What is the Florida 30A?
30A is short for Scenic Highway 30A, an 18.5-mile corridor that dips off and back on Highway 98 and hugs the Gulf of Mexico coastline in northwest Florida’s Walton County. This stretch of sugar-fine white beaches and clear gulf water holds a diverse wonderland: sea oat-covered dunes, pine forests, wetlands, marshes and coastal dune lakes.
Few places lay claim to these rare coastal dune lakes, and the 30A area has several, to the delight of kayakers, paddle boarders and nature-lovers. 30A is a huge second-home market. Fortunately for visitors, this means access to a multitude of rental homes. We are consistently asked about where to go and what to pay for vacation rentals in this area. So, this article will focus on 30A vacation rental costs.
30A Luxury Hotel Rates
Hotels in 30A vary greatly from one village town to the next. For example, if you want to book a single hotel room for a long weekend in May, you’ll pay between $400/night and $500/night for a luxury hotel room with a gulf view at the Watercolor Inn and Resort or the Pearl Hotel.
One important thing to note is that you won’t find any major hotel “brands” in this area. There is not a Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, St. Regis, or even a W Hotel anywhere on 30A. Of course, you can generally find hotel rooms for less than $400/night, but they will usually be in three star or less hotels that will be unimpressive.
30A Condo Rental Rates
If you’re looking to rent a beach condo in 30A, we suggest doing your due diligence and finding something on VRBO.com or Airbnb.com (see our article on “5 VRBO Problems and How To Avoid Them”). The real challenge with renting a condo in 30A is that unless you or a trusted friend has seen the apartment first-hand, it will be very difficult to know what you are getting from photos on the website.
There are over 950 listings in 30A listed on VRBO.com and many of them are outdated and poorly decorated. The views, feel of the layout, stairs, hills, parking situation and neighbors are very difficult to determine on these rental websites.
The highest end communities along the 30A are Watersound, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach and Watercolor/Seaside. You should expect to pay around $250-$400 per bedroom per night for a high quality condo or home in one of these communities. That means that a typical 3 bedroom gulf front luxury condo will be around $950/night. Also remember that for most of these listings there is a 7 night minimum stay.
In summary, you should expect to pay anywhere from $400-500 per night if you want to rent a 4-star hotel room with one king bed or around $950/night ($315 per bedroom) for a 3-bedroom luxury gulf front condo in 30A. Many of our Members are able to pay $500 per night for a 3 bedroom gulf front condo in the beautiful WaterSound area, but they have also paid to join a private club that affords them lower nightly rental rates. If you would like more information on rental options in 30A, please call us at 678-506-2700 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.