State Road 30A is a Florida Department of Transportation designation shared by four alternate routings of SR 30 in the Florida panhandle. Two segments have SR 30A signage; the other two do not as they are segments of U.S. Highway 98. Three of the four SR 30A segments are next to the shore of the Gulf of Mexico for most (if not all) of their length.
State Road 30A: Point Washington State Forest segment
Just west of Santa Rosa Beach
, near East Hewlett Road, SR 30A branches off Reddick Road (US 98-SR 30) and heads southeastward toward the shore of the Gulf of Mexico
. While US 98-SR 30 continues through the heart of Point Washington State Forest, SR 30A follows the shoreline, passing through Blue Gulf Beach
, Blue Mountain Beach
, Grayton Beach
, and Seagrove Beach
before rejoining SR 30 near Inlet Beach
While US 98-SR 30 spans the length of Point Washington State Forest, SR 30A doesn't avoid it completely: the westernmost mile forms the boundary between the State Forest and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, and along, the Gulf of Mexico, SR 30A cuts through approximately three miles of State Forest between Blue Mountain Beach and Seaside... and another three miles of Deer Lake State Park to the southeast of Seagrove Beach.
State Road 30A: Panama City Beach segment
Two miles to the east of the eastern terminus of the Washington Point State Park segment of SR 30A, and one mile west of Hollywood Beach
(not to be confused with the city of Hollywood
and Fort Lauderdale
), US 98 and (unsigned) SR 30 separate. While SR 30 continues along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico as Front Beach Road (and signed as Alternate US 98
), US 98 continues roughly one mile inland (as Panama City Beach Parkway) with the unsigned FDOT designation SR 30A. The Panama City Beach Segment ends 16 miles from the western terminus, as traffic on US 98-SR 30A rejoins SR 30 on the approach to the Hathaway Bridge crossing St. Andrews Bay
and entering Panama City
Alternate US 98, State Road 30, and State Road 392A
As the 16-mile-long Alternate US 98
-SR 30 parallels the Gulf Coast
, it passes through Hollywood Beach, Sunnyside
, Laguna Beach
, and Panama City Beach
-- popular "Spring Break
" stops for U.S. college students -- before curving back inland to rejoin US 98. The popularity of the Panama City Beach beachfront
(with Miracle Strip Amusement Park
) has often resulted in the overloading of Fort Beach Road and the prompting of FDOT's "creation" of a second bypass of the downtown area: the three-mile long State Road 392A.
Unlike SR 30A, State Road 392A is entirely within the city limits of Panama City Beach, no more than 0.4 mile inland from the Gulf of Mexico. Locally known as Hutchison Boulevard, it is signed east-west. The western terminus is an intersecion with SR 30-Alt US 98 near Youpon Road; the eastern terminus is an intersection with SR 30-Alt US 98 at Thomas Drive.
State Road 30A: US 98 through Panama City and Callaway
On the eastern approach to the Hathaway Bridge, SR 30 and US 98 separated at the corner of 18th Street and Beck Avenue in Panama City
. US Highway 98 and SR 30A continues eastward along 15th Street, passing through Cedar Grove
before a southward 90-degree turn onto North Tyndall Parkway in Callaway
. As US 98-SR 30A approach the New DuPont Bridge across East Bay
, its 11-mile run ends with the merge with Business US 98-SR 30 near Long Point.
Business US 98 and State Road 30 in Panama City and Callaway
While US 98-SR 30A follows 15th Street through Panama City and Callaway before reaching North Tyndall Parkway, Business US 98
and State Road 30 follows Ninth Street, Beach Boulevard, Sixth Street, and Fifth Street before curving southward (near School Avenue) and eastward (through Parker
before rejoining US 98 on the approach to the New Dupont Bridge. The merge marks the eastern terminus of the 10-mile-long Business US 98.
Former and current State Road 30A: a loop near Port St. Joe
After FDOT started phasing out a set of Florida State Roads
in the late 1970s and early 1980s and reverted them to county maintenance, many State Roads disappeared from road maps, and many others were greatly truncated or transformed. One such drastically-affected road was SR 30A, which formed a 19-mile-long loop in Gulf
Historically, SR 30A veered southward from US 98-SR 30 one mile south of Port St. Joe, near the communities of Oak Grove and Ward Ridge, and followed Sand Bar Road along the shoreline of St. Joseph Bay past the St. Joseph Point Lighthouse before turning to the east to follow the shore of Bay San Blas, Indian Lagoon, and Saint Vincent Sound before rejoining US 98-SR 30 one mile east of Nine Mile.
Today, only a part of the north-south section and the nine-mile-long portion of the loop east of Indian Pass is still signed State Road 30A. The east-west stretch that was west of Indian Pass was incorporated into Gulf County Road 30E.
A scenic spur: the former State Road 30E
Another "casualty" of the series of FDOT reversions of State Roads to County Roads was State Road 30E
, originally existing only on the St. Joseph Peninsula
and known locally as Cape San Blas Road. It was - and is - a scenic route, with the western terminus in St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
near Eagle Harbor
. Eastbound motorists drive by the T.H. Stone Memorial
and the Cape San Blas lighthouse
as they approach the historic terminus of SR 30E, an intersection with the SR 30A loop roughly a mile south of St. Joseph Point Lighthouse.
As part of the western side of the SR 30A loop lost its status as a State Road, so did SR 30E, which then incorporated a section of the recently-reverted SR 30A to extend eastward to Indian Pass and became Gulf County Road 30E. Some road maps erroneously show CR 30E extended over Indian Pass Road on the Indian Peninsula to the east of Indian Pass. This stretch of road is actually Gulf County Road 30B, which was never part of the Florida State Road system.