Seaside, Florida is a hidden oceanfront getaway that’s anything but overdone and crowded. Part of Florida’s Emerald Coast, the area boasts one-of-a-kind restaurants, activities, and accommodations along more than 24 miles of coastline. Genuine hospitality is a hallmark of the region, as is the commitment to Gulf-to-table dining. Seaside is noted for its New Urbanism architecture and design, and of course, its award-winning beach.

All photos courtesy of Aniesia Williams via Kodak Pix Pro

Feel At Home in Seaside

Get away from it all while lodging in the middle of everything Seaside has to offer with Cottage Rental Agency. Visitors can book luxury vacation cottages and residences in charming beachfront neighborhood settings. Amenities include concierge services, a business center, and bike rentals, plus private and community pool access. Stroll along tree-lined streets and parks, hike and bike the nearby trails, or relax poolside.

 

 

Gulf-to-Table Dining

The Gulf of Mexico offers an incredible richness of sea life, which is in turn reflected in dishes prepared by local restaurants. Havana Beach Bar & Grill is where Spanish, French, and Portuguese flavors meld. The award-winning restaurant is the best place to enjoy a little Havana on the Emerald Coast. It’s located in the Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach, and it’s a take-off on legendary Floridian Ernest Hemingway’s own favorite Cuban place. Indoor, verandah, and rooftop seating is available. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bar menus offer modern dishes that emphasize local ingredients.

For a more casual, come-as-you-are dining experience, visit Chanticleer Eatery for Southern and classic American favorites. This restaurant serves lunch, dinner, and happy hour menu items like shrimp and grits alongside thick-cut steaks, burgers, and Cobb Salad. Guests are served indoors or out (where pets are welcome); seating is first come, first served. Chanticleer Eatery is well-known for the original art that lines its walls (which yes, you can buy and ship home), and repeat customers know to save room for the fresh baked cookies!

Upscale Cafe Thirty-A’s elegant and relaxed ambiance is the place to enjoy signature drinks and an extensive wine menu. The restaurant’s warm welcome is evident in each dish, prepared with care: salads, wood-fired pizzas, fresh seafood, steaks, and poultry, accompanied by wines served by the glass, half bottle, and bottle.

Lighter Fare

Twice a week, the Seaside Farmer’s Market gathers at the Seaside Amphitheater. Shoppers select the freshest produce, meats, eggs, cheeses, and baked goods that area farmers, culinary artisans, and bakers have to offer. Then, walk over to the nearby Amavida Coffee Roasters cafe for a just-made cup of coffee or tea. Since 2004, the shop has served organic, fair trade coffee; it also sells coffee beans and teas to take home.

The Great Outdoors

Seaside offers an array of activities, from swimming and sunbathing to hiking, canoeing and more. Grayton Beach State Park is an expansive sanctuary that spans salt marsh and coastal forest ecosystems where scrub oak, magnolias, and pine flatwoods grow; be sure to pack binoculars to take advantage of the marked animal viewing spots. Visitors can swim, fish, paddleboard, and kayak, too. Nearby Blue Mountain Beach is known for the blue lupine flowers that bloom there. Swimming and sunbathing are popular. Looking for something different? Try a sand sculpting class with Beach Sand Sculptures. Groups meet at Blue Mountain Beach and pick up pro tips for picture-perfect sand castles every time.

Seaside, Florida is a must-see destination for travelers in search of an undiscovered gem, where emerald green waters gently lap against white sand beaches. With comfortable accommodations where every need is anticipated, delicious meals that reflect the natural bounty of land and sea, and beautiful beaches, trails, and parks to swim, fish, and paddle until heart’s content, Seaside offers a view of waterfront vacationing that’s familiar yet exciting and new.