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Seaside

Updated on February 13, 2015

On Florida's Beautiful Gulf Coast

Our favorite beach getaway is to Seaside Florida. Located between Destin and Panama City Beach, it's the perfect place for our family to escape the busyness of our lives at home. The simplicity of each visit along with the perspective we gain or regain, make it invaluable to us and we feel the need to make the trip at least once a year.

We hope you enjoy the information shared here and even more so wish for you to have the opportunity to visit Seaside in the very near future.

You'll love it!

The Village

For the last several years we have loved taking our family vacation in Seaside Florida. Seaside is a quiet little beach town on the Gulf of Mexico. It's thirty miles east of Destin and thirty miles west of Panama City Beach. Just far enough away from these popular destinations to keep the crowds to a minimum yet close enough to catch some of the attractions they offer if that is what you like. Seaside and several other wonderful small towns are located on County road 30-A. The film "The Truman Show" was filmed here.

Seaside and the neighboring towns are on Santa Rosa Beach. This is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The water has the most beautiful shades of blues and greens you can imagine, the sand is soft and white and the sky puts on a fabulous show from dawn to dusk.

Seaside is a master planned community that was established in 1981. Strict architectural codes ensure that each structure fits perfectly into the township and the beauty and eclectic symmetry are evidence of well thought out design. The town is mostly made up of beach cottages, each one unique yet balanced perfectly within its surroundings. Many of them can be rented from the owners. A great place to find one of these rental houses is VRBO.com a site that vacation homeowners use to market their cottages. There is also a motor court and a few condos that can be rented.

The town has a number of great places to eat. Our favorite is The Great Southern Café, which has a phenomenal chef. You have to try the Grits a Ya Ya . There's also Pickles hamburger joint, The Taco Bar, a sushi place, and others. For dessert you can get some great gelato at Heavenly or frozen yogurt can be found at Dawson's. We love the old Air Stream trailers that have been converted into walk up sidewalk cafés that line the main road. You'll find Frosty's for soda and ice cream, Barefoot BBQ for fantastic brisket and other smoked fare, Wild Bill's Hot Dog Stand, A grilled sandwich place and a smoothie trailer.

Seaside is a great place for shopping from groceries to artwork. There are many fantastic shops throughout the center of town. There's a great bookstore, a wonderful record store, clothing, surf gear and toys shops can be found too. Local artists display there craft in many galleries around the diminutive town.

There is so much you can do in Seaside. They have a very nice playground, tennis courts, pools, a world class croquet field, a fun lawn in the center of town for Frisbee and of course the beach.

Great Books on Seaside

Our Perfect Vacation

For us, a day at the beach begins with a morning bike ride. We take our own bikes with us each time but there are lots places you can rent bikes and many of the rental houses have their own bicycles for you to use. The bike rental shops will have various ways you can ride with your little ones. There is a 17-mile bike path that runs along county road 30-A that has views of the gulf at many spots. This is a great ride if you really want to put some miles in.

As a family we enjoy riding through the beautiful beach neighborhoods. The cobblestone streets of Seaside are a blast to ride with stops at the playground, the shops or for a snack. Riding in the neighboring community of Watercolor is a lot of fun too. There are so many streets to ride with beautiful houses along the way. Bridges that span stunning lakes can be ridden through immaculately kept gardens and my favorite riding is done on the well-maintained trails that weave through the woods of Water Color. Bridges, docks, boardwalks highlight these fantastic flowy trails.

After a morning on the bicycles, we make some lunch and get ready for an afternoon at the beach. We all like to do different things so we carry a bunch of gear with us. Sunscreen is applied before walking to the beach. We'll spend three or four hours, hunting for shells, building sand castles, swimming, boogie boarding, skim boarding and soaking in the sun. I like to catch crabs and other sea creatures to show the children but we release them at the end of the day. Then we head back to get ready for dinner.

We love to play a little Frisbee on the lawn in the center of Seaside as we wait for the sunset. We'll then head down to the beach to photograph the incredible show that goes on every night as the sun sets. The sky is so different each and every night and we are always amazed at its beauty. Then we catch dinner somewhere. One of our favorite local places is "Pizza by the Sea" which is right next to Seaside on road 395.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Then we do it all over again for the rest of the week. For us this is the perfect vacation. The simplicity of each day refreshes us while we are staying active and doing the things we love all day every day.

Fall

Here's a video from one of our trips to Seaside. Our 12 year-old son Max made this on his ipod.

Beach Poll

What do you take for a perfect day at the beach?

See results

Seaside Comments - I hope you enjoyed your visit.

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    • RCGraphicsDesign profile image

      RCGraphicsDesign 5 years ago

      I am at peace while at the beach. Sun, salt, and sea - nothing is better.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Blessed!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      You've certainly made Seaside sound very inviting.

    • profile image

      MrsPankhurst 5 years ago

      It's the long hours pottering in the rock pools and collecting sea shells at the waters edge that are so much more healthy for children. You really get the most out of the seaside for you seem to have lots of ideas on how to enjoy yourselves there.

    • photofk3 profile image

      photofk3 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this. You made me miss the beach and the hot sun.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Sometimes I miss the beach (grew up in Bondi) but now I love to watch documentaries and read lenses like this one on how others enjoy themselves. Great lens. *Blessed* and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012. Hugs

    • JK Sterling profile image
      Author

      Jim Sterling 5 years ago from Franklin, Tennessee

      @kathysart: Thank you very much Kathy, a beach holiday would be perfect right now.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      Ohh I forgot.. Angel blessed

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens.. I think I need a holiday to the seaside!

    • JK Sterling profile image
      Author

      Jim Sterling 5 years ago from Franklin, Tennessee

      @julieannbrady: Hi Julie, thank you for stopping by. I hope you can make it to Seaside one day soon.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Oh my, Seaside sounds like a fabulous seaside destination in Florida ... have been close but haven't quite made it there.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nicely written article. Appreciate your thoughtfulness.

    • profile image

      BeyondRoses 5 years ago

      When I was young, I lived for a year in Panama City, up a crooked sand path from the Gulf. My dream was always to return to live there. I rediscovered the area many years later, and especially the enchanting Seaside. We use to vacation there each year, but since having to cancel a trip in 2004, we have not got to return. I loved it so, the dunes, shops, all the new places to stay. Lots of info, and lovely presentation of what must be one of the closest places to heaven.

    • JK Sterling profile image
      Author

      Jim Sterling 5 years ago from Franklin, Tennessee

      @BeyondRoses: I hope you have a chance to return soon. Thank you for sharing.

    • Mistl profile image

      Mistl 5 years ago

      You made me think of summer and sun which is a nice getaway from the current weather here. Thank you! :)

    • superbob17 lm profile image

      superbob17 lm 5 years ago

      Great lens. This looks like a wonderful place to visit.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i like to be lazing at the beach or gather some shells.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Seaside looks like a wonderful place to vacation. I'd love to visit someday!

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 5 years ago from England

      Well done Max. super video. We spend our vacations in Hollywood, Florida to be clsoe to family. We once took off for a day to Sanibal and I guess this is the closest we've been to Seaside. I think we might just have to visit! Blessed by a beach lovin' Angel ;)

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      Max surely did a good joy on that video. There are some very creative shots there.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Seaside seems perfect for a getaway!