COTTAGES AT THE BEACH
Seaside began as a planned master community in the early 1980's under the visionary guidance of local land owners Robert and Daryl Davis. Enlisting a young and enthusiastic cadre of New Urbanism town planners led by Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk from Miami, the 80-acres of Seaside community has become perhaps the most successful and most copied "new town" in America over the past 35 years.
Clustered only three blocks deep from a central core of restaurants, shops and community facilities, the beach town comprises just 355 residential lots, mostly about 1/8 acre in size. Each lot has an architect-designed timber cottage, fronted by a unique low white picket fence. Individual owners have painted their vacation homes in a rainbow of sherbet colors; and with the exception of 20 percent of the homes that are owner-occupied year round, the majority are rented for vacationing families, generally for about 4 to 7 nights at a time.
DINING AT THE BEACH
When the urge to feed the family means going out, the range of choices at Seaside is abundant. Click on any of the highlighted names below for a direct link to each restaurant's own website for images, menus and online bookings.
Within walking distance, you can't beat the quality and selection at Bud & Alley's Waterfront Restaurant and Bar, a Seaside institution for nearly 30 years. And chef Jim Shirley's "New Fashioned Southern Cuisine" at Great Southern Cafe celebrates the bounty of local farmers and fishermen. For casual meals, it's a challenge to choose between Pickle's Beachside Grill, The Shrimp Shack, Bud & Alley's Pizza Bar or the Taco Bar. Wine, sushi and small plates are on offer at Ji-Shi Ki-Chn.
And for snacks, the row of Airstream trailers tempts with BBQ, melted cheese sandwiches, dawgs, smoothies and pastries. And don't forget the pretzels, fudge and gelato.
SHOPPING AT THE BEACH
Every beach vacation is complete when there's been time for some good quality retail therapy.
Seaside Style is the authorized outlet for branded Seaside wearables and furnishings. For trinkets, treasures and beach attire, Cabana is a collection of outdoor market stalls with the latest fashion selections.
On the main square, Sundog Books may be one of the last remaining great book sellers, featuring an in-depth selection of design, architecture and urban planning hardbacks.
And for stocking the kitchen or hosting friends for drinks, Modica Market is the go-to source for fine wine, deli and butchery selections and a full range of meal and household supplies.
While all these shopping sources are just five minutes walking distance, it is worth noting that one of the largest outlet malls in America with 110 stores is just 15 minutes drive away at Silver Sands Premium Outlets in Destin Florida.