30A Bookstores

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Toes in the sand, nose in a book. That’s our idea of a perfect vacation!

South Walton offers tons of activities for beach vacationers. Swimming, snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing, biking, and going on nature walks are just a few of the outdoorsy things you can do. Not to mention, you can also spend countless hours strolling the picturesque towns along Scenic Highway 30A, browsing the goods in boutiques, or sitting down for a casual lunch at one of the tasty restaurants.

This is all well and good, but sometimes you just need to escape the real world for a while. For many, this involves delving into an alternate reality with a good book. Fortunately, beach vacations are perfect for this kind of peaceful activity! You can head to the sandy shores and lounge under a beach umbrella, reading a book to the sound of rolling waves and ocean breezes. You can crack open a brand-new novel while relaxing by the pool at your vacation home. Or, you might prefer to curl up on a couch indoors, re-reading an old favorite.

But what if you forget to bring a book with you on vacation? No need to panic! Whether you’ve forgotten a book, want to find something new, or just feel like browsing, 30A has bookstores to satisfy your needs. Sundog Books in Seaside or the Hidden Lantern in Rosemary Beach offer an assortment of new and old titles for individuals of all ages. And even if you’re not specifically searching for anything specific, they’re both fun little shops to visit!

Sundog Books

Having opened its doors in 1986, Sundog Books has been around almost as long as its hometown of Seaside. Sundog Books is located in Seaside Central Square, occupying the bottom floor of the building it shares with Central Square Records. For years, the owner’s black lab named Patty greeted visitors, and Seaside locals and vacationers alike loved to see her sweet face and say hello. Glover, a blue heeler, has since taken over as the Sundog Books greeter and brand model, and he is just as loved. Being greeted by an adorable pup is definitely the perfect way to start the book browsing experience. Shelves upon shelves and stacks upon stacks of colorful books welcome visitors as they step into the bookstore. There is a Staff Pick section, making it easy to find great reading recommendations. Besides books, you can also find an assortment of cards, puzzles, and gifts. Not only is the inventory selection robust, the staff is friendly and helpful, ensuring you find everything you want and offering suggestions. If you’re in need of a book to elevate your beach vacation, you are sure to find it here!

Hidden Lantern

The Hidden Lantern is a cozy bookstore tucked at one end of Barret’s Square in Rosemary Beach. This independent bookstore is an eclectic mix of stories, book signings, art exhibits, and art workshops. The unique twist on a classic bookstore fits perfectly in the town’s upscale and artistic environment. In the front of the store, a chalkboard features a daily inspirational quote. Inside, visitors are greeted with an atmosphere that is comfortable and inviting, like that of a family room – exactly what you want in a bookstore! In addition to a plush seating area that is perfect for storytime, the store features art displays, artistic décor, and (of course) cases of books. The selection of books ranges from bestsellers to biographies to Christian fiction. Over 12,000 titles line the shelves, so you’re sure to find one that speaks to you personally! If you need any help finding the right book, be sure to ask the staff. Whether you want a book for the beach or the plane ride home, the staff are always willing to help a fellow reader!

One thing vacationers love about these 30A bookstores is the personable feel of going to a physical bookstore. Nothing beats the smell of brand-new books and the peaceful atmosphere – not even free, 2-day shipping! 

When you vacation on 30A, be sure to stop by these book shops for a fun and nostalgic experience.