge. Overnight rates from $370, @pearlrb
EAT & SIP
Craving Creole? Head for justdebuted Messina’s for a quick fix. Fresh Florida seafood and Louisiana-inspired recipes mix and mingle at this Gulf Place haunt. Plus, the eye-catching spirit selection includes more than 40 bourbon offerings. Cheers! @messinas_on_30a
Acme Ice House
This resto is the newest addition to the bustling Village at Seacrest Beach. The decor is vintage Americana with a contemporary edge—think walls clad in reclaimed wood, rows of flat-screen Tvs and photographer Tommy Crow’s classic rock ‘n’ roll-style portraits. The food (and drinks!) Rock just as hard. Vacay it up with daily half-price margaritas and Bloody Marys from 11:30am to 6pm while munching on bar bites like baked elbow macaroni, cheese fries and Acme fried rice balls. @acme_ice_house
Grayton Beach Catering
Beach it up Florida style with Grayton Beach Catering’s Thursday night shrimp boils. You bring your friends and the booze and they’ll provide dinner, a bonfire, beach chairs, music and a menu that includes jumbo shrimp, andouille sausage, potatoes, corn, watermelon and more. Nothing says summer like dining in the sand!
The Bowery on Thirty-A
Brand new eatery, The Bowery on Thirty-A, is named after the iconic street and neighborhood in Manhattan. Owner Joel Williams has spared no expense: Think citychic decor, NYC-worthy dining (crazy-good breakfast, lunch and dinner), and a major live music venue that draws acts of all genres. @thebowery30a
South Walton Beach’s celeb chef Jim Shirley just launched The Bay. Sit and sip at the 55-foot bar and enjoy the 12-draft-beer system, or grab a casual bite alfresco, with menu highlights including Cajun truffles, pestoseared snapper and crabcake, and fried oysters—all while admiring views of Choctawhatchee Bay. Live music on the weekends makes it the perfect vacay escape.
Grayton Beer Company and Idyll Hounds Brewing Company
Take a tour—and some swigs—at Santa Rosa Beach’s Grayton Beer Company, launching a stellar new set of beers for beach- and sudslovers (30A Beach Blonde Ale, anyone?). Then, hit Idyll Hounds Brewing Company which will debut the Divide & Conch’r, a double IPA and the Man o’ Wheat this summer. Those clever brew gurus! @graytonbeer; @idyllhoundsbrew
Head to Gulf Place on 30A for local tunes at the venue’s Summer and Fall Sunday Concert Series. Each week features a different local or regional group, spanning every musical genre. June’s lineup includes Cadillac Willy, Flow Tribe, Chronic Jester, Déjà Vu and Tony Vegas. Bonus: The concerts are free! @gulfplace30a –JT