Your Perfect Beach
South Walton offers something for everyone, all year long.
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“If we had tried to do this company anywhere else, many days I don’t think it would have worked,” Archer continues. “The 30A family embraced us before anybody else really knew what the sport was, and we had people taking a chance on us.”
When describing the benefits of paddle boarding to alternatives like kayaking and surfing, Archer credits viewing the ocean from a stand-up perspective as to why he and buddy Tom Losee created the company. “[While paddle boarding for the first time and witnessing dolphins in the pass] my first thought was, ‘I feel like Marlin Perkins.’ My second thought was, ‘Everyone’s going to want to feel like Marlin Perkins.’ This was too easy; I was just on the land over there, and now I’m in one of the most exciting moments of my life. That’s when I knew we had to make them.”
For those wary about giving the sport a chance Archer says, “The greatest thing about this sport is that it’s for everybody. If you can ride a bicycle, you can stand-up paddle board. It’s really about finding the right model that’s for you and the right water, and from there the adventure begins. I see people who get into this and within the first year they’re going to Hawaii to surf waves, and I’m talkin’ about 55-year-old women that you would never imagine [to do this sport]. It really hooks the inner child and makes you want to be the best that you can be. It really empowers people. It’s a vehicle for adventure. The board just gets you out there, then that’s where the adventure begins.”
Much like YOLO boarding, South Walton offers a new perspective proving that there’s more to a perfect beach than what meets the eye. “There are little treasures all over the place here, and we’re fortunate enough to be able to live here,” says Archer.
Whether you’re having grits at Great Southern, listening to Duke Bardwell jam at Stinky’s Fish Camp, YOLO boarding on Western Lake, browsing Andy Saczynski’s gallery, enjoying fine dining and watching the sunset at Vue, or having a massage at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort’s spa there is a little slice of paradise for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Visit South Walton and find your perfect beach.
Memphis magazine wishes to thank the South Walton Tourism Development Council, the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, and the WaterColor Inn & Resort for their cooperation and assistance with this story.
Seaside School Half Marathon and 5K Run beginning at Alys Beach along Scenic Highway 30A
30A Wine Festival in Alys Beach
Sandestin Wine Festival at Baytowne Wharf
South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival and Destin Charity Wine Auction at Grand Boulevard
ArtsQuest Fine Arts and Music Festival at WaterColor
Sandestin Beach Bicycle Tour through northwest Florida
Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach
Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic
27th Annual Sandestin Triathlon
Sandestin Music Festival at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort