Somewhere between 1497 and 1513, historians tell us, Europeans first beheld the great natural beauty of Florida. Juan Ponce de Leon named the region Pascua Florida or flowery Easter. Five-hundred-plus years later, stewards of Florida’s natural beauty are focused on sustainability, preserving what Mother Nature has provided, for all to enjoy.
“Scenic 30-A runs through long-leaf pine flatwoods, along the white sand beach and sea oat-covered dunes, past freshwater coastal lakes and saltwater inlets, over sand hills and coastal uplands, along wetlands and marshes, through hardwood hammocks and coastal scrub. Our area is known for the shimmering brilliance of the Gulf of Mexico and her white sand beaches. But it is the beauty of our landscape and its native plants and animals that are second to none…
Don’t miss the centuries-old live oaks at Eden State Gardens in Pt. Washington State Park, and the craggy, many-trunked scrub oaks in Old Grayton Beach.
Look for the huge, fragrant white blooms of Southern Magnolia in early summer throughout the woods, at the crest of Old Seagrove, and next to the obelisk beach walkover in Seaside.
Admire the graceful arc of slash pine reflected in Western Lake.
Discover the tough little sand pine that grows all along the Gulf Coast, but nowhere else in the world! Look closely at the sharp-toothed edge of the stem of a palmetto frond that gives Saw Palmetto, a palm tree that grows its trunk underground, its name.
Wildflowers bloom year-round along 30-A. Watch for the lavender blossoms of wild rosemary and Gulf Coast lupine in the spring.
In the fall, the roadsides turn gold with goldenrod, woody goldenrod, golden asters and camphorweed. Sea oats, the grasses that hold the dunes in place, are a federally protected species.
Enjoy the beauty of the plants, but please, don’t walk on the dunes or pick the seed heads. Please do enjoy and protect the beauty of our beaches, dunes, scrub and woodlands.