Grayton Beach

Laidback Adventures on 30A

John McKinney

Earlier this month my brother got married. Family and friends took the week off to spend a vacation basking in the early May, Florida Sun. My wife and I packed up Tuesday night to make our way to the beach house that our family had rented, Margaritaville. Knowing we’d be there all week and not wanting to get stuck in 30A traffic, we securely loaded up our bikes on the new trunk rack I had bought a few days prior. Well, we thought we did anyway.

We were only on the interstate for about half an hour when we drove over a dip in the road. It was enough of a bounce to cause the lower bar to swing closed and caused the bikes to swing down toward the road.


Thankfully, I noticed almost immediately and pulled over to the shoulder. Unfortunately, there was damage to one of the bikes. Mine was fine but my wife’s brand new (we had bought it the day before…) bike had damage to the tire. The asphalt had burned a hole right through the tire. Having one lame-duck bike and not trusting this bike rack for the rest of our 4-hour trip, we reattached the bikes as snuggly as we could and drove the half an hour home, put the bikes back in our apartment, and headed out again.

I learned a valuable lesson, don’t skimp on a high-quality bike rack. I had bought a pretty cheap one off Amazon that had pretty good reviews. I’ve since returned it and bought a Thule trunk rack and it has been a great investment, it secures the bikes extremely well and is easy to set up and break down.

Where we stayed

Margaritaville, a vacation rental home located 30 feet from the beginning of the dunes. This massive 7 bedroom, 7 bath home sleeps 28 and offers panoramic views of the Gulf. It is a massive home at 4,000 square feet but was perfect for us since we had a lot of family in town and we were able to host the rehearsal dinner right on the grounds of the house. If you have are planning on visiting 30A with a few friends and their families, why not spend the time together in one massive home as opposed to multiple homes?

“It wouldn’t be a McKinney story if the fish didn’t grow each year.”

What we did

We spent most of the week on the beach swimming, sun-tanning, and throwing the football. When we weren’t enjoying the sugar sand white beaches of the Gulf Coast, we were enjoying its other charms. We went on a few bike rides, my dad had brought over some beach cruisers since we couldn’t bring our bikes. We rode through the quaint, coastal towns along 30A. Life moves a good bit slower in these little towns but that’s why people flock here, for the relaxing, time doesn’t matter atmosphere.

We walked through Seaside, a small town that has always been one of my favorite towns, enjoying the little shops. The night of the rehearsal dinner we all enjoyed a sunset then roasted marshmallows at a bonfire on the beach.

Of course, there was a lot of eating going on as well. I’m not sure about your family but my family loves to eat and be around a table together. Sitting around the table for a meal often goes on for hours as we share stories long after the food has been consumed. It’s the same stories every year mind you, but that fish just gets a little bit bigger each year. As my uncle remarked to me, it wouldn’t be a McKinney story if it didn’t.

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