Meet Visit Jax Ambassador: Stephanie Waltrip

Charleston native turned Jacksonville lover! Stephanie moved to Jacksonville eight years ago with her husband and now three children. Stephanie is a former Miss South Carolina USA 2009 and CBS Amazing Race Contestant. Since then her and Chad have built a beautiful life together in Fort Caroline. Stephanie, 17 year mast hairstylist co-owns Honey Loft Salon / Boutique on Atlantic Beach. When she is not vlogging about all things hair, makeup, fashion, she is out and about with her family- on the beach or escaping to springs. She is an advocate for Autism as her oldest son Wyatt is 10 with autism. She uses her free time to educate and relate to that community by finding special need friendly activities and environments.

1. What do you love most about Jacksonville?

Jacksonville is a beautiful, special city. I love Jax for its hidden nature paths. My family and I love to drive and explore hidden parks, trails, and even hop off the beaten path. Whether is be Timucuan Preserve or the jetties...we love exploring outdoors whether it’s on foot or in the boat!

2. What is one thing you tell a visitor that they must see/do when in Jax?

There is so much to choose from in Jacksonville! It’s hard to pinpoint ONE favorite! Wyatt (my autistic son) feels his best on the beach! So we are very much beach people! So we spend so much time in Hannah Park, it’s great, you can also camp and they have a small water park for the kids and beautiful hiking trails! But if you’re without kids it’s awesome to grab your beach cruiser and hit 3rd street, grab Whits ice cream or have a glass of wine at Mezza Luna!

3. Where is your favorite local spot to eat?

Since my salon is right on Atlantic I spend more time on the beach than anywhere else! I am constantly debating over Mezza Luna or Eleven South - they are my favorite spots to indulge! When I decide to make a trip closer to downtown I love grabbing a rooftop drink at River & Post, then grabbing (my favorite) French cuisine at Orsay!

Follow Stephanie to see Jacksonville through the eyes of a local!