Did you know that South Walton has a 19-mile paved bike path that runs the entire length of Scenic Highway 30A known as the Timpoochee Trail? If you have ever visited our area, then it’s no surprise that biking is one of the top activities for tourists and locals alike. But, coming soon to South Walton, is a new kind of adventure that takes you on a bike tour like never before.
The GRAYTest Bike Ride
The Howard Hospitality team recently had the opportunity to take a few Pedego electric bikes on a spin down 30A with Eventure Tour Co. And let’s just say, it was an “Eventure” like no other! The best part, despite biking over 15 miles, our team of four mix-matched ages and endurance levels could have kept biking for another 15 more. How might you ask? Because, unlike traditional bikes, Pedego electric bikes feature pedal-assist that allow cyclists to tailor their ride to their capabilities. Not to mention, the electric-powered throttle gave us that extra get-up-and-go to help over hills and through intersections. It’s no wonder their slogan is “charging the area with fun” because that’s exactly what they did! Our guide was focused on sharing his area insightfulness and collaborating with local small businesses all while having the most fun possible.
The Wobble Test
For some of us, it had been quite some time since we had been on a bike of any sort, and we were a little nervous to take a ride on an electric bike that could get up to 20 miles per hour. However, it was evident throughout the entire ride that our safety and comfort were main concerns of the staff. This tone was set during the brief orientation that got us acquainted with the bike and how they operated. We then took a quick test drive through the parking lot, aptly titled the “wobble test,” before heading out on our tour. We were pleasantly surprised to find how smooth the bikes rode and how the pedal-assist made pedaling that much easier and relaxed. You see, while most people consider the “e” in e-bike to mean “electric,” Eventure Tour Co. defines it as “equalizer” as it allows the multitude of people with different levels of strength, age, and endurance to all be on an equal playing field where no one ever gets left behind. Luckily, we all passed the “wobble test” and were ready for the tour to begin!
Our tour started at the Pedego 30A Electric Bike Store located at WaterColor Crossing. It just so happens that Pedego 30A is also the 2017 Dealer of the Year for Pedego Electric Bikes. Pretty awesome, right?! From there, we took off on our tour following our super cool and knowledgeable tour guide, Tim Dailey, the Experience Director for Eventure Tour Co. Actually, knowledgeable is an understatement for Tim. Even our Howard Hospitality teammates that were born and raised on the Emerald Coast learned tons of information and history of the area from Tim throughout the tour. Tim was not only extremely informative but very fun and accommodating, too.
Once we crossed County Highway 395 from the WaterColor Crossing shopping center, we headed into the WaterColor neighborhood. This one-of-a-kind neighborhood is the epitome of Southern simplicity. It is tucked between the beautiful beaches of the Emerald Coast and Western Lake with unique vernacular-style homes featuring expansive porches and lush landscaping. WaterColor was the perfect backdrop to get our tour going. As we took in the sights, our tour guide, Tim, filled us in on the history of the neighborhood. The best part was seeing the nooks and crannies of WaterColor that you typically don’t get to see when driving down 30A.
From there, we headed west on 30A to Grayton Beach. We couldn’t help but fall in love with 30A all over again as we explored the picturesque scenery crossing over Western Lake. Approaching Grayton Beach, we ventured north to the Shops of Grayton. This quaint shopping area features a handful of colorful bungalows. These small buildings house local art galleries and shops such as the Saczynski Gallery and the Mary Hong Studio Gallery and a SoWal favorite, the Black Bear Bread Co. Can we just take a moment and say how much we love Black Bear Bread Co.? This bakery and café will quickly become your newest addiction! While stopped at the Shops of Grayton, we also explored other businesses located in North Grayton such as Modus Photography, which features the beautiful work of our friend Chandler Williams. Of course, we could have spent our whole tour exploring North Grayton, but it was time to head a couple miles south to what is commonly considered “Old Grayton.”
Old Grayton Beach
There is no question why Grayton Beach is a favorite place to visit on 30A for so many locals and tourists. It embodies everything about an eclectic, old, sleepy Florida town filled with flipflops, bicycles, and lazy beach days – not to mention the friendly, free-spirited people. As we traveled down the well-worn roads, past the picket fences, funky art, and historic cottages, it seemed like things hadn’t changed much in the last hundred-plus years since the town’s founding. We eventually found ourselves at the Butler-Lee Cabin, one of the oldest homes in Grayton Beach and built by one of its founders. The historic Florida cabin really gave us a nostalgic feeling of the olden days of Grayton Beach as we stopped and learned more about the oldest community along 30A from Tim. On our way out of Grayton Beach, we stopped by The Red Bar, Chiringo’s, and The Zoo Gallery. Did you know that The Red Bar was the site of the first general store and dance hall in Grayton Beach? We meant it when we said that Tim really knows his South Walton history.
As we headed back east to the Pedego 30A Electric Bike Store, it was obvious that none of us wanted the tour to end. During the two-hour, 15+ mile journey, we were able to see parts of 30A like we have never seen them before. It truly left us wanting more. Maybe next time we could try one of Eventure’s many other tours such as their Foodie Tour, where you can sip and sample some of the best cuisines along 30A, or the Local Artist Tour, where you can experience South Walton’s thriving art culture firsthand.
Eventure Tour Co. is an out-of-the-box experience that allows you to experience our communities from a local perspective which isn’t something tourists typically get to do. With a laid-back vibe, beautiful scenery, insightful information, and more fun than just lying on the beach, Eventure Tour Co. is the premier activity for tourists and locals alike to truly experience South Walton and what makes our home truly special.
For more information on Eventure Tour Co. and to make your reservation for an Eventure, visit their website. Also, make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram and tag your Eventure #eventuresowal.