There are certain places you think of as being big tennis hubs in the US…Miami (anywhere in South Florida really), Phoenix/Scottsdale, Palm Springs, SoCal…30a probably doesn’t make that list, but let me tell you…it actually has a pretty hopping tennis scene.
Tennis and the beach go hand in hand so it’s no surprise that such an epic beach destination has plenty of courts and clubs where you can work on your game before hitting the beach.
On my last trip to 30a, I visited every single tennis club/center so I could give YOU the lowdown.
I’ll start off by saying that I was pretty impressed by all three tennis facilities and programs and there’s not necessarily one that stands out WAY above the others so I would probably plan to play wherever it’s most convenient to where you’re staying. But if you’re super into the nuances (or factoring in the tennis to where you want to stay), then buckle up:
Where to Play Tennis on 30a
Rosemary Beach Racquet Club
I stayed at the Pearl in Rosemary Beach on this trip and the tennis courts are just a quick walk down 30a. This is the biggest tennis facility on 30a with 8 courts, all Har-Tru (green clay).
My favorite thing about this place is the observation deck. Besides the upper viewing deck, there’s a porch on the back of the pro shop which has plenty of seating and good views. Overall, this place probably has the best setup for watching matches or lessons/drills. The courts are all pretty open and there’s a lot of seating.
The club is open to the public. Guests renting cottages in Rosemary Beach (through the Rosemary Beach Cottage Rental Company) or staying at the Pearl get complimentary court time. There are also drills focused on doubles strategy (for all levels) offered daily ($38 for guests and $30 for members). Clinics are limited so be sure to call ahead to reserve your spot.
Find out everything you need to know about playing tennis at Rosemary Beach here.
The Seaside Tennis Center is the least convenient place to play tennis on 30a UNLESS you’re staying close enough to walk there. There is zero parking (but plenty of bike racks!), and it’s pretty secluded and hard to find.
Once you do find it, it’s pretty quaint (like everything in Seaside). They’ve got 6 Har-Tru clay courts and run clinics most days. You can also customize your own tennis vacation if you’re traveling with a group.
Of all three tennis centers, the Seaside pro shop was probably the most lackluster (they had some good stuff-it’s just not as nice as the other two) and also both times I was there, there wasn’t anybody in the pro shop to help you. There were only one or two pros and they were both on a court.
Find out everything you need to know about playing tennis at Seaside here.
Surprise, surprise, but WaterColor Tennis ended up being my favorite club on 30a. I ended up meeting the tennis director in the pro shop and everyone was just super friendly and chatty.
WaterColor has the smallest facility on 30a (not by much though) with 5 Har-Tru clay courts. But they do have a parking lot and it’s pretty out of the way so only people playing tennis are parking there (the Rosemary Beach lot is right on 30a and I have a feeling it gets used as overflow parking for people who are there to shop and eat).
Even though they only have 5 tennis courts, they have TWO pickleball courts and after a bit of research it looks like they’re currently the only public pickleball courts on 30a!
The club is really cute. The pro shop looks like a beach cottage and has a charming wrap around porch with plenty of chairs. They also have the best pro shop out of all the facilities. It’s nice inside and they stock a lot of brands and have everything well arranged.
There’s not a great website for WaterColor tennis, so I recommend calling the pro shop to find out their schedule and reserve a spot in advance.
Logo Wear Tip: Logo Wear is kind of a big deal on 30a (pretty much every “town” has an official logo that they sell on merchandise in an official store in the town) and I can officially report that every pro shop carries a tennis version of the official logo wear. Get a “Seaside Tennis” sweatshirt, tee, or hat at the pro shop. But you won’t find the tennis versions in the main shops in town.
Other Places to Play Tennis Nearby
Although not on 30a, there are a couple of notable tennis centers at resorts nearby:
SanDestin: The SanDestin resort area is HUGE with multiple resorts, hotels, condos, and vacation rental communities. It’s its own city. And their tennis program is top notch! They have 12 clay courts, 3 hard courts, and 6 pickleball courts plus a full schedule of clinics, tournaments, and lessons plus a matching service if you don’t have a partner (or opponent). You can find out everything about playing tennis at SanDestin here.
Tops’l Beach & Racquet Resort: This place confuses me a little bit. It’s part of Vacasa which is a vacation rental management company and may or may not be affiliated with Wyndham’s timeshare program. It’s hard to find the info. But they have 12 clay courts and it seems like a pretty busy schedule of clinics, drills, round robbins, and lessons. Find out more here.
More posts about the area:
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