Shuttle and valet services offer convenience by Manny Chavez
The next time you visit Seaside, think of how cool it would be to leave the driving and parking to someone else. The Seaside shuttle and valet service are active and ready to solve your driving and parking needs.
Tucked away on the east side of Hwy. 283 in Grayton Beach, just across from the Shops of Grayton, is a huge parking lot to park and ride Seaside’s free shuttle. The parking area is available both to the general public and to Seaside employees. First-timers pulling into the parking area will see a huge space up front and then a smaller area towards the back. The rear parking area is used primarily by Seaside employees and the front by the general public. But the general public can take advantage of either space. Both areas are well-lit for nighttime users.
The free shuttle is a blessing for those wanting a break from the summertime traffic on Scenic Hwy. 30A. The air-conditioned and heated buses work continuously from a 5 a.m. until midnight, with wait times usually no more than 10 minutes. The shuttle bus drivers stay in communication with one another to guarantee a smooth pick-up and drop-off.
Once on board, the bus will whisk you away and traverse along Scenic 30A, crossing two beautiful Western Lake bridges. The view is stunning, and its always fun to watch runners, walkers and bikers as they make their way along the Timpochee Trail, which extends the length of the highway.
Next, you’ll travel briefly through WaterColor before entering Seaside. The various Scenic 30A communities all connect to one another, and the transition is seamless. Entering Seaside, if you look quickly to the north (left), you’ll see the top of the Truman House deck on Natchez Street. The house, easily recognized from the street by its bright yellow and pink-colored deck, was made famous by the movie “The Truman Show” during which Seaside became the town of Seahaven for the film production.
Continuing through Seaside, you’ll soon be at your drop-off point just south of the Lyceum Lawn, right in the middle of all that awaits you.
Whether you are visiting Seaside for the casual or fine dining experience, checking out the unique fine art galleries, shopping at the unique Seaside shops, having your photo taken in front of the cool little Seaside Post Office, or just wanting to enjoy a cold one and stroll the beach, you’ve arrived and with no worries, knowing that you’ll get back to your car the same way. On my last shuttle ride, the trip from the parking area to the Seaside drop took a total of seven minutes and 27 seconds.
If you throw in the convenience of not having to deal with traffic or find a parking place, this no-hassle option is all thumbs up.
For those wanting to visit Seaside and would rather have their cake and eat it too (have their vehicle valet-parked), the Seaside valet service will make it happen. The fee for the service is $15 per vehicle (credit cards accepted) and is available from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The valet service staging area, located at the corner of Scenic 30A and Quincy Circle, has a stable of young, energetic valet employees who can be seen jogging from the valet parking area to fetch customers’ vehicles in a timely manner. All systems are go with these parking experts who are fast, friendly and mindful of your personal vehicle’s security. If you are wondering if they will valet park your golf cart, wonder no more. They are more than happy to park your cart, although there are no charging stations while it is parked.
Both the Seaside shuttle (30A Shuttle) and Seaside valet (Beach Valet) services began this year’s operation in early March and will be active until Labor Day Weekend.
“The shuttle service is great,” says Director of Seaside security Jeremy Barnes. “It is a safe and reliable way to make it into Seaside and then back to your vehicle. And, the valet is a great addition to Seaside. Instead of constantly circling and hunting for a parking space, you pull into the staging area, have a polite attendant greeting you.”
Regarding the Seaside shuttle, Barnes is upbeat about the service. “We repeatedly hear from both employees and guests that the shuttle is a relaxing and enjoyable way to ride into Seaside,” he says. “There is less worry about the road, cyclists or pedestrian traffic and more focus on the picturesque views traveling over Western Lake and the unique architecture of the towns along the way.”
Shuttle Ride Schedule through Sept. 3, 2019
Where to Park
Park at the public parking lot on 283 South. The locals call the parking area Grayton Central. You will easily spot it directly across from Hurricane Oyster Bar on the east side of 283 South (see location map).
Drop Off and Pick up In Seaside
You will be be dropped off and picked up at the Lyceum Gateway, the archway between Duckies and Mercantile on Quincy Circle.
Hours of Operation
Shuttles begin at 5 a.m. and service ends at midnight every day. Shuttles come and go about every 15 minutes.