30a Community

Sunset view of the 30a Community Grayton Beach

30a, located in Santa Rosa Beach, is one of the panhandle’s most stunning scenic areas. A series of beaches makeup this stretch of land between Destin and Panama City Beach, dating back to the 1700s, with its sugar white quartz sand that migrated down from the Appalachian mountains thousands of years ago.

Founded in 1824, Walton County was home to parts of Okaloosa, Holmes, and Washington counties. Towns of Walton were beginning to form in the late 1800s. Eventually, Santa Rosa Beach was home to buzzing town center called Hogtown Bayou. However, soon after, the town was devastated by a crop disaster followed by a hurricane, and residents began to leave in masses. It became the definition of a ghost town and in 1890, Point Washington in Santa Rosa Beach became a small sawmill and timber hub in order to create an economy out of the remains of the hurricane’s devastation.

As the sawmill solidified an economy in Santa Rosa Beach, the beaches were beginning to find their own economic value in tourism. In 1913, The Butler family visited the beaches from the nearby DeFuniak Springs and saw a vision of the future and soon Grayton Beach became the first town among the beaches to blossom what was at the time a budding tourist’s dream.

Access to Grayton was limited until the 1930s when Highway 98 was built. It was then when business and tourism in Grayton began to flourish. Once Grayton’s economic success took off, other beaches in the area began to boom as well. From the east to the west end of Santa Rosa Beach, a string of sixteen Gulf front beaches each began their own tourism efforts and as a collective, created one of the most beautiful tourism destinations in America, now known as 30a.

From east to west, here is the breakdown of the top beach towns that make up 30a:

Dune Allen

Located next to Oyster Lake, Dune Allen is largely a residential area. It is within walking distance from the nearby Gulf Place, a small community filled with local restaurants, art shops, retail shopping, and more.

Grayton Beach

Most popular for its funky reputation and brave beginnings, this charming beach town is home to one of the most popular beach front restaurants along 30a: The Red Bar. It is also home to a few small retail shops, a general store, and an overall magical feeling.


One of the more upscale beaches, Watercolor boasts a beautiful lawn often filled with farmer’s markets and fresh air, surrounded by a number of retail boutiques, the Watercolor Inn, a couple of fine dining restaurants, local art shops, and many picture perfect vacation homes.


As seen in The Truman Show, this pastel colored wonderland is what some might call a picture-book fairytale town. With retail shopping, a repertoire theater, local art shops, a record and book store, an ice cream shop and small-town market, and funky restaurants in airstreams surrounding the immaculate green amphitheater lawn, this is a must see town and a favorite among 30a vacationers.


This tucked away beach town is one of the most laid back of the group. You are sure to see beach goers in flip flops riding bikes up and down the streets while vacationers in golf carts explore the local eateries and shops around town. There are many local treasures to be found here!

Alys Beach

One of the most prestigious and beautiful beaches along 30a, this tidy and minimalistic looking white town is simply pristine and gorgeous. Palm trees line the roads while local shops need not boast of their elegance. Certainly mesmerizing and a sight to behold, Alys Beach is a must-see.

Rosemary Beach

The last of the beaches on the 30a scenic road, Rosemary Beach is another favorite among vacationers. With enchantment behind every door front, this beach town is a complete encapsulation of the charm of 30a. Reminiscent of Italy, with a book store, coffee shop, local retail shops, and cobblestone streets filled with the scents of baked goods wafting through the air, this is a beach that vacationers cannot pass up.

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Ken Spivey, the Pilot

Ability +  Preparation + Integrity +  Relationship = Service

This is more than just a string of buzz words. Service is at the core of Ken Spivey’s life. His family and friends will attest to his desire to serve others. Throughout is professional life as an Air Force instructor pilot, as a pastor, as a small business owner, as a hospice chaplain, and as a realtor; the desire to meet the needs of others has been Ken’s motivation! A phrase in the snack bar at his first Air Force squadron has shaped his life through the years—“If you see something that needs doing, DO IT!”

Without ability and preparation, though, service accomplishes little. Likewise, accomplishments without integrity may be quite costly! All these are key components of great real estate service; and they come down to having a close relationship with his clients. Ken recognizes that every transaction is a business deal; but behind every deal are real people, each looking for financial benefit! His goal is to help each side experience victory, whether buying or selling a “starter home”, or engaging in a multi-million dollar venture!

Every client is a unique individual, with unique real estate goals/needs. Ken wants each client to realize they are valued first and foremost as an individual. He treats every client with equal value, and brings the best of his ability and preparation to every transaction. Always with integrity as the foundation, he takes time to get to know his clients’ goals, building a relationship that allows him to serve every individual with excellence!

About Jimmy Sharpe—The Coach

After playing football for the University of Alabama and graduating, Jimmy’s first job was as an assistant coach for Coach Paul Bryant at the University of Alabama. He was there 16 years as a player and assistant coach. During the time Alabama won 4 National Championships and 8 SEC championships. He was instrumental to the beginning of the “Wishbone Offense”.

He left Alabama to become the Head Coach at Virginia Tech. Following some good years and some tnot so good years in Blacksburg, Jimmy moved on to several other coaching stops. Mississippi State, Pittsburg, Memphis State and finally to the USFL, Memphis Showboats.

In 1989, Jimmy and his lovely wife, Anne moved to Destin, Florida and began to look for an opportunity, for the next career. Through former relationships and local networking, the Coach became involved with several local real estate developers. He found his experience and skill set fit in quite well with these new opportunities. He discovered that whether in the past or in the present, he was building something tangible, putting people together, and working together to achieve a goal.

In 1992, Coach Sharpe obtained his Florida real estate Broker’s license and officially started his second career. Along the way, he has worked for or collaborated with…
  • JAS Realty, Broker
  • Kelly Plantation, original sales director
  • Emerald Bay, original sales director
  • Emerald Lakes, developer, 253 single family homes
  • Bella Vita, developer, luxury condo, Blue Mountain Beach, non-rental
  • Emerald Lakes Commercial, developer

Then in 2012, Rupert Phillips invited Jimmy Sharpe to. join his HCB Advisory Group team to give some much needed special attention to overseeing and growing the real estate company. He currently serves as a broker for three divisions of Phillips Capital Partners—HCB Advisory Group, HCB Realty Advisors, and Halifax Homes Realty.

Meet Mary Washburn

Selling Specialist
Listing Specialist

Born and raised on the coast I have a strong background in Real Estate. Starting my career in 2002  I have sold Residential property and also have a strong background in commercial and investment property.   My passion for Real Estate and making sure my clients end up with the best result are what I strive for.  I pride myself on not just being a real estate agent but being a realty advisor.  Whether it is buying or listing your home on our beautiful panhandle I promise to give my clients 100 percent of my time and concern.