rosemary beach photography of girl sitting on dad's shoulders looking at the water

11 Quick Tips for Rosemary Beach, FL – How to make your trip successful and have fun

After visiting Rosemary Beach for the first time in the Fall of 2023, I’ve gathered my thoughts to share so you can make the most out of your trip as well.  Some of the quick tips for Rosemary Beach, FL are practical, what not to forget, when to book things and others are philosophical.  

As a 9-5 working household with extracurricular activities, snagging time away can feel so rare and also so precious.  The Rosemary Beach experience is one where you can just be and enjoy the slower pace of life on the water and unwind. 

So with that, here are my quick tips to enjoy your Rosemary Beach, FL vacation.  If you want a more in depth review, visit my other post: First Time in Rosemary Beach, FL, Ultimate Travel Guide for Newbies (coming soon).

  1. Slow down and Breath

Try listening to the waves, kids playing.  Put down the book and screen, turn off the extra noise and just dig your toes into the sand and be for a little bit.  This area is such a gem of beautiful surroundings.  Take the time to appreciate it.  We enjoyed a walk along the beach meandering in and out of the tide.  

Also, in keeping with the enjoy the moment theme – don’t forget your sunscreen and beach toys! No one wants a holiday ruined by sunburned skin or bored kiddos. 😉

  1. Make time for the Sunrise and/or sunset.  

Some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets are here at the beach.  When you return home and see a cotton candy sunset it will take you back to that joyful time at the beach.  

We happen to visit during the rainy season and catching those perfect sunrises were near impossible. But I was up and ready for one each morning!

sunrise from The Pearl Hotel Rosemary Beach
  1. No public beach access

 You need to be staying at a Rosemary Beach Hotel or House to access the beach from the town of Rosemary Beach.  Much of 30A is private beach access with a few public access points.  There are 2 public beaches, Inlet Beach and Santa Rosa Beach that are at each end of 30A.

Quick tips for Rosemary Beach entrance is to just walk toward the beach. There are boardwalks that will lead you directly to the entrance gates and that’s how you get down to the beach. The main entrance from the main road is past lawn and very visible. There are also public restrooms and a foot rinsing station there.

Quick Tips for Rosemary Beach how to get to Private Beach access gate with lush dune fauna and teal bicycle peeping out
  1. Book in Advance

I cannot emphasize this point enough. Rosemary Beach is a small town and lodging and services book out about a year in advance.  The beachfront properties go first.

Everything at the beach is by rentals.  Which means if you want a bicycle, beach chair or groceries without the hassle; then you definitely need to get online and book those services as soon as you know you are traveling.

Don’t forget to book your transportation to and from the airport in advance as well.  You want to be able to land and start the days of zero stress.

This point is so important that I am calling them out for the next 3 as well!

  1. Book your Umbrellas and Beach Chairs in Advance 

Quick tips for Rosemary Beach, FL: The beach chair is home base so you don’t want to leave this to the last minute and risk the chairs being sold out.  Ideally, you will reserve your beach chair and umbrella at the same time you book your house.  Look at doing these about 1 year out from your travel time if you are looking to travel during the peak summer months.  Remember, you don’t need a chair for everyone.  It is nice for each adult to have a chair though.  Ask for the front row so you can really enjoy those emerald water views.  

Quick Tips for Rosemary Beach Private Beach with two black beach chairs and an umbrella with the sand and the emerald green ocean
  1. Reserve your Bikes

This is THE way to get around 30A.  Bicycles are everywhere and every place has bicycle parking. 30A has a bike path that will take you from one end to the other with lot’s to see along the way.  Another way to get around 30A is by bicycle.  Many of the rentals provide beach cruiser bikes and you will see them absolutely everywhere.  When we stayed at The Pearl Rosemary Beach, bicycle rentals were one of the included amenities.

You can also rent your bicycles from a number of places along 30A.  Many of these companies offer free delivery and weekly rentals are common.  

  1. Order groceries ahead of time.

Since beach rentals tend to run Saturday to Saturday, the grocery store can be chaotic to say the least.  Make your life a little bit less stressful when arriving in town and order your groceries ahead of time via Shipt. Place your order 24 hours ahead of time and then sit back and relax knowing you don’t have to do the grocery shopping or fight crowds at the start of your holiday.  Helpful tip with this, you can use Shipt to have items from the liquor store delivered as well so food and drinks can be waiting for your when you arrive.

  1. Eat early or off schedule

Since most restaurants don’t take reservations in Rosemary Beach or 30A the lines can get long during the normal dining hours.I recommend getting there early or late or be prepared to wait.  We keep a deck of cards in a bag so we aren’t just sitting on our devices while waiting for food.  With a kiddo – the early time slots usually work well for us but I’ve also had success eating at the tail end of the normal dining times.

fresh mixed green salad with chicken salad and pita triangles from Georges Alys Beach
  1. Visit the other nearby towns.

As much as I love Rosemary Beach, get out and explore the other towns. Each has different architecture and rhythm with their own personality.  We bicycled through a few of the towns and it was fun to see what they looked like as well as have an excursion planned (even if it was just to another beach!)

  1. Enjoy a Pool Day.

The beach all day is not for everyone.  And some kids can get really frustrated by swimming in the ocean with the waves and wildlife.  Rosemary Beach has 4 community pools that are great to just enjoy swimming. Consider visiting one if you are tired of the sand and surf but still want to enjoy the sun and water

  1. Splurge for the Photography.

You know the holiday cards with the gorgeous family photos and you wonder how they managed to pull it together in time?  This is how!  They get the photographer on their gorgeous beach vacation when you are already all together.  Then you will have the memories and captured the peace of your wonderful beach trip forever. We didn’t plan far enough ahead but I pulled out my tripod and took a few family photos.  Wish I had the professional ones.

girl sitting atop dad's shoulders at the beach looking out toward the ocean with waves coming in

I have more information and many other quick tips to share when visiting Rosemary Beach for the first time. Keep reading to learn more!